Category Archives: Law

Green Card and Marriage: What You Could Do If Your Application Was Denied

Permanent Resident Card Although being married to a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen affords you (an immigrant) the legal right to apply for lawful permanent residency in the U.S. or a green card. However, this right doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be granted green card.

In case your application was denied, what you do next would depend on why you were denied and which immigration office handled your green card application.

If You Were Denied at the U.S. Consulate

If you applied in your home country’s embassy or U.S. consulate, you simply can’t appeal directly. But in some instances, your attorney might be able to appeal an advisory opinion from the Washington DC Visa Office of the State Department.

Otherwise, your best bet would be to determine why you were denied and then reapply. But you have to make certain that you resolve all the reasons why your marriage green card application was denied, advises Buhler Thomas Law, P.C., an immigration law firm in Utah.

If Your Adjustment Status Was Denied in the U.S.

If you applied for your green card in a USCIS or Citizenship and Immigration Services in the U.S., you can’t directly appeal for a second chance. Your lawyer could request for your case to be reopened, particularly if you could provide new information that would help change the denial of your green card. You could likewise reapply, making certain to fix any issues from your first application.

On the other hand, your situation would be entirely different if your spouse in the U.S. doesn’t have a valid visa. If this occurs, he or she will face deportation or removal proceedings. During the proceedings, you could present your case to the judge and testify. With any luck, you’ll convince the judge to give you that green card.

While you might be upset, sad, and shocked because your marriage green card or immigrant visa was denied, you could take some steps outlined above to remedy your situation depending on the specific reasons for your denial and which office denied your application. Ideally, you must seek legal help from an immigration attorney to assist you when you reapply.

On Your Boat, Drunk and Dazed: North Carolina Laws

A loved one inside the jail
“Under the influence” cases are not just for roads; it’s also applicable to the waters.

Safety is always a top priority out on the water. Life vests and ropes, however, are not enough when you can’t properly operate a boat or any watercraft, and make sound decisions due to alcohol.

Boating under the influence (BUI) is illegal and results in serious consequences. In North Carolina, authorities prohibit BUIs in the same strict manner with DUIs. NC BUI cases are class 2 misdemeanors already; offenders may face $250 to $1,000 worth of fines, plus a month in jail.

BUIs and Boater’s Hypnosis

Intoxication while operating a water vessel has a similar effect to Boater’s Hypnosis. It’s a kind of fatigue that occurs upon exposure to stressors. These certain stressors include vibrations, noise, wind, glare, water motion, sunlight, and any factor that triggers slower reaction times.

Drinking alcohol or using drugs worsens the effects, which include the following:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Temporary color blindness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Poor vision

Dealing with BUI Charges

Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs comes with a set of consequences, both long-term and short-term. Each charge worsens depending on the outcome of your BUI (e.g., the injury or death of others).

In June 2016, North Carolina implemented “Sheyenne’s Law,” which enhances the consequences for particular BUI offenses. Examples of the new penalties include the following:

  • Serious injuries due to impaired boating. BUI offenders who injure others are subject to class F felony, which puts them in prison for ten to 41 months.
  • Death due to impaired boating.  Puts BUI offenders under class D felony cases, which carries 38 to 160 months in prison.

A Way Out

If you were charged with a BUI offense, do not despair. Wake County bail bonds can help you in a pinch.

Approach the nearest bail bond agent in your area for help. These experts understand the gravity of your situation and are more than willing to offer assistance. Bail bondsmen help you understand the legal system and also help you save money.

Boating under the influence can land you in a serious situation. If you find yourself in trouble with the law, know that there’s always help available.

The Wonders of a Parenting Plan

Parents and daughter outside their homeAre you a parent who is fighting for child custody in court? If so, you may want to know about this document — the document that lists the rights and responsibilities of both parents who are dealing with child custody issues. The document contains important parenting decisions that you should honor.

You can call this document a parenting plan. As child custody attorneys in Albuquerque would have it, it is a powerful plan. And, it is one that you should follow.

Periods of Responsibility

A parenting plan contains a part called periods of responsibility. This part puts a basic and important parenting decision (in case of joint custody) into writing. In this part, you will know how long a child (or children) will get to be with each parent.

Possible Disagreements

There may be disagreements about child custody – and a parenting plan’s design is one step ahead of you. This is why a parenting plan should not be one-sided (or in favor of one parent). Before one parent passes it forward, it is best that both parents agree with all of the terms.

To reach an agreement, at least one parent should request family counseling. At least one parent should formally ask for it by sending a letter to the other parent. In this counseling session (with the presence of a professional legal counsel), both parents should agree to all of the terms in a proposed parenting plan.

Conclusion: The Need to Follow a Parenting Plan

Do you think not following a parenting plan is okay? Well, it’s not – unless you are not taking the child custody battle seriously. If you do not play by the rules, you will be putting your chances of winning custody on the line.

After all, a parenting plan is usually put into motion by a judge. This means a parenting plan is a court order. If you don’t honor the parenting plan, you may be legally penalized for violating a court order.

On Getting Your Dues

Girl collecting moneyFace it: in business, some clients try to stiff you by not paying their bills. While you can look up debt collection anywhere in Wellington, there are some things you can do first on your own before you hire some muscle.

An Ounce of Prevention

It’s always easier to find a remedy if you have a solid base. That includes a well-written contract and some knowledge of the client prior to your transaction. Consistency is key. Be clear that service will not be rendered if payment isn’t made, or include a firm payment timeline in your contract. Covering your bases can prevent misunderstandings and, hopefully, reduce the instances where payment is delayed.

Be Persistent

Should there still be any delays, send clients a reminder. The day after your client misses payment, contact them. Stay professional in your manner so you don’t burn any bridges. Sometimes, a client may miss the payment deadline not because they’re being aggravating but because there are factors preventing them from doing so.

These factors can include their own clients’ payment delinquency, or other similar cash flow issues. Call them, find out the reason they’re not paying you and from there decide on the frequency of your reminders. Some small businesses manage to force their delinquent clients to pay them based on sheer persistence in their follow up calls.

Hire an Agency

When following up doesn’t work and your client’s delinquency becomes too much to handle, you may want to refocus your energy on your business instead. This would be the time to let a collection agency handle matters. Some clients deliberately bully small businesses. They get away with it simply because some small businesses don’t have the energy to keep reminding clients of their due payments. By putting that account on debt collection, firms such as Rainey Collins Lawyers say you’ll recover at least part of something that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

It is unlikely you’ll get any follow-up business from clients you collected from in this manner. However, you might consider the loss of their business a boon; after all, you wouldn’t want to have to go through the entire process all over again.

Social Security Disability Insurance: A Brief Discussion

a man wearing prosthetics on left legSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a program that pays monthly benefits to a person who is unable to work due to disabilities before they reach retirement age. Depending on a person’s needs, an individual may qualify for certain financial benefits.

There may be a lot of confusion as to whether one qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits, however. The Baim Law Firm believes that the insurance program is a valuable safety net, as it provides financial support to disabled workers and their families. Before you can enjoy the benefits of an SSDI, however, agencies will require you to submit paperwork and medical records to prove your disability. How do you know if you qualify for the benefits, though?

Job coverage

One of the things that agencies look at is the nature of your work. You must have recently worked in Social Security in order to qualify for the program. Aside from the nature of your work, you need to have an adequate amount of Social Security credit in order to be qualified, and this depends on the age bracket and year-by-year changes.

Medical condition

The definition of disability differs in the Social Security agency. The program only offers compensation to completely disabled individuals. Partially disabled or those with a short-term disability are not included in the scope of beneficiaries.

Decision-making procedure

The social security administration conducts a step-by-step process to determine whether an individual is disabled. Once a person passes the qualifications they will receive the proper compensation from the agency.

Special cases

Workers who do not pass the criteria but fall under any of the following categories—are visually impaired, the worker’s widow or widower, a disabled child, or a wounded veteran—may have the chance of getting qualified for an SSDI.

SSDI offers disabled workers with income security, but only a few people understand how the system works. Understanding the program is essential should workers seek the financial benefits.

Got Arrested for Writing a Bad Check? Here’s What You Should Do

Man getting arrestedWriting a bad check has many legal consequences and can lead to jail time. Check floating is when you knowingly pass a check for an amount you know is not available or sufficient in that bank account. Float checks are also those written against closed accounts. Either way, both carry big penalties.

The state of North Carolina views check bouncing or fraud as a criminal offense; with penalties ranging from fees to imprisonment of more than two years. Even if you intend to deposit the amount as soon as you get the money, you should never have written the bad check. In most cases, people would write a bad check and cover it with a future deposit. But banks only give a few days to two weeks for you to deposit the amount.

If you don’t meet the conditions stated in the bank’s notice, law enforcement agencies will issue a warrant for your arrest. Arrested or not, here’s what you can do to get out of this sticky situation.

Cover the Check and Pay the Fines

Once you receive a notice of insufficient funds from the bank, the right thing to do is cover the check as soon as you can. Tap into other sources of funds or borrow money from a friend or family member, or take out a quick loan. But if you really can’t make the deposit and pay the fines on time, be prepared to face the legal consequences.

Contact a Bail Bond Agency

If you get sued for bank fraud, the best thing to do is face it head on. Once the judge determines your bail amount during the bail hearing or arraignment, it’s best to post bail right away to avoid staying in jail. Bail bonds in Raleigh, NC are available if you are unable to pay the amount in cash.

Rebuild Your Credit Score

Having a criminal record can significantly impact your financial life. Banks can close your accounts and deny your future applications. Moreover, your credit score will terribly suffer. But, once you’re out of jail and have settled the issue with the bank and the individual or retailer you wrote the check to, you can still rebuild your credit.

The best way to avoid all these is not to misuse your bank accounts and never write checks if you’re aware of your credit situation. Having a criminal record will not only drive you into legal and financial trouble, but it will also taint your credibility.

A Dog Fight in Denver: Who Gets the Pets in a Divorce?

Lawyer in ColoradoColorado is an equitable distribution state. “Equitable,” however, does not mean “equal” but rather fair. Once you file for divorce, expect to get a fair division of your marital assets, as the Chancery Court sees fit. Will this equitable distribution include your pets?

Pet Custody

Colorado, along with most states, considers animals, or pets, as property. So your dog (or whatever species of animal you take care of) is part of your marital assets, which means the court can subject it to equitable distribution. Unlike in child custody cases, the court considers your benefit, instead of the pet’s welfare, when awarding pet custody.

Your Denver family lawyer can argue, that the pet in question is not a marital asset. If your dog meets the following exceptions, the court may decide fido is separate property:

  • You acquired the pet by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
  • You acquired the pet in exchange for property acquired before the marriage, and
  • You acquired the pet after a legal separation decree.

But you and your spouse can also mutually decide the pet’s custody. The court can take your valid agreement into consideration when distributing assets.

Harmonious Distribution

A mutual agreement covering your pet’s custody, from visitation to medical decisions, will not only move the process along. It can also take out the animosity in divorce cases. More and more couples are probably realizing this effect, as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports a decline in pet custody cases in the last three years.

It seems that an increasing number of divorcing couples are deciding the pets should stay where the kids are, so any claims by the noncustodial parent become moot. Incidentally, 96% of pet custody cases center around a dog, with 1% going to disputes over cats and horses.

Pets make life better. But when they become central to your divorce, the fight could get ugly. Ask your family lawyer to draft an agreement with your spouse. And you will stop fighting like cats and dogs over pet custody.

The Truth About Some Medical Products Will Make Your Heart Skip A Beat

Expired MedicineWhen you feel something is not right with your body, what is the first thing that comes into your mind? Most people would usually answer that they would consult with their doctors. It would not be surprising if you consider yourself to be one of them because that is the logical thing to do. So, you walk into a doctor’s office and have yourself examined, trusting that all the devices and medicines used in your treatment have met the quality standards. But are they?

What You Do Not Know

Whether they admit it or not, there are some doctors that may unwittingly use products or tools that are defective or not approved by the FDA. According to the Drug Watch, there are flawed devices or products that slip through strict quality control processes of their manufacturers. These products can cause you various types of injuries, which may have a long-term effect. However, according to Marc J. Bern & Partners doctors cannot use the lack of product knowledge as a defense since it’s their duty to provide proper medical treatment.

Patient’s Rights

As a patient, you have the right to ask about the medicines or tools that the doctor will use for your procedure. You can also check the website of the FDA for a list of medical products that have been recalled. Doing so could save you from debilitating injuries.

Defective Medical Products

If you underwent a treatment where you think your doctor used defective medical devices and suffered a type of injury as a result, you should consult with a lawyer. The medical practitioners present in that procedure should be held responsible for the damages. If you live in New York, you can always seek the counsel of a personal injury lawyer Brooklyn NY on what to do next. You must seek justice and compensation for what happened to you, and at the same time, making sure that it will never happen to others.

There have been lots of cases of this type where doctors would always raise the defense of innocence about the status of such medical products. But time and again, the courts have struck down this defense due to the nature of the doctor’s profession. 

Texas Child Custody: How the Court Decides

Child Custody in Houston

Child Custody in HoustonWhen making an order for child custody (conservatorship) or visitation in Texas, judges would consider the child’s best interest. This means that they would endeavor to make an order that would be most beneficial for the child’s emotional, mental, and physical needs.

Who Will the Child Live With?

The court may award legal and physical custody to only one parent (a sole conservator) or both parents (joint conservators). With sole custody, the conservator will be the one to make decisions regarding the child’s school, extracurricular activities, as well as medical and legal requirements. With joint custody, parents will have to make these crucial decisions together. Ultimately, it’s the court’s goal to provide children with both parents’ active and continuing involvement and a stable home environment after the divorce.

When courts are deciding on the child’s best interest, they’ll take into account many factors, such as physical and emotional requirements, each parent’s capacity to raise a child on their own, each parent’s home environment, and future plans concerning the child. They will also consider potential or previous abuse or harm to the child committed by one or both parents, plus any proof that indicates an inappropriate relationship between the child and a parent.

In case the child is 12 years old and older, courts might ask for the preference of the child regarding which parent he or she wants to live with. Other factors that courts might consider include the willingness of each parent to support the continuing involvement of the other parent, the relationship of the child with other siblings and/or family members, and the adjustment of the child to a new community and school, adds an experienced family law attorney in Houston, TX.

Other Crucial Points to Ponder

Courts will encourage divorcing parents to work with each other and come up with a visitation and custody plan prior to the actual custody hearing. This parenting plan must have detailed accounts regarding the child’s living arrangements, including school breaks and holidays. The plan should also allocate ample visitation time to the noncustodial parent.

If the judge finds the parenting plan to be in the best interests of the child, the judge will reference it in the custody order. In the event that the parents disagree on one or a couple of issues, they could ask the judge’s help to figure out what’s best for everyone involved.

Once a visitation and custody order is given, it could only be modified if both parties agree or if there are substantial changes in the child or parent’s circumstances. Know what to do to ease the process.

Thinking of a Denver Prenuptial Agreement? Consider These

Understanding Denver Prenuptial AgreementMany couples today draw prenuptial agreements to better protect their business interests. If you’re also thinking of entering into a prenuptial agreement, then you might want to seek the help of a lawyer early on.

When you are thinking of getting married yet at the same time you are looking after your business interests, then you might consider entering into a prenuptial agreement. This agreement will delineate what you and your spouse will be entitled to in terms of money during and after the marriage. This may be a bit broad so here’s some specifics about a prenuptial agreement you might like to know about.

When do prenuptial agreements happen?

Based on the term itself, these agreements happen prior to the celebration of marriage. Huffington Post described it as a contract that parties sign to “figure out finances.” These contracts bind both parties (future spouses). Since the time that the agreement is drawn is essential to its validity, Denver attorneys are normally sought after way ahead of the marriage so that the proper prenuptial agreement is drawn. Spouses must “agree” to the terms that are provided in the agreement, which both of them will be signing prior to the celebration of marriage.

What are included in the prenuptial agreement?

There really is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the terms and conditions that need to be set out in the agreement. For as long as the terms are not contrary to law and public policy, they can be validly included in the prenuptial agreement. Some of the common areas that are normally threshed out in a prenuptial agreement include matters pertaining to assets, how earnings of each spouse will be treated and how the properties will be divided and distributed in the event the marriage is dissolved. In the latter case, with the presence of a prenuptial agreement, seeking a Denver divorce attorney will be ideal, so respective rights of the spouses will be protected.

Will a prenuptial agreement benefit you?

This will be on a case to case basis. Those who enter into such an agreement are normally those who have huge business interests. Others who go into such an agreement are those who have children in a prior marriage. In both cases, proper asset protection and the right property division should happen so that both business and existing children are protected well. Investopedia added that when divorce happens, couples are already stressed and pressured, which is why a compromise or a dialogue becomes a far cry. With this said, a prenuptial agreement will always come to the rescue.

If you are already in the process of going into a prenuptial agreement, it will be important for you to elicit the help of a lawyer. Your counsel will ensure that your rights are protected and that the agreement will be fair and just for both parties.