Can You Have an Easy Divorce?

The legal process of a divorce doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult. There are a few key things a couple need to do to ensure their divorce is not a painful one.

In this blog, we’re going to explain how a couple can navigate both the personal and legal process of a divorce and come out the other side in a strong and positive place.

1.  Maintain Respectful Communication

When a couple separates it can be challenging to avoid arguments and look at the situation from the other person’s perspective. It’s important to maintain a level of respect and empathy with each other. Not only for the couple divorcing but the people around them, especially children.

In any legal proceedings, communication is crucial. This is especially important when dealing with something as personal as divorce. If you have a clear line of respectful communication, the divorce proceedings will be easier and you will have a better relationship post-divorce, which is so important if there are children involved.

2.  Counselling

One of the ways that helps to process the emotional impact of divorce is counselling. It can be extremely helpful during the formal divorce process and for building relationships once the divorce has been finalised. It allows a couple to discuss the challenges they faced in their relationship and are facing during the legal proceedings.

Counselling can help a couple to come to terms with the breakdown of a marriage and help to resolve any past issues. This is important if the couple has kids or relationships with step-children, as counselling can help a couple to work out a plan to move forward amicably.

3.  Choose the Right Lawyer

If a couple is looking to divorce, they will need to seek legal advice. The right lawyer will be an empathetic and experienced family lawyer. Someone who can guide the couple through the process in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. Getting legal advice as early as possible is recommended, so the clients understand the proceedings and are not uncertain about the process. This allows the couple and lawyers involved to have more constructive conversations that make the divorce proceedings less stressful and easier to navigate.

However, it’s important for a client not to take the first formal steps of the divorce process until their ready. A good family lawyer will advise their client on the process so you can decide a comfortable environment. Once a decision is made, a client’s legal representation can give them clear guidance so you feel at ease throughout the divorce.

4.  Be Honest

A couple must be honest to each other as well as their lawyers throughout the divorce process. If everyone involved in the process is honest, the divorce proceedings will be smooth and as simple as possible. This is because lawyers need to understand every challenge, so they can bring a quick resolution to the proceedings.

The Divorce Process Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful

There is a misconception that divorce can’t be amicable. However, the legal aspect of a divorce is normally a simple process, where a lot of people discover issues is the resolution of financial agreements as well as childcare arrangements. One of the reasons this has changed is both people in a couple will now typically have financial independence.

This allows a couple to have the freedom to divorce amicably if they feel their relationship has come to an end. There is also a lot of information available about the impact of an unhappy relationship on people’s mental health and a child’s happiness and development. With an easy and amicable divorce, a couple can ensure everyone involved reaches a settlement that is best for everyone involved, both for the two partners and any children or stepchildren.

A divorce only works if each party has realistic and reasonable advice. This way a solution that is fair for everyone can be reached. With an empathetic family lawyer, a person seeking a divorce will have compassionate advice that can help someone navigate through the process.

To find a lawyer who can help you through a divorce, get in touch with BP Collins today on 01753 889995 or contact us online.

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A Guide to Making a Disability Claim in Canada

Many people in Toronto and GTA suffer a lot of personal injuries especially related to motor accidents and split and fall. One of the major applications that people file after any personal injury is disability claims. It is vital to know what steps to take when you suffer such fate and to ensure you get the maximum compensation from your insurance companies.  You need to hire the right personal injury lawyer that will guide you and help you take care of all the legal actions while you focus on a speedy recovery. So if you are suffering from an injury or any internal disease for which you cannot continue your work or is causing a major hindrance and if you are willing to know what steps you should follow next when going through such to claim your disability insurance, read below. You need to go through the following seven steps and take prompt action on it. Hiring an lawyer will definitely help you get the most out of your insurance claims:

Check what are the disability plans applicable in your case

One gets several kinds of disability plan benefits in Canada, each having its conditions and criteria. Only if you qualify for any one of them, you will receive the benefits. It’s even possible for a person to qualify for two or more disability claims. Finding the best claims program will help you get the most money for your disability.

Short-Term disability benefits

A few workplaces offer short term disability benefits, which provides disability income to people who can’t work for the next two or three months. Various disability policies offer various benefits and the time coverage they offer varies as well. You need to check whether your employer offers such short term benefits.

