Why You Need A Divorce Lawyer

Should you file for divorce first?

When marriages begin to fall apart, most spouses know that something is wrong. However, many spouses are hesitant to be the first one to file for divorce. Some are unsure about whether divorce is really the solution, others may wonder if they are being hasty and still others may just not know how to proceed. While people’s hesitation to file divorce is understandable, people considering divorce should be aware of the potential benefits that accompany being the first spouse to file for divorce.

Financial benefits of filing for divorce first

Being the first spouse to file divorce means that a person can begin the proceedings at a time when he or she is financially prepared to do so. A person would have had time to collect copies of all important legal documents, such as deeds, bank and investment account statements, wills, life insurance policies, social security cards, titles to property. They will need these papers as part of the property division process, and it may be more difficult to obtain copies after the divorce starts. Also, a person can assess the family finances and determine the extent of their assets and debts, so they will have an accurate idea of what will be divided in the property division.

People filing for divorce first also have the advantage of doing so after they have ensured that they have access to money and credit to meet their needs during the divorce process.

Possible legal benefits of filing first

One of the main legal advantages that a person gains by filing the divorce petition before his or her spouse does is that the filer can request a Standing Order from the court when filing the petition. Such an order prevents either spouse from making changes to beneficiaries on policies such as life insurance or retirement accounts, selling, borrowing against or transferring property, changing bank accounts and other similar financial moves. This can be important if the spouse filing divorce suspects that the other spouse will attempt to hide assets.

The person who files for divorce also chooses the jurisdiction in which they litigate the divorce. In situations where spouses have lived apart from each other for a substantial period of time, possibly great distances from each other, filing the divorce petition first can prevent having to conduct matters related to the divorce far away from where a person lives.

If the matter should go to a hearing, the person who files the petition usually presents his or her case first. This can be a drawback for a spouse if he or she does not wish to reveal his or her strategy to the other spouse. The other spouse then has the opportunity to adjust the presentation of his or her case after seeing the other side.

Talk to a lawyer

Many people become paralyzed by indecision when faced with such a monumental question as whether to file for divorce, or just wait until their spouses file first. This is not a decision that a person should make without gathering all the information possible. Those who feel their marriages are coming to an end should speak with a seasoned divorce attorney who can discuss their specific situations with them and help them decide the best way to move forward.

 

Surprise, I’m Divorcing You

Not everyone sees the divorce coming. Surprise can be unsettling and may give you an advantage. You have had time to plan, hire a divorce attorney, open new bank accounts, apply for new credit cards, plan where you would live, plot out custody schedules, etc. You have a head start. Plus you are mentally prepared.

When divorce papers are filed, the court orders a Joint Preliminary Injunction (JPI). A JPI prevents either spouse from selling or encumbering assets. Basically a JPI prevents either party from making any unusual financial moves without the court’s permission. You, with your planning, already made your moves.

 

Your divorce team can be lined up in advance, and without interference.

Achieving the best possible outcome from a divorce requires a team of qualified experts on your side. Filing first means you can take the time to interview and retain the right people. You know you’ll need an excellent divorce attorney, and in financially complex divorces, it’s also essential to have an experienced divorce financial planner on your team. In addition, I recommend a compassionate therapist to help you cope.

Being able to interview/consult attorneys first can also protect you from the possibility that your husband could “conflict out” the best lawyers in your area. All he’d have to do is meet with each one just long enough to establish an attorney-client relationship, after which they would be prohibited from representing you.

 

The Disadvantages of Filing First

Like many things, there are also negatives to filing for divorce first. It depends on your situation because every relationship is different. However, some disadvantages of filing first revolve around money and strategy.

  • You Alert Your Spouse to Your Demands –When you petition for a divorce, you usually have to list your desires or demands. The other party sees this at the time they are served. This allows them to know exactly what you want and come up with a counterattack.
  • Sometimes Pay More Fees – The individual who petitions for a divorce first might have to pay the filing fees. Because you go first, you may also have to pay more in attorney fees if your lawyer is busy gathering information.
  • Set Forth the Dissolution of Marriage – If you and your spouse are discussing divorce, you make it solid by filing for it. Usually in these cases, there is little chance of reconciling, since one party has already made the move.

