Reinstating your Suspended Driver’s License by Filing Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy LawIf your license has been suspended due to a civil judgment for a car accident and you were responsible for as an uninsured motorist, you may be able to discharge the debt by filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and get your license reinstated. Driving with a suspended driver’s license could lead to criminal charges and additional fees and costs. Under Texas law, if you have a judgment entered against you as a result of a vehicular accident and you did not have any insurance, your license can be suspended until you provide proof that you have paid or are paying the civil judgment. However, if you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, then the judgment is a civil judgment and an unsecured debt that may be dischargeable along with your other general unsecured debt. This is true so long as it not a malicious injury and you were under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.

If the debt arose from a malicious injury or there is a finding that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then the debt must be paid in full through a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan to reinstate your license while your bankruptcy is active. The reinstatement occurs as soon as the bankruptcy is filed, you have met all other criteria regarding the payment of all state license reinstatement fees, and a copy of an SR-22 (Financial Responsibility Certificate) has been provided.

If your license has been suspended under these circumstances, do not hesitate to contact our office to review your situation and determine if you qualify for reinstatement. Driving is a privilege, not a right, but all is not lost if you cannot pay the civil judgment against you for a vehicle accident that occurred while you were uninsured and you qualify for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing.

Did You Receive Workers’ Compensation Money Benefits in 2017?

Workers’ CompensationNo worries! The money benefits are exempt from taxes if they are paid under a workers’ compensation act or statute. Any amounts you receive as workers’ compensation for an occupational sickness or injury are fully exempt. If you return to work after qualifying for workers’ compensation, the income from working, even if it’s light duty, is taxable.

What if you worked for part of the year, then due to your work comp injury stopped working for the remainder of the year? You can expect your usual tax documents for the period of time you did work (i.e. W-2, 1099), but as stated above, workers’ compensation benefits are not considered taxable income.

Most injured workers in the State of Texas are paid by an insurance carrier that provided Workers’ Compensation coverage to the injured worker’s employer. If you are unsure, you can call the Division of Workers’ Compensation at 1.800.252.7031, or check with the insurance carrier that is paying, or has paid, your benefits. This exemption also applies to survivors or beneficiaries.

Bottom line, you do not include any money received from workers’ compensation benefits as income for IRS purposes.

The Only Thing Constant Is Change

Estate PlanningIf you look at an anatomy text from the 18th century you will find that the human body has not changed much in the last 300 years. If you look at a legal text from that period, it will be of little use in guiding you in the 21st century. Every year, either legislation or the interpretation of the law by the courts makes changes to the law. This past year is no exception in the field of Estate Planning and Probate Law.

The question of who will be considered family and who will be considered adverse has been impacted. It has been the law that, former spouses and their family cannot be beneficiaries under a will drafted prior to divorce, nor can they serve as executors, administrators, trustees, or agents. Now, under Estates Code Section 123.151(b) an ex-spouse and their relatives will not receive funds from a joint account with survivorship rights. The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act of the Texas Property Code Chapter 23A changed the law so that under certain circumstances, a co-heir may adversely possess property owned by the other co-heirs. Further, the court in Dampier v. Williams held that an adult cannot be adopted by estoppel. The Legislature made changes to Durable Powers of Attorney and Medical Powers of Attorney.

So, now what? Well, there is a possibility that none of these changes impact you in any way. Do not freak, thinking that your powers of attorney have been rendered void because of a change in the statute. However, do not assume that old documents, out of state documents, downloaded or copied from a friend’s documents, will work when you need them most. The prudent course of action is to review your documents every few years or in case of a major life change; birth, death, disability, divorce, etc.

Do you know a major law firm where the head of the Estate Planning and Probate Section will personally handle your case? We do! Mr. Bailey (817) 359-7001.

