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FAMILY LAW

DIVORCE

Having represented County residents for over a decade, attorneys are more than willing to help you and those you love most with divorce cases.

CHILD CUSTODY

Familial disputes involving children are among the most difficult a person can face. If you are in the midst of trying to establish a child custody arrangement,

CHILD SUPPORT

It is not at all uncommon for one spouse to seek money in order to better care for his or her child.

PARENTING TIME

Figuring out a parenting time schedule (i.e. visitation plan) that works for all involved is crucial to ensuring that your child/children see both parents as often as possible

encourages clients to take a cooperative approach in helping prepare your case and, ultimately, helping settle your issue as quickly and inexpensively as possible. It is important that clients play an active role in the legal process

Things to know about Family Reports

During family court proceedings, a Court dealing with parenting disputes and/or parenting arrangements can make an order for a Family Report to assist the Court. The Family Report is for the purpose of providing the Court with evidence and is one item that can be taken into account in the making of Family Court Orders.

What is a Family Report?

A Family Report is a document written by a family consultant appointed by the Court. It provides an independent assessment of the issues in the case and can help the judge hearing the case to make decisions about arrangements for the child/ren. It may also help the parties reach an agreement.

In preparing the report, the family consultant does the following:

Considers the family’s circumstances;

Explores issues relevant to the case;

Recommends arrangements that will best meet the child/ren’s future care, welfare and developmental needs; and

Regards the best interests of the child/ren are the main focus of the report.

The report must be formally released by the Court before parties can receive it. It cannot be shown to anyone other than the parties to the court case and their lawyers. It cannot be shown to other people, such as other family members, without the Court giving permission for this to happen. This is the case even for people who may have been interviewed, but are not a party to the court case.

The Summary Report

A Court may order one or more parties to parenting proceedings to attend an appointment or a series of appointments with a family consultant and direct them to arrange for a child to attend such an appointment. After the appointment, the family consultant will make a report to the Court, which is presented in a shortened form and usually provide the Court a snap shot of the issues between the parties.

Pointers for Dealing With FAMILY COURT JUDGES

Working with Family Court Judges

jurists put on a workshop entitled “Dealing With Difficult Judges,” and they kindly gave their permission to share their materials with you  summarize their observations and suggestions here, and add a few of my own.As these two bench officers point out, judges like the rest of us can be difficult and reactive at times, and it can be quite challenging for attorneys and pro se litigants to know how to prepare for, and best behave within, the sometimes edgy or emotional atmosphere of family courtrooms. This tension, if not understood or managed correctly, can have negative consequences in terms of outcomes and more

My intention is not to imply criticism of our bench officers. Being an effective judge day in and day out requires vast knowledge and a patience and equanimity that would challenge even a Mahatma Gandhi.Here are some pointers for how not to aggravate your family court bench officer, and a few thoughts about what to do if that happens, despite your best efforts. The opinions expressed herein are not one size fits all. I also want to have a dialogue about how to make the job of family law judges easier for them, or – to put it another way – to discuss a bit about how we might help them to help us.

Suggestions for Interacting With Family Court Judges

Be Prepared

Judges have little patience with attorneys, and self-represented litigants, who aren’t prepared when they enter the courtroom. Many litigants don’t seem to know what they are asking the court to do, why they are asking for it, and what the best legal or factual grounds are for the orders requested.

Be Prepared For This Particular Judge

In jurisdictions with direct calendar assignments, where a judge is assigned to a case for all purposes or for all purposes possibly until the case is reassigned for trial, learn about the particular bench officer(s) who presides over your case. Information allows you to make useful assumptions about a particular judge’s attitudes and policies.

Let the Court Clerk Know the Day Before If the Case Will be Continued

Sometimes one or both attorneys or parties intend to seek a continuance of a hearing, possibly because they want to discuss settlement but often because one or both are not ready to proceed or have late papers to submit.Judges have very different attitudes towards continuances, particularly where they have already read the materials and then are faced with a continuance request. Lawyers who know that a case will not proceed are well advised to contact the courtroom clerk at least a day in advance to give a head’s up – otherwise, they may wind up with a judge who justifiably feels “put out”. Some allow self-represented parties to give advance notice of agreed upon continuances, but the other side will need to confirm it. Often messages must be left on the clerk’s answering machine, and you may not know that number or whether messages were received or acted upon.

