Help Was Needed Due to Someone Else’s Negligence

I’ve lived on the street where I grew up for the past 45 years. It has quiet for as long as I could remember, but that changed when my newest neighbor moved in. For years, he has been at odds with many of us on our street. He does not take care of his property. For years, I mentioned to him that a large tree in his yard was dying, and that it would one day fall over onto my property. He ignored me, and then it happened. I had to hire a Sacramento personal injury attorney because of what happened.

I was out mowing my lawn one day and working on clipping the bushes that surround my yard. Continue reading

Family Law And The Desirable Attributes In A Family Attorney

Family law is an overarching term that be used to describe all legal discussions related to issues that come up with a family and have reached a point where a legal resolution is the only way out. Family issues that come under family law are issues such as marriages that have reached their end point, live in relationships that are going down, legally disowning a family member and so on.

Other issues that also come under the family lawyers are issues related to child custody, which almost always gets to be its own big discussion because it usually involves two people who are separated but need to share a person. It is fairly complicated!

Family Lawyers

Family lawyers will vouch for the fact that family cases can get downright complicated and long winding because two people who were formerly inseparable have decided go separate ways. Obviously, during the course of the relationship both the parties involved would have achieved a lot of things, suddenly an argument is being made as to what belongs to whom, who gets what and why? Putting it as simply as possible, there isn’t a straight forward solution to any of this.

This is why choosing a good divorce lawyer is very important. When a person walks into a family lawyer’s office, he or she is under a tremendous amount of emotional stress. So, the chosen lawyer must be in a position to appreciate and understand that and interact accordingly. The divorce lawyer should be able to understand that he is going to be involved with clients who are emotionally drained and yet give solid legal and sensible advice. That means one has to choose divorce lawyers who can be sensitive but also act logically under the circumstances.

Avoiding Pretend Family Lawyers

Probably the most expected characteristic of a legal representative is that he or she is not judgmental. Whenever there is a family issue, there are a lot of things that a client would be sharing with his lawyer and the last thing they want is for their own family lawyer to pass judgment on what they have done or did not do! If that does happen, the client is going to be horrified and the chances are pretty good that the lawyer is going to be out of business. So, having a neutral lawyer is very important for the client-lawyer relationship to go ahead.

Family Law – The Divorce Process

Applications for divorce are processed by Registrars of the Federal Magistrates Court, who sit in the federal court buildings at Sydney and Parramatta. The court process is quick and easy for most people, and if there are no children under the age of 18 attendance at court is unnecessary for either party. An Application may only be filed in the court after you have been separated for more than 12 months. For example, if you separate on 1 August then the documents cannot be filed until 2 August or later.

Separation under the one roof.

The divorce application is not quite as simple when part or all of the 12 month separation period is spent living together in the same household. The Court will require further information to enable it to be satisfied that there has in fact been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage and it is a genuine application. An affidavit (sworn statement) has to be prepared by the person applying for divorce which details evidence of the parties’ intention to end the marriage. This would have to address such questions as whether or not the parties still share the same bedroom, whether or not one performs any household duties for the other, financial arrangements between them, the extent to which there are other shared activities, why it is there is still a sharing of accommodation, and the like. In some instances, correspondence with Centrelink or similar government department may assist the court in determining the matter. This material would usually be attached to your affidavit. In addition, the court would expect to see an affidavit from an independent witness, such as a family friend or neighbour, to verify the changes in living arrangements.

Your lawyer is in the best position to advise what is required and to assist in preparation of the necessary documents required by the Court. It is advisable to consult your lawyer at an early stage as the Court is likely to refuse applications that are not accompanied by sufficient evidence of the separation and as a consequence the divorce will be delayed, perhaps for several months.

Unable to locate the other party?

In an ordinary case, the Court Rules insist that the divorce application, once it has been filed and stamped by the court’s filing clerk, be delivered (served) to the other party. This often is done in person (by someone other than the applicant) or by post.In regard to postal delivery, it will usually be necessary to have receipt of the document acknowledged in writing by the other party on the proper form.Service of the divorce application on a person outside Australia is no different if done by mail except that a longer period of time must be allowed for postal delivery.Sometimes it will be necessary to pay for a service agent in the overseas country to serve the application.

Even if the whereabouts of the other party are not known, the Court will still expect an Applicant to have carried out reasonable enquiries with a view to locating the person to be served.An affidavit setting out such enquiries will have to be provided to the court in due course.If all else fails, the Court may still consider granting the divorce without the need to serve the application, referred to as ‘dispensing with service’.