 

Legal Advantages of Filing First

Filing first lets you choose where your divorce will be adjudicated.

Divorces are generally decided in the jurisdiction in which they are filed. If you and your husband have already separated and live in different counties or states, or if you spend equal time at homes in Connecticut and New York, for example, it is worth your while to check into the legal implications of filing in the different venues legitimately available to you. State laws can be widely different regarding such crucial considerations as child custody customs and division of marital assets, including whether or not an ATRO is part of the process. Your experience and expected outcome might vary widely in different jurisdictions. Do your research, and consult with attorneys wherever you might file.

Top Reasons To Hire Family Law Attorney

Divorce Lawyers

Divorces can be emotionally and financially draining. Choose trusted and highly-rated lawyers who handle divorce cases and will be there for you during the tough times. Masterson Law provides aggressive and compassionate help during your divorce.

Divorce is often referred to as a dissolution of marriage. It is a court judgment that legally ends the marriage and usually divides the marital assets and property. In order to initiate the case, the petitioner must have a “legal reason” and meet the following conditions

One of the parties must have been a resident for no fewer than ninety days before the filing. The only acceptable exception is if the party is a member of the armed forces and currently serving.

A finalized divorce will only be granted thirty days after the petition has been filed or the spouse has received it. The proceedings will be held either in the petitioner’s or respondent’s county of residence

Divorce laws allow for limited “no-fault” dissolutions. This enables the petitioner to obtain one without providing proof of adultery, abuse, or other wrongdoings. The most popular reason cited is “irreconcilable differences,” although there may be other unconfirmed grounds

 

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Divorce Attorney

divorce is a huge step, and how it’s handled can have lasting impacts on the rest of your life. No matter which side you’re on, it’s wise to seek experienced legal representation. Most likely, you’ve never been divorced before, so the process is new and uncomfortable. Before hiring a divorce attorney, you need to do your homework to ensure you’re getting the best for your situation

Research every prospective attorney’s experience, as well as how your case will be handled, and what attorney fees you will pay.

If you or your spouse are in the military, you need to ensure you don’t hire a divorce attorney with no experience in military divorce. If you are wealthy and own your own business, you don’t want to hire an attorney who has never dealt with the nuanced financial issues that come with splitting large assets. You need a divorce attorney who specializes in what makes your life unique.

Once You Decide

Once you have interviewed and decided which attorney you want to hire, have that attorney draw up a fee contract. Do not give the attorney a retainer fee until a contract is written and signed by both you and the attorney. If the attorney refuses to do this, find another attorney.

 

How to Choose the Best Family and Divorce Lawyer

Choosing the right family lawyer to help with your divorce is an important decision facing people who are leaving a relationship. Not only is choosing someone with the right legal skills and expertise invaluable, it is important to choose a family lawyer that you can work well with, during this distressing time.  Making the right choice early should help produce the best result possible in the least amount of time and at a reasonable cost

Start your search for the right lawyer as early as possible

You do not want to be placed under the stress of finding and engaging your lawyer in a short time frame. For example, don’t leave it until you receive a letter out of the blue from a lawyer acting for your ex, demanding a quick response.  It is preferable to seek and instruct a family lawyer as soon as you know the relationship is on the rocks.  If this is not possible, then you should engage a family lawyer as soon as possible after separation. Attend an initial appointment for some valuable preliminary advice, even if it is hoped the separation will be amicable. You will get some useful advice about your rights and obligations, and this will also secure the services of the lawyer therefore preventing your ex from using that lawyer or their law firm against you.

