Finding a Good Family Lawyer

Family lawyers are needed in different situations including divorce. Such situations are very stressful and if you are not careful, you may have a very hard time during such times. There is a need to have a professional with a deep understanding of the law on your side so as to handle different situations that you may not know how to handle completely. This can make the process much easier for you and the whole family.

When you are looking for a family lawyer, there are some qualities that should be outstanding. These will help you know whether the person you have chosen to represent you is capable of handling himself and the case at hand. Some important qualities include:

  1. Communication: the lawyer should be able to communicate and communicate well. This is very critical. The lawyer needs to be able to communicate in an easy and clear manner. When you have a lawyer, it is necessary that you are able to voice your expectations and concerns. It is the job of the lawyer to explain things clearly to you as well as those that have to do with the case and to give you expectations that are realistic. The lawyer should also be able to communicate with other parties to the case. Good communication leads to effective negotiations keeping costs down. A good communicator will also be very helpful should the case go to court.
  2. Experience and skills: while it is important to have an attorney to represent you, it is important that he is able to represent you well. So as to do this, skills are required. A case such a divorce can touch on many aspects of family life as we know it. This may include career, retirement, finances and so on. The lawyer should be experienced and very knowledgeable so as to make sure that all your interests are protected. Experience in family law cases is an added advantage especially if such a case has a lot of similarities with yours.
  3. Availability: when you are searching for a representative, make sure it is a person that is available in all the important points of your case. If he can’t be present all the time, he should have support available to cover when he has other matters to attend to. The lawyer should avail himself to respond to questions in a good and timely way, he should work with timeframes so as to reassure you of his dedication. He shouldn’t be too held up with pother cases so as to be able to pay attention to yours.
  4. Composure: your family lawyer should be able to maintain his composure at all times. This isn’t only about staying focused and calm, but also exhibiting a lot of self-control when in the courtroom or when dealing with other lawyers, even if he feels frustrated, your interests need to represent very strongly but he shouldn’t take things too personally when the turn of events isn’t completely to his favor.
  5. Support and resources: lawyers have other clients too, and it is not possible that they will always be available to answer questions every time something comes up. It helps when the lawyer has a team working with him so that even emergencies can be handled swiftly.
Posted in Law

Alimony, Support and Division of Assets Explained in Pennsylvania

Spousal Support

Spousal Support is available to a married spouse, when the couple resides in separate homes and one spouse earns more than the other spouse. There are defenses against spousal support and it is important to have an attorney assist you in your claim for or against spousal support.

Alimony Pendente Lite

Alimony Pendente Lite is a type of support that is limited in nature and paid to the lesser income earning spouse by the higher income earning spouse in accordance to a statutory formula until the divorce is finalized. This support was enacted to equalize the parties incomes during the divorce proceedings and allow each spouse to afford the divorce process and expenses.

Alimony

In Pennsylvania, there is not a set formula to determine post-divorce alimony. Whether or not to award post-divorce alimony payments lies within the exclusive discretion of the court. The court relies on the following 17 factors to determine whether to award post-divorce alimony.

The 17 Factors of Alimony

  • The relative earnings of both spouses.
  • The duration of the marriage.
  • The ages and physical, mental and emotional states of the two spouses.
  • The sources of income of both spouses. This includes medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
  • The expected future earnings and inheritances of the two spouses.
  • The degree to which one spouse has contributed to the other spouse’s education, training or increased earning potential.
  • The degree to which a spouse will be financially affected by their position as the custodian of a minor child.
  • The standard of living of the spouses established during the marriage.
  • The relative education of the parties. This also considers the amount of time it would take for the spouse seeking alimony to acquire the education or training necessary to find employment.
  • The relative assets and liabilities of the two spouses.
  • The property each spouse brought to the marriage.
  • The degree a spouse contributed as a homemaker.
  • The relative needs of the two spouses.
  • The marital misconduct of either of the spouses during the marriage.
  • The federal, state and local tax consequences of the alimony.
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony lacks sufficient property to provide for their reasonable needs.
  • Whether the spouse seeking alimony is incapable of supporting themselves through appropriate employment.

[1] Title 7, Pennsylvania Code, §6102.

Division of Assests

In Pennsylvania “marital property” means all property acquired by either party during the marriage and the increase in value of any non-marital property acquired. However, marital property does not include:

Veterans’ benefits exempt from attachment, levy or seizure pursuant to the act of September 2, 1958 (Public Law 85-857, 72 Stat. 1229), as amended, except for those benefits received by a veteran where the veteran has waived a portion of his military retirement pay in order to receive veterans’ compensation.

