Ways That a Child Custody Attorney Can Help You

When you’re looking to address child custody issues, strong, knowledgeable, and skilled legal support can help to improve your case while protecting your rights and interests. Child custody naturally triggers confusion, ill-executed communication, misunderstandings, and strong emotions. Disputes between parents and other parties are not only commonplace but can hinder an interested party’s chances of receiving the desired outcome. Let’s explore how custody lawyers can help with your child custody case.

Information About Parental Rights

One way that custody lawyers can help with your child custody case is by providing you with current and detailed information about parental rights. Your custody attorneys are well versed in the laws that help to govern your state. They stay abreast of any changes in laws as well as parental rights. While you may be unfamiliar with the applicable laws, your Bismarck, ND custody lawyers aren’t. They can provide you with the most accurate and precise information about physical custody, legal custody, and more. You’ll have a sound framework, knowledge base, and understanding of North Dakota’s custody laws. The more you know, the better your case will be.

Child Support Payments

In the aftermath of a divorce, a divorce attorney for the opposite party may have spearheaded a plan of payments that you must make. Perhaps you have some questions or issues regarding those child support payments. Your North Dakota custody lawyers will examine all aspects of your case, ensuring that the child support payments you’ve been ordered to make are fair and accurate.

While the state of North Dakota has certain guidelines that determine what’s owed to a child, your Bismarck custody lawyers may be able to help you reduce your payments. With your North Dakota custody lawyer team by your side, you may be able to achieve a better and more suitable outcome. Legal representation will also be paramount should you qualify for an income adjustment or you have to expose hidden income from opposing parties.

Sound Legal Strategy

In over 50% of custody decisions, both parents come to an agreement that the mother should become the custodial parent. However, this may not be how you feel in regard to your particular custody case. You, as a guardian, grandparent, foster parent, father, or other party involved in the welfare of the child, may feel that you should be awarded custody instead of the mother. You can share your reasons with your North Dakota custody lawyers.

You may be able to provide a sound argument as to why you should be awarded custody. Your Bismarck legal team will be able to devise the best legal strategy to help you win custody. Your North Dakota team will examine all of the circumstances surrounding your case, prepare, and provide the strongest custody petition with supportive evidence that helps to demonstrate how your request aligns with the best interests of the minor child.

Coordination of Your Case With Professionals

Did you know that outside professionals may be key in helping to provide your desired outcome in your child custody case? Thanks to the perseverance, expertise, knowledge, and understanding that your North Dakota custody lawyers have, they can call on and work with outside professionals to strengthen your case. This can help you achieve the outcome you want and deserve. While your lawyer works to protect your interests, there may be testimony from an investigator or even a child psychologist that helps you obtain the custody that you desire.

Contact Your Bismarck, ND Custody Lawyers

Navigating through a child custody case can be stressful, confusing, and even intimidating. Your North Dakota custody lawyers have the experience to effectively represent you in your child custody case. With careful analysis of all of the facts, you’ll have a case that will result in the child having a loving and stable home.

Your North Dakota attorney team also specializes in estate planning, divorce, criminal defense, bankruptcy, business and nonprofits, and more. For the help you need for your child custody case, eliminate the confusion, sleepless nights, and uncertainty with one phone call to your North Dakota custody lawyers. You have rights, and your Bismarck attorney team will ensure that they are protected.

Bankruptcy Attorneys’ Insight About the Best Time to File for Divorce and Bankruptcy

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Despite the conventional belief that the divorce rates are declining, the divorce rate in the United States is at an all-time high. Statistics show 50% of all marriages in the country end in separation or divorce. With divorce can come bankruptcy — most people filing for bankruptcy cite divorce as the primary reason for filing. There’s the cost of hiring a divorce attorney, renting a new apartment, court expenses, mortgage payments, the loss of economic efficiencies of being married, among others.

Knowing the right time to file bankruptcy and divorce is critical. It’s commonplace for partners to file bankruptcy before getting a divorce as it speeds up the divorce process. However, couples are not restricted to adhere to specific protocols. Enlisting the help of bankruptcy attorneys should help you determine the best time to file either of the proceedings depending on your circumstances. Here’s an overview of their implications.

