The Inner Workings of a Law Firm

Navigating A Suspension Of Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Many people injured in accidents that occur at the workplace find themselves relying on workers’ compensation payments in order to make ends meet. If you are hoping to return to work on a conditional basis after spending some time on workers’ compensation, then you may want to speak with your employer about petitioning for a suspension of benefits. Here are three things that you need to know about the suspension process to ensure that your rights are protected. 1. Work with your attorney to ensure the suspension is feasible. On order for you to remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in the future, you must adhere to the stipulations set forth in the suspension of benefits that you and your employer agree upon. Because these stipulations play a critical role in your future financial status, you should work closely with your attorney to ensure they are feasible. Some common stipulations include the receipt of ongoing medical care and a willingness to submit to routine examinations by an independent physician. 2. Keep detailed medical records. Although a suspension of your workers’ compensation benefits allows you to return to work in order to generate an income, your employer is still responsible for covering any ongoing medical costs that relate to the treatment of your injuries. Because your employer will be footing the bill for your medical care, it’s essential that you keep detailed medical records while your workers’ compensation benefits are on suspension. Having access to detailed records will allow you to take legal action if your employer tries to avoid making payment for your medical care. 3. Don’t sign anything... read more

Can You File For Bankruptcy More Than Once?

You have likely heard of people filing for bankruptcy multiple time, but if you have already filed several time you may be wondering if you can file again. In fact, the number times you have filed bankruptcy in the past is irrelevant. The bankruptcy rules are more concerned with the length of time since your last filing (or the final disposition) than with the number of time you have filed. To learn more about the timing of various types of bankruptcy filings, read on. Last Type of Bankruptcy Filed There are two main types of consumer bankruptcy: chapter 7 and chapter 13. The type you used the last time you filed will determine when you are able to file again. Chapter 7: You will need to wait at least 8 years from your most recent chapter 7 discharge date before you can file another chapter 7 bankruptcy. If you wish to now file a chapter 13 after your last chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can do so in just 4 years. Chapter 13: You will need to wait at least 2 years from your most recent chapter 13 discharge date to file another chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganization plan. If you want to file a chapter 7 bankruptcy case after last filing a chapter 13, you can do so in 6 years from the discharge date of the chapter 13. There are, however, two situations that could result in an earlier allowed filing. 1. Your chapter 13 debt reorganization plan has resulted in the satisfaction of all unsecured debt that was included on that plan. 2. Your chapter 13 debt reorganization plan has... read more

Deciding Who Gets Custody

Deciding who gets custody of the children in a split can be one of the biggest points of contention. Thankfully, there are many objective ways to figure out who should have custody.  Speak with Your Partner Before getting a lawyer involved, you might try talking with your ex-partner about what their ideas are for custody. Are they willing to split custody with you, or are they determined to have full custody? If they won custody, would they want to allow you to visit the children? It helps to understand what arrangements would be acceptable to the other person, since you may find more common ground than you thought you would have.  Evaluate Each Person’s Financial Situation You may also want to think about whether both of you could viably take care of the children if you shared custody. What are your financial arrangements? Do both of you have a stable job, a stable place to live, and the time and means to provide care for the children? Evaluate Both People’s Schedules Money isn’t the only thing that goes into being a good parent. Both parents should show that they have the time and energy to devote to being a good parent. If one person’s job is very inflexible and they wouldn’t be able to take off work to pick up their sick kids from school, then this may not be the person to take care of the kids in a custody decision. Evaluate Social and Personal Lives Your personal life can affect your children greatly. You may want to evaluate the safety for children, for instance, in terms of... read more

What If A Government Car Hits Yours?