A case in which the author was recently involved illustrates some of the issues to be considered by the Court in an application to dispense with service.In that case, the husband and the wife were married in 1965.After a period of only 3 weeks, they separated and the husband disappeared, not to be seen since.To further complicate matters the wife was some time later involved in a serious accident which caused memory loss.The wife did not know the husband’s relatives or where they came from. The starting point was an electoral roll search undertaken through a mercantile agent and phone book searches.Further enquiries by a private investigator may have been useful but beyond the means of the wife. Any other avenue of enquiry was exhausted.An affidavit outlining these enquiries was prepared for the Court.A separate application, apart from the divorce application, is required because the Court is being asked to make procedural orders relating to service of a document (the divorce application).In this matter the Court was satisfied that everything possible had been done to locate the husband and made the anticipated order that the wife place advertisements in daily newspapers for both Sydney and Melbourne in a specified format.In time and once proof of lodgement of the advertisements could be supplied, the divorce was granted. This case emphasises the need to consult a lawyer with experience in these matters to avoid problems and delays in the divorce being granted.

Another typical case might be where the other party cannot be located easily but it is a fair assumption that he or she will be in regular contact with a parent or sibling,whose whereabouts are known. The author can recall a number of cases in which the court has allowed service to be effected on a parent of the missing person.This may seem a little unusual but for any number of reasons one of the parties to a marriage may not wish their contact details to be known to the other. Every case has to be considered on its own facts and what is appropriate for one will not be for the next. The Court has a wide discretion and is flexible in these types of cases, but it must be borne in mind that it is not just a ‘rubber stamp’ and there has to be compliance with the Rules of court.

Family Law and Custody Issues in Divorce Cases Remain Complicated

The 21st century comes with new innovations and things to make life easier, and yet it still has the age-old problems of ruptured marriages and children caught in the middle of parents battling over who gets custody. And it’s not just a battle of who gets custody. It’s when, where and how long. It can be a conflict with no real winners from the child’s point of view.

If you’re facing this situation it’s important you know your rights as a parent, what kinds of child custody agreements there are and what’s granted in each of them. While it’s not terribly complex, it’s confusing when you’re dealing with the dual stresses of divorce and child custody issues.

The most common type of custody is legal custody and it’s shared between both parents. It’s fairly straightforward and means you have the right to make decisions on day-to-day matters about your children and have the responsibility for their care.

Another form of custody is physical custody. This is the right for the child to stay with one parent for a period of time and then the other for another specified length of time. One parent usually tends to have a greater period of time simply because of the logistics of this type of a custody agreement.

This is still a “shared custody” kind of arrangement involving both parents and the child’s visitation schedule is usually worked out depending on the lifestyles of the parents. What’s best for the child is critical.

There are situations where one parent or the other gets sole custody, meaning sole legal and physical custody. This is usually the result of one parent not being able to care for the child or they may be abusive, and is only awarded in extreme circumstances.

The other form of custody you might be awarded is joint custody. This means the parents share physical and legal custody. This is the preferred option by the courts, as it seems to be best for the child, however in some cases it isn’t possible. Talking to a knowledgeable family law attorney will make this situation easier to cope with.

Family Law and Unmarried Parents

Family Law covers a broad range of legal issues, most involving the couple’s minor children. The tone and outcome of the legal matter involving your family can be greatly assisted by having the right family law attorney. Family law issues do not always involve a divorce, or marriage dissolution. What about in the case of where there was never a marriage to begin with? This is a more and more common occurrence; children have been born into a relationship which involved cohabitation, but is not secured with any legal agreement. In a case where there has never been cohabitation, the father’s rights may be greatly diminished.

Generally speaking, the courts look at married and unmarried father’s rights quite differently. With a divorce of a legally married couple, both are considered to have the right to be fully involved in their children’s lives in areas such as deciding where they live, and how they will be raised. The noncustodial parent would have the right to know where their offspring are living, and to see them according to the visitation agreement. In addition, they would have the right to information regarding school and medical records.

If the parents were not married, but did live together in the family home, and then separate, it is generally the mother who has automatic parental responsibility. If you are a father in this situation, it means that you do not have the same rights as a married father, and it might be more difficult for you to establish child visitation. Numerous other issues may arise for an unmarried father, even basic paternity can be called into question if he is not listed as the father on the birth certificate.