Filing for Bankruptcy and Divorce at the Same Time?

Any bankruptcy attorney Bismarck ND trusts will recommend filing bankruptcy before going through a divorce. This is because once you file for bankruptcy for chapters 7 and 13, the court declares an ‘automatic stay.’ The order stops creditors from pursuing debts and freezes your property and assets to allow the bankruptcy court to start sorting out your assets and debt.

Since the hold is effective throughout the bankruptcy process it drags divorce proceedings if filed at the same time. A large part of the divorce process entails dividing assets between spouses. As such, with an automatic stay in place, it’s nearly impossible for the court to access or divide the assets.

Filing Bankruptcy First

You and your spouse can agree to file bankruptcy first. The idea is to allow the partners to share the filing fees and the cost of hiring a bankruptcy lawyer. Filing for bankruptcy before divorce also protects partners from paying a joint debt which is beneficial if the partners own property together.

Filing for Divorce First

This option is ideal if the spouses’ cumulative income is too high to qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Once divorced the spouses can file for bankruptcy individually as their separate incomes may pass the means test. Proper planning also helps remove some assets from the bankruptcy attorneys’ custody. For example, if one of the partners was awarded a house after a divorce, proper title transfer and judgment should protect them from creditors. While at it be sure to follow the right legal process because a bankruptcy trustee can undo illegal transfers using clawback procedures.

Making a Joint Petition

If you’ve decided to file bankruptcy before getting divorced it’d make more sense if you submitted a joint petition. This means the divorcing couple agrees to file bankruptcy together saving them the cost associated with filing individually. Also, the bankruptcy charge eliminates any qualifying debt the couple may have, thereby reducing the issues to be handled during divorce proceedings.

In addition, some jurisdictions allow double exemptions on the assets. Since exemption laws vary from one district to another, it’s crucial to consult a bankruptcy attorney to help you weigh your options. If one of the spouses needs bankruptcy protection urgently, they should approach bankruptcy attorneys and file the petition.

How to File for Bankruptcy

Many bankruptcy lawyers recommend making a petition under Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This is a liquidation bankruptcy for getting rid of unsecured debts like medical bills and credit card debt. Also, Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing eliminates dischargeable debt within 3-6 months allowing spouses to file divorce sooner. By comparison, Chapter 13 provides a 3-5-year payment plan instead of discharging debt dragging the divorce process longer.

There’s a caveat to filing bankruptcy under Chapter 7- the spouses’ incomes should be lower than the state’s median income (stipulated in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Means Test ). If their incomes are higher, the spouses must wait to file for bankruptcy after divorce. However, if the spouses have separated and are living apart and one of them files for bankruptcy, they can deduct household expenses for both apartments to reduce income.

Now you know the best time to file for bankruptcy and divorce. It’s essential to consult bankruptcy attorneys throughout the process as it can get incredibly complicated.

Benefits of Engaging Estate Planning Lawyers When Drafting a Will

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Drafting and updating estate planning documents like the will, health care directives, and trusts is important to ensure your wishes are honored when you die. Research shows 71.6% of Americans die without updating the will leaving their families in unending wrangles. While digital platforms help update one’s will at a low cost, estate planning lawyers still play a critical role. Not only do they help prepare and update this legal document but also execute it upon your demise. Here are more reasons you should engage an estate planning lawyer Bismarck ND.

State Laws Rule Estate Plans

State laws outline what can be included in a will, who can act as a personal representative, the lawyer’s financial power, among other crucial legal factors. For example, Florida state laws require the personal representative to be related to the testator by marriage or blood; if not, a state resident. Many testators are oblivious of this fact and appoint friends and relatives living out of the state to act in this capacity. Engaging estate planning lawyers will help avoid such mistakes.

To Protect Beneficiaries

A while ago, estate planning was popular among wealthy folks. However, the trend has changed as more middle-class families find it important to plan for when their primary breadwinner dies. Even if you’re only leaving a second home, you need to decide who receives the property upon death.

