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Five Things You Can Do To Save Money When You Divorce

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’re not keeping an eye on costs, your divorce could end up costing both you and your ex-spouse a lot of money. The last thing you want to have to do while establishing financial independence from your spouse is accumulate debt. With the following five tips, you can minimize the expense of your divorce and ensure yourself that you are getting off to the right start in establishing your financial independence.  Compromise with your ex-spouse Highly contested divorces where ex-spouses are unwilling to get along and compromise are typically more expensive. By cooperating with one another, you can minimize your reliance on lawyers for mediation and thereby decrease billable hours that raise the legal fees involved with your divorce case. Fill out forms yourself when possible The process of filing for divorce differs greatly by state and jurisdiction. However, regardless of where you live, there are most likely some court financial forms involved with filing for divorce that you can fill out yourself without your lawyer’s assistance. Handling such forms yourself will lower the fees you have to pay to your lawyer or accountant to get through your divorce proceedings.  Do some research on your own to find out what steps in divorce proceedings you and your spouse can handle independently of lawyers.  Get jointly owned possessions appraised In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, divorce requires everything to be split between spouses equally. Of course, you can’t split possessions equally if you don’t know what individual possessions are worth. The value of a real estate property varies constantly depending on fluctuations in the market. It’s important to know what the currently value of any real estate you own as a couple is before making any decisions on who gets which property.  Other items that it can be difficult to evaluate include collectibles, jewelry, or family businesses. To prevent financial loss or unfairness when you divorce, make sure you understand the value of all of the assets you’ll be splitting equally with your ex-spouse.  Don’t rely on your lawyer to communicate with your ex-spouse Often, divorcing spouses make the mistake of using their lawyers as communication channels between one another. This will create unnecessary work for your lawyers and drive up legal fees. Always communicate directly with your spouse to both avoid miscommunication and excessive reliance on a lawyer’s, such as at http://madisonlf.com, assistance. If your exchanges with your spouse tend to become contentious, try communicating only through writing via emails. Also, limit communication to strictly business matters so as not to arouse any anger or...

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What To Do When A Loved One Is Arrested

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When a loved one is arrested, a lot of thoughts and feelings might be swirling through your mind. If you’ve never had to deal with such a situation, it can be hard to know what you should do in order to provide some help to your loved one and protect yourself as well. Here are some steps to take.    Hang On to the Warrant If you were present during the arrest itself, you may have quickly seen the warrant that the police used in order to make the arrest in the first place. It might be back at your loved one’s apartment or sitting around in your home. It is vital that you locate and hold on to this document. Not only will it have information on it that you need–such as an officer’s name and the facility where they’ve transported your loved one–but it may also outline the charges that your loved one was arrested for. While it might not provide too many details, the warrant can help a lawyer get started with some kind of defense. Secure Bail As soon as you can, start looking for a bail bondsman. This must be done right away because bail bondsmen are not required to work with anyone; many times they will want to do their own assessment and determine whether someone is a good or bad risk. If they refuse to take your loved one’s case, you need to have the time to talk to another bondsman. Of course, the longer it takes to find you a bondsman, the longer your loved one sits in jail, so you might want to talk with a few bondsmen on the same day in order to secure at least one of them as soon as possible.  Assume Nothing is Private When you go to visit your loved one, you may see no evidence that you are being watched or recorded. However, don’t assume that anything you discuss with your loved one is private. The phone you use may have a recording device, for instance. Avoid talking too much about the case so that you don’t make things more bleak for your loved one, and don’t convey sensitive information. If you have sensitive information, give your loved one’s attorney the details instead; their communication with your loved one is privileged and they can relay that information during their meetings. Now that you’ve been aware of some actions you can take after your loved one’s arrest, you can be of some help during this difficult time. Talk with your loved one’s criminal defense attorney for more...

