How To Acquire A Divorce Decree When Your Spouse Is Nowhere To Be Found

Estranged spouses in marriage are pretty common, but they are often no more than a few miles away. If you are trying to obtain a divorce from an estranged spouse, and you have no idea where he or she is, the divorce process is more complicated. The first thing you need to do is hire a divorce attorney from a firm like Granowitz, White & Weber Attorneys at Law, and then ask about the laws in your state regarding this particular divorce situation. Typically, you will need to consider the following in your pursuit of personal freedom from a non-existent, in absentia partner.

No Contact, Minimal Contact

Estranged can mean one of two things:

  1. Your spouse still has minimal contact with you because you share children or you have some social interaction among the same group of friends, but you are emotionally estranged.
  2. You have no contact with each other whatsoever and are physically estranged as well as emotionally estranged.

Your lawyer and the divorce court judge will want to know which distinction you use to describe your lack of relationship with your spouse.

Attempts to Serve Papers

If you have a vague idea of where your spouse might be, but neither you nor the state department of child support/ human services has been able to pinpoint his location, the courts will attempt to locate him too. Even with a lawyer’s help, you cannot garner a decree of divorce until every attempt has been made to serve papers on your soon-to-be ex. Most courts in most states consider this fair warning, and will not proceed until due course has been executed.

Publication

Additionally, some states require that you place a national advertisement in papers announcing your search for a divorce from your spouse. In legal terms this is called a “publication”. It gives your spouse one final chance to answer and appear before the judge rules in your favor.

The Final Action

On your court date, your lawyer will present the facts in your case and the claims you make to any and all property your ex has left behind. When your spouse does not show up to claim anything, or present the court with his or her current address for the purpose of child support and alimony, the judge finds everything in your favor. Some states may allow a grace period wherein your ex can reappear and reclaim property, but it is very rare, especially when these spouses have been gone for years.

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3 Factors That Might Cause Motorcycle Accidents

When most people think about motorcycle accidents, they might automatically assume that the motocyclist or another driver was at fault for the accident. While that is the case in the vast majority of accidents, there are also other causes of motorcycle accidents. Some of those causes might mean that an injured motorcyclist can opt to seek compensation from a third-party entity, which means seeking compensation from someone other than the other driver. 

Wheel wobble

If a high-speed wobble is the cause of a motorcycle accident, the manufacturer of the motorcycle might be held liable for the accident, according to FindLaw. A wobble accident occurs when the front end of the motorcycle begins to wobble at higher speeds. This makes the motorcycle unstable, which can lead to an accident. A misalignment of the wheels is one condition that might lead to wobble accidents.

Design and defects

There are some instances in which the design of the motorcycle or defects that occur during the manufacturing process can lead to accidents. When that occurs, injured motorcyclists can file a product liability lawsuit against the company that designed the motorcycle, the company that manufactured the motorcycle, or both. This type of claim entails proving that the company or companies responsible should have foreseen that the issue would cause an accident.

Hazardous conditions

Because motorcycles only have two wheels, they can become unstable when maneuvering over obstacles that wouldn’t affect four-wheel vehicles. A small patch of gravel, an oil slick, and uneven pavement are examples of hazardous conditions that might lead to a motorcycle accident. When these accidents occur, the injured motorcyclist might choose to seek compensation through a premises liability lawsuit. In that case, the owner of the roadway would be the person who would be considered the defendant in the case. When the road is owned by a government entity, a notice of claim or notice of tort is required prior to moving forward with the case.

As you can see, gathering evidence and concisely stating your claim are vital in motorcycle accident cases. This might mean that you need to get experts to testify or that you have to go through a lengthy process of proving your side. Because motorcycle injury cases can be complex, obtaining the help of an experienced attorney (from George T. Bochanis Law Offices or another firm) who has experts available is vital. An experienced attorney can also help you to learn about the claim process and interpret applicable laws.