The primary objective of estate planning is to designate heirs for your assets. Without an estate plan, the court will be required to decide who inherits your assets on your behalf. The process can be grueling to your family, not to mention the number of fees racked up.

Enlisting the help of an estate planning lawyer beforehand protects your family from all such problems. The lawyer also helps distribute the property fairly as they are more acquainted with the family.

Update Legal Documents When Necessary

Wills need to be updated to reflect changes in your financial status. If the documents are ready, estate planning lawyers review them carefully to determine areas that need to be updated. Some wills need a simple codicil while others require a thorough re-evaluation to reduce estate taxes or avoid probate.

Ensure the Document Complies with the Existing Law

Enlisting the help of an estate planning attorney ensures your documents are drafted according to the current state law. Trust laws change from time to time, hence working with a lawyer ensures your plan fits the parameter of the state law.

Documents are Drafted and Executed Professionally

While online wills or fill-in-the-blank provide a quick fix to hiring an estate planner to draft the will, they may not have the legal backing. The platform only provides information on how to make the document valid.

One of the features that make a will valid is witnesses; online templates can’t account for their presence. In addition, the witnesses need to attest that they saw other witnesses sign. Estate planning attorneys help draft the document professionally and customize it to specific situations and goals. Also, they help make the documents official, arrange for witnesses, and notarize public signatures.

Get Legal Advice Regarding Asset Titling

A common misconception about wills is that they cover all your assets automatically. On the contrary, some types of beneficiary designations on assets like life insurance are inherited independently unless you take steps to make them work together.

Engaging estate planning lawyers should help you review the assets, retitle the accounts and property, and change the beneficiary designations. This often-overlooked step helps avoid the time-consuming probate proceedings upon the death of the testator.

Deal with Complex Family Situations

Estate planning is not always smooth sailing in the event of certain complex family situations like:

  • The testator is in a second marriage
  • You have more than one business
  • You want to donate all or some of your property to charity
  • You have property in more than one state
  • You have substantial assets in IRAs and 401(k)s

All such situations can’t be addressed by drafting a will via online platforms. The testator should consider enlisting the help of a lawyer to address the complexities of the situation. Otherwise, the state’s department of revenue and the probate lawyer may receive the largest chunk of the estate.

What You Should Know About Child Custody

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Divorce takes a heavy toll not only on the two partners but also on the children. Child custody is one of the most important issues in a divorce because it has far-reaching consequences on the child’s emotional growth and psychological well-being. Although every parent wants what’s best for the child’s current and future well-being, it’s not always easy to agree 100% on all the issues. Luckily, a custody attorney will help a divorcing couple settle contentious issues regarding child guardianship.

Before we dive into the factors that influence child custody decisions, it’s important to know the different types of child custody agreements.

Legal Custody

Legal custody gives a parent the right and responsibility to make major decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions are critical to a child’s social welfare. Such decisions include the school the child attends, religious upbringing, medical treatment, sports, and social events that the child attends. In North Dakota, legal custody is known as decision-making responsibility. Both parents may have legal custody of the child. This means that they must consult each other when making decisions for the child. But when only one parent has legal custody, they don’t need to consult the other parent when making decisions. Aspects of legal care may change from state to state. A custody attorney in Bismarck, North Dakota, will help you understand all legal custody aspects.

Physical Custody

Physical custody designates one parent who lives with the child on a full-time basis. In this case, the child lives with one parent most of the time, while the other parent is granted visitation rights or some other form of parenting time. The parent with physical custody is often referred to as the custodial parent. In more than 51% of custody decisions, divorcing couples agree that the mother should become the custodial parent.

Sole Custody

This is when one parent has sole legal and physical guardianship of the child. This is largely the case when the courts deem one parent to be unfit, often because of drug and alcohol abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. When one parent has sole custody, they’ll make all the child’s decisions without requiring approval from the other parent.