Property to the extent to which the property has been mortgaged or otherwise encumbered in good faith for value prior to the date of final separation.

Any payment received as a result of an award or settlement for any cause of action or claim which accrued prior to the marriage or after the date of final separation regardless of when the payment was received.

Property acquired prior to marriage or property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage.

Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties entered into before, during or after the marriage.
Property acquired by gift, except between spouses, bequest, devise or descent or property acquired in exchange for such property.

Property acquired after final separation until the date of divorce, except for property acquired in exchange for marital assets.

Property which a party has sold, granted, conveyed or otherwise disposed of in good faith and for value prior to the date of final separation.

Pennsylvania states that the increase in value of any non-marital property acquired pursuant to subsection shall be measured from the date of marriage or later acquisition date to either the date of final separation or the date as close to the hearing on equitable distribution as possible, whichever date results in a lesser increase.

Posted in Law

Do I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?

Many couples debate whether they need a divorce attorney when mediation is required by the courts. It is recommended, at minimum, consulting with a family law attorney about your options and what is best course of action for your case no matter how well you and your ex-spouse get along.

Below you will find just a few examples of the aspects you need to consider if you are debating whether you should hire an attorney for your divorce:

  • If you have many complicated assets to divide up. If you have accumulated various expensive marital property, you should consider hiring a lawyer. You will want to have a lawyer present if you have complicated possessions you are dividing, like businesses, numerous vehicles, and real property.
  • If your spouse is prone to lying. If your former spouse is known to lie, it could become difficult when it is your word versus theirs in a hearing or mediation session. If they are spreading false information about you, or lying in the courtroom, you need a lawyer on your side to protect your interests.
  • If violence or abuse is ever involved. If any abuse is present, whether it’s related to children, substance abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, or any other form, you should always hire an attorney. Not only will the abused spouse not be able to negotiate properly for fear of manipulation or further abuse, but a family law attorney can help take the appropriate steps to protect you and your family.
  • If your spouse has hired an attorney. Your spouse may choose to hire a lawyer to represent themselves at the last minute. We see attorneys appear at hearings and mediation with little to no notice to the unrepresented spouse. If your spouse decides to have representation, you should as well. It will be difficult to make your case against a family law attorney, even if you believe you have a clear and reasonable argument.

There is so much at stake! If you are going through divorce and you are debating on whether you need to hire a divorce attorney, call and speak to a family law firm you trust in your area. An experienced attorney should answer the questions you have, discuss your options and your particular case to help you understand your options during divorce. A skilled lawyer may be an invaluable asset to protect your and your family interests.

Posted in Law

Copyright Infringement in the Digital World

Downloading files from the internet is not a crime, but if you download files for free which you usually have to pay for, then there’s a problem. The piracy issue occurs when the copyright owners do not get the amount that they are due.

Piracy is the illegal copying and selling of copyrighted materials, but the common misconception is that people don’t think it matters because no one gets hurt. In reality, the evolution of piracy from burning CDs and DVDs to digital copying has affected the global economy. Pirating a physical copy or streaming illegally affects the livelihood of artists too.

Pirated copies are not always great

Most of the time, illegal copies do not have the same quality as the legal content. A pirated movie may have been recorded on a camcorder at the back of a cinema, so the quality is poor. Its content may be grainy or black and white at some parts. Copies downloaded from the internet on the other hand may suddenly stop at some parts and the sound quality can be very quiet and muffled.

Easy digital access

Downloading directly from the computer has become popular among internet users primarily because of the ease of access. Even with the number of sites that offer legal downloads, there are still file-sharing networks that offer free access to copyrighted materials. And it’s sad that many are active in some form of piracy, either through streaming, downloading, or the old school style of buying counterfeit DVDs.

In any case, piracy costs the entertainment industry. It is stealing from the businesses involved in the art. People must remember that nothing is free. Pirate sites make money through subscription costs or advertising when a consumer streams illegal content. The operators of these sites earn from sharing copyrighted materials that they do not own and have no permission to distribute.

How to minimize the problem?

Having internet service providers get on board in helping fight piracy and detect copyright infringements has always been a struggle. It would require content holders to educate people and private entities to be responsible, make them understand the importance of copyright, and encourage them to support different ways to consume content legally like going to the cinema or subscribing to Netflix and other video-on-demand sites.

Piracy may not be easy to kill but it can be reduced. Besides, with all the latest technology coming out, we only need to keep up. Also, there are entities that help fight piracy with the use of software to detect copyright infringements.

Posted in Law

Ways to Overcome Copyright Problems

In this age of instant communication, more and more ideas are being born and products created than ever before. With the current entrepreneurial trend, new business owners are creating never-before-seen content and services in order to better the world. With so much going on, it can be easy to create something that copies another person a little too closely. Luckily, there are several steps that can be taken to overcome copyright issues.

1. Get permission from the original owner.

When it comes to using copyrighted content, the only legal way to make use of the content is to contact the original owner and ask for permission. In the event this is impossible, there are websites like Creative Commons that offer royalty-free image and audio files that are free for commercial use.

2. Trademark and copyright your own content.

If you create something you intend to turn into a business or revenue stream, it is important to obtain legal rights to it. While it may be your intellectual property, you cannot prevent someone from creating a similar idea and starting a business based on it. It’s important to trademark and copyright your ideas in order to protect them.

3. Obtain a legal copyright.

Intellectual property can be copyrighted by simply putting the copyright symbol in front of it with your name. However, the Copyright Act covers certain topics that are not so easy to claim ownership of, including architectural and choreographic works. Speaking to a copyright lawyer is the way to go to properly claim ownership of your own work and prevent illegal copying of it.

4. Trademark your property.

A trademark differs from a copyright primarily in the things it protects. While a copyright is usually used to cover a creative work, trademarks are used to protect names, logos, symbols, and other corporate IPs. The process of trademarking a property is lengthy and complicated, so it’s best to consult professional help. You must first search to ensure no similar trademarks exist to the one you want to file; even if an existing trademark isn’t identical, one that is too similar can make it impossible for you file.

5. Remember: registration isn’t absolutely required.

Since 1978, there has been no formal requirement in the United States for copyrighted work to bear the copyright symbol. A novel, for instance, is protected as soon as it is ‘saved’ in a word document. That said, registering the work offers certain protections that proprietary copyrighting does not. A person can only sue over copyright issue if their copyright is registered. The restitution a person may receive for damages will only count after the content is registered, not before.

While it may be an extra step, taking the time to copyright and trademark your property, whether intellectual or physical, can protect it in ways that claiming ownership cannot. Copyright issues can pose a number of problems for content creators or those who want to use content, but knowing how to overcome this problems before they arise can prevent a lot of headaches.

Posted in Law

Of Film Festivals, Creativity, and Copyrights

Movies with poor reviews do not necessarily give anyone the excuse to pirate them. Art is subjective and stealing is wrong. These are two truths that should be recalled when dealing with piracy. It is not wrong to share content as long as it doesn’t cross any copyright. Copyrighted materials are certified and protected, and owners have grounds for copyright infringement claim if necessary.

Film Festivals

The world constantly asks for innovation; that’s almost a rule. In film festivals, exploration and development meet. Storytellers who take risks with fresh ideas get to display their original work. It is where indie or independent artists show off their stories without political and commercial pressures, and restrictions.

Film festivals connect artists and audiences in several countries. It is a place where both established and emerging artists show documentary and dramatic films, innovative short films, cutting-edge media and art installations, and live music performances. It brings together the modern day’s most original storytellers and supports engaging programs for students and the community.

Every film festival welcomes distinguished artists and opens great opportunities for students and newcomers. Some movies are even directed by celebrities. For example, “The Company You Keep” was directed and starred by an American actor. This political thriller was well-crafted, and the creator skilfully directed a cast of talented actors. When this TCYK LLC film was pirated, copyright holders tracked the infringers to protect their rights.

Media Copyright Literacy

While you play other people’s intellectual property, it is essential to have a basic understanding of what is legal and ethical. Everyone should learn how to be a good digital citizen and get familiar with the copyright law and respect content creators and their original work.

Upon creation, any work is automatically copyright-protected. When your work is capable of copyright protection, it is likely that you own the copyright. However, copyright might belong to someone else if you have assigned or transferred your copyright in writing. Also, ideas cannot be protected unless it is made into its material expression like a painting, novel, or film. So it is important to transform your ideas in its material form.

Copyright protection applies to all formats whether it’s in print, online, or digital media. While there are organizations that protect freedom of expression and help people understand their rights and responsibilities around copyright law, there are also entities like the owners of the TCYK LLC film that are dedicated to protecting the rights of creators and content owners.