Only use an expert

Family law has grown in complexity since the introduction of the Family Law Act in 1975.  Since then, the Act has undergone numerous and significant amendments, and is regularly under review by Parliament.  Each year the Family Law Courts determine thousands of cases which set precedents for how the Act is to be applied. This continuous process of change in the Family Law system means that lawyers working in the area must dedicate a great deal of time to keeping abreast of the law as it currently applies, and doing so improves their performance for their clients. This means that choosing a lawyer who practices predominantly in family law will best advance your case and ensure you get the right advice. Experienced family lawyers from reputable firms regularly participate in professional development training. For Accredited Specialists in Family Law professional development is mandatory, and they have also passed a gruelling examination set by the state’s Law Society

Ask around

In today’s world, where around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce, everyone knows someone who has recently or is currently going through a relationship breakdown.  If you find yourself in similar circumstances, then speak to these people about their experience with the lawyers they may have encountered. Not everyone is willing to speak about their personal circumstances, but most people would be open about whether they had a good or bad experience with their lawyer. You could also ask a trusted professional for a recommendation to a family lawyer, such as your financial planner, accountant or conveyancer

Meet your lawyer

When you have chosen a proposed family lawyer, make an appointment to see them as soon as possible. Take a close friend or relative to this appointment to help you absorb the advice you will receive, but also to assess whether this is the right family lawyer for you.

 

ACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY

When choosing a lawyer, divorcing spouses should consider each attorney’s experience, availability, track record and success

Relevant experience

First, spouses should focus on finding attorneys who primarily practice family law and have local experience. Divorce laws vary significantly by state; for example, unlike most states, Arkansas requires spouses to establish fault for the divorce or live separately for 18 months. To ensure best results, a divorce attorney should have detailed knowledge and experience with these distinct laws

Focus and availability

Divorcing spouses should use their initial meetings with prospective attorneys to assess how available and engaged each attorney is. Spouses may want to consider the attorney’s caseload and the level of attention that the attorney provides during the consultation. An attorney who seems distracted might not dedicate adequate attention to the case later. Spouses should also evaluate how easy reaching and communication with each attorney will be.

Quality of assistance

An attorney’s associates and support staff often perform essential duties over the course of a divorce case. Many divorcing spouses may even work largely with these members of the firm. Therefore, before making any commitments, spouses may want to request an opportunity to meet these individuals and assess whether working with them will be feasible.

Accuracy and honesty

According to CNBC, spouses should take note if an attorney makes guarantees or seems to simply be saying what the spouse wants to hear. Ideally, divorcing spouses should hire attorneys who can evaluate the situation accurately and honestly. To find the best representative, spouses should meet with multiple lawyers and request assessments of the case. This can help spouses determine whether any attorneys are being unrealistic or making unlikely promises.

 

Choosing The Best Divorce Lawyer or Family Law Attorney

Finding the right attorney can be a challenging exercise. There are many good and ethical divorce attorneys who would be happy to represent you, but there are also many who don’t keep up to date with the law, don’t care much about your personal needs and/or charge too much. No matter how straightforward your case, it will likely move faster and be easier if you have a competent attorney to oversee it from beginning to end.

Don’t go around asking your friends or family for the most cutthroat litigation-happy divorce attorney they have ever heard of. Don’t employ an attorney who badmouths his/her colleagues and who tells you that you can get whatever you want out of your spouse if you just fight for it and that your spouse will pay all the costs of the divorce including yours. Rather search for an attorney who will represent your interests, whether that means fighting it out in court or making sure you get a fair settlement. Ask your divorced friends or family members whether they liked their attorneys, and why. Find an attorney who will treat both you and your spouse with respect and who considers the welfare of your children as his/her top priority.

Your attorney cannot manage your case without your help. Because divorce deals primarily with children and financial issues, you need to provide your attorney with all the information he/she requires to be able to deal with your case in a constructive manner. As a client you need to be calm, coherent and reasonable. Working with an attorney takes some patience, and you must remember that your attorney has other responsibilities and other cases that may be more pressing at certain times. It doesn’t mean, however, that your questions or concerns should be ignored, but you have to be realistic in your expectations

It is up to you personally to convey the seriousness of your concerns, but if you call daily with the same concern, your attorney may not respond as fast as you want him/her to. You don’t want to involve your attorney in every disagreement you have with your spouse or every conflict that occurs in exercising your rights with regards to your children. If your attorney has a legal secretary or paralegal or associate, try to speak to him/her. Although these professionals are generally not able to give you the same advice, they may be able to answer basic questions or reach your attorney to get an answer.

