The Needs-To-Knows For A No Fault Divorce

In recent years, the media has bombarded the public with newspaper and magazine articles about the less than amicable splits of public figures. These hostile partings lead to bitter divorces that play out, like a drama in solicitor’s office and court. In order to curb this habit of allowing the public to follow the intimate details of the end of a person’s marriage and to help reflect a more realistic and enlightened image of divorce, Richard Bacon MP’s private No Fault Divorce member bill seeks to introduce new grounds for separation and divorce based on the omission of blame.

Divorce Today

Currently, if a couple wants to divorce, they must provide a reason. All of the current reasons for divorce carry an element of blame. The reasons are unreasonable behavior by one party, adultery, desertion and separation with or without consent. The time period for separation with consent is 2 year and 5 years without consent.

Typically, when one party initiates divorce proceedings, the other party is generally expected to agree. With a no-fault claim, there is no apportion of blame, which can lead to an increase in the number of amicable divorces. The No Fault Bill, if passed into law, will be added as the sixth reason for divorce.

With a no-fault divorce, both parties can initiate divorce proceedings, stating that there was an irretrievable breakdown of their marriage. The couple would be provided with a one-year period to consider their decision before a decree absolute is signed.

The No Fault Timeline

The first reading of the bill was on 13th October 2015. It was heard as part of the new ten-minute rule where the MP is allowed to argue their case for a change or provision. The bill was passed on the 4th December 2015 and will move on to the second reading.

If this bill is passed, it will mean a change in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, and a new grounds for divorce will be inserted. Currently, the bill is in the initial stages. The second hearing was postponed from 22nd January to 11th March 2016. After the bill is debated, and if passed, corresponding amendments will be made regarding the dissolution of marriage under the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

After the bill goes through the second reading, there will be three more hearings in the House of Commons and five in the House of Lords. Amendments will be given before the bill achieves Royal Assent. Since the second hearing has been delayed for more than six weeks, it is not likely that an amicable divorce without apportioned blame will be seen in the near future. However, the existence of this bill does offer a welcome and helpful change to modern divorce and family law.

In A Child’s Best Interest

The tradition of placing fault within a divorce does not just take a toll on the couple. This “tradition” also places a huge burden on the English legal system, in the form of costs, time, and resources. However, the people most impacted by this policy are the 100,000 children affected by divorce each year. A no-fault divorce can lessen the chance of children experiencing fall-out and disruption in their lives, due to lengthy divorce proceedings.

The emphasis needs to be placed on the welfare of the children of divorcing parents. Despite arguments suggesting that this bill will only make divorce easier and faster, others have stated that the current process of divorce can be unhelpful and even detrimental to the needs of the children affected by divorce.

If you want more information or advice about divorce and family law, contact one of our team members today.

How to Choose the Right Divorce Lawyer

Choosing the right divorce lawyer is important. It is something many people hope they never have to worry about, but if the situation arises it’s important to be educated. Timeliness is key, the sooner a divorce lawyer is hired the sooner it’s possible to move into a new chapter in life. Following a few simple steps will make finding a divorce lawyer quick and painless.

Get Organized

Begin by knowing what the expectations of the divorce are. Have a checklist of finances that need to be taken care of, and how possessions should be divided. If there are children involved, be sure to write visitation expectations. If you are on speaking terms with your spouse, ask them to do the same. That way everything will be written out when negotiations begin. It will also help your lawyer understand your desired outcome from the divorce, and help them assist you as quickly as possible. If you drag your feet or change your mind constantly they won’t be able to begin helping you.