DACA Reinstated, For Now, But Dreamers Still Left Hanging

Immigration LawOn January 13, 2018, the federal government, under a federal court order, reinstated the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for certain individuals who currently hold or previously held DACA. DACA provides temporary protection from deportation and work authorization for qualifying individuals and was rescinded by the Trump administration on September 5, 2017. Now, however, the DACA policy that reigns is the one that was in effect prior to rescission, which is a breath of fresh air for many DACA-mented individuals who were left with no status or whose status expiration loomed in the future. This is also a breath of fresh air for employers employing individuals with DACA.

The Trump administration is appealing the federal court order that reinstated DACA. It is very important that those who now qualify to renew DACA apply as soon as possible. Below are the guidelines in effect:

  • Individuals whose DACA status expired on or after September 5, 2017, may now file a renewal request with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Individuals whose DACA expired before September 5, 2017, or whose DACA was previously terminated, may request DACA. However, the request must be filed as an initial request with all of the supporting evidence showing the person meets the DACA eligibility requirements as initially laid out by the Obama administration in the June 2012 memo.
  • Individuals who never received DACA may not submit a renewal or an initial request.

The bipartisan Dream Act was first introduced in 2001. Congress still has not acted to protect this group of young people even though the majority of constituents and members of Congress support measures to protect Dreamers. Many individuals held hope that the latest government shut down would fuel Congress to finally act, but the latest deal did not address the Dream Act and instead moved it to the Senate’s February agenda. Not only are Dreamers standing by for Congress to act, but they also hold hope that when Congress does act, it will be by passing a “clean” Dream Act. So, what options are on the table? Below is a list of proposed legislation affecting Dreamers.

 
The 2017 Dream Act has the most bipartisan support. It provides a pathway, albeit a long pathway, to citizenship for Dreamers who came to the country before the age of eighteen, have been physically present in the United States for at least four years, meet certain educational requirements, have not been convicted of certain enumerated crimes, and who are not subject to certain grounds of “inadmissibility” listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Such qualifying individuals may apply to become Conditional Permanent Residents (CPR). Then, after complying with another list of conditions, including meeting a developmental milestone, such as obtaining a college degree, two years of service in the military, or three years of employment, the CPR may apply for the coveted “green card” or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status. Once the individual has been an LPR for five years, he or she becomes eligible to naturalize to become a U.S. citizen.

 
The BRIDGE Act does not provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients, but allows individuals who came to the United States before 16 years of age and who were born on or after June 15, 1981, to apply provisional protected presence (PPP). The individual must also comply with certain educational, physical presence, and security requirements. PPP is valid for three years after the date of enactment of the BRIDGE Act.

 
The American Hope Act of 2017 provides a pathway to citizenship by allowing those who entered the country before the age of 18, have not been convicted of a crime which makes him or her inadmissible, and who have continuous physical presence in the United States since December 31, 2016, to apply for CPR status. After three years in CPR status, the applicant may then apply for LPR status. Once the applicant has obtained five years in status (CPR or LPR) he or she may then apply to naturalize to become a U.S. citizen. There is no education or employment requirement in the Hope Act.

 
The Recognizing America’s Children Act provides a pathway to citizenship by allowing those who entered the U.S. prior to the age of 16, received a high school diploma or went to college, have employment authorization, and who have not been convicted of certain crimes to apply for CPR status. After five years in CPR status, individuals may apply to extend such status if they meet certain requirements including graduating from an institution of higher education, working for 48 months, or being on active duty for at least three years. Once CPR status is renewed, the CPR may then apply for LPR status. After five years in LPR status, the individual may then apply for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.

 
The SUCCEED Act provides a pathway to citizenship by allowing individuals who entered the country before the age of 16, were born after June 15, 1981, and have been physically present in the United States since 2012 to apply for CPR status. CPR status will be granted for five years. To qualify for naturalization, the CPR must be in CPR status for 10 years, then apply for LPR status, then be in LPR status for another five years. While the individual is in LPR status, he or she may not petition for family members, which is a benefit all other LPRs enjoy. An additional downfall is that if the individual accepts CPR status and subsequently violates such status and is placed in removal (deportation) proceedings, he or she must agree to waive most forms of relief from removal.
 
