Attorney John Mlnarik

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Posted by on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_download-2.jpgChild custody is often one of the most hotly contested aspects of any divorce, but contrary to common beliefs even teenaged children can become caught in the crossfire.

The child custody dispute between pop superstar Madonna and ex-husband, Guy Ritchie, has recently heated up in the High Court of England. Despite divorcing in 2008, the couple continues to fight over custody of their 15-year-old son, Rocco.

Specifically, Madonna and Guy Ritchie cannot reach an agreement on whether Rocco should complete his schooling in the United Kingdom – where Ritchie resides – or in the United States, where Madonna maintains a primary residence. Rocco was on tour with his mother while simultaneously enrolled in a Manhattan private school before a December 2015 visit to the UK allegedly derailed his studies. Upon staying with his father in London, Rocco reportedly expressed disinterest in returning to the United States, according to Madonna.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_images-1.jpgReal estate agents occupy a position of trust. Quite often, they are involved in transactions that represent the largest monetary value that their clients have ever encountered. As such, real estate agents may be subject to a number of legal claims.

Fraud

One common claim made in this context is that of fraud. In most cases, fraud requires showing that the real estate agent had the intent to defraud, deceive or misrepresent facts to the detriment of the plaintiff. This may be affirmative action such as telling a lie, or it may be fraud by omitting certain information. Some states have laws or case law regarding a concept called constructive fraud, which is when the real estate agent gains an unfair advantage by using deceitful or unfair methods. Intent is not required in these cases.

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The list of reasons supporting the consideration of consulting with an "Estate Planning Attorney" is long and an important consideration by those of us wanting to assure that our assets get divided and passed on to our loved ones and others in a way that reflects your wishes.

It may look like a term for people of considerate wealth, but everyone has an “estate.”

In fact, your car, home, other real estate, investments, checking account, and even furniture and other personal possession comprise your estate. Naturally, you cannot keep these things when you pass away, but you can control how your estate is given to the loved ones and organizations you care about. In short, estate planning is a clear set of instructions that dictate whom you want to receive something of yb2ap3_thumbnail_denver-estate-planning.jpgours, what they’ll be receiving, and when and how they’ll receive these items. An “Estate Planning Attorney“ plays a key role in ensuring that your estate is fully and clearly drafted, and for when that day comes, an attorney provides proper management and distribution of the estate.

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Bankruptcy is a complex procedure that requires you to make a host of critical decisions from before the time you file straight through to the time your debts are discharged and the bankruptcy procedure concludes. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the dizzying maze of decisions, paperwork and procedure that marks a bankruptcy filing, whether it is a chapter 7 or chapter 13.b2ap3_thumbnail_Bankruptcy-1024x678.jpg 

At the outset, a bankruptcy attorney is there to counsel you on the bankruptcy process and whether it is right for you. They serve to help you take a critical look at your debts and assets and determine if bankruptcy is the path that will best help you or if a smarter approach is to attempt to improve your circumstances from a different angle. For instance, the bulk of your debts may be ones ineligible for bankruptcy protection, such as student loans, and an attorney can help you weigh whether you would truly benefit from bankruptcy.

If bankruptcy does appear to be the right solution for you, an attorney then can help you compare the chapter 7 and chapter 13 options. This is a critical decision and will involve you and your attorney examining the size and makeup of your debt, the assets you are willing to risk in a bankruptcy, and your ability to repay your debts or a portion of your debts, among many other considerations.

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Posted by on in Family Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mothertossingson.jpg When a couple decides to get divorced, they agree to sever their legal relationship with each other. However, both parties still have legal rights and responsibilities related to their children, whether they were born of the marriage or part of an adoption. In most situations, the fact that the children were adopted will not differ from whether the children were born of the marriage. However, there are some exceptions.

Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Adoptive Parents

When parents choose to adopt a child, they take on certain obligations related to that child, as well as acquire certain rights once the adoption process is finalized. The parent has the duty to care for and provide for the child, just as he or she does with children born of the marriage. Additionally, the parent has the right to make important decisions related to the adopted child, including decisions regarding his or her education, religion, extracurricular activities and other aspects of his or her life.

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Whether you are buying or selling a home, your team of expert advisers should include a real estate closing attorney. Real estate closings are complicated matters and require a thorough knowledge of the law. With a decision as serious as buying and b2ap3_thumbnail_download-1.jpgselling real estate, it is important that you are guided throughout every step of the closing process by an experienced and knowledgeable real estate lawyer.