Take Your Time Researching Attorneys
After you’ve written a checklist, begin having consultations with potential divorce lawyers. Do not choose the first lawyer you meet. Just because you want to find a lawyer as quickly as possible does not mean you should settle for anything less than you deserve. Ask friends and family if they can recommend any good lawyers, and do plenty of research online. There are lots of sites that allow people to review the services they’ve received. Browse them, and call the lawyer’s offices as soon as you’ve found a few that you like. Make sure you discuss rates with your potential lawyer. When going through a divorce you are likely to have less funds immediately available. See if your lawyer will work out a payment plan, or base their fees on your potential settlement. The most important part of working with a divorce lawyer is feeling confident and taken care of. Your happiness with your lawyer is key in moving forward as quickly as possible. If you have time, check their track record in court. Ideally your lawyer should be successful when handling divorce cases.

After interviewing with several lawyers you should choose the one that best fits your needs. Make sure they are affordable, understand your expectations, and make you feel confident. Divorce is not an easy time in life, but it helps if you have a lawyer you can trust. Finding a lawyer can be done quickly if you follow these steps.

Halifax law

There are quite a few local law firms in Halifax you can turn to as a client in need of top personal injury lawyers in Halifax to represent you. Whether you are hurt in a slip and fall case, a car crash, injured on the job site, or any other type of injury, knowing you are working with the top local personal injury lawyers in Halifax and dealing with the most reputable law firms for your case, is going to put your mind at ease as a new client to the firm. With all this being said, there are hundreds of firms which specialize in the area of personal injury claims, and what’s worst is that all claim to be the best. So, these are a few ways to narrow down the search if you truly want to hire the top personal injury lawyers in Halifax to handle your legal claim.
law firm
Look for firms who truly specialize. So, don’t simply go to a personal injury firm, but rather go to the local law firms in Halifax which deal with slip and fall cases. Or go to the firm that deals with workplace injuries if this is where your injury stems from. The more specialized the area of the law they practice in, the more experience the legal teams are going to have in that area. Further, they are going to know all rules and are going to fully understand how to compile a case on your behalf, to ensure you are going to receive the highest settlement amount possible, in the event you do choose to stay out of court when you are filing your claim.

It is important to consider track record. Look for a firm that has a solid win track record for their previous clients. Make sure they know how to draw up a settlement offer, so that it is going to include everything, even the legal fees you are going to have to pay for their services. Make sure lost wages are included, injuries, doctor visits, and all other future costs you may incur due to the injuries, are going to be a part of the settlement offer which they are going to draw up and present to the opposing side who is at fault in the case. All of these things ensure you are justly compensated now, as well as in to the future, in the event you have any lingering or ongoing injuries following the injury case.

Choosing Legal Assistance for Your Situation

Choosing the legal assistance that will best affect your life is important. Whether you have been looking for a lawyer for a long time or you are just about to begin that process afresh, you need to know what you should be seeking in those that you choose to turn to. In finding a lawyer, you must have a good idea of what you should be looking for. As you set out on a search for the legal help that will best help you live your life and that will allow you to get the best assistance in regard to your future, make sure that you know what you should look for and who you can trust. Make sure that you understand all that you should receive through those who give you help. When you are in need of someone who will lead you, look for a leader who is ready for the job. When you are seeking out a disability lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario, make sure that you find someone who has been working at what they do for a long time and who will be able to provide you with the assistance that is right for you and the specific issues that you deal with and face. When you are in need of personal injury lawyers in Hamilton, make sure that you have a good idea of what you should look for in those you turn to. Having a good idea of just what makes a lawyer great can help you as you choose the legal help that will be best for you and your situation.

disability lawyer in Hamilton Ontario

Choosing Legal Assistance for Your Situation: Finding someone who will step up and stand up for you is important when the time comes for you to choose a disability lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario. The one who you choose to turn to should be someone who will do all that they can to fight for you and your needs. The one who you rely on should be someone who is not afraid to stand up for you, someone who will look out for you in every way that they can. Make sure that the lawyer that you pick is someone who will stand up for you and fight strong.When you are looking for personal injury lawyers in Hamilton, know that those who are kind will help you feel better about things than those who are not. Finding a kind lawyer will help you to get through all that you must face in a way that will be good for you. Finding a kind lawyer will help your legal battles to go by more smoothly. When you have an individual standing up for you who is ready to fight but who is also kind, you will be ready for any kind of battle that comes your way.

