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Can Allegations Of Benefits Fraud Help Your Divorce Or Custody Case?

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Can Allegations Of Benefits Fraud Help Your Divorce Or Custody Case?

If you’ve recently divorced your spouse after suffering through years of freeloading behavior, you may be mortified (but not really surprised) to discover your spouse is committing benefits fraud. This fraud can take a number of forms — from forging medical paperwork to secure federal disability benefits to lying about income or assets to qualify for food stamps. What, if anything, should you do upon learning of your ex’s fraudulent ways? Can this serve as grounds to change your custody or support agreement? Read on to learn more about how alleging benefits fraud could impact your case. What should you do upon discovering your ex is committing benefits fraud?  Each federal agency that provides cash assistance to citizens (like the Social Security Administration (SSA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or Department of Housing and Urban Development) has a dedicated group of employees tasked with identifying and rooting out fraud. By making an anonymous report to the overseeing authority, you’ll be able to ensure that a file is opened on your ex-spouse and any allegations of fraud are thoroughly investigated. Many public funds are also administered by various state agencies. While it’s less likely these agencies have their own fraud divisions, most states do have ways to report fraud to be investigated by the state’s Attorney General or other enforcement entity.  Will reporting benefits fraud to the divorce court impact your case? Even after reporting this benefits fraud to the appropriate regulatory agency, you may be tempted to use this information as leverage against your ex-spouse to secure more child support or a more favorable custody agreement. Unfortunately, unless this fraud is serious or blatant enough to call into question your ex’s mental state, it’s unlikely to have any impact on a pre-existing custody arrangement. However, your ex’s benefit fraud may have gone hand-in-hand with hiding income or assets from the divorce court — and this could potentially impact your child support agreement. If your ex was able to commit fraud by taking payments in cash from his or her employer and avoiding taxes on this amount, it’s possible the amount of child support he or she was ordered to pay was inadequate. If the divorce court determines that your ex-spouse has been hiding money in an attempt to qualify for government benefits, your ex may be ordered to pay any extra child support owed dating back to when the fraud first began.  For more information, contact a family lawyer, like those at the Law office of Kristine A. Michael,...

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In Financial Trouble? 5 Things You Should Know About Bankruptcy

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Financial Trouble? 5 Things You Should Know About Bankruptcy

You probably thought that bankruptcy was something that affected other people. You had a good job, you paid all your bills on time. You even had a little bit of money left over each month to go and have fun with. Then the bottom fell out. You got sick, lost your job or had to file for divorce. Now you’re facing financial ruin. You can’t pay your bills and the creditors are calling non-stop. They may have even started calling your employer or your friends and family. If this sounds familiar, there are some things you need to know before you file for bankruptcy. 1. You’ll need an Attorney If you’ve decided that bankruptcy is your only solution, you’re going to need an attorney. While there are legal proceedings that you can take care of without an attorney, bankruptcy is not one of them. Failing to fill the paperwork out properly, or missing a deadline could result in your case being denied. Don’t take chances with your financial future. Hire a bankruptcy attorney to handle your case. 2. There will be a Court Hearing You’ll have to go to court, at least once. Before you panic, you should know that it will be a brief meeting. This is where your creditors have an opportunity to state their claim against you. In most cases, creditors don’t show up. The judge will ask you questions and you’ll be done. If you’ve hired an attorney, they’ll be there to represent you. 3. You’ll Take Some Classes Before your bankruptcy can be discharged, you’ll need to take two classes. The pre-petition class will make sure you’ve done everything you can to avoid bankruptcy. The post-petition class will help you learn ways to better manage your money so you can avoid bankruptcy in the future. 4. Some of Your Debt May Remain If you thought that bankruptcy would erase all your debt, you may be wrong. Some types of debt cannot be discharged through bankruptcy proceedings. If you have the following debts, you will be required to continue paying them. Student loans Child support Alimony Criminal fines Federal taxes 5. You’ll Get the Chance to Rebuild Your Credit Once your bankruptcy is discharged, it will remain on your credit report for the next 10 years. During that time, you can begin rebuilding your credit. One way to begin rebuilding your credit is to apply for a secured credit card. With a secured credit card, your credit limit is established by the money you’ll place in a savings account. Once you’ve made a pre-determined number of timely payments, your secured card can be upgraded to an unsecured card. Once your bankruptcy has been removed from your credit report, you’ll have the fresh start you need. If you’ve fallen on to hard financial times, it might be time for you to consider bankruptcy. Talk to your attorney about the options that are available to...