A Guide to Making a Disability Claim in Canada

Long-Term disability insurance benefits

Some employees qualify to apply for long term disability benefits. These benefits provide disabled employees with their monthly income for several years until the person becomes 65. To obtain long term disability plans, you need to have an insurance policy. Your disability needs to be eligible to be qualified for thi program. A lot of medical reports and testing in involved in such cases.

Get the approval of your doctor

Without any medical support, your disability claim won’t be approved. Your absence from work won’t be approved as sick leave. Your employer might take it to be an unauthorized leave and might terminate your employment. You need to serve them proper medical prescriptions, mentioning the injury or medical condition you are suffering from, with your doctor’s approval on it.

Sometimes, there might be more you need to do to convince your doctor for its approval of your disability claim. You must follow the doctor’s instructions and be very clear and open about disability and severity of pain and other side effects. However, if you have tried your best to convince the doctor of your need to apply for a disability claim and he is still not convinced, you might have to change your doctor.

Start the process

Upon receiving your doctor’s approval, you can start the process from being employed to being on sick leave. Some employers are strict and generally don’t take their employees’ requests seriously. So you need to tackle the situation carefully to keep your job, a workplace pension, and other benefits secured. For ensuring this, you must get your doctor’s statement written. It must confirm your injury and the need to take leave.

Your employer might show you some other options you can opt for. Don’t accept them. Stick to getting a disability plan benefit. You may be eligible for retiring early. In such cases, the agreement has the clause saying that employers are not under the obligation to pay you once you opt for it. So be careful.

Collect various forms and fill them

After you gather all application forms of various disability plan benefits, start filling them. Fill them properly and attach supporting documents and information. You must fill them properly and check your doctor’s written statement and the employer’s form, ensuring that they have stated correct facts.

A claim representative officer will be assigned, to verify your disability claim. You should cooperate with him and do the needful. After completing every step, all you need to do is waiting for him to make a decision. Generally, employees receive the decision taken within 30 days of their submission of the form. Consult the Canadian Pace Law firm Hamilton for further details.

Hiring a personal injury representative

It is important to hire a personal injury lawyer to in order to get the highest amount of disability claims. Personal injury lawyers are very well versed in their fields and they know the ins and outs about handling such claims and how their clients can get the maximum benefit. One of the great reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer is that they do not charge any fee until and unless they win your case. This way the client is also assured and can easily pay the lawyers only if he gets the compensation from the claims.

Many individuals try to avoid a legal representative as they think the matter might be over complicated. Often they are not aware nor do they have access for the right measures to be taken and the steps to proceed. Whenever an individual files an application, most insurance companies try to manipulate the case and more than often he client ends up receiving compensation lower than they deserve. This is when a personal injury lawyer steps in helps you get the right compensation you deserve.

Hamilton has many reputed personal injury law firms such as Pace law that can guide you get you the right amount. Disability claims are usually time sensitive matters and paperwork needs to be filed in a swift manner. Some clearances may take a longer time hence make sure to file your application on time in the right manner the first time.

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Temporary Foreign Worker Wages Program in Canada

Updated Wages for Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Canada has always been a land of opportunities for the number of immigrants travelling here on a yearly basis. Many families come here for better life standard, better health system and to help their children get their better education. Many students around the world apply to Canada’s world class educational institutions for a better future and growth in their careers. Canada has always kept their immigration programs hassle free so that students can easily apply and get their enrollments.

Foreign workers from many other countries also get hired by many acknowledged fortune 500 companies and other mid-sized corporations for the skills they possess. Many of these foreign workers tend to apply for permanent residency through various immigration programs especially LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment). Job security and protection of these workers have always been a concern to ensure the real talent gets a better growth in the Canadian market.

Planned Avg 2019 Salary Increases

The COVID-19 Effect on the job market

With the coronavirus affecting the job market worldwide, Canada has introduced a new median hourly wages for temporary foreign workers in the country. Canada has always been a frontrunner in dealing with unexpected situations and one with such severity like this one, Canada has already came up with measures. The nation is known to put the welfare of its citizens/residents as a top priority and with exactly keeping in line with that, the Canadian government has announced a new median hourly wages which took effect from 11 May 2020. This new effect will definitely relieve the temporary foreign worker minds.

new median hourly wages

As you can notice from the table, the rates are different in each territory or province. Although the rate may be the same or may have reduced in some provinces, the majority of the provinces have raised the median hourly wage; albeit marginally. However, at this unique and unfortunate situation, any raise is better than none. Provinces Nova Scotia and Yukon visibly does not have any change in their wages. Alberta and Ontario has seen a raise of $1 in their wages which also holds the highest percentage of foreign workers in Canada. Nunavut has seen the biggest growth in their wages by $2.