For now, though, Dreamers wait and hope for favorable legislation.

What Happens to Social Security Benefits during a Government Shutdown?

Social Security LawWhile the government re-opened on January 23rd, 2018 following a brief shutdown that commenced on January 19th, 2018, the continuing budget resolution passed by Congress only funded the government through February 8th, 2018, at which time the nation may face another government shutdown.

Clients often ask, “What happens to my benefits during a government shutdown?”

First and foremost, your benefits under both SSI and SSDI programs will continue uninterrupted during a government shutdown. Same with survivor benefits, child benefits, and retirement benefits. A shutdown only affects funds annually appropriated by Congress, not funding that is sustained long-term. The Social Security trust fund is paid for through a combination of taxes and long-term investments, and thus not subject to the shutdown.

For the military and veterans, VA disability payments, survivor benefit plan (SBP) payments, and retiree payments would all be made because those funds also come from non-annual appropriations.

According to the 2017 contingency plan, Social Security Field Offices will continue processing applications and appeals during a government shutdown. Similarly, any hearings in front of administrative law judges will continue to take place as scheduled.

Other services provided by Social Security including social security card centers, benefit verifications, and status checks will not be available during a government shutdown.

The 2017 contingency plan provided by the social security only covered the first five days of a potential shut down. If a shutdown lasts longer than five days, it is possible more SSA employees would face furlough and there would be a greater impact on the services provided.

“It’s not the stuff we know that’s a problem. It’s what we know that’s wrong!”

Family LawThis summer I attended the Advanced Family Law Course as I do most years. However, this year my wife attended with me. I was struck by something she said. At one point, we were watching one of the seminars and she commented “This is a lot more complicated than I ever knew!” She is right, it is.

Often, people come into the office after attempting to filing their own divorce using the forms promulgated by one of the companies that publish them. The forms are almost always not appropriate to your situation. If you think it costs a lot to hire an attorney to handle your divorce, I assure you it costs a LOT more money to hire one to “fix” your divorce.

People often say that in a divorce you simply split the property 50–50. WRONG! The marital estate is to be divided by the court in a “Just and right manner taking into consideration the circumstances and needs of the parties.” You also must consider the characterization of the property. Is it separate? Is it community? Is there a reimbursement claim? Were community funds used to enhance the separate estate? Does one of the parties have a considerable separate estate and the community estate is minimal? Does the other party lack sufficient funds or ability to support themselves? Is one of the spouses disabled? Are there “fault” grounds such as adultery, family violence, cruel treatment? You do not simply split things 50–50, the division of the estate depends on many factors.

People also frequently think child support is simply applying a mathematical formula to income. Again, this is WRONG. The mathematical formula is the BEGINNING of the process to calculate child support. After that, we examine whether there are other factors to be considered. Does a child have a disability or other special needs? Is there a considerable expense required to exercise possession and access? Does one of the spouses incur an expense for special activities? Do the medical expenses for health insurance and the other medical expenses exceed what are “reasonable” (currently defined as greater than 9% of gross income). These are a few of the things for the court and the parties to consider in setting an appropriate amount of child support.

Possession and access does not need to be simply the “Standard Possession Schedule.” We instead examine the party’s schedule and consider the age and needs of the children. The “Standard Possession Schedule” is just the presumptive MINIMUM amount of visitation given to the visiting parent.

NOTHING ABOUT DIVORCE IS COOKIE CUTTER. EVERY CASE IS DIFFERENT. You NEED an experienced attorney who not only practices Family law exclusively or primarily, but one who practices in the area where your case is pending.

Assault Charges—Dropped, Dismissed or Reduced?

