Family Law Advice

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When couples decide to divorce, it not only affects the relationship between husband and wife, but it also greatly affects the children. This is a very difficult time for a family, so it is important that custody arrangements are made as smoothly as possible. The agreements will vary among individual families, but they don’t have to be difficult. It is ideal to work closely with a family law attorney to ensure the agreement is as fair and straightforward as possible.

Different Forms of Custody

One of the first details to think about is the type of custody each parent will have. There are generally three types: sole, joint, and split. Sole custody gives one parent both legal and physical custody of the children. Joint provides each parent equal time with the children with the option of sharing legal custody. Split occurs when there is more than one child and each parent takes care of the children, but not all of them at once.

Visitation Arrangements

When working with the family law attorney, a clear visitation schedule should be fully established for the non-custodial parent. It is best for parents to work these situations out themselves based on their own demands and circumstances. If a parent moves to a different state, he or she will have to have a specified visitation, since weekly visits will not be possible. Instead, an extended visit in the summer would make up for that. Holidays are another subject that needs special attention. Ideally, each parent would either rotate holidays or divide them equally.

Shared Costs

Another component of child custody is the major costs associated with the children and who will pay them. These expenses include items like health insurance coverage, dependents on tax returns, or school tuition. Keep in mind that these costs are not factored into child support payments. Both parties in the divorce should agree on these shared expenses and have the family law attorney place the finalized decision in the divorce agreement.

Power Over Major Decisions

In many instances, major life decisions will need to be made for the kids. While some decisions are not very significant and will not require the input of two parents, others will be more substantial. It needs to be clearly laid out in the divorce decree who is going to make these arrangements and whether or not the other parent will have any say. These decisions may include healthcare issues, school issues, religion, and how to discipline. It is best that both the mother and father work together for a consistent upbringing.

Keep in mind that custody agreements are not set in stone. There may be times when the arrangement needs to be altered, so always remember to consult your family law attorney if changes need to be made. These decisions are often made during a stressful time, and it is possible to forget about some details that need to be added. In addition, life events can happen that may require major changes, such as moving to another state. The best thing to remember is to be open for the betterment of the kids.

Real Estate Law

Real estate law is multi-categorized and is governed by a lot of different facets. “Real” refers to real property. This is land and the things that are permanently a part of the area, that is, what is attached.

This goes for anything “underneath” too, so if any crude oil or natural gas is buried beneath, the land owner has first rights to the resource.

With property ownership, or the prospect of owning, there come risks. Most of this is liability, liability to the state and those who border the property. For instance, when purchasing a lot within the city, there are zoning restrictions.

A city may designate a certain size structure on the land, and if the owner decided to assemble a four-story goliath mansion home, the other owners of single floor rancher-style houses on that block might not be so pleased, the same goes with the city.

There is a great deal of ownership liability that goes to third-parties as well, such as land owners paying mortgage on a house to a lender. This is probably the most common liability that is known. If the owner does not pay, then they default on the loan and the lender, such as a bank can claim the property as payment.

State Law

Property laws trace its history back to the monarchs who ruled much of the continent of Europe. This was brought to America and from there has evolved a great deal. Real estate law, like most all law type, is still constantly evolving today as new cases are brought to courts.

Because events are often relating to geography and local cultures and law, there are a lot of aspects of real estate law that reflect this and are divided up by states.

For instance, if you were having a land dispute with a neighbor and you owned a tract of land near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho you would ideally want to consult with Coeur d’Alene real estate attorneys — even if you retain an attorney in Pittsburgh or some other city where you make your residence — to know what is fully involved regarding that specific city’s statutes.

A Coeur d’Alene real estate attorney can advise you on the specifics with Idaho’s real property laws and can give you a heads up on what your rights are as a land owner pertaining to that tract of land you own and the dwelling that reside within.

Hiring a real estate attorney’s group, no matter where you plan to buy land, would lend you piece of mind and a defense or litigations counsel if that dispute with the neighbor ends up in court.