What is the significance of the median hourly wage for temporary foreign workers?

The territorial and provincial median hourly wage is used by all Canadian employers including to determine the requirements that need to be met for the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Whether or not the employers have to apply for LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) under high-wage and low-wage positions is determined by the wage offered by the employer and the location at which the opening is available. This is not a set measure but just a minimum number that needs to be offered. Jobs with bigger responsibility and better skills will of course be hired a higher wage.

Keeping up the hiring processes amidst the travel restrictions due to Coronavirus

Hiring new employees has become all the more difficult for employers due to restricted movement across borders. However, the government is doing everything in its power to help the employers continue with their recruitment process. A few measures that are discussed below have been introduced so that foreign workers can still be recruited despite the travel restrictions worldwide.

With so many travel restrictions now imposed, many companies have now started to hire the talent virtually in order to keep the workflow going. This will ensure the job security of these foreign talents and once it is safer travel, they can easily immigrate to Canada.

New curbs taken for LMIA applicants

The following measures for all LMIA applications were introduced by the Employment Social Development Canada (ESDC).

  • If the employers want to enter a different person’s name on the LMIA due to COVID-19, the name change process has been made fast-track. It can be accomplished sooner.
  • Those employers whose applications fall under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program or the Agricultural Stream, in general, need not freshly apply for Housing Inspection. A report that was previously valid can be submitted.
  • Previously, employers of workers in the low-wage stream had one-year as the maximum duration of employment under the LMIAs. It has now been raised to two years. This is a part of a three-year pilot program.
  • Minor administrative changes that do not in any way affect the terms and conditions that need not be submitted by the employer to the LMIA.
  • All LMIA requirements for jobs in the agricultural sector have been removed until 31 October 2020.
  • Occupations in the agricultural sector are given top priority under the LMIA

To make operations safer for new employees, Canada has introduced a $50 million initiative. This is to help workers complete the mandatory isolation period. Recruits will be allowed entry only for essential reasons. This is determined by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

The above change has already been rolled out and taken in place. You can head to the CIC website to see more updated information on these changes.  It is important to stay up to date with all the latest immigration information. In case you need some personal consultation with a well knowledgably and reputed lawyer; you can book your consultations at Bookings can be done easily and you can also find plethora of information on other immigration programs. It is always advisable to consult with an immigration lawyer when you have doubts related to any application an Immigration lawyers not only help with LMAI applications but also assist in successfully filing any immigration application. Immigration lawyers can also help you in your immigration appeals or in case your application is rejected the first time, immigration lawyers can help you navigate the immigration laws and help you successfully file it the second time. As many foreign and temporary resident workers immigrate to Canada, staying up to date with the latest changes is important. Canada has always been a land of opportunities for many aspiring people around the world and it welcomes you to start your journey!

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Is a slip and fall at a supermarket worth pursuing?

Miami is a busy city. Step into any supermarket and you’ll find it full of local people, buying their groceries and other products. Any store, including supermarkets, must provide a safe environment for its customers. Unfortunately, they sometimes don’t take this responsibility seriously.

If you have a fall and injure yourself and it happened because of negligence on the part of the supermarket, you may be able to make a compensation claim.

But is it worth reaching out to a Miami slip and fall accident attorney? Much will depend on the level of injury, how it affects you and whether the supermarket was at fault.

Types of slip and fall injuries

While a slip and fall might seem like a minor accident, it can sometimes cause significant injury. The most common injuries are sprains and broken bones. It’s not unusual for someone to suffer from issues with their back. In severe cases, there may be serious damage to the spinal cord or they might suffer from major trauma such as a brain injury.

Falls can be caused by all sorts of things. Slippery floors are quite common in supermarkets, especially during wet weather. If areas, both inside and outside the store, are not maintained properly they can cause accidents. This includes flooring or paving that is uneven or cracked and which the supermarkets have failed to repair in a timely fashion.

Other issues can arise if workmen are doing something in the store and don’t protect the surrounding area. Poor lighting in certain areas of the supermarket can also make accidents more likely.