Time is money in the legal profession, and the more time you spend with your attorney, the more it will cost you. That is why it is so important to approach meetings or phone calls in an organised way. Think about your questions or issues in advance, and list them to discuss with your attorney.

Must Know How To Choose The Best Family Law Attorney

How to Find a Good Lawyer

Choosing a good lawyer is like choosing any other product or service. It’s best to do thorough research to help you make an informed decision. Once you secure several lawyer referrals with expertise in the appropriate practice area, you should carefully research each candidate. Below are some simple steps to choosing the best lawyer for your legal needs.

Conducting Candidate Interviews

One of the best ways to assess a lawyer’s legal ability is by interviewing them. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation—usually an hour or less—at no charge.

Keep in mind that a higher fee does not necessarily equate with a more qualified attorney. Consequently, a rock bottom fee may signal problems, inexperience, or incompetence.

Consulting the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Martindale-Hubbell is a great resource for information about a law firm and its lawyers. This guide—which can be found online at Martindale.com and at your local public and law libraries—is often used by lawyers when choosing legal talent in another jurisdiction.

Asking Other Attorneys

Lawyers know the skill and reputation of other lawyers. Attorneys may be able to provide information about a fellow lawyer that you may not find in a book or online, such as information about a lawyer’s ethics, competence level, demeanor, practice habits, and reputation

 

How to Find a Criminal Lawyer

how Do I Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Many resources exist to help people find attorneys that will resolve their legal matters. Before hiring a lawyer — including the right criminal defense attorney — it is important to conduct research and ask questions. Criminal defense lawyers are hired by defendants. Defendants can be individuals or a group of people

As noted above, researching different attorneys and gathering as much information about the lawyer you may hire is important. The reality of some legal matters, however, does not allow for extra time to conduct lengthy, if any, research.

For example, if someone is incarcerated, and cannot afford to hire an attorney, then the court will provide information regarding a court appointed attorney. While it is a good practice to research potential attorneys to hire, it is most crucial to have an attorney by your side to protect your rights in criminal matters

What Happens in a Criminal Case?

A civil case usually involves private citizens or businesses. The person or entity that brings a civil lawsuit against another party is usually looking to be financially reimbursed for some sort of damages. In criminal cases the party that brings the lawsuit is typically the government. The government imposes punishments — jail time, fines, probation, etc. — on the defendant.

When Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

A defendant in a criminal matter should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The attorney’s job is to protect the defendant’s rights and also to advise and lay out the scenarios or possibilities of what may occur in the case. It is imperative that the rights of the defendant are protected and the best way to do this is to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

 

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime, you’ll probably need the immediate assistance of a criminal defense lawyer, particularly if your liberty is at stake. A good criminal defense lawyer can explain your rights in all stages of the criminal process and help make the difference between a reduced plea bargain or dismissal and a jail sentence.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Being charged with a crime — whether major or minor — is a serious matter. A person facing criminal charges risks severe penalties and consequences, such as jail time, having a criminal record, and loss of relationships and future job prospects, among other things. While some legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal arrest of any nature warrants the legal advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case

What to Look for When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense attorneys handle a variety of criminal cases, including felonies, misdemeanors, drug charges, white collar crimes, and many other state and federal crimes. When looking for a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll want to find the best one for your case. As such, you should concentrate on the lawyer’s expertise, skill level, and knowledge.

How to Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer

There are numerous ways to find and hire a criminal defense lawyer. Referrals from friends and family or online research may be a good start. However, in many instances, a person facing criminal charges may not wish to publicize the news of his or her arrest to extended family members and friends or may not have unlimited time to research online.

Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Before selecting a criminal defense lawyer, you should feel comfortable enough speaking with him or her concerning all aspects of your criminal charge

 

What to Look for in a Private Criminal Defense Attorney

The attorney you’re looking for will probably not be the same person who handled your will, or helped you buy a house, or whom you aunt used when she was involved in a car accident. These all were civil attorneys, whereas you want someone who specializes in criminal law. (In small town, however, you may have no choice but to hire someone who practices in both areanas.)

Civil versus Criminal Attorneys

Private criminal defense lawyers tend to practice either on their own or in small partnerships, and in a specific geographical setting. By contrast, attorneys who handle civil cases tend to congregate in large corporate law firms with branch offices in many cities.

The Local Advantage

A defendant should try to hire an attorney with experience in the courthouse where the defendant’s case is pending. Though the same laws may be in effect throughout a state, procedures vary from one courthouse to another. For example, the D.A. in one county may have a no-plea-bargaining policy with respect to a certain offense, while the D.A. in a neighboring county may have no such policy. Or, defense attorneys in one county may know which prosecutors are more likely to plead right before trial, as against those who will negotiate in advance. Local attorneys also know the police officers and how they perform in court before juries. Defendants should prefer attorneys who have experience with local procedures and personnel.

Experience with the Crimes Charged

A defendant should also try to find an attorney who has represented defendants charged with the same or very similar offenses. Modern criminal law is so complex that many lawyers specialize in particular types of offenses. For example, one may specialize in drunk driving, another in drug offenses, and another in white-collar crimes (generally referring to nonviolent, money-related crimes, such as tax fraud or embezzlement).

The Personal Factor

A defendant’s lawyer speaks for the defendant. No matter how highly recommended a lawyer may be, it is also important that the lawyer be someone with whom the defendant is personally comfortable. The best attorney-client relationships are those in which clients are full partners in the decision-making process, and defendants should try to hire lawyers who see them as partners, not as case files

 

Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you’ve been arrested for or charged with a crime—regardless of how serious—it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney. Depending on your financial situation, you might consider hiring a private criminal defense lawyer. (Another option, again depending on your finances, is court-appointed counsel; self-representation is also possible but usually a bad idea.)

Don’t Delay

It’s usually best to talk to a criminal lawyer as soon as possible after being arrested. Although your first court date may be a ways out, finding a lawyer can take some time, and there might be things you can do in the meantime to improve the outlook of your case. For instance, if your case involves drugs or alcohol, an attorney might advise you to get into treatment or start going to 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), even before going to court for the first time.

Finding the Right Attorney

Because there are so many criminal defense attorneys out there, the task of selecting one can be daunting. Here are some suggestions and considerations that might help you make the choice

Free Consultations

Most criminal defense attorneys offer prospective clients a free initial consultation. Taking advantage of this opportunity to meet the attorney and get some of your questions answered doesn’t obligate you to hire the attorney. But an in-person consult will often give you a good idea of whether you can work with a particular attorney or firm.

Questions to Ask

There’s no surefire way of picking the “best” criminal defense attorney. But asking some questions can help to inform your decision. Below are some things you might want to ask about

Choose The Best Immigration Lawyer

What do immigration lawyers do?

The immigration issues that have seen intense political debate and media coverage in recent years are only part of the story.

The United States sees a constant influx of people hoping to live, work, and study within its borders, and immigration lawyers can help individuals, families, and businesses navigate those various and often complex immigration pathways. A person’s immigration status might impact and intersect with other legal matters too, such as family law, criminal law, business, and tax law, and being well versed in immigration law is necessary for attorneys practicing in those areas as well.

Immigration lawyers may represent clients in administrative courts, or they may counsel clients about their legal rights and obligations related to immigration, among other things. They also suggest courses of action based on their knowledge of immigration law.