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What Is Included In An ALJ’s Determination Letter For A Disability Claim Appeal?

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Is Included In An ALJ’s Determination Letter For A Disability Claim Appeal?

If you request an appeal of a denied Social Security disability benefits claim and lose the appeal, a hearing with an administrative law judge, or ALJ, is scheduled if you want to continue the appeals process. The judge will review the evidence and make a decision. You will receive a determination notice that provides a look into what factors the judge considered. To help you understand the judge’s decision, here is an explanation of three areas which should be included in the notice. Medication Side Effects The ALJ is required to consider not only the medications that you take, but also the side effects that are caused by them. In some instances, the medications can sometimes affect a person’s ability to work. If this is true in your case, it is important that the judge factor this into his or her decision. If he or she failed to mention the side effects in the judgment, you can argue in your appeal that the side effects were not considered and you are entitled to a re-consideration of your claim. Medical Record The responsibilities of the ALJ extends beyond reviewing the information that he or she is presented. If the judge finds that the evidence you have submitted, such as your medical records, is not substantial enough to properly review your claim, he or she must take steps to find evidence that is. He or she can choose to contact you and request additional information, contact your medical care providers, and even request additional medical records. The judge can even ask that you undergo a consultative examination. If the judge in your case failed to take any steps to fully understand your disability, the decision can be viewed as grounds for a new hearing. Judge’s Explanation When the ALJ determines that the denial of your appeal should stand, he or she is required to detail exactly why in the notification letter sent to you. For instance, if the judge did not feel as if your medical condition prevented you from working, he or she needs to state why. The ALJ could state that he or she felt work was not too difficult because you were able to do strenuous yard work without problem. The judge could argue that you made inconsistent statements about the extent of your injuries. Whatever the reason, the explanation needs to be very specific. Consult with an experienced attorney who can help you assess the ALJ’s decision and determine if there were any errors made by him or her that you can use to your advantage.  Contact a firm like   Ball &...

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3 Reasons You Need A Lawyer When Developing Your Estate Plan

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons You Need A Lawyer When Developing Your Estate Plan

Can you truly say you have it what it takes to draft your own estate plan? For most of you, you probably can’t. There is a lot more to an estate plan than listing your assets and deciding who gets them once you pass. Things can get a lot more complicated. Here are three reasons that you should consider hiring an attorney to handle your end-of-life plans: 1. A Lawyer Can Help You Accurately Craft and Customize a Will. While it is true that you can find basic templates online that will help you fill out a will for yourself, the truth of the matter is that you need to consider that your heir’s future is on the line with the content within your will. As a general rule, your life, family and assets are not going to fit very neatly into one of those mass-produced templates. When you need to alter a certain provision in one of those form wills, you run the risk of that provision and possibly even the entire will being invalidated. Therefore, it is better to have an attorney by your side who can help you draft a will accurately from scratch and make any necessary changes throughout your life. 2. An Attorney Can Help Ensure That Your Family Avoids the Probate Process. Probate. It’s an ugly word, and most people do not want to think about their family having to go through the lengthy, expensive process after they die. Luckily, there are ways to avoid it. Some common ways include gifting assets, making use of death beneficiaries (payable on death accounts), and joint property ownership. Another option is a trust. Like wills, there are templates available for trusts. But, again, it is better to leave the drafting up to an experienced attorney to ensure the trust and the rest of your estate plan isn’t throw out the window because you crossed a ‘T’ when you should have dotted an ‘I’. 3. A Lawyer Will Know When You Need to Update Your Existing Estate Plan. While your estate plan from a couple of months ago was airtight, it may not be worded appropriately for the new laws that just came out. Estate planning laws are constantly updating, and this isn’t something that you’ll likely being staying abreast on. Luckily, your estate planning attorney is and can inform you of any changes that need to be made to your existing plan. Plus, if you purchase a new piece of property or have a baby, you may not be thinking about your estate plan, but your attorney will. In instances when you might overlook the important of updating your estate plan, your attorney will keep you on track. For more information, contact Flaccus Law or a similar...