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3 Options For Helping A Loved One Who’s In Jail With A High Bond

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you have recently been informed that someone close to you has been arrested and is in jail, your first instinct might have been to get him or her out as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this is not always easy. If your loved one’s bond is too high for you to pay, you might think you’re out of options. However, these are three potential things that you can do to help in this situation. 1. Work with a Lawyer for a Possible Bond Reduction First of all, you should know that your loved one’s bond is not necessarily set in stone. If you work with an attorney, the attorney may be able to appeal to the court to have the bond reduced. This is often a possibility of the defendant does not have a serious criminal record and is not charged with a serious crime and if your loved one has strong community ties and is not considered at risk of skipping out on bail. Consider talking to a defense attorney about this option and about representation for your loved one’s court case. 2. Use the Services of a Bail Bondsman If you hire a bail bondsman, like one from STAT Bail Bonds LLC, you will not be responsible for paying out the full amount of the bond. Instead, you’ll pay a percentage of the bond to the bondsman, and he or she will take care of the rest. Unlike if you paid the entire bond upfront yourself, you will not get this money back, even if your loved one goes to court. Instead, the money will be kept by the bondsman for providing the service. 3. Provide Support While Your Loved One’s in Jail If these methods fail and you are still unable to get your loved one out of jail, all you can do is attempt to provide as much support as possible while he or she is incarcerated. Hiring an attorney to help with his or her case, visiting the jail when you can, writing letters or accepting phone calls from your loved one and sending money for hygiene items, snacks and other essentials can all be helpful. Every jail is different, so you’ll need to contact the facility in which your loved one is incarcerated to determine how to best provide support. Knowing that someone you care about is in jail and feeling that there is nothing that you can do about it can be highly upsetting. However, if you follow these three tips, you may be able to do something to help your friend or family member...

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3 Things You Should Expect During A Divorce

Posted by on May 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Going through a divorce can be incredibly stressful. Many people find that during the process of the divorce they were extremely under prepared for a divorce. Here are some things you should expect from your divorce.  1. It Will Probably Be More Expensive That You Anticipated Everyone knows that divorces can be expensive. You might think that you and your spouse are the exception and that you will be able to resolve it cheaply. That is great if you are able to, but you should prepare for an expensive divorce, then if it ends up costing you less you will be excited about the saved money. However, you don’t want to delay the divorce because you can’t afford it. The reason divorce is so expensive is that both couples will need to pay for a divorce attorney. This means that you will be responsible for your own bill. You should start saving in advance. In addition, if you go through mediation you will need to pay the mediator. If you end up going to court this will be even more money in legal fees. Thus, prepare for the worst and set aside a good deal of money to pay for the divorce. 2. Expect Your Souse To Look Out For Their Own Interests First During a divorce your main concern is making sure that you have what you need and protecting your own interests. Even if you and your spouse are amicable, don’t expect your spouse to look out for your well-being. At this point their attorney will be advising them to do what is right for themselves. You and your attorney need to make sure that you fighting for what you need. If you are concerned that the agreement isn’t fair, that the custody isn’t right, or that your spouse is taking advantage of you, you need to speak up. No one is going to make sure you are protected unless you do it yourself. 3. You Will Be More Emotional Than You Expect Even if the divorce is the best thing for you and your marriage, it will be very emotional to go through the actual process. Throughout the process you will eel a wide range of emotions. You might become angry, depressed, frustrated, relieved, excited, and so much more. Try not to let these emotions dominate your decisions. You need to try and think rationally through the divorce, which is why therapy or support from loved ones is so important. By understanding what you should expect from a divorce you can protect...

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Ace The Exam: How To Prepare For Your Worker’s Comp Independent Medical Exam

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you’ve been injured on the job and are receiving workers’ comp benefits, you may be asked to participate in a medical exam. This exam, called the Independent Medical Exam (IME), is very different than the exams you have had in the past, and is also different from the medical treatment that you have been receiving for your work-related injuries. This exam will play a prominent role in your workers’ comp case, so being prepared is important. Read on to learn more about this exam and how to handle it. Why am I being asked to undergo this exam? This exam may be requested after you have been recovering from your injury for several weeks or months. If you are still unable to return to work due to pain or other issues, the workers’ comp insurance company will want to gather more information about your condition. You are especially likely to be targeted for this exam if you seem to be taking longer to heal than normal. What happens at the exam? You will be interviewed about your injury and the specific body parts involved will be closely examined for pain, flexibility, sensitivity and more. Keep in mind that this doctor is not there to provide treatment for your injuries, but to get more information about your injuries for the workers’ comp insurance company. Preparing for the independent medical examination. 1. Take some time before your exam to refresh your memory of the accident and what has happened since it occurred. Look over any notes or journal entries, the accident report and other documentation you may have. 2. Having copies of your medical records could help you answer the doctor’s questions better and to more accurately explain the extent of your medical treatments so far. Don’t hesitate to take this, and any other documentation, with you to the exam. 3. Be sure to prepare an updated summary of your current medical condition. Include a list of your medications and ongoing treatments, like physical therapy. List the pain, discomfort, mobility and other physical symptoms that prevent you from returning to your job. Additionally, include the emotional effects of the accident, such as eating and sleeping problems and the effect on your family. After the exam. The doctor will send a report with the results and their opinion of your injury to the workers’ comp insurance company. The results of this exam could have 3 different ramifications. 1. You may be deeded permanently disabled (or partially permanently disabled) and your weekly benefits will convert to a lump sum payment. Note: some lump sum payments are structured to be paid weekly or monthly, but are still considered lump sum and are very different than the portion of your wages you have been receiving up to now. 2. You may simply need more time to heal to from your injuries and you will be given another IME after some more time has passed. Your current benefits will continue. 3. You may be judged to have recovered enough to return to work either full time or on restrictions. If you disagree with the results of your IME, contact a workers’ comp attorney to help you get the benefits that you need and deserve....

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4 Things To Do Immediately After A Slip And Fall Injury

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

One of the keys to a successful slip and fall claim is to avoid the “he said/she said” scenario. This requires beginning a paper trail and collecting evidence as soon as possible after the accident occurs. The following tips can help you start the process on the right foot and increase your chances of success. Tip #1: Report immediately If you have an accident at a private business or on public property, it is vital that you report it immediately – even if you aren’t sure if you are injured at the time. For slips on private property, report the accident to the owner or manager on duty. Most businesses have accident reports that they fill out – ask for a copy. If they refuse, at least get the name of the person that you spoke with. If the fall occurs on public property, report it to the municipality the same day and get a copy of your report. Tip #2: Look for witnesses The best time to find witnesses is right after the slip occurs. If there is anyone nearby, request their name and contact information. At the very least, get their name. Waiting until later can make finding a witness nearly impossible – you may need to hang fliers or take out ads to try and track down anyone that saw the slip and fall. Tip #3: Take photos One great thing about modern cell phones is that you always have a camera on hand. Take photographs of the scene of the accident – including the cause, from multiple angles. A property owner can quickly repair damage or clean up the scene otherwise, making it difficult to prove that there was any cause for you to slip and fall. If you are injured and can’t take photos, ask a bystander to please take them for you. Otherwise, you will need to return to the scene as soon as possible and hope that the cause of the accident is still there. Tip #4: Get treatment Even if the injuries seem minor, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You can visit a walk-in urgent care or schedule an emergency appointment with your family doctor if you don’t need emergency services. Having a written report from a medical professional is proof that your injuries were severe enough to warrant the lawsuit. Keep all medical paperwork for every visit, including those for any necessary therapy or medications. For more information, contact Putnam Lieb or a similar...

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How To Handle A Wage Garnishment

Posted by on Mar 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your wages could be garnished for a number of reasons ranging from owed child support payments, back taxes, or student loan debt that has gone unpaid. If you’ve discovered that your wages are being garnished, it can be detrimental to your disposable income and could take a long time before your debts are repaid. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to stop or even prevent a garnishment from occurring if you know your rights. Work It Out Many times, people simply forget about some of their debts and are not alerted about it until they see a smaller paycheck. If you are dealing with a wage garnishment, call your creditor immediately to ask about working out a repayment plan that will work with your budget. If they agree, be sure you get it in writing and ask that they cease from the garnishment. Just be sure you begin making the newly promised payments immediately or else you could fall victim to garnishment all over again. Consider Bankruptcy While bankruptcy is not always an ideal way to handle a wage garnishment, it will stop it from occurring. Depending on the amount of money you owe, filing may be a better alternative than having money taken out of your paycheck each week. The bankruptcy process will work for most debt such as loans or large medical bills, but child support is not applicable in this case. If you have a lot of debt and are concerned that the garnishment will be too much for your ability to pay necessary bills or rent, bankruptcy can be a viable choice.  Try To File An Appeal Another option to get out of a wage garnishment is to file an appeal with the court. You will need to be able to prove that the amount of money being taken out from the garnishment will prevent you from paying other bills such as electricity, water, and even food. Get all of your other current bills together so you can present this information to the judge. If the court deems your garnishment too large for your current situation, they will either request the garnishment amount be reduced or attempt to have it stopped on your behalf. It is always recommended that you speak with a professional, like Sinsheimer, Stuart J, who can guide you through the process and explain your rights so you can get back to enjoying a complete...