How a Closing Lawyer Can Help

The real estate attorney performs many time consuming tasks preparing for a closing. A real estate closing involves a series of complex phases: contract drafting and negotiation, document review, examination of the title, completion and explanation of legal documents, and resolution of any possible title difficulties. An experienced real estate attorney oversees the entire process so that you are not overwhelmed by the paperwork involved, the disclosures that need to be made, inspections, loan documents, title insurance and affidavits, and unforeseen issues that can suddenly turn a sure sale into a disaster.

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Your relative's estate plan is a mess - but your family doesn't know this yet. Planning isn't really the problem: there is no planning. And if there's no planning, then a house will pose a special challenge.

Homes are often the biggest part of a decedent's estate. Estate planning for the distribution of a home is frequently met with understandable reluctance - no one likes to contemplate his or her own passing. Such contemplation is even more difficult with respect to our homes.

Our homes have meaning - more than bank accounts, stocks or personal property. Our homes are the places where our children grow up, family gatherings are held, and where grandchildren bring joy. We work to make our homes places of comfort and safety.

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Posted by on in Bankruptcy Law

When individuals have accumulated so much debt that it overwhelms them and they are unable to repay all of their debt according to the original terms of the contract, they may seek bankruptcy relief. Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be one option for them.

Features

In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, debtors liquidate their assets and pay off as much debt as they can. Secured debts receive priority over unsecured debts. There are a number of exemptions that people can claim during these proceedings.b2ap3_thumbnail_21970042_s.jpg 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_familylaw300.jpgRelationships between family members are often complicated and emotional. For this reason, conflict between members of the same household are bound to occur, even in the happiest of households. Unfortunately, when these disputes rise to the level of violence or threats of violence, the individuals involved may be facing allegations of serious criminal offenses.

Texas law specifically address family violence in Tex. Fam. Code § 71.004, and defines it as "an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself."

Texas recognizes the following types of relationships as protected by the family violence statute:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Online-FREE-Real-Estate-Investing-Series.jpgFor many couples, real property represents the most valuable and expensive asset that they own. Since the couple will no longer be living together in the same house, they must often reach some sort of decision regarding which party will receive the house.

Options Regarding Real Property during Divorce

Prior to entering into a property settlement, the parties may consider a number of different options concerning their real property, especially the marital home. One common option is to sell the home. After the mortgage is paid off, the couple may equally or otherwise fairly split any proceeds from the sale.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_images.jpgWhen it comes to dealing with the loss of a loved one, one of the last things that any family member wants to do is call a probate or estate attorney. This is understandable given that the family is grieving with the loss. Finding a lawyer should be not be a complicated matter. Finding the right lawyer to handle an estate, whether it requires planning or for the will to be probated, however, requires due diligence.

Arranging for an appointment with probate or estate lawyer early on is always a very good idea even well before the loss of a family member occurs. The reason being is that you can plan effectively and have important questions answered that will help prepare you and others when the worst happens. For example, retaining the right estate lawyer can simplify the process and save the estate a significant amount of money in taxes and fees. Of course, it helps to know the type of questions that you should ask before meeting with the attorney. What follows are several of the most popular questions that will help you get a better idea of what you need to do in order to hire the proper probate or estate lawyer.

What Areas Of The Law Do You Practice?

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Bankruptcy is a complex procedure that requires youc5 to make a host of critical decisions from before the time you file straight through to the time your debts are discharged and the bankruptcy procedure concludes. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can guide you through the dizzying maze of decisions, paperwork and procedure that marks a bankruptcy filing, whether it is a chapter 7 or chapter 13.

At the outset, a bankruptcy attorney is there to counsel you on the bankruptcy process and whether it is right for you. They serve to help you take a critical look at your debts and assets and determine if bankruptcy is the path that will best help you or if a smarter approach is to attempt to improve your circumstances from a different angle. For instance, the bulk of your debts may be ones ineligible for bankruptcy protection, such as student loans, and an attorney can help you weigh whether you would truly benefit from bankruptcy.

If bankruptcy does appear to be the right solution for you, an attorney then can help you compare the chapter 7 and chapter 13 options. This is a critical decision and will involve you and your attorney examining the size and makeup of your debt, the assets you are willing to risk in a bankruptcy, and your ability to repay your debts or a portion of your debts, among many other considerations.

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FaimlyAfter the witnesses have made their statements in the Family Court, there is usually one more hearing after that in order to allow both the parties to comment on the statements of the witnesses. The number of hearings following the witness statements depends on the Family Court. It is not restricted to one hearing, it can call for multiple hearing following the statements of the witnesses.