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Tips for Hiring Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Hiring Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

Going to court unprepared can give you a rude awakening, especially if you are facing criminal charges. You’ll need to be sure to put some time and energy into hiring a credible criminal defense lawyer so that you are able to develop a strategy that will help you to either walk with an acquittal or receive a lesser sentence via a plea bargain. When you’re going through the process of hiring a professional, highly reputable criminal defense lawyer whose business you trust, consider these guidelines.  Hire a Specialist  The lawyer that you hired to defend you in a criminal case should be as equipped for the job as possible. For best results, hire someone whose specialty is to defend against your particular type of charge. If you are facing a larceny charge, for example, hire someone who deals with financial crimes. Likewise, if you are facing a driving under the influence charge, you should hire a DUI lawyer. These areas of law are very nuanced and have consistent changes that your lawyer needs to be aware of. So your best chance of success is hiring the type of lawyer that specializes in the type of charge you are facing. Know Whether You’re Getting an Individual or a Team An often-overlooked step to take is to understand exactly who you will be dealing with. In some cases, you are hiring an individual lawyer, but in many other cases, you are hiring a team of lawyers. It is best to hire a law firm with a solid team so they can put their heads together for the best defense. This way, you get more attention on your needs and a better chance of success. Verify Board Certifications Checking on a lawyer’s board certification first will save you a lot of trouble when it comes to finding a capable attorney. Each state has a recognized board and you should only hire a lawyer who is a member. This way, you know you’re getting the highest quality attorney to represent you with your case. Get All Financial Obligations in Writing To avoid getting hit with financial charges that you were not aware of, make sure that all facets of your case are hammered out in a contract. By knowing what legal fees you are on the hook for, you’ll be able to plan accordingly, whether that means setting aside some extra money or getting put on a payment plan. You want to hire the best lawyer possible, so make sure that you don’t let any financial issues trip you up. Keep this information in mind and use it to get the best defense for your criminal charges. Speak with a criminal defense lawyer like Thomas A Corletta for more advice and...

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3 Reasons A Judge Would Grant A Fault Divorce

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Reasons A Judge Would Grant A Fault Divorce

If you are filing for a divorce, chances are that you are filing a no-fault divorce. This means that one person in particular did not cause the end of the marriage. Instead, both spouses for their own reasons decided that they no longer wanted to be married to each other. However, in some cases you may have grounds to a fault divorce, meaning that one spouse did something that caused that made the marriage unsalvageable. Here are three reasons you could ask for a fault divorce. 1. Infidelity One of the most common reasons that people ask for a fault divorce is that one spouse was unfaithful. If your spouse has had an affair, especially if they have had multiple affairs and they are showing a habit of cheating, you might be able to have ground for a fault divorce. If you are going to ask for a fault divorce based on infidelity, you will have to have proof. Your spouse will probably deny it, since it could hurt them legally if they were found guilty. This is why you need to have some sort of documentation through phone records, emails, texts messages, videos and so forth. Otherwise, the affairs will only been seen as circumstantial. 2. Incarceration If your spouse has been charged with a crime that will cause them to be in prison for a long time, you may be able to ask for a divorce simply because they cannot be a present spouse if they are in jail. In many cases, the spouse cannot even contest it. They have no right, since their being away from the marriage is beyond their control. If your spouse has been incarcerated, this is something you should consider, especially if their incarceration is for a long time. 3. Abuse If there has been a history of abuse in the home, then there is a good chance that you could be granted a fault divorce. No court is going to expect you to stay in a marriage that is dangerous to you and/or your children. In fact, they would probably encourage you to protect yourself and remove yourself, and your children, from the situation. If you are planning on proving abuse, you need to have proof. Call the police after a dispute, go to the doctor the next day, take a picture, or do anything else that you can to prove that abuse actually happened. And be sure to hire a professional lawyer, like those at the Law Offices of Gordon Liebmann, to help you through the divorce process. These are three reasons that a judge would grant a fault...

