Can You Modify Alimony?

Jan 22, 2019 by

I’ve always wondered about how alimony works in the state of Texas. Growing up, my parents got divorced and the process was pretty messy. I remember my mom making a fuss about how much alimony my dad should be paying. I didn’t understand what that meant at the time, but as I’ve gotten older I wonder what goes into calculating those alimony payments. I was reading about how payments work on The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC website. The lawyers at Maynard Law Firm work with clients to get fair alimony payments based on the current financial situation of the two parents.

In Texas, when alimony is decided on in court, the decided-on amount is binding. That means that whoever is paying alimony is legally obligated to pay. They can have their paychecks garnished. They can also face legal repercussions for not paying. However, there are some situations where you can petition to have alimony modified after agreeing to the original alimony amount.

The first situation where alimony might be modified in court is when the current alimony is not meeting your financial needs. If you can prove in court that the alimony payments are not covering your basic financial needs then you may petition to have this payment raised. You may not have it raised more than the legal maximum.

On the other side of things, if you are paying alimony, you may have the opportunity to have these payments reduced. If you find yourself in financial hardship, and your alimony payments are now preventing you from meeting basic living needs, you can petition to have alimony changed. This may happen if you get fired from your job or you take a significant wage reduction. If your spouse begins to make much more money than they did at the time of settlement, you can also petition to have alimony reduced.

It’s pretty interesting that alimony can be modified for reasons like this. We tend to think that when a judge slams his gavel, everything is set in stone. As it turns out, judges are willing to hear out people on how situations have changed and set modified alimony in place. I’m learning that things are never so cut and dry in the legal field. Divorce can be especially messy. I haven’t been involved in divorce proceedings myself, but I would bet that they bring out some ugliness in people. A friend of mine once said that DUI attorneys deal with people on their best behavior and divorce attorneys deal with people on their worst behavior. It’s especially hard when children are involved. Everyone involved ideally is trying to get a settlement that works out in the children’s best interest, but parties see the other side’s point of view as self-serving and greedy. I hope I’m never involved in anything like that. If I did find myself caught up in divorce proceedings, fighting for a fair alimony decision, I would definitely call a lawyer around town to help reach a fair decision.

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More Common Types of Cosmetic Surgery

Jun 7, 2018 by

Each year, many people undergo cosmetic surgery for medical or personal reasons. The goal of cosmetic surgery is to achieve one’s desired look. Because of my interest in cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic procedures, I decided to narrow my research and focus on some of the more common types of cosmetic surgery procedures performed today.

In my research, I came across an excellent article by Bergman Folkers Plastic Surgery that explained four common types of cosmetic surgery: face/head cosmetic surgery, body contorting, breast surgery, and repairing a botched surgery from the past.

The article explained that face/head cosmetic surgeries are often used to fix wrinkles and lines caused by stress, excessive sun exposure, gravity, and age. As human beings, when we think of someone, we often associate that person’s face with that thought. Because of this, many individuals choose to undergo some face/head cosmetic surgery to enhance their image. The article explained that in this type of cosmetic surgery, there is a subset of other procedures: otoplasty to change the position of ears, blepharoplasty to create smoother, younger-looking eyes, rhinoplasty to adjust the nose to create a more balanced face, facelift to tighten the face and neck, and hair transplant to treat pattern baldness. Through my research, I discovered there are a wide variety of cosmetic surgeries that can fix different parts of the head/face.

Next, the article described body contouring, a procedure to reshape the body and remove excess fat. Body contouring surgeries are used to fix one’s undesirable attributes on their body. Like face/head cosmetic surgeries, body contouring also had a subset of specific surgeries, including tummy tuck, fat transfer, liposuction, and massive weight loss.

Breast surgery augments or reduces breast size and maintains a natural look. The specific surgeries that come under the umbrella of breast surgery include breast augmentation, breast implant removal, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, breast lift, breast lift with implant, and implant exchange. Each type of breast surgery is unique to achieve every individual’s particular desires.

Botched surgery repair is the general term used to describe a poorly-done procedure. The botched surgeries include those listed above, whether face/head cosmetic surgery, body contouring, or breast surgery. Basically, with botched surgery repair, a more-experienced, skilled surgeon fixes the mistakes of a less-experienced, novice surgeon.

Thanks to the article, I now understand that there are a number of cosmetic surgical procedures to meet an almost infinite amount of desires and goals. If a patient walks into the office of a cosmetic surgeon with a problem, there is a good chance the cosmetic surgeon knows a cosmetic procedure to fix that problem. Everyone has his or her desired image, and it is comforting to know that there is a multitude of cosmetic surgeries that can help meet these desires.

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Legal Advice for Austin Immigrants

Sep 22, 2017 by

Austin is still reeling from the back and forth from the White House when it comes to the deportation of Dreams. From the startling announcement that President Trump planned to end DACA (or the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, in other words, the 2012 law that allowed Dreamers to stay in America without fear of deportation), the White House has now vacillated between confirming and walking back that decision. At the moment, the thinking of the government is uncertain.