Ins and Outs Of Real Estate Law

Are you looking for more information on real estate law? If so, you have come to the right place. Throughout this article we will speak about what real estate law is, as well as what a real estate lawyer can do for you.

Let’s begin our discussion by defining real estate law. This is a very broad legal area that covers both federal and state statutes, as well as common law, and deals with any legal issues surrounding real estate and property. Some areas that this law cover are the rights of homeowners, renters, and tenants, property rights and interests, buying and selling property, and landlord and rental properties. Many laws differ from state to state, making real estate law quite complex.

Whether you are buying or selling a home, a lawyer is important to your quest. While a realtor will be the one to help you find the right house or the right buyer of your house, a lawyer will review any offers and contracts to make sure that your rights are being protected and that all of your duties are clearly outlined and defined.

How can a lawyer help if you are buying a new home? If you are buying a new home a lawyer can help you to understand your contract to ensure that you are comfortable with everything outlined within it. They will also help to prepare and register all legal documents, a task that can be very time consuming if one tries to do it on their own. A lawyer will also clarify the terms of your mortgage and help assist with your banking mortgage. They will also read over all closing papers, arrange for insurance protection, and ensure that you receive a valid registered ownership.

Not only can a lawyer help you in purchasing a new home, they can also help you to sell your home. When selling your home, a real estate lawyer will help you to prepare the sale agreement, as well as the deed and power of attorney. They will also attend to the closing papers, arrange for transfers of security deposits, and arrange for insurance certificates. Most importantly, a real estate lawyer will help you during each process of selling your home and deal with any issues as they arise.

If you are interested in buying or selling your home it is important that you contact a lawyer to help you through the process. Lawyers can cost anywhere from $500 to $1500 (on average) but are well worth the cost as they save you a lot of time and stress. Search for a real estate lawyer today and ensure that, whether buying or selling a home, all of your rights are protected.

Truck Accident Lawyer Tips

If you’ve been in a truck accident, it’s a good idea to get a truck accident lawyer. Not all lawyers work on the same types of cases. It’s important to contact the best attorney for you needs. Below you will find some tips you can use to make the very best selection possible in the unfortunate event of a car or truck accident.

First, you need to understand what it is that you are seeking from an attorney. Have you been in an accident? Do you have a real estate question? Having a clear understanding of why you are attempting to contact an attorney is critical. It helps you make an intelligent decision as to which attorney to select. It may be helpful to take some notes to prepare for your conversation when you call an attorney. Don’t be nervous, but do be prepared. It can’t hurt.

Unless you already know somebody who is an attorney, it makes sense to reach out to your local Bar Association to ask for a referral. You can talk a little bit about why you are seeking the services of an attorney. They can help by matching you up with somebody who would be most suitable for your needs. Trust me, you do not want to spend lots of time on the phone calling around to dozens of attorneys. You may want to choose between a few, but it’s best to narrow it down quite a bit first.

It makes sense to have an open and honest discussion with anyone you are considering hiring. The reason is you want to make sure they understand your situation. Once they have a clear understanding of your needs, they can let you know whether they can help. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that any attorney is qualified to help. There will be subtle differences from one attorney to another. If you need an accident lawyer, that’s the type you should contact. You wouldn’t contact an attorney that specializes in adoptions to help you with an accident case.

Finally, when in doubt, speak to as many friends and family members as possible. Ask them if they can provide you with a solid referral for a good truck accident lawyer. That is usually a great way to figure out whom you might want to hire to do legal work for you. Once you’ve made your decision, follow your lawyer’s advice and good luck!

Choosing a Malpractice Lawyer

If you’ve been wronged by a doctor or health professional, you may need a malpractice lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve. Keep in mind that when pursuing litigation, you’ll be facing giant insurance companies and their attorneys, not a private doctor. They are trained and experienced in deflecting claims such as yours and the battle will not be easily won, regardless of the facts. To prove victorious, you’ll need all the help you can get. This means hiring an attorney who can fight fire with fire. Here are some tips on doing so.

