When Custody Gets Complicated

Posted by on Sep 1, 2019

Every divorce is different. Sometimes, a divorce can go super smoothly, leaving both parties satisfied with how the marriage ended. Other times, divorce proceedings can last for months or maybe even years. These divorces can be mentally and financially draining for all those involved.

The same applies to custody battles during divorce proceedings. Sometimes, they go off without a hitch. Other times, they can become the most complicated factors of a divorce. These situations are usually referred to as high conflict custody.

If you’re about to go through a custody battle of your own or know someone who is about to enter one, continue reading! You’ll learn more about high conflict custody battles and how they may impact divorce proceedings.

Factors Contributing to a High Conflict Custody Battle

There is a wide range of factors that can elevate a regular custody proceeding into a high conflict custody battle. Here are just some of the factors contributing to a high conflict custody battle:

  • Physical and emotional abuse of one partner or the children
  • Neglect of childcare duties
  • Alienation by one parent involved
  • Substance abuse
  • Marital fault (such as an affair)

If you have one of these elements involved in your divorce and you have children, you may be entering a high conflict custody battle.

What Makes These Custody Battles So Hard?

A lot of pent up emotion and energy goes behind a high conflict custody battle. By the time that the case ends up in front of a judge in court, there is a lot of built-up emotions shared by both parents.

As you can tell by the list of factors contributing to these types of custody battles, usually the well-being of the child or children is at stake. Normal custody battles can be draining for children, as they may feel as if they are expected to choose sides, but high conflict custody battles can be even more draining because the children have already gone through a lot.

Getting Sole Custody of Your Child

In any of the above situations, you may feel as if you deserve sole custody for your child as the other parent may be unfit to raise a child or it would be unsafe for them to be raising your child. The ease at which you can get sole custody of your children depends on the state in which the divorce proceedings are happening.

In Texas, for example, it may be difficult to get sole custody of your child because the law assumes a child would be better off if raised by both parents.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. If one parent is dead or incarcerated or has been shown to be physically abusive, it may be easier to win sole custody. It is important to research the exact laws in your state to get a better understanding of all potential outcomes.

No matter where you live, the best thing to do is to reach out to a custody law firm like BB Law Group, PLLC who can help you navigate a high conflict custody battle.

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What To Do After a Car Accident

Posted by on Jun 2, 2019

We all strive to be as safe of a driver as we can possibly be, however, it is impossible to ever be completely safe on the road. If you have a long daily commute, or if you drive frequently throughout the day, odds are high that at some point, you will either witness or (unintentionally, of course) participate in a motor vehicle collision.

Information and articles about how to drive safely and prevent car collisions are important. However, it is also important that as a driver or passenger, you know what to do after an inevitable car accident. The difference between reactions to a car accident can be the difference between life or death, injury or safety, and compensation or deprivation.

While I am a lucky driver and certainly not an experienced expert regarding what should be done after a car accident, I have done extensive research on the matter. In this article, I will discuss important steps to take after a car accident in order to be healthy and potentially pursue legal action against a negligent driver:

According to the website of Portner Bond, PLLC, a law firm that frequently advocates on behalf of car accident personal injury victims, one of the first things to do after a car accident is remain on the scene. If you try to flee the site, for any reason, it can be perceived as criminal by emergency officials or authorities responding to the crash. Stay near your car and wait for authorities unless you must assist another person in an emergency.

Some other miscellaneous things to do that could or could not pertain to your specific collision include:

  • Call the authorities if another person has not already done so; ask if they have, do not assume
  • Check function and health of limbs, extremities
  • Verify the safety of passengers in crashed vehicles
  • Ask bystander witnesses for contact information, might be important for later litigation or investigations

In addition to these helpful tips, it is also important to document as much as possible about the collision. This means that you should take pictures or videos of the collision site, the damage done to all of the vehicles involved, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, as well as the quality and appearance of the road.

While blurting out, “Sorry” will not indicate that you have the full legal liability for the crash, it is still in your best interest to not be overly apologetic to the other person involved in the crash. Your comments could be used in future litigation to indicate that you perceived the accident to be your fault — and you probably do not want that!

Another suggestion for an action to take after a car accident is to call a lawyer as soon as you can. Of course, your health and safety are important and you shouldn’t prioritize discussing your case over getting cuts and injuries taken care of. However, an attorney with experience in handling car accident personal injury cases is a valuable asset.

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Wrongful Death Claims

Posted by on Jan 19, 2019

The death of a loved one is bound to be a challenging and heart-wrenching experience.  It can be even harder to cope when their death is the result of someone else’s negligence and could have been avoided.  If this situation sounds familiar to you, you may need the help of a personal injury attorney to file a wrongful death claim.

There are many different types of wrongful death claims – some examples include a victim that was killed intentionally, car accidents that occur as a result of negligence, or medical malpractice (like failing to diagnose or diagnosing incorrectly or providing dangerous treatment). Wrongful death claims can spring from many different personal injury cases – and most often result in compensation.  That’s why it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible if you believe your family member or loved one died as a result of someone else’s negligence.

Most people who file wrongful death claims or pursue wrongful death lawsuits seek compensation for their suffering in the form of loss of inheritance and/or any money required for funeral proceedings or settling affairs.  In order to receive the money that you are so entitled, however, requires quite a bit of evidence. You must prove that your loved one was not at fault for their death and that someone else is to blame. Most often, you must consider if the accused had a duty that they did not carry out that resulted in death.  