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3 Essential Types Of Documents To Provide Your Tax Accountant

For most people, few things generate more stress than completing yearly taxes. Luckily, that’s what tax accountants are for–to shoulder the burden of that stress. But in order for a tax accountant to do the best job, they’re going to need the right information. If you are planning to have a tax accountant handle your taxes this year, read on. This article will outline three types of documents you should be sure to give them.

1. Income documents

First and foremost, your accountant is going to need to know how much you made last year. The most common such document is the W-2 form. This details not only the amount of your income, but the amount of deductions that were taken out of it.

Just as important as the W-2, however, are the various 1099 forms. Because not everybody has to deal with these forms, fewer people are aware of them. Some of the most common 1099 forms include:

  • 1099-MISC – used to report money earned through self-employment or as an independent contractor
  • 1099-INT – used to report income from interest and dividends
  • 1099-B – used to report brokerage income from stocks and bonds
  • 1099-S – used to report real estate income

2. Expense documents

Here’s where that shoe box bulging with business-related receipts comes in. But when it comes to expense documents, there are much more than just those.

For instance, it is now common to receive many receipts and invoices in a purely digital form. Plan on trawling through your inbox to hunt these down. (Hint: search for emails with attachments, as such receipts are often sent as pdfs.)

In addition, you’ll want to track down proof of the following:

  • job-related education expenses
  • medical expenses
  • charitable contributions
  • child care costs
  • interest paid on your mortgage
  • any other types of interest paid

3. Proof of loss (if applicable)

If your business or home suffered some sort of loss during the year–say through a fire, a flood, or a theft–you may not have access to all of the relevant documents. Believe it or not, the IRS is actually somewhat understanding of this. In many cases, you may even be eligible to apply for special tax deductions.

In order to do this, however, you will need to provide your tax accountant with as much relevant information as you can. This extends to such documents as:

  • photographs
  • disaster-related receipts
  • insurance claim reports

Bottom Line

A good tax accountant can save you not only time and stress, but money as well. Remember, though, that it is up to you to provide them with the information they need. The more documents you provide, the more they may be able to save you. The three classes of documents discussed above should provide a good place to start.

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3 Reasons To Hire A Criminal Attorney

There are some situations that you simply can’t get out of with words. Perhaps you missed a court date, ran a red light or got into a fight that turned in a fist brawl and were charged with a crime. Regardless of what your criminal charges may be, you will need legal expertise to help you during this difficult time. By knowing the reasons to hire this specialized attorney and ways this person can assist you, you might be motivated schedule an appointment.

The Lawyer Will Listen To Your Case

The role of any attorney is to listen to you and advise you legally on what to do. This will happen on your first consultation in many cases, but be prepared to answer the questions listed below:

1. What was the date of the crime?

2. What crime were you charge with committing?

3. Where did the conviction take place?

4. Were drugs involved in any way and did you attempt to sell drugs?

5. Were there any other people around when you were charged with this crime?

6.  Do you feel these charges shouldn’t have been filed?

The more details you can provide to the criminal attorney, the better legal advice you will receive.

Complete Legal Filings

A response must be provided to the court regarding your conviction, and the lawyer can do this for you. The complexity of the law makes it imperative to rely on a professional in this field who legally knows what to do and will complete the necessary paperwork on your behalf.

Listed below are some legalities the attorney can attend to for you.

1. The lawyer can meet with the judge and file a motion of not guilty for the client.

2. Ask for a mistrial if a verdict that is reached is not agreeable by the client.

3. In some cases, the lawyer can appeal a verdict that is set by the courts.

Decrease Your Penalties

It is possible a criminal attorney can decrease the charges that were made against you. This could result in lower fees that may be payable to the plaintiff or court, or reduced jail time.

For example, if you were convicted of driving under the influence, this often carries strict penalties that must be carried out by the driver. The attorney you select can work on your behalf to decrease these.

Finally, your best defense in an unfortunate situation of being convicted of a crime is to hire a criminal attorney. This will allow you the opportunity to gain the legal expertise you need at this time.