Bar Association

If you’re not sure where to get started, a call to the local bar association may be a good first step. While they aren’t going to recommend one attorney over another, they will be able to furnish you with some names of attorneys in your area who practice this kind of law. From there, you’ll be able to narrow down the list until you find the malpractice lawyer right for your case.

Referrals

An even better way to go about your search (if you have the available means) is to get personal recommendations from people you know. Unfortunately, most people don’t have a wide circle of friends with direct experience with a malpractice lawyer. Even so, it doesn’t hurt to ask unless you are trying to keep your litigation a secret.

Arrange Meetings

It’s a good idea to set up more than one initial consultation with the firms in your list. If you meet with only one malpractice lawyer, you’ll have no one to compare him with. It’s easy to make a good impression when your potential client has no expectations. Make a few meetings and use these opportunities to compare and contrast. Make notes about what you liked from each attorney and what you didn’t. You may not be able to find that dream attorney who meets every one of your ideals, but you can get as close as possible.

Experience

Experience is paramount when deciding whom to choose. A malpractice lawyer should not only have a proud educational background, but he should also be able to point to years of experience both in and out of the courtroom, handing cases just like yours. The attorneys on the other side of the courtroom will almost certainly be seasoned professionals, as insurance companies aren’t going to have hacks representing their interests. You need to make sure you have someone on your side who can match their expertise.

Auto Insurance Policies

Nearly all businesses out there use vehicles to transport goods as well as their personnel. A vehicle that is used for business purposes, then personal insurance coverage is not going to be covering the individuals that are in it. During these cases, you will need to obtain commercial auto insurance. As you see, not all auto insurance policies are the same and that is what we would like to speak with you about. We would also like to speak with you about obtaining a good policy.

When one has commercial auto insurance, it will be protecting the business and covering the vehicle. You will be able to purchase a policy that is capable of covering all vehicles that are being used in the business. Before you just go out and purchase insurance, we highly recommend you studying the specific policy you are in need of.

When you are obtaining insurance, it is important that you study the policy and make sure it covers bodily injury, property damage, uninsured motorcycle rides, uninsured/underinsured motorists, collision, medical coverage and if you have a company, cargo. Whatever you do, you should make sure the coverage is comprehensive.

When you are looking over the policy for commercial coverage, feel free to ask the agency about the limits covered. Commercial auto insurance policies generally set limits that cover uninsured motorists, bodily injury, property damage, cargo, collision, medical and so on. The liability coverage is just going to cover those attorney fees and court penalties that could pop up. If you turn to an umbrella policy, then it is going to cover the expenses once you have reached your commercial vehicle insurance limit.

When you choose the policy, you need to make sure it covers all of your specific needs. Therefore, look closely and make sure you obtain a policy that is fully capable of meeting your specific needs.

By insuring those individuals driving the vehicle have a clean driving background, you could get a discount on your premium.

If you are a company, then you may want to make sure all of the employees have successfully taken defensive driving courses. On the Internet, you can come across many articles that will tell you how to reduce the premiums.

When you choose the insurance company, you should always check to see if they offer discounts if you purchase it online. There are many schemes you can turn to in order to save more money.

Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Motorcycle accidents are responsible for approximately 90,000 injuries per year. It is also estimated approximately 5,000 motorcycle riders and passengers die annually in bike crashes. According to “The Hurt Report,” a study analyzing motorcycle accidents, motorcycle crashes typically involve collisions with passenger automobiles (cars or trucks). Most frequently, the driver of the passenger vehicle violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way, causing the accident.

When a motorcycle crash occurs, it is most important to seek medical attention. After receiving medical attention, it is a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer that handles motorcycle cases. The choice of an attorney can severely impact the outcome of a motorcycle accident lawsuit. The legal system has many intricacies that are difficult for a layperson to navigate. A lawyer familiar with motorcycle crash lawsuits will be able to best serve the needs of injury victims and their families.

In a recent Missouri motorcycle accident lawsuit, a couple injured in a motorcycle crash were unable to recover full compensation for the personal injuries they suffered. The couple was riding their motorcycle, when two motorcyclists ahead of them collided and caused them to crash. Both suffered injuries that required more than $100,000.00 in medical treatment and caused over $20,000 in lost wages.