Joint Custody

Joint guardianship allows both parents to continue sharing the rights and responsibilities of raising their child on an equal basis. This means joint physical custody and joint legal care. In this case, an arrangement is made for the child to spend equal time with both parents. Additionally, both parties must consult with each other when making decisions for the child. A custody lawyer will help a separating couple come up with an arrangement that serves the child’s best interests. This is necessary so that the child can grow in a stable environment. Joint care is the ideal agreement that most divorcing couples strive to have.

When parents cannot agree on child guardianship on their own or with the help of custody attorneys, it’s up to the courts to make the decision. These are the factors that will influence the court’s decision when determining child custody.

  • The ability of each parent to nurture, love, and provide guardianship to the child.
  • The financial ability of either parent to provide clothing, shelter, medical needs, and other child expenses.
  • The moral fitness, mental and physical health of the parents.
  • How a child’s social and school life will be affected by the changes.
  • If the court determines that the child is mature and reasonable enough to make an independent decision, the court will factor in the child’s preferences.
  • The willingness of a parent to facilitate and foster a relationship between the other parent and the child.
  • The safety, stability, and efficiency of each parent’s home environment.

Child custody is one of the most stressful aspects of a divorce. No parent wants to feel alienated from their children, especially after a separation from their spouse. A custody lawyer will help you and your partner come to a fair child care agreement that will serve your child’s best interests and will also be fair to you and your ex-partner.

Custody And Guardianship: Five Questions For Your Divorce Attorney

In the United States, it is reported that divorce or separation affects one out of two marriages. If you are getting divorced, and there are children involved, it is important to address the matter of guardianship and child custody. Here are five questions to ask your divorce attorney about child custody to be sure that your rights of guardianship and custody are protected and represented in the divorce process.

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What Is The Difference Between Guardianship And Custody?

Parenting, guardianship, and custody are all terms that refer to relationships that parents have with children. Sometimes it can also apply to other individuals who are involved in your children’s lived as well. Custody refers primarily to the relationship between children and their parents. Guardianship, on the other hand, is a term that is a bit broader. It can refer to children, but it can also be a form of protection for older individuals who may not be completely self-sufficient. In these kinds of instances, guardianship can also pertain to wills, will writing, and estate planning.

Do I Need A Custody Attorney For My Case?

In the case of divorce, it is not uncommon for emotions to get very intense. This is particularly true for child custody cases. In order to keep things reasonable, it is best for you to retain an attorney. A custody lawyer will make sure that you understand your rights in this particular case. Also, the attorney will complete all the other paperwork, negotiate with your ex-spouse, and make the claim for custody on your behalf.

Which Custody Laws Pertain To My Case?

This is a key question, since the laws concerning child custody matters are different from state-to-state all across the country. With this in mind, the success of your request for custody of your child will hinge upon checking all boxes of the laws of the state where your child is living. For this very reason, you should contact a family law attorney who resides in the state where your child lives. This is the best way to be sure that you find out all the laws that relate to your particular case.

What Is Child Support?

Any money that is paid to the custodial parent in order to cover the living expenses of the child that the parent has custody of is considered child support. These expenses relate to clothing shelter and food, for example. The particulars of how much is awarded in child support vary from state-to-state and case-to-case. Ideally, child support payments are agreed upon by the parents. However, this is not always the case; and when this occurs, the payment requirement is supplemented with a court order. It is not always easy to enforce the child support agreement.

What Is “Best Interest Of The Child”?

When the courts make the statement “best interest of the child”, they are saying that every decision for the child now and in the future must be made keeping in mind what is going to be of most benefit for that child. This phrase is a concept that relates to custody matters as well as guardianship requests. The way that the “best interest of the child” is defined varies from state-to-state. But in general, the parameters include the child having a constructive, positive relationship with both parents, if that is at all possible.

Make sure that you get the best legal help possible if you are getting involved in a child custody case. It is important to have good chemistry with your divorce lawyer; but above all, it is important to find a divorce lawyer who is experienced in child custody cases. Questions can arise and the case can become extremely complicated. When there are lots of details and regulations involved, each decision, and every move, counts. So be sure that the attorney you select has the determination and passion to win the case for you because it will impact the future for years to come.