For example, immigration lawyers might help citizens of other countries through the process of gaining legal status to work in the United States with the H-1B visa program. This program provides a framework for American employers to hire non-U.S. citizens in jobs where their skills are needed. Individuals hoping to come to the United States to fill such positions must gain approval through a complex and often intimidating process. They (or often the employers hoping to hire them) often turn to immigration lawyers, who provide assistance in completing forms and taking other required steps. The lawyers may also represent clients in dealing with government officials in matters related to the visa application.

You can find immigration lawyers in various legal settings as well, from large law firms to smaller practices that include or specialize in immigration law, to government agencies to nonprofit organizations. (Every world-class performer or athlete has an immigration attorney behind them, advising on and securing necessary visas!) Some immigration attorneys provide services through a nonprofit or public interest law fair. Or they may prepare correspondence, meet with government officials, make presentations, and advise staff and volunteers, among other duties.

Finally, highly experienced immigration lawyers may pursue other career interests, such as teaching immigration law in law schools. Many universities have an immigration attorney on staff to advise incoming students and faculty as well. Other possibilities include becoming an immigration judge, a legislative aid (every member of Congress has an immigration advisor on staff), or an appointed or elected official.

Even criminal lawyers would be well-advised to understand immigration law, as they can be professionally sanctioned for failing to properly advise non-citizen clients of the immigration consequences of convictions, pleas, and sentences.

At the end of the day, immigration law can be a strong fit to students interested in human rights and international law, as well as those interested in business law or criminal law.

 

10 Reasons To Book Your Free Consultation

  1. Green Card Eligibility:

While securing a green card may not always require a legal representative, you will find that doing so can make the situation much easier. In addition, discussing your situation with a reputable immigration lawyer during an immigration lawyer free consultation allows you to avoid being a victim of fraud. Many scammers operate with titles like “Notario” and “Visa Facilitator” who are not qualified to protect your interests in court nor can perform any of the functions of a certified lawyer.

  1. Legal Proceedings:

If you are somehow involved in legal proceedings, immediately contact a qualified immigration lawyer. Legal proceedings can spin out of control without proper legal representation and lead to severe results such as incarceration or deportation.

  1. Deportation Notification:

If you have received a notice of deportation, contact an immigration deportation lawyer An immigration lawyer free consultation may uncover reasons for the deportation that may be reversible. Top immigration lawyers have excellent relationships with immigration authorities and may be able to legally persuade a different approach to the reason for deportation.

  1. Application Denial:

If you have been denied a USCIS Green Card or citizenship, select a proven and successful immigration lawyer whose with a clear track record. Often application denials are a result of a misunderstanding, improper application completion, or other circumstance that a qualified attorney might overcome. Contact an expert lawyer for an immigration lawyer free consultation.

  1. Criminal Offense in the United States:

In the case of a criminal offense while living and working in the United States, you should proceed immediately to an experienced immigration lawyer. Individuals in this position are liable for deportation when serious offenses occur. During an immigration lawyer free consultation, the lawyer can advise and protect your rights in these circumstances.

  1. Moving to the U.S. for a Job:

For anyone who has been offered a job in the United States but must work out the immigration details themselves, a credible and experienced business immigration law firm is essential. The firm can represent the individual, expedite the legal paperwork, and facilitate the entire process. An immigration lawyer free consultation will begin the process.

  1. Investment-Based Visa:

Business people or investors who create or finance a United States-based business that employs ten or more full-time employees are eligible for EB5 investor Green Cardsor permanent residency. To handle the legalities and requirements of this type of situation, professional legal representation is important. Given the considerable paperwork involved and the complexities of admitting family members under 21 to the United States, setting up an immigration lawyer free consultation can be very helpful to expedite all processes.

  1. Emergency Help:

Identifying a ready and capable legal resource who is familiar with your situation is important. Sometimes events happen quickly. Knowing whom to call is important. An immigration lawyer will familiarize you with a ready legal resource to help you in a difficult situation.

  1. Peace-of-Mind:

Having a discussion about your circumstances during an immigration lawyer free consultation can bring psychological relief and instill confidence that someone is available who knows your situation and can help. A free consultation provides you with an educated opinion of your circumstances and imparts relief that you have a ready contact to phone if circumstances change.