This rule applies to family cases in general where the witness statements carry a lot of weight with the court in assessing the rights and obligations of the parties.

After the hearing following the witness statements have come to an end, the Family Court then gives a judgment in the family case. The judgment, however, has to be in a separate hearing or session of the Family Court. The judgment includes all details of the claims raised by both parties and lays out the terms, right and obligations of both parties pertaining to their family dispute. This judgment by the family court can be appealed by either party within 30 days from the date of the judgment.

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In most cases, a person is not legally required to hire a real estate lawyer beforeb2ap3_thumbnail_Real-Estate-Image.jpg purchasing real property. However, real estate lawyers perform a variety of tasks that can help make the home buying process less complicated and that can tend to the buyer’s rights.
 
General Rule
 
Property ownership is usually dictated by state law. Most states do not require a homebuyer to hire a real estate lawyer or even a real estate agent. However, some states only allow a lawyer to prepare documents related to the home purchase, to perform a title search and to complete the closing.
 
Reasons to Use a Real Estate Lawyer
 
For many individuals, the purchase of a home is the most expensive purchase that they will make in their life. They may also live in the house for many years to come, making any decisions made during this process significant and enduring. Additionally, property law is an area of law that includes complex legal issues that may not be present in other areas of law. A real estate lawyer focuses his or her time on real estate transactions and likely has more experience in this matter than the buyer.
 
Tasks that a Real Estate Lawyer Assists With
 
Real estate lawyers can assist in a number of tasks related to the home purchase, including the following:
 
Offer
 
A real estate lawyer can help submit a written offer to the buyer. He or she discusses the options with the buyers and can include certain contingencies for the purchase of the home.
 
Negotiations
 
Many individuals may not be accustomed to negotiating on a routine basis. A real estate lawyer can offer suggestions related to counter-offers, as well as handle the communications between the buyer and the broker.
 
Purchase Agreement
 
The most important document that a real estate lawyer may draw up is the purchase agreement for the home. This is the formal contract for the purchase of the home that details the rights and responsibilities of each party. While many real estate agents use standard forms, a lawyer can provide a customized contract that takes into consideration any unique details or arrangements. Additionally, such standard forms may be written in a way that protects the seller more than a buyer, so having a real estate lawyer can ensure that the buyer’s rights are also being protected. In particular, the lawyer may include provisions regarding the consequences of what will happen if the seller does not provide good and marketable title within a certain timeframe or fails to show up at closing. Additionally, he or she can include provisions regarding home inspections and the rights of the buyer if problems are discovered during this process. He or she should also include a provision that makes the purchase contingent on the buyer receiving appropriate financing for the purchase. Even if using a standard form, a real estate lawyer can review it to ensure that it contains all of the pertinent provisions.
 
Other Contracts
 
A real estate lawyer may assist with additional contracts. For example, he or she may review or draft a contract with the broker. If the property is a rental property, he or she may draft a lease for future or existing tenants. He or she can also review other documents relevant to the transaction, including financing agreements.
 
Title Search
 
The real estate lawyer may also conduct a title search on the home to ensure that there are no clouds on the title. This information is also important to the lender, which has a financial stake in the transaction.
 
Legal Issues
 
Sometimes during the process of purchasing a home, buyers may run into legal issues. For example, they may discover that there was an unknown encumbrance on the property. They may find that there are existing tenants in the property. They may uncover unknown problems with the home or discover that certain areas of the home are not legally permitted. There may also be certain tax implications due to the transaction.
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For most peopleb2ap3_thumbnail_download.jpg, Estate Planning is a mystery; for others, it’s simply not a priority for the simple reason that there is always time to do it “later”. Most individuals consider Estate Planning to be an issue for elderly individuals. Unfortunately, it applies to all individuals in any walk of life because we are never promised tomorrow.

Most of us are familiar with Terri Schiavo and the legal battle that ensued between her parents and her husband. For those who are not familiar; at the young age of 26, Terri suffered a full cardiac arrest on February 25, 1990. She was later resuscitated but suffered massive brain damage to lack of oxygen to her brain and was left in comatose. After two and half months without improvement her diagnosis was that of a persistent vegetative state. For two years the doctors attempted any and all forms of medical treatments that may assist Teri in her recovery but were unsuccessful. In 1998 her husband made a petition to the court to remove her feeding tube pursuant to Florida law. Her parents, however, felt that there was still hope and that she was in fact conscious. This is when the 7 year long legal battle between her husband and her parents began. After 14 years of being in a vegetative state, the State of Florida made the determination in favor of her husband. The feeding tube was removed and Teresa Marie Schiavo died on March 31, 2005 at the young age of 41.