CHILD CUSTODY

Child Custody & Visitation Lawyer

This sometimes creates the appearance that a custody battle is in fact a battle for child support. firm does not agree with modifying visitation for the sole purpose of changing one’s child support obligation. However, firm does has the philosophical view that all good parents should have equal access to their minor children. will do everything in our power to get you the most favorable ruling regarding child custody and visitation.

Custody is defined in the Family Code as either Joint Legal Custody (see Family Code § 3003), Joint Physical Custody (see Family Code § 3004), Sole Legal Custody (see Family Code § 3006), and Sole Physical Custody (see Family Code § 3007). As a practical matter, no parent cares what their custodial arrangement is called, but every good parent is concerned with the ability to make decisions regarding their minor child’s health, education, and welfare. Good parents also wish for custodial arrangements allowing both to have frequent and continuous contact.

Status Quo

When parents go through a marriage dissolution or divorce (or a parentage action if the parents were never married), the most important custodial orders are the initial custody orders issued by the court. The first custodial orders are so important because after it they are established, it is time consuming and often expensive to make substantial modifications. The general guideline is for the court to assume the status quo that the parties developed on their own, however, the court is not bound by that standard.

Standards to Determine Child Custody

The main and most important standard the court utilizes to determine custody of minor children is based on the best interest of the minor children (see Family Code § 3011). Health, safety, and welfare of a child are the court’s primary concerns in determining what is any child’s best interest (see Family Code § 3020).

Other Methods to Determine Best Interest

The court, either by noticed motion by one party or on its own motion, can appoint a Minor’s Counsel, which is an attorney that specifically represents a child in a case. As with an attorney representing a parent, the Minor’s Counsel would be able to have private and privileged conversations with the child, and be able to convey to the court both a child’s preference for custody, as well as give an opinion as to what is in a child’s best interest.

Things Everyone Should Know About Family Law

In an ideal life, there might never be a need for the existence of family law nor a family lawyer and we could all live in peace and harmony. Apparently, we are living in a world that has its own imperfections and where laws play an incredibly significant role in keeping our society in order. These laws do not let anyone be an exemption; hence, even our very own family members must be guided by it.

What is Family Law and What Does it Cover in General?

People that have a good deal of money in the first place including actors and actresses, businessmen, politicians, and other celebrities usually hire family lawyers. The majority of the time, the underprivileged do not hire one not only due to financial reasons but also because a family lawyer’s job is not always very clear. The thing is, all issues related to family and domestic relationships are actually supposed to be dealt with family law.

corresponding issues associated with it including but not limited to the division of conjugal properties, child custody and support, and alimony. It is important to keep in mind that even though family lawyers are most popular because of these issues, you might be surprised to find out that there are so much more than they can cover and take care of as lawyers for your loved ones

What Does the Family Code of the Cover?

First is the Requisites of Marriage. It has been stated clearly that no marriage shall be valid unless the essential requirements are met such as the authority of a solemnizing officer (a member of the judiciary within the court’s authority, a priest, rabbi, imam, or minister of any church where at least one of the contracting parties belongs to, a military commander), a valid marriage license, and a marriage ceremony in the presence of not less than two witnesses of legal age. The marriage is considered void if any of these requirements are not met.

Second is the Void and Voidable Marriages. The marriages that must be considered void from the very beginning include those that were signed by any party below eighteen years old, solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages, solemnized without a license, bigamous or polygamous marriage, signed by any participant who, at the time of the celebration, was psychologically disabled to comply with the essential marital obligations of marriage even if such incapacity manifests only after the marriage, and incest marriage whether the relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate.

Importance Of Immigration Lawyers

Immigration Lawyer vs. Consultant

Immigration lawyers, or attorneys, have much more legal experience than consultants. Immigration lawyers must attend law school and complete a three-year degree in order to become a lawyer. They are also required to complete the bar exam in order to become legally registered and many undergo an internship period with a law firm during, or after, their studies. Most law programs also require an undergraduate degree before attending law school, which means that lawyers generally have several years of post-secondary education.

Immigration lawyers are also able to attend immigration interviews with you, and can advocate for your application in a Canadian court of law in the rare case that your application is brought under judicial review. 

 Conversely, immigration consultants are not lawyers. They do not attend law school and generally undergo a one-year certification in order to become registered.  It is also not required for immigration consultants to have completed an undergraduate degree to start their certification.