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Three Things You Need To Do Before You File For Divorce

Posted by on Feb 16, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Getting a divorce isn’t typically pleasant. It’s common for negative emotions to get in the way of rational thinking, and when that happens, people either rush through their divorce too quickly or end up fighting about every small decision they need to make. However, if you approach divorce slowly, and take care of everything that you need to before filing your divorce paperwork, the process becomes a lot easier on everyone involved. Make Sure Divorce is What You Want If you and your spouse made the decision to get divorced while tempers were flared, there’s a chance that you’ve allowed your emotions to guide you into making a rash decision. Before you even begin discussing the terms of a divorce with your spouse, take some time to think about how you truly feel about your spouse and what life will be like for you and your family during and after the divorce process. If you think there is a chance that you or your spouse will want a reconciliation in the future, you might want to consider going to marriage counseling before rushing into a divorce. Discuss Custody Goals with Your Spouse One of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is determining how to handle the custody and visitation arrangements for your children. Talking about your expectations for your children before you file your divorce papers makes the process easier. In addition to visitation guidelines and child support, you need to determine how the children will be claimed when it’s time to file your annual taxes, how you and your spouse will handle paying for things such as extracurricular activities or medical expenses that aren’t covered by your health insurance, which parent will be responsible for providing your children’s health insurance, and how you’ll handle paying for college. Additionally, you’ll want to discuss how visitation will be handled during holidays, school breaks, and birthdays. Assess Your Finances Before you file your divorce papers, you need to have at least a general idea of where you stand financially. In order to do this, you need to gather all of the financial documentation that you can, including: Mortgage papers Car loan documentation Credit card statements Personal loan documentation Inventory of valuable assets, such as artwork and jewelry Pension plan, 401K, and bank account statements Credit reports Income tax documentation for the past few years While you may not be able to iron out every detail of your divorce with your spouse before you file your divorce papers, the more decisions you make before court, the easier the divorce process becomes. So, take the time to calmly discuss your divorce with your spouse so that you know that it’s what you both want, and how you want to...

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Bail And DUI’s

Posted by on Jan 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If a loved one was pulled over and arrested for a DUI, then you might be panicking. You might want to help them, but probably don’t know how you can really do that. One of your best tools in this case is to help your loved one out with bail. To do this, you’ll want to be aware of how your state treats commercial bail and how you can help your loved one get a low rate. How Does Commercial Bail Work in Your State? The first thing that you need to do is find out is what laws your state has about bail. Some states do not allow commercial bail at all, while others restrict the cost of commercial bonds by quite a bit. This can help you get a good idea of how much you will need to spend in order to get your loved one out of jail. You won’t know exactly how much money is involved until the bail hearing, but you can start talking to bondsmen long before then. Vet Your Options Early It’s a good idea to examine your options and compare rates as early as possible, since that will allow you to pay bail and get your loved one out of jail as quickly as possible. Additionally, talking to a bondsman before the bail hearing can give you a good idea of how much the bail will actually be. These experts are quite familiar with DUI’s and have a pretty good idea of how much bail will be involved in the situation as you describe it. Once you find a bondsman that fits your needs, you can get their contact information. As soon as your loved one has their bail hearing, you can call up the bond agency and arrange a contract. If there is a long line of people waiting for appointments, having a contract can greatly speed up the process, getting your loved one out of jail a few hours or even an entire day early. Get a Lawyer Discount Your loved one will likely need a lawyer to help argue their case in court. If they already have a lawyer, then they are off to a good start, but if they don’t have a lawyer, you can help them shop for one at a company like Boehmer Law. Once you do find a lawyer, you might find that there is a referral discount for bail. Talk to your lawyer and any potential bail agencies to determine whether they are offering such a discount, which could result in some pretty substantial savings. After all, both the lawyer and the bail agency would benefit from the services of the other. If your loved one is out of jail on bond, then their lawyer will have an easier time meeting with them, since they won’t need to travel to the jail. Similarly, if your loved one has a lawyer, then a bondsman can have much greater faith in the likelihood of your loved one (their client) appearing in court. Few people are willing to spend money on a lawyer and then fail to appear in...