Criminal LawUnder the state laws in Texas, you can be charged with criminal assault under three circumstances:

  • You intentionally threatened another person with physical harm
  • You intentionally engaged in provocative or offensive physical contact with another person
  • You recklessly or intentionally caused another person injury or physical harm

An assault charge can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, based on a number of factors, including the extent of the injury caused, whether you were using a deadly weapon, and the status of the victim. For example, assault upon an elderly or disabled person, or on a public servant, will be treated differently from other assaults on other categories of victims. The penalties can range from a $500 fine to $10,000 in fines, and can result in life in prison for the most serious types of assault.

The Disposition of Your Assault Charge

If you want to minimize the consequences of an assault charge, there are three different ways that you can resolve an assault charge—you can have it dropped, dismissed or reduced. Here are the differences and what you need to know.

A charge is dropped when the prosecutor chooses not to move forward with a particular case. Prosecutors generally have discretion over those cases they choose to litigate. A prosecutor may opt to drop the charges for a variety of reasons, including lack of evidence or lack of resources. A prosecutor may lose a key witness or opt not to prosecute for a first time offense. A prosecutor may also agree to drop charges if you cooperate in an investigation. There are two things you need to understand, however, about having charges dropped: it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get a prosecutor to agree without the intervention of skilled legal counsel; and it will be extremely difficult to do so if you’ve already pled guilty. It’s also important to understand that, as a practical matter, assault charges won’t necessarily be dropped because the victim recants or requests that they be dropped. The prosecutor has final discretion and must ensure that there’s no coercion or undue influence causing the recantation.

A case is dismissed by the presiding judge. The judge may dismiss for some of the same reasons a prosecutor chooses to drop charges. The judge may conclude that the prosecution has not provided sufficient evidence to continue, or the judge may dismiss charges because it’s your first offense. A case may be dismissed with or without “prejudice.” This refers to the right of the prosecutor to re-initiate prosecution at some point in the future. If your case is dismissed without prejudice (for lack of evidence, for example), the prosecutor retains the right to reinstitute criminal proceedings in the future (should new evidence be found, for example). However, the prosecutor will still be governed by the statute of limitations.

Charges are typically reduced as part of a plea bargain. With a plea bargain, you typically agree to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for avoiding the time, expense and potential consequences of a trial. There are many factors that go into determining whether a specific plea is in your best interest. As a result, it’s essential that you be represented by competent criminal defense counsel.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a FREE initial consultation to every client. For an appointment with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What to Do If You Are Hurt in an 18-Wheeler Accident

Personal Injury LawData collected by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) supports what most Americans already know—the number of 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, semis, big rigs and commercial over-the-road vehicles motoring across the country’s highways continues to increase every year. It’s also no surprise that, given the size of the state of Texas, the interstates that weave throughout the Lone Star State and the state’s healthy industrial and manufacturing base, that Texas sees more large truck accidents than just about any other jurisdiction.

When you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving a large commercial truck, there are specific steps you need to take to protect your legal rights. Here’s a checklist to help you do the right thing:

  • Get the medical care that you and your passengers need—The most important immediate concern is your health. In a collision with a big truck, injuries are often catastrophic. Don’t try to minimize your injuries and don’t try to be strong. If you can’t move under your own power, wait until emergency responders arrive. If you need to go to the hospital in an ambulance, do so.
  • Move to a safe place, if reasonable—A large truck can take up most or all of the road, and leaving your vehicles where they are can put you at further risk or jeopardize the safety of others. Look for a place nearby where you can get off the road safely. If you can do so without risking further injury, do so. In most instances, accident reconstruction can be done even if vehicles are moved.
  • Call law enforcement officers—You’ll want a police report on the accident. In addition, police officers can ensure public safety during the cleanup after the accident.
  • Take pictures of everything—You don’t need a fancy camera—the camera on your phone will suffice. Get pictures of anything potentially related to the accident, from the damage to all vehicles and any injuries sustained due to weather conditions, roadway defects, skid marks and nearby traffic signs or signals.
  • Gather information from all parties involved, as well as potential witnesses. You’ll want all the necessary information to allow your attorney to find and contact those parties, including name, phone number, address and e-mail address. You’ll also want the driver’s DOT number, as well as insurance information from all drivers involved in the accident.
  • Say as little as possible—A common mistake people make after a truck accident—they talk too much and may say something that can be construed as admitting fault. Answer the police officer’s questions as factually as you can.
  • Hire an attorney—The sooner you retain legal counsel, the less risk that evidence will be lost, that witnesses will disappear or their memories will fade.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a FREE initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

What to Do If You Are Hit by a Drunk Driver this Holiday Season?