If you are in a situation where you have a child but have never been married to the other parent, it will be most advantageous to you to hire a qualified family law lawyer to assist you in reaching a suitable agreement so that you can be a part of your child’s life. You will need guidance to determine things such as who claims the child on their income taxes, to who provides health insurance and other benefits. Even if you are not separated, but are in a happy cohabitation relationship with a child, it is a good idea to contact an attorney who can draft a legal agreement, much like a prenuptial agreement, which covers finances and child issues.

Much like with a marriage, covering some of these issues ahead of time can make any future separation go more smoothly for the individuals concerned, most especially the children. Remember, the court will decide on what it thinks is in the best interests of the children. Take the time to make those decisions yourself by contacting an attorney who deals with family law court cases. Do what is in the best interests of the children, and you will all be better off.

Family Law and the Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements in the United States have a long history. There is an obvious competition of interests between the desire of people involved in relationship to regulate their own affairs and the drive the institutions of the state to regulate marriage. Traditionally, the only people that needed prenuptial agreements were wealthy people who needed to protect their assets in a relationship or their estate plan. It was also common for people entering into a second marriage when they had an existing estate plan which involved children from the first marriage.

Prior to 1960, it was impossible to contract out marital rights except for inheritance rights. Having a contract of marriage which related to divorce was seen as invalid because of the fundamental principle of the permanence of marriage. There a was a recognised public policy imperative in encouraging the life long character of marriage. One of the most important decisions in this regard was the 1970 case of Posner v Posner because it was a landmark case that said that a premarital contract or agreement was in fact enforceable and valid. The decision was based on a recognition of the changing nature of marriage and the prevalence of divorce in present social conditions.

There is still in fact some debate as to whether a premarital contract is in fact enforceable in the way that a normal contract is enforceable. It has been argues that even if they are not, there remain the special rules in force in a number of jurisdictions which are specific to family law. However, there are a number of reasons why a premarital contract is different to a commercial contract. In the first place, there is idea of commercial negotiations and the equality of power in the bargaining positions when choosing whether or not to enter into the contract.

Generally, the conditions under which it will be acceptable for premarital agreement to be enforced if both the process by which they were negotiated was fair and the terms are fair. The fairness of an agreement is obviously something that can be disputed but this is the reason that it is necessary to ensure that both parties have a sufficient opportunity to comprehend the agreement that they are being asked to sign and to seek independent legal advice in relation to the terms of the agreement prior to signing the agreement. If these conditions are not met in some cases, the premartial agreement will be unenforceable.

Laws Governing Family Law And Same Sex Marriage Transformed by Supreme Court Rulings

The traditional definition of an American family has shifted dramatically after the United States Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions relating to the issues of same sex marriage equality in the cases of United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. These rulings will drastically change various areas of the law.

In family law, it will change adoption of children by same-sex parents, parentage actions, guardianship actions, the ability to marry a member of the same sex, and divorce/dissolution proceedings. In addition to these changes, same sex married couples should review their retirement and health plans, as well as, as their estate plans and tax filings to ensure their partners are also being covered under the new benefits now available to them. Federal employees and military spouses should also review their employment benefits package to take advantage of the newly available federal benefits.

In United States v. Windsor, the Court held that the Federal Statute labeled as the “Defense of Marriage Act” (commonly referred to as DOMA) is in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. More specifically, the court ruled unconstitutional the Defense of Marriage Act’s Section 3, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman only for purposes of over 1,000 federal laws and regulations. Justice Kennedy, who delivered the opinion of the Court states,

DOMA writes inequality into the entire United States Code. The particular case at hand concerns the estate tax, but DOMA is more than a simple determination of what should or should not be allowed as an estate tax refund. Among the over 1,000 statutes and numerous federal regulations that DOMA controls are laws pertaining to Social Security, housing, taxes, criminal sanctions, copyright, and veterans’ benefits.

Thus, the Court ruled that Section 3 of DOMA violates the equal protection rights of same-sex married couples. This means that same-sex couples cannot be denied the same federal benefits granted to heterosexual married couples.

In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Court addressed the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8. Chief Justice Roberts drafted the opinion of the court in another 5 to 4 decision. California’s Proposition 8 was adopted by the state’s voters in an election that occurred in November of 2008, in which 52.3% of California voters approved the ballot measure, which made same-sex marriage illegal in California. This change presented another major change in California family law.