Some more specific damages that occur because of a wrongful death are the value of services that your loved one would have provided, the medical costs before the injury became fatal, the burial costs, the loss of companionship or family, and any pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before their death.  Claiming any one of these damages can lead to monetary compensation, but this can be difficult to obtain without an attorney. That’s why after my cousin’s death, I found The Villages personal injury attorneys of the Glover Law Firm. A lot of the information on their webpage led me to make my own claim and from there I received compensation for medical expenses and more.  A lawyer can be really helpful if you’re like me and don’t have a complex understanding of the law.

An attorney can help you gather sufficient evidence to make your claim and alleviate stress as you mourn the death of your loved one.  For wrongful death cases, you will essentially need to prove that the Defendant owed a duty of care, that there was a breach of this duty of care, and proof that this breach directly resulted in a death.  For example, even if a truck was speeding or not paying attention to the road in an accident, you must prove that this was the specific action that caused the death and not something like mechanical failure. If you can’t prove this negligence, or prove that no other causes were responsible for the death, most often you will not receive compensation and reimbursement.  

 

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A State-By-State Analysis of Marijuana Possession

Posted by on Jul 4, 2018

Whether you support or are against possession of marijuana charges, the fact remains that in most states, this possession is a crime. As explained in this article, marijuana possession charges can result in serious punishments if there is a large amount of the substance involved.

Our framers of the Constitution, for the most part, left criminal law matters to the state. As such, each state has its unique drug laws and regulations. However, there are still federal laws that concern controlled substance possession, but I am particularly interested in state criminal laws. I decided to do a brief state-by-state survey on statistics concerning marijuana possession. Here’s what I found:

Felony possession of marijuana often results in a prison sentence that is more than one year. Felony possession is a much more serious charge than misdemeanor possession. Having a felony on your record can be life-changing, and can lead to difficulties in finding employment or getting specific benefits. However, this is not to say that misdemeanors are not serious. Though they are not as serious as felonies, they can still have severe effects on the lives of the convicted.

States raise marijuana possession to the felony level based on the amount of the substance. There are ten states that do not have any felony marijuana possession charge, including California, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. In fact, some states have removed criminal penalties entirely for marijuana possession. Moreover, states like Colorado have legalized possession of a small amount of marijuana. Some states are very strict when it comes to marijuana possession. In Arizona, any amount of marijuana can result in a felony charge. In Florida, if you are in possession of more than 0.7 oz., you could be charged with a felony. If caught with over 0.5 oz. of marijuana in Tennessee, you could also be charged with felony possession.

Contrast these strict states with states that have legalized some form of marijuana possession. These states are Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, and Washington D.C. Many states have decriminalized possession, including Illinois, California, and New York. The states where any form of marijuana possession can still be illegal are in the South. These charges are much worse if possession occurs in specific areas including schools and other places of public accommodation.

It is crazy to see how different and unique the laws of each state are concerning marijuana possession. Some states do not care about it at all, some states have decriminalized it, and some states push heavy penalties for any amount of possession. The trend seems to be that more and more states are moving toward decriminalization, and sometimes legalization, of marijuana possession. It will be interesting to see what the future holds regarding marijuana possession laws. Until then, it is important to know and understand the differences between the laws do avoid serious punishment.

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I’m Curious About Bankruptcy

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017

When is it right to declare bankruptcy? That’s the question on my mind these days. I’ve found myself more underwater than I expected after my year exploring new careers. I should have just stuck with my old job—I was working as a bar manager and making pretty decent money—but I’d convinced myself I was capable of doing more with my life.

It turns out, I was, but not for nearly as much money. I’ve picked up some work as a photographer—the dream job—but with so little experience, I mostly work for free. It feels great to get the photos posted and seen online and around Waco, but it’s cost me quite a bit. I’ve taken on a mountain of credit card debt, which just sits atop my mountain of college loan debt, which is nestled next to my mortgage for the house I foolishly bought two careers ago (when I was an office manager).

Now, I just don’t know. The debt is crushing. I want to keep going with the career, but I can’t so long as I owe so much of my measly income. Should I just go ahead and declare bankruptcy? What kind do I even declare?

I know there are those out there who assure me that bankruptcy isn’t that painful. I’ve seen a Central Texas bankruptcy lawyer’s websites that say all the right things: that it’ll help turn my life around, that it’ll be a relief, that I’ll walk away from some debt and reorganize some debt and I’ll be able to breathe again. That’s what I want to hear, but I’m afraid I’m just canceling out all the noise that suggests I’m in for far more financial hurt than I’m prepared for.

I mean, I don’t even know if I’ll lose my house. Or my car. Or my camera? What exactly am I entitled to holding on to?

Again, the lawyer pages all say I can keep those things, but can I trust them? Maybe I should have chosen this career change to be in law. At least I’d have an idea what I’m up against by now.

Maybe I’m not even afraid of losing everything. Maybe, honestly, I’m afraid of looking like a loser. That’s the word I associate with bankruptcy. Loser. I know, I’m aware at least, that very successful people declare bankruptcy sometimes. The president’s done it more than once they say. So it can’t be that bad. Can it? There are so many “chapter” types. Maybe some of those are for rich guys who aren’t losers and the other chapters are for photography fans who happen to also be losers.

Maybe I should just hang on for a while longer and wait to see if that great big photography contract comes in. Or maybe I should go back to the bar.

I have no idea at this point. All I know is I need to make a choice one way or the other.

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