The legal issue here was Terri Schiavo did not have a written document authorizing or expressly stating what her intentions would be in this circumstance. The court had to make a determination as to who had the right to make that decision. The court had to decide whether the parents rights trumped the husband’s rights. In this case, the court determined the husband had the right to make that decision.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Bankruptcy1.jpgMany debtors try to sell off at least some off their assets in order to have money to pay their creditors and to live but there are risks in selling off assets too. This is because assets are supposed to be used to pay off your creditors and not favor one creditor over another unreasonably.

Selling assets before Bankruptcy

The US Bankruptcy Trustee will examine transfers and sales that you made before you filed for bankruptcy. In some situations, the Trustee may try to seize those assets from the people who received them. The trustee may also penalize the debtor by refusing to accept a reorganization plan, disallowing some exemptions or even denying the debtor the right to discharge the debts.

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When Shots Ring Out

By John L. Mlnarik

The Mlnarik Law Group,

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Seal_of_The_Senate_Of_The_State_Of_California.jpgSenator Bob Wieckowski has introduced a bill in the California State Senate that provides significant improvements to our current exemptions including:

  • Increasing the homestead to $300,000 for all individuals
  • Removing the 6 month reinvestment requirement
  • Increasing the exemption for vehicles to $6000
  • Establishing that bankruptcy alone is not an event of default
  • Creating a grubstake of $5000 for self-employed individuals, etc.

We need you to contact your state senator this week to voice strong support for this bill! Here are the easy steps you can take to show your support:

  1. Visit http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ and enter your home address to determine who your CA state senator is.
  2. Using our template letter of support below, “CA AB 308 Attorney Letter of Support,” address your letter to your senator and fill in the fields in red.
  3. Submit your letter via email or fax. To fax, please refer to the fax number listed in your state senator’s website.
  4. To email your letter – which we recommend – please refer to the chart below for your senator’s Chief of Staff. Email your letter to this individual by using this email address format: Firstname.Lastname@sen.ca.gov
  5. Please also email a copy of your letter to Julie Seger at jseger@hastingsgroup.com so we can track which senators have been contacted and by whom.
  6. If you have any questions or difficulties with identifying your senator or sending your letter to their office, please contact Julie at jseger@hastingsgroup.com and she will be happy to assist you.

Thank you for your support! -TMLG

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The Mother’s Day season is here again. First, I want to wish the mothers out there a happy day with your children or maybe a day of rest followed by a wonderful b2ap3_thumbnail_529164781.jpgfamily meal. Some women choose not to have children but for another group of women, Mother’s Day can be hard. I wanted to write for those women today. I am sure you have been told by more than one person not to think about it. This may or may not be good advice but pointless on a day like Mother’s Day. Most likely it isn’t easy on any other day as you wake up checking your fertility kit or ordering another expensive shipment of special products, pills or yoga videos. Let’s not forget the constant budgeting to see if you can afford some acupuncture, alternative medicine or a few extra therapy sessions. Today I will give you some other thoughts. Maybe some are new to you or maybe not, but hopefully they give you a little comfort.

1. How about today you allow yourself to think about it with no guilt attached. Here are some quotes about hope to give you perspective:

  • I hope infertility isn't a big joke, because I DON’T GET IT!
  • “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” –James Baldwin
  • Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, unless you are trying to get pregnant!
  • Getting pregnant is like a bank robbery. It takes split second timing!
  • Sometimes I imagine I am pregnant but then it gets sad so I have a glass of wine and suddenly I am glad I am not pregnant.
  • Please God, if you can’t make me pregnant make my friends' children little devils!

2. Now that you have some perspective, here are some things you can do today if you haven’t already. I can’t promise any of them will result in a child but maybe getting a child isn't all about science?

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b2ap3_thumbnail_640px-Aristotle_Altemps_Inv8575.jpgAs you may know, lawyers are required to continue their education through classes called MCLE’s. While some of these include pure education on the law, others are designed to help lawyers increase their communication skills so they can work towards resolution or fine tune their persuasive skills. The recent training I attended was the latter.

You may find it interesting to learn that the skills required to be a good lawyer have been passed down from Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Alexander the Great. As I was reminded in this wonderful training, the core curriculum for an attorney dates back to ancient Greece. Back then it was all about educating young men in the Trivium or “Three-Way Road” and the Quadrivium or “Four-Way Road.”

For Attorneys it is the Trivium that is of most value including: Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric. A little refresher on the basic principles of these key areas can help your lawyer to become more efficient and more effective for you.

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