Is the supermarket responsible?

This is the big question that your Miami slip and fall accident attorney will need to help you answer. In simple terms, the supermarket is responsible whether they were aware of the hazard before the accident took place or were unaware but should have been.

The key here is proving that the supermarket was negligent. A lot depends on what their obligation was at the time of the accident with regards to ensuring your safety as a customer. If this obligation was breached, a claim may be possible.

However, whether a claim proceeds also depends on the extent of your injuries.

For minor bruising, for example, it may not be profitable for a claim to be made as the amount of compensation that is likely to be awarded will be small. It’s important to seek counsel from your attorney at the earliest possible moment to discuss whether there is a viable case for a claim.

Find a Miami slip and fall accident attorney

Slip and fall accidents can be quite complex to litigate which is why it’s essential to work with a specialist law firm. An experienced Miami slip and fall accident attorney will be able to gather the evidence and determine whether the supermarket has breached its obligations to you as a customer and whether your injuries are serious enough to warrant a claim.

For a relatively serious injury, you will undoubtedly incur medical costs. The injury might also mean you have to take time off work, perhaps losing vital income. With long-term injuries such as spinal cord damage or brain injury, you will need to make big changes to how you live your life.

A specialist attorney who has handled many slip and fall accident claims will ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. This will include getting you the support you need and gathering the evidence to make the claim.

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How Can Your Conflict Style Affect Your Divorce?

The process of ending a marriage is rarely, if ever, completely free from disagreements between the separating spouses. Divorce involves many important decisions that will have a significant impact on each person’s life and finances, and it is almost inevitable that the spouses’ interests will differ on a number of key points as they prepare to live separate lives. Added to this are the strong emotions that each spouse may be experiencing, from sadness at the failure of the marriage, to anger at each other, to fear of what comes next. When you consider all of these factors, it is hard to imagine many situations with more potential for conflict than a divorce.

That said, you should keep in mind that conflict is a natural part of life, and it can even be productive if the involved parties make an effort to work together and achieve a mutually beneficial solution. With the help of a Lombard divorce attorney, especially one who has mediation experience, you can reach an agreement that works for both you and your spouse, and possibly avoid the time, expenses, and stress of a prolonged court battle. However, your success may depend in large part on the way you personally approach conflict.

Social science researchers Thomas and Kilmann have established a model that has long been used to help people identify their conflict styles and understand how to better approach conflict in both their professional and personal lives. With some self-reflection, you can develop a better understanding of your own conflict style, how it might affect your divorce proceedings, and how you can adapt your style to have a better chance of reaching a satisfying resolution.

The 5 Styles of Conflict in Your Divorce

According to Thomas and Kilmann, the five common conflict styles are as follows:

  1. Avoiding – If your conflict style is avoiding, you tend to stay away from conflict and put off addressing it even when doing so is important. You may be unwilling to assert your own needs, and you are also unwilling to cooperate with the other party to reach a solution. In a divorce, this style may lead you to delay signing paperwork or avoid appearing for settlement negotiations, which can make for a long and frustrating process for everyone involved. You will also likely be unsatisfied with the ultimate outcome if you have not made the effort to clearly communicate your needs and preferences throughout the proceedings.
  2. Accommodating – If you have an accommodating conflict style, you often prioritize the needs of others over your own. Perhaps you feel guilty or responsible for the failure of your marriage and feel that the only way to make up for it is to let your spouse have what they want. Maybe you are worried that if you try to stand up for yourself, it will make it difficult for you and your spouse to maintain a civil relationship and co-parent after your divorce. You could also simply want others to continue to think of you as an agreeable person once the divorce is complete. Accommodators may choose to pursue an uncontested divorce because they believe it will lead to an easy agreement with their spouse, but they should be careful not to give up too much in the settlement that they will wish they had fought for later on.
  3. Competing – A competing conflict style means that you approach conflict with the goal of getting what you want and with little regard for the other person’s concerns. You may view your divorce as an all-out war in which you should attempt to punish your spouse and maximize positive outcomes for yourself. This attitude makes mediation and other collaborative approaches to divorce next to impossible, especially if both spouses adopt a competing style. You can likely expect a long, ugly trial with fierce litigation on behalf of both spouses, and the outcome may be less favorable for you than if you had been willing to cooperate.
  4. Compromising – If you take a compromising approach, you are willing to give up some of what you want in exchange for concessions on the part of the other party. In most divorces, some amount of compromise is necessary, as it may not be possible for both spouses to get everything they want. Reflecting on the terms that are most important to you and those that are less important can help you decide where you have room to bend. For example, you may be willing to cede your share of your spouse’s business assets if it means that you can keep the family home in your name.
  5. Collaborating – A collaborating conflict style means that you are invested in working through conflict to reach a resolution in which everyone gets what they want. For example, when creating a parenting plan, you would consider your children’s needs and schedules, your own work schedule and living situation, and that of your spouse, to arrive at a mutually agreeable outcome with sustainable terms that maintain everyone’s best interests. If you and your spouse are both willing to take a collaborative approach to your divorce, mediation guided by a trained, neutral third party can be a great option that ensures you both have input in the agreement and helps you avoid a trial.