On June 26, 2013, the Court held that sponsors of Proposition did not have a standing, or the legal right to appeal district court’s order invalidating the ban. Thus, the Court dismissed the case on the grounds of inadequate standing and the case was remanded back to the lower court with instructions to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Since the lower court had already declared Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, the decision is has cleared the way for gay marriages to resume in the State of California.

As of today, June 28, 2013, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay in the matter, allowing same-sex marriages to immediately resume in California. California is now the thirteenth, and largest, state to legalize same-sex marriages.

Are Family Lawyers And Divorce Lawyers The Same?

Family Lawyers are often referred to as Divorce Lawyers. Divorce Law has become a specialized field of law. Historically, there were fewer divorces and Family lawyers handled the cases. With the increase in divorces over the past century, divorce law has become a specialized branch of family law. Although, many Family Lawyers still handle divorce cases.

Divorce Law covers all the areas that need to be discussed when a couple files for divorce. These areas include:

Child Support: Child support is the amount paid by the non-custodial parent for the needs of the child or children involved in the marriage. This can be used to cover the cost of shelter, clothing, or education. It is meant to provide the necessities the children need not as a means of supporting the custodial parent.

Child Custody: In most cases one or the other parent will be awarded physical custody of the child or children involved. While there have been cases where the physical custody was awarded jointly, this is not often the case. There have also been cases where the children were split between the two parents, but again this is not often done. The court system tries to keep children together when at all possible.

Alimony or Spousal Support: Spousal support is awarded based on many different variables. For example, if one spouse has worked at a low-income job to support the other spouse while they attended post-graduate school. This would be seen as a reason to award spousal support to them while they also attended school or training. Spousal support can be temporary or permanent depending on the ruling of the court.

Division of Assets: Division of assets can be difficult. Generally, this applies to the assets such as a house, property, or investment plans that were started or acquired after the couple was married. Property owned by either spouse before the marriage would normally not be included in the assets of the marriage.

Visitation: Visitation is the time allowed for the non-custodial parent to spend with their children. This varies widely, depending on the particular divorce case and the desires of the parents and children, if they are old enough to have their desires considered by the court.

Relocation: Because of the economy today, relocation has become a more common problem. Many divorced couples are finding that in order to find work or remain employed they have to relocate to another area. This can cause problems with child visitation rights of the other parent. It may be necessary for the custodial parent to gain a court order allowing them to move before they can take the children to a different town.

Each divorce case is unique in some ways. The growing number of divorce cases is the main reason why people have come to associate Divorce Lawyers as separate from Family Lawyers; although, both can handle divorce cases.

Family Law and the Division of Marital Assets

Determining what assets should be included as marital property and who gets these items can be a pretty big argument between divorcing couples. Property acquired before marriage may or may not be considered marital property. When a prenuptial agreement exists, it can help determine the marital assets and protect anything owned prior to marriage. Stay at home moms and other non-working spouses are protected by the court in some states and can receive part of the assets or compensation for them. Other factors such as who will be raising the children and who has more income can sway how everything is divided.

With the exception of rare circumstances, everything acquired throughout the marriage is included as marital property. These are things such as the home, vehicles, and bank account funds. By being married both parties agree to share financial gains and losses. Marital assets can be divided in two ways depending upon the standards of family law set in each state. Approximately ten states follow community property laws while the others use equitable distribution. Knowing the particular states laws can be very helpful in being prepared for the divorce and proceedings. Divorce lawyers can help determine which assets will be included as marital assets and most reasonable way to divide them.

Equitable distribution is the more common of the two ways to divide assets. Distribution of assets is not necessarily guaranteed to be 50/50 in these states. The court itself decides what division percentage is fair and reasonable for both parties. A court makes this decision based on many different factors. Some of them include the length of the marriage, both parties’ income, responsibility for the children, and debt. Another factor is what each person had when they entered the marriage. A prenuptial agreement takes precedence over the laws definition of distribution and can make determining the marital assets much easier.

Remember these things when it comes to equitable distribution. Everything bought during the marriage will be divided. Who bought it or whose name is on the item does not matter. It is the responsibility of the divorcing couple to prove which assets are marital assets. This includes proving a spouse got rid of certain assets knowing divorce was inevitable. Having knowledge of the state laws can make it easier to work with divorce lawyers in getting desired items or compensation. Finally, each party is also responsible for debt accrued during the marriage.