Only the original content holders have the exclusive right to the use of their work. It isn’t fair that other people commoditize from other people’s work without their consent. Copying and distributing others’ work without permission is copyright infringement, which means illegal distributors could be charged with a huge sum for damages.

Creativity is unique, and artists deserve all credits due to them. Some are too passionate about their craft that they don’t mind how their work is being used. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to all. Most creators need financial support to make and produce their work. Pirating does not help them in any way.

Posted in Law

Received a Copyright Infringement Notice? Now What?

Are you one of those who just received a TCYK LLC letter? In order for such a letter of claim not to become a TCYK LLC lawsuit eventually, it is a must to know some what-to-do guidelines when receiving notices for copyright infringement. So, read on; this article might help.

Let’s start with some FAQs:

Who sends a letter of claim?

Only 3 sources are authorized to send you a letter of demand for copyright infringement, and these are:

  • An exclusive licensee or someone who has an exclusive copyright license of a certain creative material
  • The owner of the copyright
  • The solicitor/s and anti-piracy entities who have been hired by copyright owners to chase infringers

In some territories and selected cases, the ISP may also have the right to send a copyright infringement notice to warn subscribers of their illegal downloading and/or file-sharing activities.

What to do next?

You need to respond to the letter of claim within the period specified on the letter. In England, it is a general rule to reply to a letter of demand or copyright infringement notice within 14 days after receiving the letter, whether you are guilty of the allegation or you are not directly responsible for the infringement. This is why proper understanding of the letter’s content is a must before even thinking of responding through email or phone call. Take your time knowing the details of the allegation, and consider seeking professional legal assistance if there are things you want to be clarified. Aside from asking legal advice from a solicitor, you may also get in touch with the letter sender directly through the hotline provided on the letter. This way you can easily get more information regarding the allegation against you as well as prevent any more serious consequences like litigation. Responding to a letter of claim immediately also lets you clear your name if ever you did not really commit the infringement.

So what should you do to stop receiving another copyright infringement notice?

  1. Stop downloading copyrighted materials. Yes, it is as simple as that. Most things you see online are owned by someone, and it is better off not to take something that’s not yours, unless you have already acquired permission from the rightful owner. However, there are also copyrighted materials that are made available by the copyright holders themselves through a Creative Commons License, which means you are actually free to make use of certain music and other creative materials online. Although there is this exception, it is still important to note that most free films you see online should not be really free and are still owned by people or entities, therefore you are most likely required to pay for downloading and/or sharing them.
  2. Check your internet connection usage. It is also important to know everyone who has access to your Wi-Fi connection to easily track the person/s responsible for any infringement, especially if you are very much aware that you haven’t really tried downloading or sharing copyrighted materials through your PC and other devices at home. You can check who accessing your wireless router by looking into its logs of connections, which most routers do have. You may also acquire assistance from your ISP in order to make sure that only you and your family or anyone in your household are the only ones accessing your internet connection, therefore not putting you at risk of any illegal downloading and other copyright infringement allegations.

These are just some of the basic precautionary measures you can do to stay away from letting a letter of claim turn into a TCYK LLC lawsuit.

Posted in Law

All You Need to Know About Family Law

Law, the term is associated with rules and regulations that the government of a country sets for its subjects. The subjects or the people who come under this law has to follow or abide by them. If violated, the person can be liable to undergo punishments as the concerned authority will wish them to go through. This is a state law. This has many divisions. Under this, the family law is a part. Law can also be there set by the head of a corporation or an organization. In that case, it cannot be called a state law, it is for the concerned organization. This article will deal in detail with family law. To know more continue reading.

Definition

As the name suggests, the law is concerned with matters regarding a family. It can be the family issues, like relationships, divorce, child custody or adoption of a child. The state is the supreme head who has the final say in such matters. A family seeking judgment must make an appeal before the court of law and have to patiently wait for the proceedings to take place.

Some Common Terms Related to Family Law

Marital Property- The property attained by either of the spouses during their marriage. This property becomes the point of division if they want to get divorced.

Emancipation- If the guardian of a minor dies, and if through court proceedings assumes adult responsibilities and becomes self-supporting for his or her own welfare. In this case, the minor does not remain under the care of his or her parents.

Prenuptial Agreement- An agreement, made before the marriage of a man and woman where they give up any future right to one another’s property in case of divorce or death.

Alimony- An allowance given by one spouse to another to support themselves after divorce or legal separation.

Paternity- This means to establish a confirmed identity of a child with his or her biological father.

How Are the Family Matters Solved?