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Running A Business: What Is Your Legal Obligation To Older Individuals?

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Back in the day, when you retired, you retired. You didn’t go back to work. However, it isn’t like that today. This is likely because the cost of living has risen so much over the years. By 2022, it is estimated that more than 30 percent of retirees between 65 and 74 years of age will still be in the workforce. With that being said, as a new business owner with little knowledge of the law, how do you handle older applicants – retirees or not – in all aspects of the business? The Hiring Process Both state and federal laws prohibit you from discriminating against a potential job candidate due to their age, especially if they’re 40 years of age or older. So, you cannot simply refuse the job opening to an 68-year-old individual with gray hair because of their age. If they have the skills necessary to perform the job, you must consider them for the position. The law does not only keep you from discriminating in terms of hiring, but it also impacts how you advertise a job opening. So, be careful with wording your job advertisements to ensure they don’t come off as discrimination. The Employment Process Well, now you have to make sure that you don’t discriminate against them during their employment with you. They must always be treated like any other employee. Compensation, promotions, demotions, job assignments, and work evaluations must be performed like any other case and cannot be based on the employee’s age. You also cannot force older employees to pay a higher premium for health, life or any other type of insurance plan that you offer your employees. In addition, federal law states that you must set forth policies that will protect your older employees from harassment based on their age from other employees. The Firing Process Just as you can’t use age as a basis to hire an employee, you also cannot use it if you want to fire them. In fact, if you are downsizing your business, you cannot target an older individual in this process. You also are prohibited from trying to force an older employee to retire early. State and federal laws dictate a lot of what you can and cannot do when it comes to older employees and retirees. It’s a lot to take in when you’re just starting out as a business, especially when age discrimination is a bit more complex and less obvious than other types of discrimination. So, if you’re worried about whether you are opening yourself up to an age discrimination lawsuit or need assistance in creating clear guidelines and policies, don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable lawyer like Robert L Lilley Co...

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4 Ways to Get a Defense Lawyer if You Can’t Afford One

Posted by on Dec 23, 2015 in Uncategorized |

When you get into trouble with the law, you have the right to get a criminal attorney. Not only do you have the right to have a criminal attorney, you really have a need for one. However, you may not be able to afford one. When that happens, what are you supposed to do? Public Defender The public defender is usually a lawyer hired by the city or state for you. Some areas have a public defender office, so there are lawyers that are already on call and can appear in your case. Other areas have a list of defense lawyers that can be hired to be public defenders. There are also areas that use both options. The defense lawyers that can be hired out from local firms are often used for the more severe cases, such as murder cases or capital cases.  You can have a public defender appear for your arraignment or bail hearing, and then switch to another option. There are a few other options out there for you to try.  Law Schools In some states law students can practice law as long as they are supervised by a licensed and accredited lawyer. Generally, in those states where this is a law, the students have to be sufficiently advanced in their training. For example, a first-year student may not be allowed to do represent you, but a third-year student would be.  Bar Association Every state has a bar association. In order to be licensed to practice law in your state, the lawyer must have passed the bar exam and be licensed by the state. You can call the local bar association to see if they have a list of lawyers who will work for a reduced fee, on a sliding scale, or on a pro bono basis, which would mean free.  Call Local Firms Many local firms, especially brand new firms or larger firms, may have lawyers who are willing to work on a reduced fee schedule. New lawyers will do it so that they can get their names out into the public and as a way to get more potential clients. Sometimes larger firms will dedicate lawyers, especially young lawyers, to work on reduced fee cases.  Having a hard time hiring a criminal defense lawyer doesn’t mean that you can’t get a lawyer to represent you. You can use the public defender, but there are other options that are available to...

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