When there is a situation that requires legal help going on in your life, you must have a clear understanding of just who you can turn to for help.

How to Boost Communication and Avoid Apathy during Divorce

Communication is key when it comes to smoothly and successfully navigating a divorce. And not just any type of communication, but constructive, rather than destructive, communication.

So how can you boost communication and avoid apathy during your divorce proceedings? Naturally, it’s a difficult time on both sides with emotions turned all the way up. It is often tricky enough to engage in any communication at all, let alone the sort that is constructive.

Yet there are a few tricks and tips that can help you do this. Keep the reminders below in mind when talking to your spouse about your divorce, whether by email, text, on the phone, or in person.

  1. Take Your Time 

There is no reason to rush things, or to rush yourself, during a divorce. You’re allowed to take as much time as you need responding to your spouse. Let texts and emails sit for a while as you write a thoughtful response. Content is more important than speed of response the vast majority of the time.

  1. Set Boundaries

Communicating with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse isn’t easy. So set reasonable boundaries from the get-go. Check your email only once or twice a day. Ask them to only call or text during certain hours when you’re not busy with work or other obligations. Tell them from the start that they can expect you to take 24 hours to respond.

  1. Stick to Important Issues

Those going through divorce are often tempted to get a record – by email or text – of everything their spouse has done wrong in the past. Don’t do this. Use open communication to discuss important issues. For instance, keep emails, texts, and phone calls about your kids about your kids.

  1. Step Back

Take a step back and look at the issue from an outside perspective before you respond to your spouse. Local family lawyer Carlberg Law states this is the best way to ensure you don’t do anything you regret. Think about what your lawyer, or a trusted advisor or role model, would say in your situation. Though sending a zinger can be tempting, it’s really not going to help anything.

Constructive communication is key to avoiding apathy during divorce. And the tips above should help. However, if you’re ever in doubt, it’s best to first consult your family lawyer (or another trusted advisor) for help.

Common Strategies For Defending A Felony Charge

A felony conviction comes with very serious consequences for both you and your loved ones:

  • long prison sentences
  • stiff fines and penalties
  • the loss of certain civil rights such as the right to vote, the right to be a juror, and the right to own a gun.

Furthermore, you may face serious difficulties when it comes to employment, being licensed in any profession, or obtaining job dealing with money.

So, it is important that your felony defense not only be focused on proving your acquittal, but on reducing the possible consequences of a conviction.

Here are the most common strategies employed by attorneys in defending felony charges.

  1. Preserve Your Innocence

Pursuant to the U. S. Constitution, all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For that reason, the first plan of action in defense of a felony charge is to protect your innocence.

This can be achieved by first using your constitutional rights to:

  1. Avoid giving the police any information that may incriminate you;
  2. Refuse to consent to any search of your body, home or property; and
  3. Be represented by your defense attorney at each stage of the criminal process.
  1. An Alibi

Another effective way of defending a felony is to offer an alibi. This is a piece of evidence proving that you could not have committed the crime, because you were in another place when the offense took place.

For example, if you have witnesses who can attest to the fact that, at that time a crime took place in Chicago, you were having lunch with friend in Rockford, IL., some 80 miles away, you may have a sound alibi.

The prosecution will then be charged with providing evidence to the contrary. If it fails to do so, the charges against you are likely to be dismissed.

  1. Getting Your Charges Reduced

The fact that you have been charged with a felony offense doesn’t mean that the prosecutor must try you on those charges. Depending on the nature of the crime for which you have been charged, your criminal history, and the strength of the state’s case against you, your attorney may be able to persuade the prosecution to reduce your felony to a misdemeanor charge that will carry a lighter sentence.

Wobblers

Frequently, suspects are charged with offenses that are considered “wobblers”. In other words, an offense that can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on certain factors.

To illustrate, $500 in merchandise stolen from a department store might be considered a misdemeanor. However, if the value of the merchandise stolen exceeds $500, the crime may be charged as a felony.

Often, if you have little or no criminal record, or have behaved well on probation in the past, your attorney can submit to the court a written motion to reduce this “wobbler” felony charge to a misdemeanor charge.

A Deferred Sentence

If you have very little criminal history, you may qualify for a deferred sentence.

This means that the judge will agree to delay your sentence until after you have completed certain requirements (drug and alcohol counseling, anger management classes, community service, etc.), provided that you plead guilty to the crime as charged. If you complete the requirements and stay out of trouble, both the charges against you and your guilty plea will be completely dismissed.

A Suspended Sentence

If you do not qualify for a deferred sentence, you may still be eligible for a suspended sentence.

This means that, provided that you enter a guilty plea, the judge will agree to delay your sentencing and allowing you to complete a period of probation.

During this period of probation, you will be required to comply with certain conditions and restrictions. If you can do this without breaking any of the rules and/or getting into any more trouble with the law, you will be allowed to complete your sentence without going to jail.

A Downward Departure

Finally, you may able to reduce the charges against you if your attorney is able to convince the court that you meet certain pre-established legal criteria which makes you eligible to receive a sentence lower than the statutory minimum.

You may be eligible for a downward departure if, for example:

  • You suffer from a mental illness that could be helped with treatment.
  • The incident for which you are to be sentenced was an isolated one, for which you have shown.
  • You have cooperated fully with law enforcement in their investigation of your crime and/or others.

You will be required to enter a guilty plea and your attorney will have the burden of proving that you qualify for one or more of the legally prescribed exceptions. However, if he is successful, you may receive a sentence significantly lower than what you would have received otherwise.

For more detailed information on how you can defend a felony charge, speak with an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Visitation and Child Support

Experiencing child custody battles is one of the hardest parts of parenting. Each parent think about themselves, but what about the child? The court and attorneys will make suggestions to both parents as for what would be in the best interest of the child. The following information can help parents understand the points of judges and attorneys when it comes to solutions for visitation and child support.

Visitation. The non-custodial parent is entitled to visitation unless the court thinks that the visitation would endanger the child in a physical, mental, moral, or emotional sense. Typically, parents are required to have information – such as: scheduling hours, transportation, holidays, and vacations – agreed upon. An example of a common visitation asked by the child custody lawyeris allotting the noncustodial parent every other weekend, alternate holidays, and several weeks in the summer.

Restrictions. For there to be restrictions during a parent’s visitation period, usually the visitation would have to endanger the child. This is when visitation would be supervised. Attorneys typically ask for supervised visitation when the child experiences abuse, abduction, residing with a mentally unstable parent, and witnessing violence with the non-custodial parent.

Virtual visitation. Virtual visitation allows the child to communicate with their noncustodial parent when the noncustodial parent is unable to visit the child in-person; Florida calls this time-sharing. Some drawbacks to virtual visitation is that some parents would use virtual visitation as a primary form of visitation rather than a supplemental form of visitation. Virtual visitation also takes away from a child and noncustodial parent the in-person visitation from the parent. Several courts have enacted laws passing virtual visitation but the laws are meant to supplement a visitation, not replace it. Therefore, a court would not likely grant virtual visitation if they would not grant an in-person visitation.

Child support. Generally, there is no duty imposed on the parents to support children of adult age. However, common law imposes a duty to support minors. The modern view finances as a private matter that both parents are responsible for.

Imputation of income. The cost of child support owed is based on the noncustodial parent’s income. Sometimes in-kind income is received which allows the parent to pay for housing or food rather than money. There are seven factors to determine the imputation of income: (1) the court determines the parent to be underemployed; (2) no reliable evidence of income; (3) past and present employment; (4) education, training, and ability to work; (5) lifestyle; (6) role as caretaker of a handicapped or seriously ill child; and (7) any additional factors relevant to the circumstances of the case.