Community property results in a 50/50 distribution of all marital assets. All debts are also marital property and will be equally split between both parties. Spouses who know their state follows community property laws may hide debt or increase it as a way to get even. When a home is owned in more than one state, it may be possible to file for divorce in either state. Consult with someone familiar with family law to determine which state’s laws will be most beneficial when filing for the divorce. People with higher incomes benefit more from equitable distributions states whereas someone who has no or very little income would benefit more by community property laws.

Family law for division of marital assets varies per state. Some states follow community property laws where all marital assets and debts are divided equally. Others use equitable distribution and a judge decides how the assets are to be awarded between the two parties. These states can award a different percentage amount to each party. Divorce lawyers can help anyone contemplating or going through a divorce on deciding what items are marital assets and provide recommendations on how they should be divided.

Article Source:

Family Law Attorney – Divorce & the Case For a Family Law Lawyer

Is A Family Law Attorney Really Required In A Divorce?
A divorce obviously represents a major change in a relationship. Most of the interests of the parties, once unified, are now being split apart. Divorce is a new experience for most; it involves many changes, it’s disrupting, and it’s challenging. Given all of the issues that need to be addressed and the highly emotionally charged atmosphere, the situation can degenerate quickly into a nasty, difficult state of affairs.

Many myths abound as to outcomes of a divorce… these myths can contribute to hard feelings and harmful actions.

Bottom line, you need to protect your rights. And, if you have children, you especially need to protect both your rights and the rights of your children.

And, quite simply, for most the best way to protect your rights is representation by a qualified family law lawyer.

Skillful Divorce Legal Representation

It is crucial that you have skillful legal representation as soon as possible after you decide to divorce. It is important to know your rights… and your obligations.

It is critical that obligations are fulfilled at the time of the separation of the parties. Temporary agreements should usually be established immediately that deal with issues such as child custody, spousal support, maintenance, property division, visitation, parenting rights, and child custody. Initially, these agreements are designed to be temporary and to put each party in the best position possible while the divorce negotiations occur.

While your marriage is being terminated, if there are children the family relationship must continue. There is an opportunity to establish a good working relationship with your soon-to-be ex-spouse that demonstrates your commitment to be as helpful as possible as you each establish new homes and adjust to new realities.

A Skillful Family Law Attorney Can Save Time, Money & Reduce Stress

A divorce can take up to a year or more, depending on how quickly the issues can be solved by the parties.

Each of you can make the other’s life miserable over ongoing disputes over custody, visitation, money issues, and whatnot. It’s in the best interest of parties and the children to get the best legal advice possible in the beginning so that one party doesn’t have to go to court to get temporary relief which could have been negotiated.

Years of grief can be avoided with the right start.

Knowledgeable advice from a skillful family law attorney through this sensitive time can reduce tensions and set the tone for avoiding unnecessary legal battles that can be expensive and lead to a difficult ongoing relationship. Howard Kleyman has been practicing family law for over 30 years, and is known for his mediation and conflict resolution success, and for his fierce protection of children’s rights. He is an active member of the Hennepin County Guardian Ad Litem Panel Of Attorneys, representing guardians in cases of abuse and neglect of children. More information regarding divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, modifications, and pro-se (self representation) for most states can be found at .

Article Source:

Bellevue Family Law and Child Custody – Basic Facts

Every parent going through a divorce takes child custody as a very important issue. Many disturbing questions come to mind: Who will my kid live with? How much will I get to visit my kid?

Bellevue family law is directed by Washington State family law. It applies the rule of “best interests of the child” to decide custody. The residential plan for the kid after divorce is decided by what is in the kid’s best interest.

Well, this rule may sound vague but it takes into consideration the fact that all families are only one of their kinds. Therefore, the law should be flexible enough.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the most ‘effective’ parenting plans are those in which the parties agree to the terms themselves.

‘Effective’ means that the parents follow it. It works all in favor of a child so that he is able to flourish. Bellevue family law attorneys work hard to know the particular situation of the case in order to make agreements easy.

Mostly, it is very difficult to openly negotiate with the one you have determined to divorce. In such a case, the best interests of a kid can be at stake. In such events, Bellevue family law needs that the parties attempt arbitration of a divorce case. This shows that how much the courts insist upon mediation process.

Some supervision disputes turn to be violent, and when this takes place, experience lawyers can deal with it. The Bellevue family law is considered to be highly effective.


Article Source: