All You Need to Know About Family Law

Law, the term is associated with rules and regulations that the government of a country sets for its subjects. The subjects or the people who come under this law has to follow or abide by them. If violated, the person can be liable to undergo punishments as the concerned authority will wish them to go through. This is a state law. This has many divisions. Under this, the family law is a part. Law can also be there set by the head of a corporation or an organization. In that case, it cannot be called a state law, it is for the concerned organization. This article will deal in detail with family law. To know more continue reading.

Definition

As the name suggests, the law is concerned with matters regarding a family. It can be the family issues, like relationships, divorce, child custody or adoption of a child. The state is the supreme head who has the final say in such matters. A family seeking judgment must make an appeal before the court of law and have to patiently wait for the proceedings to take place.

Some Common Terms Related to Family Law

Marital Property- The property attained by either of the spouses during their marriage. This property becomes the point of division if they want to get divorced.

Emancipation- If the guardian of a minor dies, and if through court proceedings assumes adult responsibilities and becomes self-supporting for his or her own welfare. In this case, the minor does not remain under the care of his or her parents.

Prenuptial Agreement- An agreement, made before the marriage of a man and woman where they give up any future right to one another’s property in case of divorce or death.

Alimony- An allowance given by one spouse to another to support themselves after divorce or legal separation.

Paternity- This means to establish a confirmed identity of a child with his or her biological father.

How Are the Family Matters Solved?

If there is an issue in the family, which the members are not able to solve by themselves they can seek the local court for justice. In the first place, they must approach a lawyer who deals in such types of cases. Discussing the matter with him or her and taking an advice, one can submit their appeal to the court. The court through its several sittings will listen to the case and offer a suitable solution for both the parties.

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A Myth Regarding Personal Injury Protection

I often get told by my clients that they “do not want to make any claims on their own insurance policy” because “it will raise their rates.” Like many things, this is an insurance tactic meant to scare people from claiming what is rightfully theirs. Let me elaborate further.

Under Texas law, every person in the State must carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage on their auto insurance policy, unless you expressly sign a rejection or “opt-out” of this coverage. The State minimum requirement is $2,500, although many people carry $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage (or sometimes even more, depending on what their auto insurance carrier offers). Importantly, under the Texas Insurance Code, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your insurance rates, drop your coverage, affect your credit, etc. for making these claims. Therefore, if you have this coverage, you always want to use it.

PIP coverage is meant to reimburse you for two things: (1) medical bills you have already incurred or (2) lost wages (although it will only cover 80% of your lost wages). Additionally, Texas allows “stacking” of insurance benefits. For example, let’s say you get into an accident and you are taken to the emergency room where you incur a $10,000.00 bill. Let’s also say that you have the standard $2,500 PIP policy through your insurance company. After you are finished treating, we send that same $10,000 bill to both the Defendant’s insurance company and to your own. We get you paid $10,000 from this insurance company plus $2,500 from your own PIP coverage for a total reimbursement of $12,500. That’s right, you get paid $12,500 for a bill that was originally $10,000.

I always tell my clients the same thing: If you pay for this coverage every month in your premium, and if your insurance company cannot raise your rates for using it, then why wouldn’t you use it? It is free money falling out of the sky. However, because it’s free money falling out of the sky, many insurance companies (and their agents) will deliberately try to convince you that you do not need it because “it cost more.” Again, this cannot be further from the truth. The cost of this coverage is literally pennies on the dollar for what you get in return should you need to use it. Further, the best part is that this coverage is no-fault, meaning you are entitled to these benefits whether you caused the accident or if someone else hit you.

For these reasons, it is a no-brainer not only to have this coverage, but also to use it once you need it.

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Three Categories of Family Law Documents

This branch of the law covers all legal matters that pertain to a family. This can include marriages, divorces, prenuptial agreements, adoption, civil unions, property settlement, child custody and visitation and more. To become an attorney that deals with family law you have to first get your bachelor’s degree, attend law school and then pass the bar but if you plan to specialize in family law there are many different specialties to choose from, including adoption, neglect, abuse, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation, paternity, and more.

Marital unions

Under this category marital unions include civil and traditional marriage unions. It rarely includes formal pleadings. The reason is that this area of the progress of family life is less contentious. This means that not many couples at this stage are filing actions against each other. Some of the documents include:

  • Name change forms
  • Certificates of marriage
  • Prenuptial or premarital agreements

These documents may be called by other names in different jurisdictions but they all cover the same area. Some jurisdictions may also enable other types of actions under the category of martial unions but the general concepts as to what is handled by these forms, agreements, and certificates are common in all jurisdictions.

Marital termination

This category is where you will find most of the documents. These documents deal with marital terminations and include divorce, separation, and annulment. One of the parties will initiate a court action to sue for relief. These particular documents will mirror the types of pleadings that are filed. In addition to asking for termination of the marriage the documents can also include replies to the court action filed and any counterclaims. Some of the more common documents can include motions to restrain a spouse from deleting the marital assets, temporary alimony, and court costs. This category of family law documents include all the attachments and forms that are used to establish the marital estate as part of the proof that will be needed to reach an amicable and fair divorce settlement.

Parent-child relations

In this category are the actions that will do the following:

  • Appoint a legal guardian
  • Establish paternity
  • Deal with the issues of support, custody, and visitation
  • Removing a child from a home for cause

The petitions can also include motions to modify an order for child support, and motions for contempt for failure for either party to comply with any prior court orders.

As you can see there are many different documents that a family law attorney has to deal with so that is why many specialize in one particular area although some may practice in more than one area. To be sure which specialty volunteer to work for a family law firm.

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Who’s Liable for Injuries Sustained in Public Transportation Accidents?

Public transportation is a wonderful asset for thousands of Americans all across the country. Buses, trains, subways, limousines, metros, taxi cabs, and more are just a few examples of the variety we have to choose from when it comes to public transport. As customers and clients, we generally trust that these choices are safe and reliable; but sometimes unexpected accidents happen.

If someone is injured while using public transportation, who is at-fault for their damages? There can be several outcomes when determining who is liable for accidents such as these. Continue reading to understand all the possible parties that might be liable, under law, for injuries sustained to public transient customers.

Public Transportation Traffic Accidents

When it comes to public transportation, buses are one of the most popular. Tickets are inexpensive, and some buses are complementary to individuals in the community. School buses are also widely used for public school transportation. With the rising popularity of public buses, more and more are on the roads every day. As a result, the number of bus accidents continue to increase each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 300 bus accidents happen every year, all of which resulting in fatalities.

Bus crashes, and other public transport cases, are complicated to litigate. Determining the at-fault party is a bus crash can be tricky because it may be more than one, or none at all. It requires the professional litigation skills and trial experience of a licensed car accident attorney to effectively pursue a bus accident injury lawsuit or claim. If you or someone you loved has recently been injured in a public transportation accident, like buses or taxis, contact a local personal injury lawyer to learn your rights.

Possible At-Fault Parties:

  • The Driver
  • Management Company
  • Other Negligent Vehicles
  • Government Entities (If Public)
  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • City Traffic Management (If Defective Light or Sign)

Common Causes:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
  • Defective Stop Light or Traffic Sign
  • Hazardous Weather Conditions
  • Reckless or Careless Driving
  • Poor Equipment Maintenance
  • Treacherous Roads
  • Defective Equipment
  • Obstruction of Views
  • Other Negligent Vehicles on the Road

Traffic accidents, public or not, can happen very suddenly, and usually result in serious injuries and damages to innocent bystanders and drivers. If a person is injured using public transportation as a result of another carelessness or negligence, they are entitled to legal compensation for their pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. 

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Divorce 101 for Filipinos

Here’s a situation: A and B, both Filipinos, went to the United States to get married. After several years, marital troubles started to occur between the couple and after efforts at reconciliation failed, the two started to part ways. They figured that since they were married in abroad, they decided to get a divorce in the US.

Upon return to the Philippines, after obtaining a decree of divorce, A and B mutually divided their properties between them and went their separate ways. Now, here’s where it gets tricky: Apparently, A incurred debts after their ‘divorce’. And now creditors are after not just A’s properties but also that B’s, which left the latter distraught. Is this even possible? Yes.

First things first: Divorce is NOT applicable to Filipinos. Even if the couple successfully obtains a decree of divorce, the same is VOID in the Philippines. In effect, in the eyes of the law, the couple is still legally bound as husband and wife.

Art. 15, otherwise known as the Nationality Principle, of the New Civil Code provides:

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

Given this, the creditors may go after the property of B as the same forms part of the community property of with A. After all, they are still a married couple.

However, Divorce obtained outside the country, may, in certain instances, be recognized in the Philippines. How?

Article 26 of the Family Code, reads:

All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

What makes this provision applicable to Filipinos are the presence of the following elements:

  1. That the there is a valid marriage between a Filipino and a foreigner.
  2. That the alien spouse obtains the divorce abroad and such decree capacitates him/her to remarry.

What if the Filipino later on became a naturalized foreign citizen, is this now applicable to him? It depends. In Republic vs. Orbecido III, the Supreme Court ruled that: “The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.”

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Common Benefits Received From Workers’ Compensation

It is common for people who are injured on the job to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The amount of compensation and degree of benefits received by injured workers largely depends on the extent of their injuries or damages. Damages can include but are not limited to pain, suffering, prolonged rehabilitation or illness, diminished quality of life, lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, mental trauma, PTSD, and much more.

It is wise to hire a personal injury attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation law to recover the full and fair recompense deserved. Continue reading to learn what type of benefits to expect, or that is possible, to receive after being injured while on the clock.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Not all workers’ compensation claims are for physical injuries. Although most involve some sort of bodily harm, mental anguish or trauma can be just as damaging. Sometimes, personal injury cases can involve sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or battery, contracting a work-related illness or disease, experiencing an armed robbery, and more. Either way, the common coverages and benefits received from workers’ compensation claims are as follows:

Paid Hospital Bills, Medical Expenses, Physical Therapy, Medical and Vocational Rehabilitation, Doctor Visits, Counseling, Prescriptions, Etc.

Paid Weekly Earnings for Time Off Work Longer than One Week (2/3 of Average Weekly Pay-400 Week Maximum)

Benefits for Dependents in the Case of a Wrongful Death at Work

Punitive Damages in Cases of Malicious Intent or Blatant Disregard

Compensation for Excessive Pain, Suffering, Loss of Companionship, Mental Anguish, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Diminished Quality of Life, Etc.

Travel Expenses (If Applicable)

There are several other types of benefits available to those injured on the job, however, they vary depending on the company’s policies, insurance coverage, the extent of injury, and much more. It is strongly encouraged to discuss your recent work injury with a licensed Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyer for accurate case assessment and legal guidance. They retain the proper resources, experience, and knowledge to navigate your workers’ compensation claim.

In order to recover the full and fair remuneration deserved to an injured victim and their family, a personal injury lawyer is the path to take. Be sure your personal injury law firm employs attorneys with extensive trial and litigation experience in workers’ compensation cases. This will further ensure you are choosing a lawyer that can successfully navigate your claim and have a better chance of recovering for your damages and losses.

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Does the Age You Get Married Impact Divorce Rates?

There are many factors in a marriage that can cause or contribute to a divorce. The truth is, the causes for divorces in the United States, like relationships, are very complicated. Even though the divorce rate in America has dropped, in large part due to the Millennial Generation, there are numerous reasons why married couples do not make it until death do they part – one of which is the age they got married.

All Marriages Require Hard Work

Unfortunately marriages do not last based solely on personal chemistry or physical attraction. When you choose to get married, you are vowing to love your partner for better or worse. No one gets married expecting to divorce. However, studies have shown that variables such as age, income, employment status, and education have significant impacts on U.S. marriages.

How Age, Income, and Education Affect Divorce

According to The Institute for Family Studies the ideal age to get married is in your late twenties, but why? When you decide to get married at an older age, your odds of divorce decline because at this stage in your life you usually have a higher education, a more stable job and are more established financially. With a higher level of education, your potential to earn more money is greater. Couples who experience more tension in their marriage from things such as a lack of money and maturity, frequently find themselves turning what were just thoughts of divorce into a reality.

The Divorce Rate Is Dropping Thanks to Millennials

Younger Americans are waiting much longer to get married. The national median marriage age as of 2011 for a woman’s first marriage was 27 years old, and for men was 29 years old; the highest median marriage age in decades for men and the highest ever for women. In 2005 the national median marriage age for a woman’s first marriage was 25 and for men was 27.

Many young folks have decided not to get married at all and choose instead other arrangements. It is much more common now, and many consider it more convenient, to move in with his or her partner without having to worry about the social pressures from society to get married first. With the average divorce happening about 12 years in to the marriage, we will have to wait and see if this recent generation of newlyweds will continue to keep their vows.