Models. There are three different types of models used in the United States as guidelines in establishing child support. The three models are: income shares model, percentage of income model, and the Melson formula. The income shares model is the majority viewwhich theorizes that the child support should be equivalent to the same parental income if the parent’s lived together. The percentage of income model looks only to the noncustodial parent’s income and pays a percentage of that income. The Melson formula is the minority view and allows higher support from parent’s with higher income.

Duration. Typically, child support is paid by the non-custodial parent until the child’s eighteenth birthday or when the child graduates from high school. This is not always the case though. In some situations, such as medical support payments, change in financial and/or educational situations, can affect the length of child support payments by extending the termination date.Even fewer reasons cease child support, for example death and marriage.

            Child custody is difficult to experience and deal with but knowing and understanding typical visitation schedules and how child support is calculated can help prepare the parents when visiting with their attorneys.

3 Ways to Legally Separate

If you have a marriage that is headed for divorce, you should first be prepared to separate. In many states, this is a legal requirement before a divorce will be granted. There is a variety of ways that you may choose to live apart from your spouse as long as you’re legally required to do so. It’s ideal to know the different types of separation if you’re in this situation.

Trial separation

Some couples may be unsure if divorce is the best option. Many married couples have spent years and even decades together. This is an enormous investment of time, and there are many emotional, physical and financial bonds that may help keep the couple together.

Divorce can be a scary thing even if both of the spouses don’t get along at times. It’s not uncommon for a trial separation to take place to allow the spouses to determine if each is happier living alone. This type of separation has not legal bearing and won’t until the couple decides to separate legally.

Additionally, at any time the spouses that are involved may end the separation and go back to married life or make a decision on a divorce.

Living separately

Some couples may choose to live separately due to various individual situations such as a job or others that require each other to live apart. This is typically the decision of the spouses and doesn’t usually require legal consequences for doing so.

However, other situations such as this may hinge on getting a divorce. For instance, if either of the spouses’ files an at-fault divorce, this may require living separately in some states before the divorce will be granted. Additionally, there may be some questions about property division if this situation goes on indefinitely.

Legal separation

Once a married couple decides that the union is over and wants a divorce, it’s common for a legal separation to take place. This type of separation is frequently required for the spouses to end the marriage through divorce.

The amount of time a legal separation must be effect will vary per state. However, there are many states that require a couple to be separated for at least a year before a divorce will be granted.

It’s a good idea for the couple to know how the property will be divided to avoid a long and drawn-out legal battle. If this isn’t decided by the spouses, the court will be in charge of doing so, and this could be costly. For instance, the average cost of a contested divorce is $15,000-$30,000, and this could be much more in many cases.

Knowing the details of what to expect before getting a divorce may be helpful to many spouses. You should, at least, be informed about the various types of separations beforehand. Be sure to consult with your family lawyer for accurate legal advice to assist you at this difficult time.

How to Properly Prepare for Legal Separation

Preparing for legal separation from your spouse can be a stressful ordeal. With all of the emotional considerations that may need to be made, it’s important to be well-organized and properly prepared on the financial and legal end of things. Of course, local and state laws pertaining to separation and divorce vary, but by following some basic, universal guidelines, you can make the process a whole lot easier.

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“Even though it may be an emotionally burdensome time, preparing for a separation is key,” writes Jacob Blake, a paralegal who works with San Diego family lawyers. “When you’re properly prepared, the whole process will go much more smoothly and you start the process of moving on faster.”

Here are a few of the most important ways you can prepare for a legal separation:

Get your papers organized.

When two people have been together for a significant period of time, their personal lives become intertwined. For this reason, it’s important to compile account numbers, addresses, names, contacts, and phone numbers—all of the information you’ll need to start anew.

