3 Facts You Need To Know Before Filing For Divorce

Before heading to the courthouse to file your divorce petition, there are a few facts that you should know. Taking the time to review these important facts outlined below can help you to avoid potential delays in the processing of your divorce petition and may even save you a bit of money along the way.

You May Be Able To Expedite Your Divorce With A Simplified Divorce Petition

Many states now offer select couples the ability to file what is known as a simplified divorce petition. By eliminating the need for extensive court involvement, these divorce petitions allow couples to finalize their divorce in a matter of weeks rather than months. Furthermore, by limiting the number of court appearances to just one appearance, couples are often able to save a considerable amount of money on legal fees by choosing to file a simplified petition.

In order to file a simplified divorce petition, you will need to meet all of the criteria listed below.

  • You and your spouse must agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken.
  • You and your spouse must agree upon the decision to get divorced.
  • You and your spouse must agree on the way in which your marital property will be divided.
  • You and your spouse cannot share any children in common.

You Cannot Serve Your Own Spouse With Divorce Papers

The court requires that all parties listed on your divorce petition be informed of the proceedings and given ample time to file an answer with the court. In order to prove that all parties were in fact given this opportunity, the court will require that your spouse is served with an official copy of the divorce petition. While many people make the mistake of believing this is a task they can complete on their own, the truth is, the court does not recognize the delivery of these documents from one spouse to another as legal service. This is because you have a vested interest in the case.

In order to ensure your spouse cannot claim that they were not aware of the divorce proceedings, the court will require an independent agent to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This independent agent must be over the age of 18, have no vested interest in the case, and be willing to testify in court if necessary regarding their delivery of these documents.

An Uncontested Divorce Does Not Mean You Don’t Need To Hire An Attorney

People often believe that there is no reason to hire a legal office like Madison Law Firm PLLC when filing an uncontested divorce petition. However, the fact is, an uncontested petition simply means that your spouse has agreed not to fight the divorce. This does not mean that there will be no points of disagreement during the course of the proceedings. While you may agree on the need to get divorced, your spouse’s understanding attitude might change when it comes to matters such as child custody, or property division. Retaining an attorney will ensure that your best interest remains protected if these types of issues should arise.

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Understanding The Difficulties Of Veterans Affairs Claims

The Veterans Affairs (VA) disability claim system is designed to help veterans in need, but it’s far from perfect. With complex requirements and frustrating delays, the system may put too much burden on an already distressed veteran who may not be able to learn the system quickly enough to get the help needed in a timely fashion. Whether you’re filing an initial claim, facing a denial or working through an appeal, a few concepts of the VA claim system can help you prepare for success and reduce stress throughout the process.

Why Are Claims Denied?

In order to serve the most veterans with the support needed, the VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) system is designed to compensate veterans who were injured during military service. If your claim isn’t related to military service, lacks sufficient information linking it to military service or isn’t severe enough, you may receive a denial.

The C&P system places veterans through a fact-finding process that includes medical examination. A veteran will both be examined for the validity of his or her injuries and given treatment for existing issues. Even if you don’t earn a disabled status after the examination, you can request examination and certain basic support such as medication during the examination process.

What Is A Service-Connected Disability?

The VA system grants enough money to support a low-to-middle income household in many instances, and many veterans are after that kind of support. In order to filter out fraudulent claims or injuries that weren’t related to military service, the VA employs a service-connected test to every claim.

A service-connected disability is any condition that was cause by or related to military service. From broken legs or irritated backs caused by physical trauma and harsh conditions to psychological trauma caused by events in the military, you can claim many issues as long as they happened during military service or were triggered by military service.

The connection is not so simple as being related to military tasks; you don’t have to be on duty or performing your normal job in order for the injury to be service-connected. Wartime, workplace and domestic incidents can all be service-connected as long as the event happened during your military service.

To complicate things, the timing of the injury is taken into consideration. Many individuals end their military service because of injuries that may not be enough to warrant a medical discharge. Just because you’re not being discharged doesn’t mean the problem doesn’t matter, but it may seem strange to claims processors.

Some claim denials end with the statement “injury occurred too close to EAOS” (End of Active Duty Service), noting that your injury claim seems a bit too close to the end of your career. It could be seen as an attempt to claim compensation for a bogus injury at the end of service. Don’t take it personally; you may have been caught up in an overzealous attempt to deny scammers. 

Contact a personal injury attorney like Hagelgans and Veronis to build an injury claim that not only explains the legitimacy of your injuries, but the dire need for assistance after serving your country.

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Mechanical Malfunctions: Auto Accidents That Are Definitely Not Your Fault And How An Attorney Can Help

Every year, dozens of makes and models of vehicles are recalled for one reason or another. It is the responsibility of the car manufacturers to alert car dealerships, owners, and potential buyers of these recalls. Not everyone gets the message all of the time. This results in some freak accidents which could have been prevented had better communication strategies been enacted. If you find yourself in an accident where your brakes suddenly do not work or your cruise control turns itself on and you smash into a building, then you need an auto accident attorney. He or she can help you in the following ways.

Stuck in a Lawsuit You Did Not Ask For

Suddenly crashing into other vehicles, houses or buildings is not something you expect to happen. Determining the cause of the accident helps you feel better about your circumstances, but when a lawsuit comes around, the cause becomes more important in determining who should pay for the damages. Rather than accepting the fact that you have a car with a mechanical malfunction and paying the other persons involved in the accident, you need a lawyer to show that you are not the one that should be sued.

Filing a Suit Against the Manufacturer

When there is an obvious mechanical problem with your vehicle (and it was uncovered as the result of your accident) you should file a lawsuit against the manufacturer as soon as possible. This is especially true if you have already tried nicely to get the manufacturer to pay for damages to your vehicle and the damages the vehicle caused because of the mechanical defect. To get the car’s manufacturer to pay your inflated insurance premiums for the next couple of years, you need your lawyer to file a lawsuit on your behalf.

What Your Auto Accident Attorney Will Do

Besides handling all the paperwork, your attorney will investigate the mechanical malfunction of the make, model and year of your vehicle to see if there have been similar complaints. Sometimes there is a delay between the number of complaints about a vehicle and the moment the manufacturer chooses to take action and file a recall. Regardless of an active recall or the lack thereof, the manufacturer still should take responsibility. Your lawyer can get you the money to cover not only your medical expenses and auto repairs, but also the money it costs to pay for all the damages your malfunctioning vehicle created.

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3 Things You Shouldn’t Do If Your Business Is Being Sued

Realizing that your company is being sued can be one of the worst things that you’ll ever deal with as a business owner. Unfortunately, handling the situation the wrong way can cause things to become even worse. If you have heard through the grapevine that your company might be sued, or if you have already received a court order or other documentation, then make sure that you avoid these common mistakes. Then, there is a better chance of things coming out in your favor.

1. Contacting the Plaintiff

You might be tempted to contact the person or company that is suing you, but this isn’t a good idea. Even if you have intentions of trying to smooth things over, there is a chance that you could say something that will hurt your case. Another possibility is that you could be convinced into paying out a settlement that you really shouldn’t pay. Either way, it’s best to stay away from the plaintiff in the case when dealing with this situation.

2. Speaking to the Media

In many cases, business owners take to local media — or even their own social media profiles and websites — to speak out against the lawsuits that are being brought against them. However, doing so can make your company look bad, unnecessary attention to the situation and even result in you saying or doing something that will make the situation worse.

3. Handling it on Your Own

If you feel as if the lawsuit is bogus or think that you’ll be able to beat it on your own, you might be thinking about going to court without a lawyer. This can be a horrible idea, however. When you’re in court and dealing with a tough lawyer who is looking for the highest payout possible, you could get trampled on without legal representation. You could also make mistakes that could really harm your company, such as saying and doing the wrong things. If you hire a business lawyer, you will have assistance every step of the way. Your lawyer will help you get out of your lawsuit, will give you advice for preventing future lawsuits and can protect you and your business as well as possible.

Many business owners make a lot of mistakes when being sued. To help protect your company as much as possible, make sure that you avoid these three common mistakes. For more advice, speak with experts like the Ponath Law Offices.

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3 Reasons Why You Should See A Doctor After A Car Accident — Even If You Feel Fine

Getting in a car accident can be one of the scariest things to happen to many drivers. After getting into an incident, you probably want to get home as quickly as possible. You will probably be offered to call an ambulance or to go to the hospital, and saying “no” can be pretty tempting; this is especially true if you feel just fine. Even if you can’t physically tell that you have been in a car accident, however, it’s important to go to the doctor anyway. These are just a few reasons why.

1. You Might Not Know the Signs to Look Out For

Although you will probably be able to tell if you have a broken bone or another similar injury, you might not know the signs of things like a concussion. If you feel confused and disoriented, for example, it could be related to head trauma; unfortunately, many people simply chalk it up to being “dazed” after the accident when there could be a real medical condition at hand. A doctor will know exactly what to check for after you’ve been in a car accident, however, and can tend to these injuries the right way.

2. Your Injury Could Appear Over Time

Some injuries, such as back or body pain, might not show themselves until days or weeks after your car accident. If you go to the doctor now, however, you will have documentation that you sought medical attention as quickly as possible after the accident. Then, your doctor can pull your file and find accurate information from the day of your accident, which you might not remember if you go to the doctor weeks later. Plus, if you need the insurance company to pay your medical bills, it will be easier for you to do so if you seek medical attention right away.

3. You Might Need to File a Lawsuit

You might need to file a lawsuit for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other compensation. Doing so can be tricky, and you’ll need as much documentation as possible. If you go to the doctor right away, you will have the paperwork that you need when hiring a car accident lawyer. This will help improve your chances of winning your case and can make the entire court process a whole lot easier.

As you can see, it’s always smart to see a physician after being in a car accident. Even if all you can think about is going home and trying to forget about the incident, schedule an appointment or go to the hospital for best results. To learn more about legal assistance, contact Gibbs and Parnell

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Transfer-On-Death Deeds: Give Security While Minimizing Your Own Risk

Money and property issues can get tangled up with romantic ones very quickly, especially if you own your home. What do you do if you’d like your romantic partner to move in with you, but he or she is concerned about a secure future? You may not feel entirely ready to sign over the rights to half of your property, but you also don’t want your partner put out in the cold by your relatives if you suddenly die. Consider using a transfer-on-death (TOD) deed as a creative solution to the problem.

A TOD Deed Can Create Security For Someone Else, While Minimizing Risk To You.

A TOD deed is a simple way to transfer ownership of your home to someone after you die, without giving that person any rights to the property while you are alive. The beneficiary only gains an interest in the property once you die, and it’s entirely revocable any time that you see fit.

It also removes your home from the rest of your estate, effectively keeping it out of the probate process. This also helps cut down on the costs associated with probate, and lets you reduce the amount of taxes and fees that come out of your estate.

There Are Numerous Advantages To A TOD Deed.

There are other advantages to a TOD deed, as well. These include: 

  • It is effective immediately upon your death. Even if other money or property is tied up in the court for some reason (such as a legal dispute among heirs), the TOD deed is automatic.
  • Your heir’s lack of legal interest in the property also means that his or her creditors cannot try to put a lien on the property until after the deed has transferred.
  • Your house would not be considered an asset to your beneficiary while you are alive. It couldn’t be considered an asset for a lawsuit against your heir, nor used as collateral by your heir for a loan.
  • Your designated heir cannot challenge your right to sell the property or take out a loan on it, if you so desire. 
  • You don’t have to tell anyone about the TOD deed (although it does have to be properly recorded with your county in order to be valid). This can keep the information from being the source of family drama. 

There Are Very Few Drawbacks To A TOD Deed.

In comparison, the drawbacks of using a TOD deed are slight. These include: 

  • Your heir might not be able to sell the property right away after you die. Some states impose a waiting period, in order to give anyone who wants to file a claim against the property the opportunity to do so. 
  • Property owners sometimes forget to designate contingent beneficiaries when executing TOD deeds. While this only matters if the original beneficiary doesn’t outlive you, it can end up being problematic for subsequent heirs.
  • A disgruntled relative could allege that you weren’t in your sound mind when you made out the TOD deed, or that your partner exerted “undue influence” over you in some way. However, this sort of challenge could happen with anything that you leave to someone, so it’s not a danger that’s specific to a TOD deed.
  • Your creditors could still seek to take possession of your home while you are alive, which could leave your intended heir without much recourse. That’s most likely to become a problem if you end up in long-term care, such as a nursing home. In that situation, your home would most likely have to be sold, rather than pass to your intended partner.
  • Your beneficiary also inherits any debts that are included with the property, including mortgages, liens, and taxes. If you intend the gift to be free-and-clear of debt, you need to include provisions in your will or other estate plans so that your heir has the means to pay off those debts. 

If you’re considering giving someone a legal interest in your home or other real estate (due to a romantic relationship or any other reason), contact an attorney to discuss the situation. Not every state allows TOD deeds, so it may not be feasible in your situation. In addition, having an attorney involved minimizes the risk that something will be improperly prepared, incorrectly recorded, or easily challenged by those who may not approve of your decision.

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When A Walk In The Park Ends With A Dog Bite

You are enjoying the beautiful weather by strolling in the park when out of nowhere comes a dog and attacks you .There are over 4.5 million dog bite cases a year with about 20% of them resulting in the need for medical attention. If you’ve been injured by a dog that is not yours, you could face some serious medical issues. Some injuries can include needing stitches, shots, and more depending on how bad the injuries are.

If the dog belongs to someone else, the owner of the dog is required to take care of the medical expenses you incur. Here are the steps you should take when you’ve been bitten by a dog:

Evaluate the Injury

Once you have been bitten by a dog, you need to assess the wound. If it looks to be deep or is gushing out blood, chances are you need to consult a medical professional. In many cases, the wound may require stitches if it is deep enough. If the wound goes untreated, it is possible it could get infected.

This would require antibiotics to alleviate the infection. Whether you have insurance or not, it is important to seek out treatment. Over 30% of dog bites end up with reconstructive surgery. This can cost you thousands of dollars. 

Get the Dog Owner’s Information

It is the dog owner’s responsibility to keep their dog from injuring anyone. In most cases, they are responsible for paying the medical bills you incur when their dog has bitten you. trying to get them to pay for the bills can be difficult. When the bite occurs, it is important to get their information.

This involves a phone number, address, or any other way of contacting the dog owner. Every state has different laws surrounding the liability of dog bites. In some cases, the renter’s or homeowner’s policy can cover the financial responsibility. 

Call a Personal Injury Attorney

When the owner of the dog will not work with you like they should, it is time to call your local personal injury attorney. They are knowledgeable about the local laws surrounding dog bites and can help keep the owner accountable for the dog’s actions.

If the owner remains unwilling to cooperate, the lawyer can help you sue for medical expenses that were incurred due to the dog bite. Many personal injury lawyers will provide a free consultation to help see if you have a case before you retain their services. To learn more, contact a professional like Frank L. Slaughter Jr. PC for help.

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