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What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

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Why Should We Hire Family Law Practice

Family law can be defined as a practice that is closely concerned with the legal issues that have to do with family relationships like child custody, divorce and adoption. The lawyers who practice in this area usually deal with divorce, child support and so on. There are those that choose to specialize in emancipation, paternity, and adoption or any matters that relate to divorce. Formal requirements have to be reasonable and that is usually determined by the state. This includes things like legal capacity, age and same sex marriages. The state is also responsible for setting out the procedures and the rules that govern divorce as well as other matters related to family law.

Important terms to family lawyers

Emancipation: this is a process of the court whereby a person or a minor is allowed to be self-supporting. This means that he assumes the responsibilities of an adult for his welfare and won’t be under the parents.

Marital property: this is the kind of property that was acquired by a spouse while they were married and that needs to be divided when they divorce.

Alimony: this is the allowance that is given to a spouse for support when they are legally divorced or separated or when they are awaiting either of the two.

Paternity: the descent or origin from father. Establishing paternity means that you are confirming who the biological father of the child is.

Prenuptial agreement: this is an agreement that is usually made between two parties before they get married. Here, future rights to property are given in case death or divorce occurs.

Why hire a family lawyer?

Many of the family lawyers offer their services during divorce proceedings and other matters that may be related to divorce. Family law is a broad practice however, and it includes areas like reproductive rights and foster care. Some of the reasons as to why you may need a family lawyer include:

Divorce: every partner hires a lawmaker who is responsible for the creation of a settlement plan so as not to go top trail. They are usually people who can be able to divide any marital property, proposing child custody scenarios, and also calculating spousal support.

Child support/ child custody: the court orders and agreements on settlement involve support and custody and can be included in divorce cases that are larger. These can be revisited if any conditions change like the financial standing of a parent.

Paternity: sometimes a mother can file such a case as they try to secure some child support payments from the father. Also, a father can file a paternity case so as to be able to have a kind of relationship with a child. DNA testing is used for the determination.

Adoption: foster care and adoption is both complex. The process can differ and usually factors like where a child is from and state laws can affect the process. A family lawyer can be able to handle all these. A foster parent can sometimes adopt a foster child. The entire foster process sometimes doesn’t require any kind of legal representation.

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Finding a Good Family Lawyer

Family lawyers are needed in different situations including divorce. Such situations are very stressful and if you are not careful, you may have a very hard time during such times. There is a need to have a professional with a deep understanding of the law on your side so as to handle different situations that you may not know how to handle completely. This can make the process much easier for you and the whole family.

When you are looking for a family lawyer, there are some qualities that should be outstanding. These will help you know whether the person you have chosen to represent you is capable of handling himself and the case at hand. Some important qualities include:

  1. Communication: the lawyer should be able to communicate and communicate well. This is very critical. The lawyer needs to be able to communicate in an easy and clear manner. When you have a lawyer, it is necessary that you are able to voice your expectations and concerns. It is the job of the lawyer to explain things clearly to you as well as those that have to do with the case and to give you expectations that are realistic. The lawyer should also be able to communicate with other parties to the case. Good communication leads to effective negotiations keeping costs down. A good communicator will also be very helpful should the case go to court.
  2. Experience and skills: while it is important to have an attorney to represent you, it is important that he is able to represent you well. So as to do this, skills are required. A case such a divorce can touch on many aspects of family life as we know it. This may include career, retirement, finances and so on. The lawyer should be experienced and very knowledgeable so as to make sure that all your interests are protected. Experience in family law cases is an added advantage especially if such a case has a lot of similarities with yours.
  3. Availability: when you are searching for a representative, make sure it is a person that is available in all the important points of your case. If he can’t be present all the time, he should have support available to cover when he has other matters to attend to. The lawyer should avail himself to respond to questions in a good and timely way, he should work with timeframes so as to reassure you of his dedication. He shouldn’t be too held up with pother cases so as to be able to pay attention to yours.
  4. Composure: your family lawyer should be able to maintain his composure at all times. This isn’t only about staying focused and calm, but also exhibiting a lot of self-control when in the courtroom or when dealing with other lawyers, even if he feels frustrated, your interests need to represent very strongly but he shouldn’t take things too personally when the turn of events isn’t completely to his favor.
  5. Support and resources: lawyers have other clients too, and it is not possible that they will always be available to answer questions every time something comes up. It helps when the lawyer has a team working with him so that even emergencies can be handled swiftly.
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