Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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October 2019 Archives

Will My Divorce Affect My Green Card Status or Citizenship Opportunity?

Whether or not your divorce will affect your immigration status depends on the stage of the process you're in. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) vigilantly watches for possible fraudulent marriages, entered into solely to evade U.S. immigration laws. There are ways to demonstrate your marriage was entered into in good faith, but their effectiveness depends on your stage in the process. 

Can My Former Lawyer Represent My Spouse in Our Divorce?

While it is common and even preferable for a divorcing couple to utilize the same attorney in mediation, there are clear guidelines that generally prevent one spouse from hiring the other spouse's former attorney in a trial divorce case. 

Dividing the Family Cars in a Divorce

When couples begin the divorce process, all assets and liabilities need to be listed and valued in order to determine division between the spouses. Negotiation often involves one spouse being given certain assets in exchange for other assets of the same value - and greater need or emotional attachment are values along with cost that can be weighed in the negotiation process. 

Guardianship

A guardian can be appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of an adult individual who has been deemed incapacitated or incapable of making sound decisions on their own. The court must determine whether the individual for whom guardianship is sought can adequately manage their financial resources and/or meet basic essential requirements for their own health and safety. If you are the party filing for guardianship, the first step is to file a petition with the court. A hearing will be scheduled after review of the petition establishing a potential need. The petitioner (filing party) should secure expert testimony to corroborate the extent of the incapacity of the subject individual and the necessity for a guardian as the Petitioner has the burden to prove incapacity by clear and convincing evidence. At least ten (10) days prior to any scheduled hearing, notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition must be served on the individual for whom guardianship is sought (Respondent) explaining in plain language the possible ramifications of the forthcoming legal proceedings. Notice must also be given to any additional interested parties such as other family members or individuals that could serve as guardian.

Forms of Service for Adoption

All interested parties, including natural parent(s), shall receive proper notice of pending termination and/or adoption proceedings. A copy of the relevant petition and subsequent hearing notice should be served on all interested parties, e.g. persons with parental rights to the minor child(ren) involved. Acceptable methods of service include personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery. Proof of service should be filed with the court and/or submitted at the time of the hearing.

Grounds for Involuntary Termination

Termination of parental rights means the natural parent of a child forever loses or forfeits any rights as a parent. This would include the loss of any standing for future custody actions. Termination of parental rights can generally only occur in conjunction with an adoption matter or involvement by a local social services agency. Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. ยง 2511, there are nine (9) grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights. Several of the grounds available relate to crimes committed by the parents. For example, rights may be terminated if the parent(s) have committed child abuse or neglect. This can result in a criminal charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Why do I have to attend Credit Counseling?

First, it is required by law. In accordance with Title 11 US Code Section 109(h)1, in order to be a debtor and file a Bankruptcy Petition a person must have in the 180 days before filing the petition completed received a certificate of compliance that they have completed pre-filing counseling with an approved agency. A debtor is also required to complete pre-discharge debtor education after you file. Both are required before the filer's debts can be discharged however the pre-filing counseling must be completed before filing.

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