Collaboration is always ideal, but it may not always be possible or realistic. However, if you tend to slip into a less productive style like avoiding, accommodating, or compromising, you should still make an effort to move toward collaboration as much as you can. Try to recognize that it is necessary to engage in some conflict to reach a resolution to your divorce. Make an effort to stand up for what is important to you, or work with a DuPage County divorce lawyer who can support you and fight for your interests. At the same time, remember to listen to your spouse’s perspective and look for openings that could lead to a solution that works for both of you. Even though conflict may be inevitable, with the right approach, endless pain, anger, and stress do not have to be.

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6 Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Who Wish to File for Divorce

In the past, stay at home mothers were a staple in most households. Husbands went to their professional jobs every day, while mothers stayed home to take care of the children and household work. As times have changed, and single incomes have become inadequate for many families, more and more women have joined the workforce rather than remaining at home. With this change in society, stay-at-home parenthood has shifted to include more than just women. Stay-at-home parents have not disappeared, especially for families with young children, and many fathers have begun to stay home to take care of the kids.

For couples who live off a single income, divorce may seem like an impossibility. It is no secret that filing for divorce can involve high legal fees, and it can leave the non-working parent uncertain of how to proceed. Deciding to divorce as a stay-at-home parent can be a difficult choice to make, but no spouse should be stuck in an unhappy marriage, regardless of their working status. For stay-at-home parents in Illinois, divorce is a valid option, and with the help of a DuPage County divorce lawyer, you not only will survive your divorce but also come out stronger on the other side. If you are considering divorce, be sure to follow these tips:

Gather Your Official Documents

In households that have one working spouse, the financial responsibilities often fall on the working party. Since the working spouse knows their income, he or she typically handles the paying of bills, filing of tax returns, and overseeing other financial matters. Though it may seem overwhelming, it is important to collect your own copies of important legal documents. These include W2s and tax returns from the past several years, pay stubs and income statements, bank statements, insurance policies, and more.

You may believe that you are not entitled to your spouse’s income or savings, since you were not the person who earned this money. However, Illinois considers all property and assets acquired during a marriage to be both spouses’ property, known as marital property. You deserve to know your financial situation, and your attorney will need access to these records when helping you negotiate your divorce settlement.

Gain Access to Your Family’s Funds and Budget

As a stay-at-home parent, you are likely concerned about how you will pay your legal fees and how you will support yourself after everything is said and done. If you have no access to your marital funds, and your spouse refuses to support you, there is another way that you can fund your divorce. Illinois allows spouses going through the divorce process to request temporary alimony.

Also known as spousal maintenance, alimony is legally mandated financial support from one spouse to the other. You are able to request temporary alimony arrangements if you are having difficulties financially supporting yourself during the divorce. This money can be used towards your divorce proceedings if you wish. It is important to create a new, personal budget once you obtain this spousal maintenance allotment to be sure that you can use the funds to cover your legal fees and your everyday expenses.

Know the Worth of Your Marital Home

Some divorcing couples have an emotional tie to their home that they are not ready to let go of, while others may feel the need to move elsewhere to move on from their marriage. Whether you want to remain in your marital home or not, it is important to know the current value of your property. During the asset division process, it is critical to understand the value of what you own so that your marital property can be divided fairly.

In some cases, a stay-at-home parent may continue to own their marital home to live in with their kids, while the other parent moves out on their own. However, you may need to consider whether selling your home would be the better option. Depending on the value of the home and the ongoing costs, such as mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes, it may be more financially responsible to sell the home and move to a more affordable location. Not only will you reduce your monthly expenses, but you can also use the sale money to support yourself.