  1. It’s free.

You are under no obligation to continue with the relationship. During a free consultation, the immigration lawyer will explore your circumstances to determine if legal action or protection may be required. If so, a clear path can be devised to identify the clear objective and proceed. This will also allow you to determine if the immigration lawyer is the right fit for you and is sincere in protecting your rights.

 

What are Some Situations Where Hiring an Immigration Lawyer is Necessary?

Most persons hire an immigration lawyer when they need assistance in submitting an application for some type of immigration document, such as a visa or green card.  This is especially true when the person is unable to fully understand the various requirements under immigration law.

There are certain instances when hiring an immigration lawyer is absolutely necessary.  Some of these situations include:

  • If an applicant has been convicted of a crime: Nearly all USCIS forms ask whether the applicant has been convicted of a crime.  The applicant must disclose their entire criminal record, even for charges that were dropped or expunged.  It is usually not necessary to hire a criminal lawyer; immigration lawyers always understand how immigration and criminal law overlap.
  • Prior immigration applications have been denied: An immigration lawyer will be able to determine why the application was denied.  They can also tell if it is possible to appeal the application or re-apply later in the future.
  • If the person has previously been deported or excluded from entry into the U.S.: Sometimes deportation or exclusion means that the person is permanently barred from future applications.  An immigration attorney can provide advice on the effects of deportation and exclusion.
  • If an applicant has a medical condition: Some, but not all medical conditions may prevent a person from obtaining entry into the U.S. (such as some communicable diseases).
  • When an applicant is waiting an unreasonably long time during the application process: Immigration lawyers are familiar with application processes, including deadlines and waiting times.  A lawyer can sometimes help the applicant obtain expedited or rush processing.
  • If the applicant is seeking an employment-based visa, but their prospective employer is not assisting with immigration issues: Processing for employment-based visas can be complicated.  An immigration lawyer can help ensure that future employers are fulfilling their obligations to future immigrant workers.
  • If the applicant’s marriage to a U.S. citizen was terminated before they were able to have conditions removed on their permanent resident status: Visa applications based on marriages are usually filed jointly.  If the marriage has been terminated due to divorce or death, it can be particularly difficult to prove that the marriage was not fraudulent.

If an applicant is seeking to adjust their permanent resident status but was recently divorced and married to a different U.S. citizen:  The main issue here is that the first marriage may be suspected to be a scam.  An immigration lawyer may be necessary to prove that the first marriage was legitimate.

If a person is immigrating to the U.S. with their family and their child might reach age 21 before permanent resident status is granted:  Eligibility for permanent resident status is different for children under the age of 21.  A lawyer can help determine the best method of filing for children of applicants.

If the applicant has begun the application process but does not know what to do next:  At times USCIS may request additional paperwork or documentation to support an applicant’s claim.  Working with an attorney from the beginning of the process can help prevent delays and may even make the process faster.

 

What to bring to an immigration lawyer

It’s important to be prepared for your first consult with an immigration lawyer. Bring any forms the lawyer asked you to complete. These will usually include basic information, such as name, date of birth, and address. In addition, you should bring or send ahead copies of all documents related to your immigration case.

These may include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Past or present visas and/or visa applications
  • Documents you were given when you entered the United States
  • Letters from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

If you have a criminal record, you should bring all related police reports and court documents. You must be open and honest about any arrests, even if they no longer appear on your record. Keeping your lawyer fully informed is important.

It’s also a good idea to bring this list of immigration consultation questions that you want to ask, so you don’t forget anything.

 

What are the Four Categories of  Immigration Status in the U.S.

You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand basic immigration law and policy. There are four categories that people in the U.S. fall into, as explained below. Since a criminal conviction can complicate your immigration process, the categories of certain crimes are also explained in this article. Applying these concepts can make all the difference in any immigration petition.

To begin with, let’s look at the four types of immigration status that exist: citizens, residents, non-immigrants and undocumented.