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What Documents Do You Need for a Medical Malpractice Case?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Documents Do You Need for a Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law that states a medical professional was negligent and that negligence led to an injury, loss, or more severe illness on the part of a patient. If you believe your illness or injury was worsened due to neglect from a surgeon, doctor, nurse, or member of hospital staff, you might be able to sue them for damages. Here are some documents and records you need to have for this type of case. Financial Statements One of the first collections of documents you will need is your financial statements. Part of a medical malpractice case is showing that you have suffered financially due to your illness or injury at the hands of a medical professional. This might be lost wages due to the consequences of the negligence, the struggle to pay for medical bills, or the costs of paying for psychological help if it was a traumatic experience. Start gathering financial statements that show what type of hit your bank account has had as a result of this incident. If you have had any documents from your employer stating your job is at risk due to having to miss a large amount of work, that should also be included. Medical Records One of the most important documents required for a medical malpractice case is a copy of your medical records. Your records should show a timelines of getting treatment or surgery at a doctor’s office, dentist’s office, hospital, or other medical office, as well as what occurred after the negligence. This might be a surgery that went wrong that then required a stint in the hospital and more surgeries. You may have gone into the hospital and had a wrong diagnosis, which led to your illness worsening. The records should ideally show the medical staff that helped you, from doctor visits and consultation with a surgeon to the nurse checking your vitals in the ER. Mental Health Documents If due to the illness or injury you have needed mental help, you also need to include documentation for that. For example, if your aesthetician was not paying close enough attention to your vitals and you woke up during surgery, you might have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder due to this incident. If you needed to see a counselor or therapist, you should have record of that—not only of the visits, but the amount you paid for these visits, whether covered by insurance or not, and any prescriptions you needed to take. If you have to take work off to visit a therapist, include documentation of that as well. Contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm such as Walz Law Office  to get started on your...

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3 Factors You Must Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Factors You Must Have To File A Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you have been the victim of some sort of accident, you might be wondering if you should file a personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawsuits are filed everyday, but that doesn’t mean all of them are merited. Instead, it is important that, before you file a lawsuit, that you can prove that there actually was negligence and that you are owed money for your troubles. Here are a couple factors that must be present for a personal injury lawsuit of negligence. 1. The Defendant Had A Duty To The Plaintiff Before you can file a personal injury lawsuit, you have to prove that the defendant, the person you are planning on suing, had some sort of duty to you. This means that there had to be some sort of relationship where you trusted the defendant to act a certain way.  For example, if a person were shoveling gravel on public property and hit a passerby with the shovel, a judge would most likely determine that the person with the shovel had a duty to be sure no one was a around them. However, if the person were on their own private property, and they accidentally struck a person with the shovel who was trespassing, the judge may find that the defendant had no duty to the individual. 2. The Plaintiff Had To Be Innocent In The Accident In order to have a good personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff should not be at fault for the accident; this is called proximate cause. For example, if you are filing a lawsuit against an individual for hitting you with a shovel on public property, it needs to be proven that you did what you could to prevent the accident. If the area was labeled to stay away, if you could easily see that there was a person working, or if a reasonable person would have moved, you may not have grounds for suing the individual, since you are partly to blame. 3. The Plaintiff Has To Have Injuries Say that there was an accident where you can prove that the defendant had a duty to the plaintiff and that the plaintiff was not at fault, the plaintiff still needs to have injuries. In order to file a lawsuit, there has to be damages. This means that there needs to be some sort of monetary way to determine how much emotional, and physical suffering was inflicted because of the accident. If there were no injuries, then there is no reason to file a lawsuit. These are just three things that you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.  For professional legal help, contact an office such as Law Office Of John J...