Consider Your Future Options

Depending on your state’s laws, you may be able to collect spousal maintenance, but in Illinois, there can be a time limit. Alimony payments are re-evaluated every few years, and if your former spouse can prove that you have not made any efforts to become self-supporting, your spousal maintenance payments can be terminated.

It is important to consider your options moving forward as a spouse who has been out of the workforce for some time. Take some time to think about possible jobs or career positions that you are interested in. If you need financial assistance from your spouse to go back to school to pursue your career goals, it is important to explain how this investment will help you become self-sustaining in the future.

Begin Building Your Finances

Since you and your spouse have had commingled financial accounts for the extent of your marriage, it is important to open your own personal accounts and build your credit. Building your personal credit score is critical for making large purchases in the future and living on your own. If all of your financial accounts have been in the name of your spouse, take the time to create your own accounts and keep your finances out of the hands of your spouse.

Hire a Reputable Legal Professional

The most important step that you can take as a stay-at-home parent is doing your research and hiring an experienced divorce attorney in your area. Stay-at-home parents have even more on the line than divorcing couples who are self-sustaining, and you need a divorce lawyer who can fight for your right to adequate assets, spousal maintenance payments, and child support, if applicable. You will want to work with a Naperville family law attorney who has extensive experience working with stay-at-home parents. Divorce is an option for every spouse, including those who are stay-at-home parents, and your legal representative is critical to the success of your divorce case and future.

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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago

Criminal offenses should be taken seriously, whether they will be the start of your criminal record or an addition to a laundry list of charges. Regardless of the number of offenses that you have in your past, you should take immediate action when you are charged with a crime. Federal offenses are actions that violate U.S. federal laws, and those who face these types of charges may be investigated by government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Offenses prosecuted at the federal level can include sex crimes, drug trafficking, weapons charges, white collar crimes, and more.

Compared to state crimes, federal offenses often carry much heavier penalties, making it even more critical to work with an attorney who is experienced in federal criminal defense.

The federal and state government each have their own court systems. Federal court judges are nominated by the president, approved by the Senate, and serve for life. Being charged with a federal crime can be intimidating, and more than 90% of individuals prosecuted in the federal court are convicted of their charges. In these cases, hiring a Chicago federal criminal defense attorney is crucial.

They Do Not Focus on Criminal Defense

Based on a law firm’s website, it becomes fairly obvious which practice areas they highlight and what their strong suit is. You should be searching for an attorney who has a reputation of success in the criminal defense field. Attorneys with very little experience defending against criminal charges will not have the same number of strategies at their disposal. Each attorney will likely have their own bio page which highlights their accomplishments and successes in the field. Talking time to read these website pages can help you get a sense of their experience in criminal defense.

Not Shopping Around

Most attorneys offer free consultations for a reason, and you should take advantage of these opportunities. Engaging in a free consultation by no means guarantees that you will be hiring the attorney, but it will give you the opportunity to personally speak with the lawyer and determine their personality and work ethic. You may want to speak to multiple criminal defense lawyers and ask about their previous work with cases similar to yours. If they have extensive experience defending people in a similar position as yours, and you believe they have the right personality to address your needs, they may be the right lawyer for you.

Taking a Chance on Someone New

While it may seem admirable to work with a young, fresh attorney, it is always best to place your trust in a criminal defense lawyer with a long resume to back up their claims. A criminal defense case can be one of the most serious situations that you may ever face, and your fate rests on the abilities of your attorney. Older, more reputable lawyers may not have the young, modern outlook of a new attorney, but their litigation experience has a better chance of leaving you with a smaller sentence or a not-guilty verdict.

Not Understanding Federal vs. State Cases

Because state and federal court systems differ, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who is well-versed in federal cases. Federal courts have different policies and procedures, such as retaining the same judge throughout the entire trial. The amount of evidence available in federal cases will often far outweigh what is used in state proceedings. This can allow your attorney to access additional information to strengthen your case. Without a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the federal courts, you will likely not have as strong of a case, and you may not be able to utilize the resources available to their fullest extent.

Failure to Perform a Background Check

While you may not need to perform a complete background check, you should utilize your online resources to do some more research into your potential attorney. Their website will highlight their successes and achievements, but it will likely leave out any information about infractions or instances of misconduct that they may have in their past. You should take a look at client reviews and legal directories for a more honest and detailed view of a lawyer’s work and reputation.