Personal Injury LawChristmas and New Years—the time of “good cheer.” Unfortunately, too often that “cheer” comes in a bottle or a glass and too often it leads to disastrous results. Alcohol, after all, is a depressant—it will make you tired and it will slow down your reaction time. It is no surprise, then, that four out of every ten nationwide traffic fatalities during the holidays involve drunk drivers. But what if you have had the good fortune (if you want to call it that) to have been in a holiday crash with a drunk driver and survived. What steps should you take to protect yourself?

Contact the Authorities

In the aftermath of any motor vehicle accident, you want to contact the police, but it is particularly important to do so when the other driver is intoxicated. If you seek damages in a court of law, the jury will base its ruling on a finding of fault. If you can introduce evidence in court that the other driver was drunk, that is powerful evidence of fault. In addition to the arrest record, you may also have testimony gathered by police officers.

Get Medical Care

Whether you have to leave the scene in an ambulance or are able to drive away under your own power, you want to seek medical care as soon as possible. Often, the most debilitating injuries are the ones you cannot see and that take a couple days to manifest. For example, if you have strained muscles, you may not notice it very much at first, but may be in significant discomfort in a day or two. It is important that you get immediate medical care, that you tell the doctor exactly what happened, and where you feel any pain or discomfort. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that opposing attorneys will argue your injuries were either not severe or were caused by an intervening event.

Identify Potentially Responsible Parties

Often, the biggest challenge after an accident involving a drunk driver is getting compensation for your injuries. It is a fact that many drunk drivers are repeat offenders and are often driving without adequate insurance or without insurance at all. In such a situation, you should look first to your own insurance policy, to determine if you have a rider for “uninsured or underinsured motorists.” Insurance companies are required to offer this in most states, but you should not expect them to tell you that you have coverage—get an attorney to do that for you.
Another potential source of recovery is the person or establishment that served the alcohol. In most states, if the person being served was visibly or obviously intoxicated when served the alcohol, or was served a quantity that would reasonably cause intoxication, the person and/or the establishment may have liability. That can also hold true for social hosts at private parties.
Other potential sources of recovery include:

  • There may have been roadway defects that caused the accident
  • There may have been defects in your vehicle or the at-fault party’s vehicle that caused the accident
  • There may have been wrongdoing by a third party that contributed to the accident

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas Personal Injury Attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Watch the Holiday Cheer!! DUI Enforcement is Up at the Holidays

Criminal LawIt’s the holiday season—time for Christmas and New Years parties. That usually means a few beers or a couple of cocktails. But you want to be particularly careful this time of year. Law enforcement officials are aware of the increase in parties and partying around the holidays, and typically beef up their DUI and DWI enforcement to try to ensure a higher level of public safety.

Tips for Avoiding a DUI This Holiday Season

The most obvious solution to avoid a drunk driving arrest after a Christmas or New Years party? Don’t drink and drive:

  • Find an alcohol free holiday drink—Leave the booze out of the eggnog this year or sip on some non-alcoholic champagne. Consider that it’s the company that makes the party, not the liquor. You can celebrate without drinking.
  • Volunteer to be the designated driver—You’ll be a hero with your friends and you’ll know that you won’t be riding in a vehicle with a drunk driver

But let’s say you really want to have a toddy or two—you can still do that and be safe. It may be a simple matter of pacing yourself, understanding your capacity to absorb alcohol. You can bring your own designated driver, or arrange to stay at a nearby hotel, or with a friend. Another good option—call a cab or use mass transit to get home. Here’s what won’t work, though—no amount of coffee or food will sober you up; only time can do that.