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Four Wrong Reasons For Changing Visitation Rights

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Wrong Reasons For Changing Visitation Rights

Few things are as complicated as child custody and visitation schedules. You need to balance the requirements of the courts, your personal plans, and also consider the best interests of the child. Thus, it’s not wise to change the schedule when you already have a working formula or has gotten used to the court order. You should only make a change if it necessary and furthers the interests of the child. Some of the wrong reasons for changing a schedule include: 1. You Have Different Parenting Styles Suppose you are a laid back dad or mom who isn’t too concerned about whether your children finish their art project before they can go outside to play. Suppose that the other parent is a strict overachiever who has a timetable for everything – from play time to nap time. Does this mean that you can change the custody or visitation schedule so that the children can benefit from your “superior parenting style?” The emphatic answer here is no because different parenting styles exist; and it’s not east to definitively confirm that yours is the best that everybody should follow. You used to make it work while you were together; you should also do your best to make it work now that you are separated. As long as the child is safe, then you shouldn’t worry too much. Only get concerned when his or her well-being is concerned, for example if the other parent abuses him or her in the name of discipline. 2. Your Child is Fed Up with the Other Parent So you want to change the visitation schedules because your son or daughter says she would rather spend the weekends with you? That would not be a wise move to make; the child isn’t in charge of the visitation. Sure, your child’s views are important because they help you understand what is going on in his or her life, but they don’t get to choose what to do and what to avoid. If the child wants a change, talk to him or her about his or her reasons. After that, sit down with the other aren’t and come up with the best solution. In fact, you shouldn’t get caught in your child’s generalized complaints about the other parent. Only get involved if the problem is real and serious, for example, if he or she left the child (who is young) alone at home. 3. Your Relatives Want the Child Just because the child’s grandparents want to live with the child doesn’t mean that you have to reduce your former spouse’s visitation schedule. Sure, your well-meaning parents may the sort of people who believe that you can’t raise a child while living apart from your husband or wife, but the decision isn’t theirs to make. If you change the rules of the game, your former partner has the right to sue you for violation of court orders. Since your state’s laws may accommodate the grandparents’ (or other relatives, for that matter) wishes, you should stick to the schedule stipulated in the visitation schedule. To learn more, contact a law firm like Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service...

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Examples Of Technicalities DUI Lawyers Can Use

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Examples Of Technicalities DUI Lawyers Can Use

A person who has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the first time may decide to accept the consequences instead of fighting the charge. The situation is more serious for someone who has multiple DUI offenses or who has caused an accident after drinking. Sometimes a criminal defense attorney can plea bargain with the prosecution for a lesser sentence or reduced charges, but that’s not always possible. In fact, in some states, it’s prohibited by law. That means a lawyer starts looking for technicalities that could result in the charges being dropped or the case dismissed. Examples of Technicalities Blood Test Reliability. A lawyer may question the reliability of the breath and blood tests used to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). The lawyer may want to learn: how frequently the testing equipment is inspected, maintained and calibrated the occupation of the worker who drew the blood, because a medical assistant or police officer may be viewed as less qualified than a certified phlebotomist or a registered nurse whether any of the client’s blood was stored so an independent test can be performed whether an alcohol-based swab was used before the blood draw, as this can interfere with results Law Enforcement Actions. Police officers must have a specific reason to pull somebody over; they can’t simply suspect that the person is intoxicated. If you were not pulled over for a traffic violation or erratic driving, or you were not stopped at a sobriety checkpoint, your lawyer can use that in your defense.  In addition, if there was no search warrant requiring a blood draw and you did not consent, that may be another point of contention. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that citizens generally are protected from forced blood draws because of privacy issues. However, police officers are allowed to order a blood test without a warrant if they cannot get that warrant quickly enough for the BAC reading to be accurate. For instance, a small jurisdiction may not be fully staffed during certain hours or days of the week, and obtaining a warrant promptly may be difficult. The officers would have to show the court they did not have enough time.  Prosecutors Not Responding to Requests for Evidence. Known as discovery requests, requests for evidence must be provided by the prosecution. If the prosecution doesn’t fully respond without a certain time frame, a judge may dismiss the case.  Contact an Attorney Contact an attorney who handles DUI cases at Law Office of Michael Marinaro & Associates and explain your situation. If you decide to hire this lawyer, he or she will begin providing aggressive legal representation to help you maintain your...

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