The couple was advised to settle with their insurance company for $50,000 and signed a release that prevented any further claims in relation to the motorcycle accident. Even though the two motorcycle riders did not understand the release form, the settlement prevented them from bringing further suits in accordance with the same claim. If they would have contacted an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer, the attorney could have made sure to protect their interests in a way that would have allowed them to move forward against other possible insurance policies.

In the legal world there is a concept called res judicata, which translates to “the matter has already been judged.” For example, if you bring a claim against someone and there has been a final judgment on that matter, generally you can no longer bring a lawsuit on that same claim against the same party again. Essentially the claim is precluded.

This case exemplifies the need for an experienced personal injury attorney after a serious motorcycle accident. A personal injury lawsuit after a motorcycle accident could be one of the most important decisions of your life if you are suffering from serious injuries. A lawsuit could be the key to getting you the compensation you deserve and the money you need to take care of current and future medical bills.

Expand Your Window Washing Business By Employing Some Solid Customer Service Tips

Have you ever heard the saying “Success is 90% attitude and only 10% aptitude”?

You may be thinking what in the world does this have to do with window washing and customer service. Well by working on becoming tops in customer service, you are automatically developing a more positive attitude which in turn generates more success for your window washing business.

If, on the other hand, we let the little irritating things creep in or those grumpy customers affect our outlook, then our attitudes take a nose dive. If that happens, our good customer service usually takes a
dive right along with it.

I’ve listed below 3 things that can really make your customer service shine through:

1. Communication…

Lack of communication is probably my biggest pet peave when dealing with most businesses. Maybe you feel the same way (or maybe you don’t) but I just feel it is so rude to leave a customer hanging in the breeze.

How many times have you contacted someone or some company and set up an appointment for them to come over and do some work, or set up an appointment for an estimate, and lo and behold they not only don’t show, but to make matters worse, they don’t even provide you a courtesy phone call.

I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the times this has happened to me personally. It’s like they can’t be bothered to at least contact you and let you know they’re running late or whatever.

I place “communication” on the top of my customer service list in terms of importance. When you communicate properly, the amount of goodwill you are generating in your window cleaning business can be tremendous.

For example, the night before your scheduled jobs I recommend placing phone calls to your customers as a little reminder that you’ll be swinging by to do their job at such and such a time the next day.

If you’re running late for an appointment, give ’em a call and tell them so. It’s simply inconsiderate to make your window washing customers wonder and wait. So go ahead and create some positive vibes by making a quick 30 second phone call telling them you’re running a tad behind schedule and will be there shortly. They’ll appreciate it and be impressed you cared enough to call.

And contrary to what some window washers think, prospects need to be communicated with also. Yeah I know this is about customer service, but I wanted to throw in a little blurb about prospect service since it’s not talked about too much.

If you give a prospect an estimate and they need to talk it over with a spouse or just “think about it”, it’s super important that you give them a call in 2 to 3 days. It’ll give you a huge leg up over your competition because most of your competitors don’t know how to communicate properly, so they’ll wait
for the prospect to call them. Beat ’em to the punch and close the deal.

And if you’re running late for an estimate, give the prospect a call. All customers start out as prospects, so if you fall down on prospect service with a prospect, you may never get the opportunity to even use good customer service with him or her because they won’t turn into a customer.

So excellent communication with both prospects and customers = more business + more repeat
business + more satisfied customers. Can’t ask for anything more than that.

2. Treat your customer like a close friend…

I’ve been in restaurants and stores where I see waitresses and store clerks just sleep walking through the motions of doing their jobs. That is until a friend or a favorite customer comes in. At that point, they
smile, perk up, and become a different person.

I’m sure you’ve seen the same thing.

But if you can express that kind of friendliness and enthusiasm to ALL customers, you have a tremendous advantage. Why would a customer ever leave you and your company to try an unknown window washer? They won’t.