Other Ways to Minimize the Risk of a DUI

If you’ve had a few drinks and have no choice to get on the road, there are still a few tips to help minimize the risk of being pulled over:

  • Turn your cell phone off until you get home—Even when you haven’t had a few drinks, your phone is a distraction. In fact, the National Safety Council says that more than 1.5 million accidents, and 330,000 injuries every year are tied to cell phone use by drivers.
  • Practice safe driving techniques—Pay close attention to traffic signs and signals and obey the laws. There’s no rush to get home, but don’t drive way below the speed limit, either, as that will draw the attention of law enforcement officials.
  • Maintain your vehicle—Too many drunk driving arrests result from poor vehicle maintenance. The police only need reasonable cause to pull you over. If your tail light is broken or your turn signal doesn’t work, that’s a motor vehicle infraction and you can be stopped. Never put off even minor vehicle maintenance.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Estate PlanningThere are a great many ideas that fill the holiday season. Manger scenes are meant to remind us of the incarnation celebrated by Christians. The Jewish Hanukkah celebration symbolized by the menorah. The television commercials, the hustle and bustle and the desperation that sometimes accompanies it. The nostalgic seasonal specials and the programs that present the year in review. I am reminded more frequently as the years pass of the fleeting nature of time. Our lives are described as a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. With shorter days we are called to contemplation and renewed priorities. With the coming of the new year we resolve to act consistently with those priorities. My advice is to value time over money and to invest both wisely.

May this season bring you time well spent with friends and family.

We look forward to working with you in 2018!

Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you.

Child Custody During the Holidays

Family LawIt seems every year about this time people lose their minds. The Possession and Access schedule listed on most Divorces and Suits Affecting the Parent Child Relationship list a holiday schedule. Every year people seem to have trouble understanding of following it.

There are a few things to keep in mind.

  1. The object of the order is to ensure BOTH parents get to participate in raising the child. The Child will almost always benefit from spending time with both parents. – Sec. 153.001.  PUBLIC POLICY.  (a)  The public policy of this state is to:

(1)  assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child;

(2)  provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child;  and

(3)  encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.

    (b)  A court may not render an order that conditions the right of a conservator to possession of or access to a child on the payment of child support.

 

  1. If you and your EX agree to something that is ALWAYS OK, even if it varies from the Standard Possession and Access Order – Sec. 153.311.  MUTUAL AGREEMENT OR SPECIFIED TERMS FOR POSSESSION.  The court shall specify in a standard possession order that the parties may have possession of the child at times mutually agreed to in advance by the parties and, in the absence of mutual agreement, shall have possession of the child under the specified terms set out in the standard possession order.

  1. The Holiday schedule applies no matter what the distance between the parties.  – Sec. 153.314.  HOLIDAY POSSESSION UNAFFECTED BY DISTANCE PARENTS RESIDE APART.  The following provisions govern possession of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without regard to the distance the parents reside apart.  The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows:

  1. The Holiday schedule supersedes weekend visitation – See 153.314 above.

Holiday visitations work on an odd year/even year basis – e.g. 153.314 (1)  the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years;

(2)  the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;

Now perhaps this is too basic but here goes. This is 2017. 2017 is an odd number. Thus, unless the parties agree to something else the parent the child lives with most of the time would have from the time school lets out for Christmas Break until noon on December 28 and the other parent would have from noon December 28 until 6:00 p.m. the day before school resumes. Next year, 2018, is an even numbered year and so the holiday possession schedule flips.

  1. Lastly, as unpleasant as it is, if one of the parents disobeys the court’s order there is little that can be done about it right now. This time of the year Courts, just like everyone else take off. The police department generally can not do anything to enforce your possession and access. Attempt to resolve your disagreements with your EX. If you can’t, keep a log of what all happened and after the new year, contact an attorney to possibly file a Motion to Enforce and seek makeup time.