While immigration consultants are legally able to represent you, only lawyers are allowed to advocate on your behalf in federal court, in the event that it is required.

What About an Immigration Consultant Instead of an Immigration Lawyer?

Immigration consultants also provide services to immigrants, but these services can be limited. They can fill out immigration forms for you, but they cannot appear in Federal Court if necessary when the case is refused.

In Canada, the immigration consultant occupation generally only requires a certificate or diploma while immigration lawyers have gone through university and then law school. Immigration lawyers are regulated by their Provincial or State Bars while immigration consultants, in Canada, must be members Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (CSIC), which as it turns out,  does seem to have the resources nor will take disciplinary action where there is misconduct.

There have been many cases in the media during the past year where immigration consultants have overcharged clients, not done the work the client paid for or even blackmailed clients into paying more money before having them deported. This is not to say all consultants are bad. There are many good, ethical and qualified ones. However, clients will have little to no recourse, it seems, using an immigration consultant if something does go wrong. This is not the case when using a licensed  immigration lawyer.

What is the Role of an Immigration Lawyer?

The role of an immigration lawyer is somewhat unique when compared with other types of lawyers.  Most immigration lawyers spend their time helping persons who are having difficulty dealing with immigration requirements. 

The role of immigration lawyers is usually that of an advisor or counselor to foreign citizens and immigrants who must interact with U.S. immigration authorities.  Immigration lawyers provide advice and guidance for matters such as visa applications, green cards, citizenship and naturalization, deportation issues, and employment for non-citizens. 

Immigration lawyers spend far less time handling civil disputes in court than other types of lawyers.  Instead, they usually act as mediators between clients and immigration authorities such as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

On the other hand, immigration lawyers do make appearances before immigration judges if a client is facing an immigration hearing.  Many immigration lawyers also handle matters involving an interaction between immigration and criminal laws.

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

You do not have to have a law degree, or any degree, to give immigration advice regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. You will need to pass an examination and meet the standards required by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. The timescale for becoming an immigration advisor regulated by the OISC is generally much quicker than that for becoming a barrister, solicitor, or member of the Institute of Legal Executives.

Unlike solicitors and barristers, who can give advice on area of immigration, asylum and nationality law, to any level, those regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner can decide which areas of immigration, asylum and nationality law they wish to do, and the level to which they wish to do them. There are three levels of regulation. Regulation by the OISC allows you to give advice on only on the immigration matters for which you are regulated, to the level at which you are regulated. Those working at level three can appear before the Immigration and Asylum chambers of of the Tribunal and those working at levels two and three may be able to join a licensed access scheme that will allow them to instruct a barrister to represent their clients. OISC registered advisors cannot lodge applications and conduct proceedings in the higher courts.

It is possible for solicitors and barristers, whether practising or not, to qualify as OISC regulated advisors.

Essential Traits Of The Best Immigration Lawyers

Accessible

While you are not entitled to 100% of an immigration lawyer’s time, you may expect a good immigration lawyer to be available when you need them. When faced with an emergency, however, the attorney should be able to respond quickly to your situation. Also, ask who would be the backup professional to help in case your attorney is not available at the time.

Experienced

Besides academic achievements, you should determine how many years of experience the immigration lawyer may have with your case type. Look for one who specializes in immigration and check out their credentials. Is the attorney well respected by peers, or won awards? If you reside in Texas, has the individual been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Immigration and Nationality Law?

Excellent Reputation And References

Seeking a lawyer who specializes specifically in immigration matters is the right starting point.  Law firms like Davis & Associates in Dallas TX work exclusively on immigration matters such as:

  • Family and business immigration
  • Visas and green cards
  • Political asylum
  • Deportation issues

Always ask for bonafide references and look for personal testimonials to determine what experience others have had in dealing with your prospective immigration lawyer. Ask about the types of cases the lawyer has handled and the outcomes.

Also, check online search engines and social media sites for reviews from other clients.

Good Judgement

The best immigration lawyers are successful because they can draw logical conclusions from a wide range of situations and variables. Because they frequently appear in courts and before immigration officials, they should be well prepared with reasonable arguments and must remain confident and decisive at all times.

Creative Solutions

A competent immigration lawyer draws from experience, recent research, analytics, and logic to find unique and innovative strategies to accomplish the goal. The best immigration lawyers also demonstrate perseverance when representing their clients, always creating new solutions whenever roadblocks appear.