Make sure you have information you’ll need later, like your birth certificate, bank account numbers, credit card information, and passport. Additionally, make sure you have all the information you need pertaining to loans, mortgages, stocks, bonds, deeds, titles, and powers of attorney.

You and your former partner will likely overlap in your need for these records, so be sure to create legal copies.

Write down your budget.

When your housing situation changes, and you are no longer living with your spouse, determining a new budget for your post-divorce lifestyle is in order. Keep track of all income and expenses—it will help when it comes time to determine spousal or child support during divorce proceedings.

“Before my divorce, I was used to a different standard of living,” writes Natalie, 42. “At first, I thought I had to make quite an adjustment, but then I worked out my budget and was able to receive the financial support I needed for me and my daughter to maintain our lifestyle.”

Resist the temptation to inflate and record your transactions honestly. Lying about how much money you make, in either direction, could land you in serious legal trouble.

Check your credit.

Credit works differently for married couples than it does for single individuals. To anticipate this, obtain a copy of your credit report. Try to pay off dent and take care of any issues that could be causing your score to drop. To sever your connection to your former partner’s credit, be sure to close joint accounts.

“My ex-wife and I shared all of our accounts,” writes Peter, 33. “And since we married young I never really established my own line of credit.” With time, however, Peter was able to get his credit off the ground. “I had to close all of my joint accounts and it took a lot of work,” he adds, “but eventually I was able to bring my credit score to a respectable level.”

Remember, you may need to apply for a car or home loan after your divorce—so building your credit up will be crucial, especially if the majority of your accounts had been joint ones.

How The Best Vancouver Divorce Lawyers Will Help You

Parting ways through divorce with your partner can be necessary especially if you are unable to continue with your marriage as a result of a number of issues ranging from cheating, lack of communication or irreconcilable disagreements. Because divorce can turn into a messy and emotional affair if not handled properly, it is important to hire a divorce law firm in Vancouver to handle your divorce process.

Vancouver divorce lawyers

Having Vancouver divorce lawyers handle your divorce is advantageous as they will not only provide you with valuable legal advice, but will also protect your interests during the divorce process. Once you hire the services of a reputable divorce law firm, they will first advice on how to handle any future communications with your spouse especially if your spouse also hires a divorce lawyer. Having representation of a divorce lawyer in Vancouver is of paramount importance especially if you’re soon to be ex spouse has representation. In the event you choose to represent yourself, you will have no one to legally advise you and protect your interests. Your spouse’s lawyer will have field day with you will end up in a far worse position resulting in future regrets.

Because they have dealt with numerous divorce cases for several years, Vancouver divorce lawyers will know how to bend the legal system to your advantage with an aim of protecting your interests. When you do not agree with your spouse on division of property, your lawyer will be able to contact your spouse’s lawyer and have a sit down with an aim of solving any property disputes in a mature way.

If you and your spouse decide to have an out of court divorce settlement, your family law firm in Vancouver will handle all the negotiations on your behalf and ensure that your interests are well protected. Having your lawyer handle your negotiation is advantageous as they will keep the negotiations civil and not impeded by emotions. In the event any agreements are reached, your lawyer will make it binding through the signing of legally binding documents.

When it comes to child custody matters, as much as your lawyer will strive to get you custody, they will also consider the children’s opinion, interest and future. Good Vancouver divorce lawyers will inform their clients whether to fight for full custody, joint custody or leave custody to their spouses if having custody will not be in the best interest of the child.

In the event you and your spouse cannot have a negotiated divorce, your lawyer will take the matter to a family court. The best way to get a favorable divorce ruling in front of a family court judge is to have the best divorce lawyer representing you. A team of paralegals and investigators from your law firm in Vancouver will interview potential witnesses, look for expert witnesses and unearth any new information that may help your divorce case. Your divorce lawyer in Vancouver will put up a spirited case and discredit any evidence put forward by your spouse.