Contact Us

To set up a free initial consultation, contact us online or call us at 844-402-2992. For your convenience, we answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We will meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.

HOW DO I BRING MY FIANCÉ INTO THE UNITED STATES?

ImmigrationThis winter, a sizable number of clients became engaged. Namely, to foreigners that they met on business trips, study abroad programs, or arranged marriages. No matter the reason, they all come to an immigration attorney to ask the same question: How do I bring my fiancé into the United States?

The answer is deceptively simple. One may bring a fiancé over on what is called the K-1 Visa, or otherwise known as the Fiancé Visa. The love ridden United States citizen can fill out a Form I-129F, and send it in with evidentiary documentation and a money order to United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). While the process, on the exterior, is not complicated, it is in fact time consuming, emotionally draining, and will test the strength the couple’s love and relationship months before the actual marriage.

The K-1 Visa process to immigrate a loved one into the United States is long one. There are three parts to the K-1 process. First, the Form I-129F must be approved by USCIS. USCIS approval normally takes anywhere between four to six months. Also note that the Form I-129F is not the only document sent in; the couple must prove that it is a bonafide engaged, meaning that, in most cases, a lot of evidence must be sent in. This includes, but is not limited to, pictures, emails, letters, divorce decrees of prior marriages, birth certificates, etc… This step, however, only recognizes the bonafide relationship. The foreign fiancé must obtain permission to travel to the United States, and must complete the second step.

After USCIS approval, the second step is applying for the K-1 Visa with the Department of State at the Consulate/Embassy of the foreign fiancé. This process, before Department of State approval, generally takes two to three months. The foreign fiancé will apply for the K-1 Visa at the Consulate/Embassy abroad, and submit documentation such as civil identity documentation, medical exam documentation (from a doctor approved by the Consulate/Embassy), and, again, proof of the bonafide relationship. The foreign fiancé will also need to undergo a consulate interview with a Department of State officer. This second step gives permission to travel to the United States, but does not grant admission into the United States. For admission into the United States, one must complete the third step.

The foreign fiancé will now need to arrive in the United States and seek admission at a port of entry (i.e., DFW Airport). CBP will conduct biometrics, check background information, and conduct an interview of the foreign fiancé. Once finally admitted, the couple has 90 days to marry.

The K-1 Visa process is long and emotionally draining. Therefore it is not a surprise that a lot of couples separate while the process is ongoing. The K-1 Visa is only the beginning. After marriage, the foreign fiancé must adjust status through USCIS and also possibly remove conditions from their green card. These processes also take a long time. It is highly recommended that the couple hire an experienced immigration attorney to guide them through the K-1 Visa Process.

Contact Us

At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To set up an appointment with an experienced Texas immigration law attorney, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Payment of Retroactive Benefits.

Social Security DisabilitySSI claimants are often disappointed when they learn that their past due benefits will be paid in installments after a finding of disability. Often times it can take a full year for social security to pay all the money owed. However there are circumstances that can effectuate an acceleration of the payment of past due benefits.

Since many SSI claimants accrue debt while awaiting their disability determination social security’s rules allow for the accelerated payment of past due benefits, if the claimant can show that the debt is related to medically necessary services or expenses. The definition of “medically necessary ” is construed broadly and varies from office to office, however it can include, a car to travel to appointment, a cell phone to contact providers, and a computer to access records or my SSA account.
Similarly, if a claimant can show accrued debt or upcoming expenses related to the acquisition of food, clothing, or shelter (including rent and mortgage) social security can expedite the payment of the lump sum settlement. Lastly the payment of past due benefits can also be accelerated in circumstances where the claimant has expenses related to the purchase of a home.
The acceleration of benefits is only allowed in circumstances where the expenses will not be reimbursed by another public program, insurance policy, or other method.

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