Guiding You Through Divorce

divorce

Last month I wrote about all of the Paperwork involved in finishing up a divorce. Among the things you must do is visit with an Estate Planning attorney. Mr. Bailey’s article this month will cover that. I also suggest that you visit with a counselor. Whether secular or a practitioner of a faith tradition I believe counseling is very important in divorce. In fact it is probably just as important as in times of death. Research tells us that the grief is the same in the ending of a marriage as in a death. An attorney and client relationship is unique. It involves a special trust. The attorney is charged with carrying out (within the bounds of the law) the client’s wishes. But we are also charged with COUNSELING the client. What I have learned over the course of my practice is when you’re grieving you don’t make very good decisions. Things that wouldn’t ordinarily bother you are suddenly over-whelming. I honestly think that is one of the reasons for having an attorney. Yes, we went to … [Read more...]

Update on Sanctuary Cities in Texas

immigration

Here is the latest on the Sanctuary Cities law in Texas. On May 8th, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, signed the ban on Sanctuary Cities law in Texas. It will begin on September 1, 2017. This law sets the criminal and civil penalties for local governments who do not comply with Immigration laws and detention requests. The law would fine these governments up to $25,500 a day in which the law is violated. Sheriffs, constables, and police chiefs who do not comply with detention requests can be charged with a misdemeanor. Elected and appointed officials can be removed from office. The Governor has stated that public safety is the top priority. He feels it is inexcusable to allow individuals out of jail who are not here legally and committing crimes such as sexual assault, robbery, or domestic violence. The Governor has also stated the Texas bill had been tested and approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. The argument against this law is based on racial profiling for untrained … [Read more...]

HANDLE WITH CARE

handlewithcare

Perhaps you have seen “HANDLE WITH CARE” stenciled on the outside of a container or crate. If you’re like me you may have tried to child-proof a room or dealt with the consequences of placing an item in harms’ way. As we get older we accumulate more stuff and take on more responsibility for securing things of value. Let me suggest three basic questions to ask when safeguarding what you value: 1. WHAT ARE MY PRIORITIES? Really think about what you value and how you want to use it. It may be a collection or collectible. It may be the education of loved ones or gifting to my favorite school. It may be travel, digging water wells, helping to eradicate hunger or disease. For many of us it is having enough to keep from being a burden to our children. Note that priorities change over the years and that your plan should change with them. WHO DO I TRUST? What family members or friends do I trust to execute my plan? Who does the right thing without supervision, when no one is looking? … [Read more...]

What Are the Most Frequent Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

Accident

Knowing the Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents Can Help You Ride Safer Motorcyclists have long been at much greater risk of accident and injury on the nation's roadways, with a fatality rate more than 30 times that of other motorists. Some of it comes with the territory—the freedom that you feel on a bike also puts you at greater risk of serious injury. But many accidents are caused by recognizable behaviors by other drivers. Knowing those behaviors can help you drive more defensively and may keep you safe. Here are the common causes of motorcycle accidents, Failure to Look Ahead The vast majority of car-motorcycle crashes (78%) involve motor vehicles that either turn into the path of a bike or fail to yield to a motorcyclist who's turning. These collisions are more often than not deadly, accounting for nearly 60% of all motorcycle accident fatalities. Additionally, more than 50% of these collisions occur when the driver of a truck or car turns left into the path of an … [Read more...]

Somebody is Watching Me!

watchingme

Be very wary of the lone vehicle parked nearby that shows up out of nowhere. The insurance carrier will stop at no means to "catch" you in the act of daily living. Anything to show that you aren't really THAT hurt. They hire private investigators to talk to your neighbors about your activities, they will troll through social media to see if Injured Johnny is really a Good Time Charlie. You have to live and carry on in your daily life. Things such as going to the grocery store, getting fuel, dropping kids off at school - all acts of daily living. You have to do these things regardless! The problem with the videos, is they don't lie. It IS what it IS. There is no arguing what's caught on tape, and trust me, they are looking to catch you on tape! Also, they are trying to test your credibility: if you are supposed to be using crutches, they are going to try and catch you walking normal and not using crutches. If you feel that the investigator is encroaching on your personal space, then … [Read more...]