I’ve had invites to barbecues and family functions from my customers, ended up playing ping pong, foosball, and other games with some of my customers after window cleaning jobs, been asked to join them for dinner after a window cleaning job was done, etc. etc.

So be warm, friendly, and fuzzy, and you’ll gain the loyalty of your customer’s business forever, or at least until they move. :o)

3. Be a customer diplomat…

Being a customer diplomat really involves everything we talked about previously plus some additional aspects to give you even higher marks when it comes to great customer service.

I’m talking about doing a superb window cleaning job, having outstanding communication skills, handling any and all customer service issues or complaints pronto, and anything else that involves trying to make the customer super satisfied.

I stress being a customer service diplomat because most of our profit is derived from repeat business. So we need to go the extra mile to make sure they want us back many times over.

But what about difficult customers?

The beauty of our business is that the vast majority of our customers are quality people who will appreciate our efforts, our service, and our commitment to them.

BUT…there’s always that rare customer out there who feels they have all the answers and wants to duke it out with you over your pricing, your service, etc.

My first response is to definitely not get into some kind of an argument. Be cool, calm, and collected. It’s amazing how fast a person will back down if you can explain your position clearly and with confidence.

Recently, a window washer I know got stuck with what he called “The Negotiators”. Two different customers who were looking for free services, cheaper pricing, or a combination of both.

But in the end by sticking to his guns, he and both customers ended up winners. Paul actually ended up making MORE money on one of the jobs and received glowing reviews from the customer saying he hasn’t seen his windows that clean in 20 years.

The other negotiator, an attorney, said this after the job was done: “You did a really good job on my windows, Thank You! I want you to do the rest of my house and I want you to do my mother’s house too.”

And the icing on the cake was him receiving a referral from this attorney for him to do another attorney’s house.

So the moral of the story is when you run up against a difficult customer or a “negotiator” as Paul calls ’em, be firm, be specific, and be confident. We provide a valuable service done in a professional manner. All we need to do is prove it to the customer.

Worst case scenario…just walk away. I know it’s hard sometimes to walk away from business but I’ve “fired” customers before if I felt that a customer was not only going overboard in his or her demands but also doing it in a rude manner. It’s not worth it.

Anyway…if you need to fire a customer or walk away from a prospect, do it as a last resort obviously, but also remember that there is a boatload of glass out there to clean, so your area is filled to the brim with lots and lots of other prospects.

To close this talk about customer service…

Really focus a lot of your energies on the somewhat boring concept of customer service. I have seen poor customer service literally destroy businesses into the ground and I have seen businesses flourish by providing excellent customer service.

And as I stated above, the fact that our business is repeat in nature, customer service is even more important.

So be a customer diplomat. As I’m sure you’ve all heard, word of mouth is the best advertisement, so just imagine what kind of great things will be said by your customers on the receiving end of your
outstanding customer service.

This really will take your business to new heights while all the non-customer service oriented window washing businesses out there are whistling in the weeds wondering what’s going on and where all their window washing customers went to.

Plan For Your Business If Anything Happens to You

No one likes to think about death. Let alone our own. But as responsible adults we all do it… We get life insurance, make a will, confer powers of attorney, set up educational trusts for our kids, and talk to our families about our last wishes. And there are lots of people like lawyers and insurance agents who poke, prod, and persuade us to do these things, even when we do not really want to think about them. However, there is no one out there poking, prodding, or persuading you to create a plan for what should happen in your business should you die.

Except me. Now.

Think about it for a minute… would your loved ones know what to do with your business if you died suddenly? For most, the answer is, “Well, not really.”

What SPECIFICALLY does your spouse (or other close family member) need to know about what should happen in your business if you were to die suddenly?

Who should they talk to? Who should take over the day-to-day ops if you are not there? What are your wishes for the business? Should they sell it? Run it? What are the names and addresses of your book keeper, accountant, lawyer, and any other important service providers?

Write it all down.

No one is going to remember anything you told them if they are grieving and in shock over your death. It has to be in writing. It does not need to be fancy, or a legal document, just the basic information they will need.