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3 New Roles For Oil And Gas Lawyers To Capitalize On

In the energy exploration era, oil and gas lawyers have the capacity to enhance their value and earning potential in the industry by capitalizing on new roles and trends that are transforming the field. From ownership initiatives to alternative energy sources, these attorneys are helping usher many companies into the 21st century. Whether you are a seasoned lawyer in the field or are just beginning your career as an oil and gas attorney, there are several opportunities for you to help improve your career. Learn about just 3 of the trends below that are certain to boost your practice.

Equity

In the past, energy trading companies sought to be as light as possible in terms of owning physical assets in the energy exploration and marketing realm. However, now more outfits are seeking to take equity stakes in every stage of the energy process, from drilling all the way to transporting. In addition, many companies are relying heavily on oil and gas attorneys to facilitate investment from capital markets, including banks, investment groups, and private equity firms. 

Alternative Extraction Methods

Oil and gas attorneys, like at Roberts Miceli Boileau & Doutt LLP, are helping companies to leverage resources and assets in alternative oil and gas extraction methods. For instance, many attorneys are helping companies navigate both the financial component of exploration initiatives, as well as the sensitive environmental codes and regulations surrounding the extraction process. Known as “fracking,” this extraction process entails pumping chemicals, sand, and water into shale rock formations where harness-able gas exists. There is slight concern that this process may contaminate local drinking water sources and the natural habitat. This is an example where attorneys might coordinate with environmental and local authorities to ensure all proper environmental and safety codes and regulations are observed, in order to ensure a seamless and safe exploration process. Moreover, the investors see tremendous potential in this exploration method for producing lower cost and more efficient fuels sources. 

Portfolio Diversification

Energy companies are working with oil and gas attorneys to help them capitalize on alternative fuel sources as well. Attorneys are helping to raise money and facilitate acquisitions that provide energy companies with assets in coal, metals, uranium, solar, and wind power, among other raw materials and energy sources. Along these lines, they are helping companies craft public relations and educational efforts that raise awareness to the importance of green efforts and conservation. The companies seek to enhance their profitability, while remaining sensitive to the social landscape around energy and environmental preservation.    

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How to Choose a Divorce Lawyer

If you have been served with divorce papers, you will need to choose a lawyer to represent you in the courtroom. This may be the first time you ever had to hire a lawyer, and you may have no idea what to look for. If you unfortunately need to go through the divorce process, you will need some tips in hiring the right divorce lawyer. Here are some points to consider.

Interviewing Process

You will want to find and interview a few lawyers before jumping into a contract or agreement to hire. It is never a good idea to hire a lawyer without meeting them ahead of time. Call at least three law firms such as Bergermann Law Firm that offer free consultations and make appointments to interview. Make sure to ask questions that are pertinent to your specific case. If you get the wrong vibe right away, then scratch this lawyer off of your list.

Some things you need to ask include:

  • The lawyers hourly rate
  • What the lawyer’s experience includes
  • What is the lawyer’s success rate in divorce cases
  • What resources does the lawyer have available to help your case

Money Screening

You will want to hire someone who is looking out for your best interest, not someone who is more interested in seeing how much money they can charge you. If the lawyer asks you a ton of questions and seems genuinely interested in your case, it is a good indication that they may be a decent lawyer. If they start bringing up a lot of scenarios with extra fees that would be needed, they may be in it for the money. 

Some Red Flags

If the prospective lawyer divulges any information using names of people they have represented before, that is an sign that they cannot commit to confidentiality. If they seem distracted during the interview, such as looking at paperwork or a cell phone, they will not be right for your case. They may do the same at court. You want someone who gives full attention to what you are saying. 

Making A Decision

Do not sign anything right away; wait to agree to hire the lawyer. You can get caught up in the moment and not think clearly. At least take a day to think about what you have learned during the interview. If you feel positive about what you have discussed, then after a few days give a call back to discuss retaining the lawyer. 

You will want to find someone who communicates with you while giving you the sense that they will handle your case professionally and with your best interest in mind. It is tough to find a lawyer when you are not sure about their ethics in advance. Interviewing and asking about their track record will give you a better sense of how you feel about their representation. 

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