Settling the damages from a car accident with a government car can be challenging. There are strict rules in place that dictate which actions you can take to recover damages. If you were in an accident with a government vehicle, here is what you need to know.   Can You Sue the Government? In most instances, when you want to take action against the appropriate agency for an accident caused by an employee, you have to file an administrative claim for damages before you can proceed to the lawsuit stage. Your claim will need to be filed within a certain period of time or you could lose the right to take action against the responsible agency.  When you file your claim, it is important that you include facts about the accident and the damages that you incurred from the incident. You also need to include copies of evidence that shows your damages, such as medical bills.   The agency will review your claim and determine whether or not it is valid. If so, the agency will determine how much will be paid towards your damages. If the agency does not feel that your claim was valid, you can choose to file a lawsuit at that point.   What Damages Can You Claim? Unlike car accidents involving civilians, there are limitations to what you can sue for in an accident involving a government vehicle. You can ask for damages related to the repair of your vehicle. If the vehicle is beyond repair, you can ask for the fair market value of your car.   You can also ask for compensation for your medical bills.... read more

Can You Be Forced To Pay Support For A Child That’s In College Or Vocational School?

Child support is both a legal and moral obligation—but many people feel that the obligation should stop once the child turns 18, or at least when the child graduates high school, if that’s a little later. However, not all courts agree on this issue—some will order parents to contribute to a child’s college expenses as well. Learn more about when college support is ordered and what that might mean. Your state’s laws may determine whether or not college support is an issue. Each state has its own laws regarding child support, which can greatly affect whether or not you have to be concerned about any legal order to pay college support. For example, in Arizona, all legal duty to provide support ends once the child turns 18. However, Connecticut law allows the court to order support through the age of 23 for the purpose of obtaining a bachelor’s or vocational degree. College support may be a conditional order, not automatic. Even in states that can impose a college support order, the order is usually conditional. That means that the court looks at several different factors before deciding if the order is appropriate: Would you have been likely to contribute toward your child’s college or vocational education if you hadn’t gotten divorced? What is your educational level? What about your ex-spouse? If you and your ex-spouse both have college degrees, you’re more likely to be expected to contribute toward your child’s education as well. Did you and your ex-spouse have an agreement regarding college or vocational expenses? Are your child’s academic goals and achievements likely to result in a degree?... read more

Three Types Of Property You Cannot Distribute In Your Will

If you’re beginning of the process of estate planning, you may be surprised that there are a number of things that your will cannot dictate. Below are three types of property that, for the majority of cases, cannot be distributed in your will. Of course, each type of property has its exceptions, so it’s important to speak with your estate planning attorney, someone like Seiler & Parker PC, for a more accurate overview of your situation. Jointly-Owned Real Estate As the joint owner of a piece of real estate, depending on the type of joint ownership, you may or may not have the right to pass your share of the property to your heirs. So, how can you tell whether your share can be distributed or not? The first type of joint ownership is tenancy in common. This is the type of joint ownership that allows you to pass on your share of a property to your spouse, children, or whomever you choose. The second type of joint ownership, known as joint tenancy, usually does not allow for the passing of property shares. Why? When a property is considered a tenancy in common, each owner has a share of the property. In some cases, the shares may be equal (50/50), but in other cases, one owner may own more than the others (60/30/10). When it comes to joint tenancy property, however, each owner has an equal share of the property and cannot sell their share unless all owners want to sell the property. This means that your share of joint tenancy property can only be passed onto the other owners,... read more

Three First Steps to Take If You’re Considering a Mediated Divorce

Although a divorce always has the potential to involve some uncomfortable discussions, choosing mediation can help reduce any unpleasantness and ensure the most beneficial outcome for everyone. Here are three steps to take in order to get the process started on the right foot.  1. Decide if this is truly the best choice for your situation (and get your spouse on board) In order for a mediated divorce to work, you have to not only have a relatively amicable relationship with your spouse still, but you also need to be in a place emotionally where you don’t automatically disagree with everything they say. The mediated divorce process requires you both to make compromises in order to achieve a fair settlement without involving the court. This means not everything can go your way and not everything can go your spouse’s way. If you’re not comfortable with being part of the decision-making process in this situation, you may not be emotionally able to participate in a mediated divorce. And your spouse needs to be ready to participate amicably as well in order for the process to work.     2. Find the right people to help you through the process In addition to finding a reputable, well-trained, and highly-rated mediator, you need to consider whether you’ll have lawyers involved in the process. The mediator is, by definition, a neutral third party, and not able to give legal advice to either you or your spouse because that could be construed as taking sides. So, once you’ve agreed on the right mediator, discuss with your spouse whether you’ll each have a lawyer or not... read more