And make sure that all the key players in your business and your family know about these instructions and know where to find them. As difficult or uncomfortable as it may be to put this plan together, your family will be so grateful to you if they ever need it.

Which we hope like crazy they never will.

An Income Tax Lawyer

In case your earned income exceeds a certain sum of money you will be liable to pay income tax. To get the figures right and to compute your income tax in the most efficient manner you should look to hiring an income tax lawyer that is well qualified to handle different issues related to the deductions from income as well as who can address other issues such as getting rebates in the case of the individual taxpayer.

Be Well Guided

By the time April 15th dawns you as an individual taxpayer must file your income tax returns (provided you earn more than the minimum tax free amount.) An income tax lawyer will help as well as provide guidance to such taxpayers by offering their expert opinions regarding planning the taxes in a manner so that you don’t end up being slapped with evasion of taxes charges.

Even in case the IRS slaps criminal charges against you it is only an income tax lawyer that will help bail you out of your predicament. These lawyers will study your case and shoulder the responsibility of fighting your case with the concerned authorities. Even in the event that you have paid more tax than you are liable to pay, an income tax attorney will be able to help you get the extra sums refunded.

Most individuals are generally unaware about how to use the existing income tax laws to their advantage and will therefore not be able to save money. It is this type of information that an income tax lawyer knows and often specializes in and that in turn helps people to take advantage of tax exemptions, and avail of rebates as well as save from paying unnecessary taxes simply because they did not know the applicable laws.

Senior citizens, for example, can claim certain kind of benefits and will also be able to avail of exemptions on their income tax by hiring a lawyer to file their income tax returns. Similarly, self-employed professionals will need to pay tax on their income in addition to what they pay by way or standard income tax. All these matters are best handled by an income tax lawyer that is well versed with the intricate details of various applicable income tax laws.

For homeowners the need to hire a property tax lawyer is almost as great as is the case of individuals hiring an income tax attorney. The truth is that property tax laws are quite complex and only well understood by lawyers that specialize in these laws.

By engaging a competent income tax lawyer you can save valuable tax dollars and also be assured that your income tax returns are filed in accordance with all applicable laws.

Tax Lawyers

There are plenty of lawyers out there who have their own specializations. Most of the most popular specialized lawyers include the divorce lawyers, the real estate lawyers, the criminal lawyers, and the tax lawyers. The services of tax lawyers are constantly sought out all over the United States and are retained all year round, with their services needed mostly before or on about April 15 which is tax time.

During tax time, most Americans struggle to get their books and documents completed and tax forms filed on time. The auditing process is usually very stressful tasks that even lawyers or accountants make minor mistakes every now and then no matter how careful they may be. Because of all this cramming, many mistakes are made, which sends out a signal to the Internal Revenue Service or the IRS.

When the IRS notices an error or discrepancy in the tax return, they usually order an audit. Many IRS audits show whether the mistakes were unintentional, a scam, or simply an oversight. Whatever the reason may be, securing the services of a tax lawyer will be helpful. Should you be found guilty for filing a false return, the lawyer will be able to help defend your case. Should you be imposed with a hefty penalty, the tax lawyer will be able to lessen the liability and might help you pay less than what was originally imposed.

Finding the right tax lawyer in your locality is easy, but finding the right one is not. Be sure that the one you want to choose specializes in taxation. It will also be very beneficial if the lawyer is also an accountant because he will not only be able to represent you and defend you before the IRS proceedings, and in tax court, but he also has a grasp of the intricacies of the auditing and accounting procedures that are employed during the IRS auditing process. Ask around for recommendations. Friends with small businesses might have retained a tax lawyer. Check the local lawyer’s association and ask for a list of lawyers practicing taxation in your locality. You can even ask a regular lawyer who might know some practicing in this field.

Do remember, however, that securing the services of a tax lawyer will not always guarantee a win. The tax lawyer’s job is to comply and act within the standards set by the IRS. He will do his best to defend your case and probably lower or lessen your liability, but he will still be bound by the law.