Excellent Communication And Public Speaking Skills

Precise communication with you, the client, is critical. The ability to communicate well in negotiations and while presenting your case is also essential. Often, the lawyer will need to think about and respond to challenges on the spot and must do so with confidence.

People Skills And Compassion

Immigration lawyers should be personable and persuasive. How the lawyer is viewed can reflect directly on your case. If your representative is easily angered or rude, your case will suffer. Avoiding confrontation while presenting an argument is vital to success.

Immigration officials prefer to work with immigration lawyers who can communicate professionally, demonstrate reasonableness, are knowledgeable, and show a genuine commitment to their clients.

Personal Injury Lawyers Are A Must Have When Filing Personal Injury Claims

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Understand why you need a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney is different from other types of attorneys because of their experience and expertise in a specific area of the law. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, or if you have allegedly injured another, you will want an attorney that knows how to handle your case. Personal injury attorneys often have.

Make a list of factors that go in to choosing a good personal injury lawyer. When you begin the process of choosing a personal injury attorney, you will want to understand what makes a lawyer good. With the following list in hand, you can begin searching for lawyers that meet your criteria.

Ask for personal referrals. Once you have a checklist of what makes a good personal injury lawyer, you will want to ask friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers if they know any good attorneys. You should start the process by looking for personal referrals because these are the attorneys who usually have the best reputations and are trustworthy.

Google potential lawyer candidates. Try a simple Google search and see what you can come up with. Try to use this method in combination with other methods to get the best results.

How to Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case

Find an Attorney You Can Trust

You must have total confidence in your attorney. You don’t want to be second guessing them throughout your case. Using your existing network is a great way to find someone who’s trustworthy and accountable.

Check the Attorney’s Rating

Regardless of where you find your attorney, make sure they are a member in good standing of their state and local bar association. Larger bar associations have attorney referral lists you can access at no charge.

Factors for Comparing Attorneys

Every personal injury case is unique, and every attorney-client relationship is also unique. There are several factors to think about when choosing the attorney who will best fight for you.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

First, make sure you look for a lawyer who practices in the state where you live or the state where you were injured.

Second, look for lawyers who handle your kind of case. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, look for a personal injury lawyer who handles car crash cases. You can usually find this information on their website.

Third, once you have a working list, check and see if there have been any disciplinary actions filed against the lawyer you are thinking of contacting.

Fourth, find out what you can online. Look at the attorney’s website and content, check for reviews, both good and bad. You should be able to find out enough information to decide if you are willing to do a consultation with them.

Fifth, schedule an initial consultation. Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, since most work on a contingency basis rather than charging by the hour. After you meet with the lawyer, you should have a good idea of whether it’s a good fit.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

What if I Don’t Want a Trial? How Can I Still get Full-Value for my Personal Injury Claim?

Sure, everyone hopes their case will settle without a fight. But think about it. Wouldn’t you agree that having a seasoned, Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer is the best way to increase the risk to an insurance company and, accordingly, having them offer a fair settlement to you? You need to hire the lawyer the insurance companies hope you don’t hire.

Insurance Companies Base the Amount they Offer on the Lawyer you Hire

They keep track of lawyers and law firms that settle cases for low values. This means when you hire a big firm or a lawyer that never goes to trial and just settles cases, a lower value will be placed on your claim.

Are Board Certified Lawyers More Expensive?

No, the Florida Bar regulates contingency fees. So most personal injury lawyers charge the same exact fee. If every attorney charges the same fee, why not hire one who is an expert in personal injury cases?

Choosing a Good Personal Injury Lawyer

Starting Your Search

Most lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases tend to represent a particular side of these kinds of cases—either the plaintiff (the person who was injured) or the defendant (the person, business, or other entity who is alleged to have caused the plaintiff’s injury)—not both. If you’ve been injured, you want to hire what’s called a “plaintiff’s lawyer.”

Narrowing it Down

No matter what resource you use to find an initial list of personal injury lawyers, you’ll want to whittle it down to three or four prospective candidates by keeping the following tips in mind.

Money Matters

In most personal injury claim scenarios, you’ll be able to hire a lawyer on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that the lawyer will be paid a percentage of any settlement or court award you receive—usually around one-third—and if you don’t receive anything from the other side, your lawyer does not get paid a fee. It’s important to read the find of any contract before you sign it, and understand that you still might be on the hook for “costs” associated with your case (which are different from legal fees).