Ignoring Your Instincts

The trusty “gut feeling” that you have probably turned to when making decisions in the past is just as relevant when it comes to hiring a criminal defense lawyer. When speaking with a potential attorney, you will be able to pick up on any possible scams, lies, or personality disconnects that you may notice. Remember, you are placing your future in the hands of someone else. You should be sure that you work well together and that you fully trust their judgment.

No Clarification on Fees

One of the biggest concerns that people face when they hire an attorney is the possibility that they will not be able to afford the attorney’s services after they have already started working together. It is important to be upfront about what you can and cannot afford. Having to find a new criminal defense attorney in the middle of your case because your current one is too expensive can leave you wasting time and money in building a new defense strategy.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is imperative that you promptly begin searching for a Chicago Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer to work with, keeping in mind the common mistakes discussed above. Whether you are facing charges related to drug trafficking, fraud, or other federal crimes, an experienced attorney can advise you on how you should proceed.

Attorney Hal M. Garfinkel has been practicing criminal defense law for more than two decades. He has defended clients facing a wide variety of charges, including federal white collar crimes, drug crimes, and other serious offenses, and he has provided representation in a number of high-profile criminal cases.

Things to Consider When Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in DuPage County

Searching for an attorney to help you throughout your divorce can be a difficult, but necessary, journey to take on. You have probably seen TV advertisements for personal injury claims or criminal defense lawyers, but you may be left wondering where you can turn to find a reputable divorce lawyer. Divorce can be a topic that many people do not want to discuss with others, making it more difficult to broach the subject with a recently divorced acquaintance. However, there are ways to find an experienced attorney without publicly announcing your divorce and asking for suggestions on social media.

For those living in the DuPage County area, there are a number of divorce attorneys who you can work with in your local jurisdiction. The high number of firms in your area may leave you uncertain about who to work with, but with the following considerations in mind, you can find the proper lawyer for you and your family:

Shop Around

It is important to take the time to look at all of your options rather than hiring the first attorney that you speak with. Many firms offer free initial consultations to allow you to speak with their lawyers without being on the hook for an hourly rate. Take advantage of these free meetings to talk with a few attorneys in your area before settling on one legal professional.

Discuss Your Situation

While it may seem uncomfortable to talk about the ugly details of your marriage, you should be sure that an attorney is experienced in the areas that pertain to your divorce. If you have children and foresee a contentious custody battle in your future, you should ask the divorce lawyer about their previous experience with these types of cases. High net worth divorces can also involve a variety of complex issues, so you will want to be sure an attorney has the relevant experience to address these concerns.

Mediation Experience

If you and your spouse have an amicable relationship and are not expecting a difficult divorce, you should consider finding a firm that also offers divorce mediation. Not all divorces require time in court — you and your spouse may be able to create your divorce agreement together with the help of a mediator. It is important to find a firm with experience in litigation and mediation so that you have adequate legal representation if conflict arises.

Utilize Directories

Along with online reviews from previous clients, the internet has a number of resources for Illinois residents searching for a reputable attorney. Legal directories allow you to apply filters to your search, including the practice area you are looking at and the location that you are in, to provide you with results that pertain to your needs. These directories also often have qualification requirements for attorneys to be included, guaranteeing that the professionals are up to your standards.

Ask About Cost

Realistically speaking, you should be asking about attorney’s fees from the start. This can be an uncomfortable topic to bring up, but without knowledge about what to expect, you may be signing up for fees that you simply cannot afford. Legal proceedings represent a financial investment that will ensure that you can achieve a positive outcome to your case, but there are ways to find a reputable attorney without exceeding your budget.

Making the decision to file for divorce will often put you in uncharted waters. Your initial concern may be how you can find a reputable attorney in your area who fits your needs. This can seem overwhelming at first, but by following these steps, you can make sure you have the right person on your side to address your legal concerns, allowing you to focus on planning your future.

Attorney Sean P. Sullivan is a founding member of the SBK Law Group located in Naperville, Illinois. After graduating from Western Michigan Law School in 2009, Attorney Sullivan returned to his hometown to assist those in his area with their legal concerns, including divorce and family law. He focuses on highly contested cases, but also offers divorce mediation for those who have a more amicable relationship.