If there is an issue in the family, which the members are not able to solve by themselves they can seek the local court for justice. In the first place, they must approach a lawyer who deals in such types of cases. Discussing the matter with him or her and taking an advice, one can submit their appeal to the court. The court through its several sittings will listen to the case and offer a suitable solution for both the parties.

Posted in Law

Three Categories of Family Law Documents

This branch of the law covers all legal matters that pertain to a family. This can include marriages, divorces, prenuptial agreements, adoption, civil unions, property settlement, child custody and visitation and more. To become an attorney that deals with family law you have to first get your bachelor’s degree, attend law school and then pass the bar but if you plan to specialize in family law there are many different specialties to choose from, including adoption, neglect, abuse, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation, paternity, and more.

Marital unions

Under this category marital unions include civil and traditional marriage unions. It rarely includes formal pleadings. The reason is that this area of the progress of family life is less contentious. This means that not many couples at this stage are filing actions against each other. Some of the documents include:

  • Name change forms
  • Certificates of marriage
  • Prenuptial or premarital agreements

These documents may be called by other names in different jurisdictions but they all cover the same area. Some jurisdictions may also enable other types of actions under the category of martial unions but the general concepts as to what is handled by these forms, agreements, and certificates are common in all jurisdictions.

Marital termination

This category is where you will find most of the documents. These documents deal with marital terminations and include divorce, separation, and annulment. One of the parties will initiate a court action to sue for relief. These particular documents will mirror the types of pleadings that are filed. In addition to asking for termination of the marriage the documents can also include replies to the court action filed and any counterclaims. Some of the more common documents can include motions to restrain a spouse from deleting the marital assets, temporary alimony, and court costs. This category of family law documents include all the attachments and forms that are used to establish the marital estate as part of the proof that will be needed to reach an amicable and fair divorce settlement.

Parent-child relations

In this category are the actions that will do the following:

  • Appoint a legal guardian
  • Establish paternity
  • Deal with the issues of support, custody, and visitation
  • Removing a child from a home for cause

The petitions can also include motions to modify an order for child support, and motions for contempt for failure for either party to comply with any prior court orders.

As you can see there are many different documents that a family law attorney has to deal with so that is why many specialize in one particular area although some may practice in more than one area. To be sure which specialty volunteer to work for a family law firm.

Why Should We Hire Family Law Practice

Family law can be defined as a practice that is closely concerned with the legal issues that have to do with family relationships like child custody, divorce and adoption. The lawyers who practice in this area usually deal with divorce, child support and so on. There are those that choose to specialize in emancipation, paternity, and adoption or any matters that relate to divorce. Formal requirements have to be reasonable and that is usually determined by the state. This includes things like legal capacity, age and same sex marriages. The state is also responsible for setting out the procedures and the rules that govern divorce as well as other matters related to family law.

Important terms to family lawyers

Emancipation: this is a process of the court whereby a person or a minor is allowed to be self-supporting. This means that he assumes the responsibilities of an adult for his welfare and won’t be under the parents.

Marital property: this is the kind of property that was acquired by a spouse while they were married and that needs to be divided when they divorce.

Alimony: this is the allowance that is given to a spouse for support when they are legally divorced or separated or when they are awaiting either of the two.

Paternity: the descent or origin from father. Establishing paternity means that you are confirming who the biological father of the child is.

Prenuptial agreement: this is an agreement that is usually made between two parties before they get married. Here, future rights to property are given in case death or divorce occurs.

Why hire a family lawyer?

Many of the family lawyers offer their services during divorce proceedings and other matters that may be related to divorce. Family law is a broad practice however, and it includes areas like reproductive rights and foster care. Some of the reasons as to why you may need a family lawyer include:

Divorce: every partner hires a lawmaker who is responsible for the creation of a settlement plan so as not to go top trail. They are usually people who can be able to divide any marital property, proposing child custody scenarios, and also calculating spousal support.

Child support/ child custody: the court orders and agreements on settlement involve support and custody and can be included in divorce cases that are larger. These can be revisited if any conditions change like the financial standing of a parent.

Paternity: sometimes a mother can file such a case as they try to secure some child support payments from the father. Also, a father can file a paternity case so as to be able to have a kind of relationship with a child. DNA testing is used for the determination.

Adoption: foster care and adoption is both complex. The process can differ and usually factors like where a child is from and state laws can affect the process. A family lawyer can be able to handle all these. A foster parent can sometimes adopt a foster child. The entire foster process sometimes doesn’t require any kind of legal representation.

Posted in Law