FAQs About Divorcing A Mentally Ill Spouse

Mental illness can have a profound impact on every aspect of a person’s life, including his or her marriage. When your spouse suffers from a mental illness, sometimes, it can be challenging to remain in the relationship. If you are considering divorce from a mentally ill spouse, here is what you need to know.   Can You Divorce Someone for Mental Illness? In some states, citing mental illness as a reason for divorce means taking extra steps to get through the court system. For instance, you might be required to obtain a doctor’s certification stating that your spouse is mentally ill to rely on this reasoning. The steps necessary can vary by state. Check your state’s laws to determine what steps are necessary.   It is important to note that many states offer the option of filing for a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce does not require that any reason for the breakup be stated. If you and your spouse do not share children or if you do not have concerns about him or her helping to raise the children, this is an option.   What If You Share Children? If you share children with your spouse, whether or not he or she is able to positively contribute to their rearing can be a concern. Regardless of how you and your spouse feel about the situation, it is important to remember that the family court’s focus is what is in the best interests of the children.   The court will take into consideration your spouse’s mental illness, treatment, and mental history to determine how it influences custodial matters. If you are concerned about your spouse’s... read more

What Rights Does A Teacher Falsely Accused Of Child Molestation Have?

Chances are pretty good you’ve seen it on television or read about it in the newspaper – a teacher has been convicted of sexual misconduct with a student. In 2005, Debra Lafave, an English teacher at Greco Middle School in Temple Terrace, Florida was convicted of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year old student. She plead guilty and was sentenced to three years of house arrest and seven years of probation, and she must register as a sex offender. However, what happens if you weren’t guilty and have been accused of something you didn’t do? Would you know what steps to take? Know the Laws The Education Commission of the States keeps a database on the education policies of all 50 states. Currently, there are no state laws that fully protect teachers against false allegations of child molestation. However, there are a couple of states that provide some sort of protection, although limited. In Connecticut, teachers should not be held responsible for damages and legal fees for lawsuits filed against them which are not malicious, deliberate, or intentional. In Iowa, teachers who are wrongfully accused in a civil suit should be awarded monetary compensation from the party who filed the civil suit. Know Your Rights If you are questioned by law enforcement, and you will likely be, it is important that you understand your legal rights. You don’t have to answer any of their questions or make any statements to them. In fact, unless you are being detained, you can leave the police station. Even if you are arrested, you do have the right to remain silent as... read more

Are You A Single Parent With A Young Child And No Will? What To Know

If you haven’t created a will in your lifetime and you have a child that doesn’t have another parent in their life, it’s imperative that you sit down with a wills and trusts attorney. You want to know that your child isn’t going to become a child of the state and that one of your family members won’t have to fight with the courts to get custody. You also want to make sure that you have everything in line financially to help care for your child if something does happen. Life insurance is something that should be considered, along with wills and trusts. Talk with a lawyer about the following things. Guardian Candidates Deciding who will become the guardian of your child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Here are a few of the things you’ll have to take into consideration when picking someone to care for your child if something happens to you: Who has the same morals and religious values What person can afford to take on the responsibility of your child Is there someone that your child already feels close and comfortable with These are the three main factors that you have to evaluate, along with the location of the person, their connection with your family, and their age. Money Management You don’t want to worry about the person that gets custody of your child using the money you leave behind irresponsibly. Talk with the lawyer about having them, or an accountant, manage the trust you leave behind. They can do this until the child is a certain age, and they... read more

About Me

We all know that lawyers are professionals who help people interpret and work with the law, but do you know how a law firm works from the inside out? I am a professional paralegal, and I have worked in both large and small law firms during my career. I can tell you that a successful law firm needs more than just lawyers to keep it running smoothly, and sometimes things can get really crazy! Take a tour through a law firm in my blog, and find out what really goes on behind the scenes of an active and successful law firm.