Sealing Criminal History Information from the General Public

nondisclosure

NONDISCLOSURE - Determining Eligibility Flow Chart: For Offenses Occurring Before 09-01-2015: 1. GENERAL ELIGIBILITY: Was person placed on deferred community supervision (probation) and completed probation and case dismissed and discharged from probation and has not received a conviction or probation (except a traffic offense probation or conviction) during the probation and during waiting period if applicable. 2. IS THE OFFENSE ELIGIBLE? Some Offenses Are Prohibited Generally: Offenses not eligible if the person is requesting nondisclosure for the following offenses or has ever been convicted or placed on probation for the any of the following offenses: * Any Offense Requiring The Person To Register As Sex Offender Under Chapter 62 Of Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure. * Aggravated Kidnapping * Murder * Capital Murder * Trafficking Of Person * Continuous Trafficking Of Person * Injury To Child/elderly/disabled * Abandoning/endangering Child * Violation Of Court Orders … [Read more...]

H.A.L.T.

Estate Planning

In her article “Client Self-Defense Against Abuse, Disputes, and Neglect,” Renee C. Lovelace reminds us of an acronym describing risk factors for becoming a victim of scams. H.A.L.T. refers to the risk saturated circumstances of being overly hungry, angry, lonely, and /or tired. While hunger tends to be a time to avoid grocery shopping and fatigue impacts all of us, the other two are especially big players in how older folks are manipulated. Anger can make us vulnerable to those who seek to encourage our vindictive nature and play on our hurt feelings. Perhaps a sibling will seek to use her sister’s infrequent visits to Dad to prompt him to cut her out of the will. It may be that a subsequent spouse has discouraged her husband’s children from visiting or even forbidden it, and then leverages that hurt into long term changes to an estate plan. This ties in to the issue of loneliness. When we are cut off from social interaction and fellowship, when we are lonely, we are always more … [Read more...]

CONDITIONAL PERMANENT RESIDENT vs PERMANENT RESIDENT

Immigration Law

Permanent residency can be obtained by immigrants who marry U.S. Citizens. This is a green card renewable every 10 years. There are also cases in which the foreign spouse is given what is called “Conditional Permanent Residency” status. In short, this is only a temporary 2-year residency card that cannot be renewed. If you are given the conditional permanent residency, how do you become a permanent resident? Well it is important to understand what must be done prior to the expiration of the conditional permanent residency. There is an application that must be submitted to USCIS in order to remove those conditions and become a permanent legal resident. What if your family situation has changed since your conditional permanent residency was granted? There are many family circumstances that may alter or affect the application process of removing conditions. Such changes include a divorce, abuse or battery, or death of a spouse. It is important to review these changes with an … [Read more...]

The Paperwork

Family Law

As gut-wrenching as a divorce can be, once the court signs the decree you're only half done. You have to file paperwork with the Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Texas Department of Public Safety Drivers License Bureau, Social Security and so many others. One of the main things I think people frequently overlook is their will, any family trusts, your insurance documents, and car titles. I will admit right out of the gate, I am not a probate lawyer. Mr. Bailey is an excellent probate lawyer. From my conversations with him when a divorce happens the beneficiaries, executors, almost EVERYTHING in a will gets treated as though the former spouse died. Add to that some of the property listed in the will may well be community property that was disposed of in the divorce. As a family law lawyer, I just can't stress strongly enough once the divorce is final the very next appointment you need to make is with probate lawyer Mr. Bailey. In the last year I have had two clients die either … [Read more...]

Protect Your Legal Rights—Seek Medical Care Immediately after a Car Accident

Personal Injury

When you've been in any type of a motor vehicle accident, whether it's a minor collision or a high-speed crash, you want to protect your legal rights. One of the most important steps to do just that is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In some instances, you may not have a choice. If you can't move without pain, don't try to. Wait until emergency responders arrive and let them determine whether you need to go to the hospital in an ambulance. Even if you can walk away under your own power, you should either drive yourself to an urgent care facility or immediately schedule an appointment with your personal physician. One of the primary reasons you want to seek immediate medical treatment—it's the best way to ensure a thorough and accurate diagnosis, and, consequently, the most effective way to make certain you maximize your recovery from injury. With many injuries, the sooner you begin to treat them, the less potential there is for long term ramifications. For example, … [Read more...]