This decision has major consequences for Austin and Texas at large. There are currently 230,000 Dreamers in this state alone. That’s more than a quarter of the national total.

The uncertainty follows months of increased presence from ICE officers, with Austin one of the cities hit hardest.

For those capable of it, it’s important to find a good visas and immigration lawyer who can help bring immigration status up to date and comply with all laws. This is true even for those who are here legally. Make sure your green card is up to date, and keep it with you at all times. If your status is uncertain in any way, contact a lawyer who can advise you on the right steps to take. And then take them immediately.

We can’t know what will happen next when it comes to immigration law. We’ve seen already travel bans come and go and then come again even stronger. The most recent travel ban has expanded the list of countries, and it is not at all out of the realm of possibility that the next iteration may include countries with large numbers of immigrants already in the US.

Such concerns should encourage those who want to visit their countries of origin to be very careful, and again, make sure all paperwork is in order.

Remember, that there are many different kinds of visas, and if you have one, you may have your own unique set of requirements. The government is not always very forthcoming with what those are. Check the USCIS site to see when your visa expires and what is required to renew it.

For those who are here without visas, keep in close contact with organizations friendly to new immigrants. This includes Dreamers. Dreamers should not assume that the uncertainty coming from the White House means they are safe to continue life as before. A change could come any minute, and the results would be disastrous if you were not prepared.

So be prepared. Contact a lawyer if possible. Contact organizations. Contact your representative in Congress if they are friendly to the Dreamer cause. The more you make your presence known, the harder it will be to remove you from the country. We all pray it doesn’t come to that, but at this point, we just don’t know.

So just be prepared. Whether you’re legal or not, a Dreamer or not, here on a work visa or a marriage visa: if you don’t have citizenship, get all your papers in order and be prepared for anything.

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You have the Choice to Save Yourself from the Detrimental Effects of a DUI Conviction

May 25, 2017 by

Driving under the influence (DUI) puts many lives at risk, including the very life of the intoxicated driver. This is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA puts extra effort and aggressiveness in catching and prosecuting anyone guilty driving while impaired.

In all U.S. states, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08 %; this is regardless of the alcoholic drink consumed and a person’s tolerance level to alcohol. Thus, even though one may still be sober after consuming about four bottles of beer (within the hour), if his/her BAC level registers a 0.08 % reading, then he/she can be charged with a DUI offense, or a DWI if his/her BAC level is above the legal limit.

Many drivers who are caught and charged with DUI are first time offenders – people who may have simply decided to spend a fun, relaxing night with friends or colleagues, but who made the mistake of driving afterwards. Thus, even without the intent of violating any law, as all their thoughts may be focused on getting home or wherever their destination is, if they get caught, then this can change their lives forever..

Drinking is usually a part of any gathering, especially during holidays, special occasions and weekends with friends. While the government does not and will never forbid drinking (especially for those above 21 years old), she will also never hesitate catching and punishing those who will violate the anti-drunk driving law.

According to a Nashville DUI attorney, the consequences of a DUI conviction can be just as detrimental over the long run as they will be in the immediate future. Aside from the fact that most DUI convictions require a prison sentence, you will lose your driving privileges for a period of time, have to pay harsh court-ordered fines, and potentially be designated as a felon. On top of everything, a conviction will be on your permanent criminal record, which may affect your future employment opportunities, ability to secure a loan, and even your living arrangements. That being said, if you or someone you love has been arrested on any DUI charge, it will be wise if you reach out immediately to a DUI defense attorney who may be able to defend your rights and protect your future.

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Not All Those Convicted of a Crime are Guilty

Feb 24, 2017 by

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) makes more than 30,000 arrests due to drug-related crimes. Drug-related activities, including simple possession, possession with intent, sale of a controlled substance, drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and drug conspiracy, are serious federal and state crimes. Punishment for those convicted can include mandatory sentence, steep fines, and possibly many hours of community service, among others. A mandatory sentence refers to the penalties a court must hand down to a person convicted of certain offense. Felony offenses, under state law, for example, are punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of at least one year imprisonment. Class A felonies, which are the most serious, carry a minimum of 15 years jail time. Mandatory minimum sentences, however, may be increased due to certain factors, such as prior convictions or aggravating factors.

Two specific arrests frequently made by state or federal arresting officers are simple possession of illegal drugs and possession with intent. Simple possession alleges that an individual had a controlled substance for his or her own personal use (illegal or controlled substance includes cocaine, heroin, marijuana and ecstasy). Heroin, marijuana and ecstasy are Schedule I drugs or drugs with no currently accepted medical use and which have a high potential for abuse; cocaine, on the other hand, is a Schedule II drug or a type of illegal drug that also has a high potential for abuse; use of drugs under this category can potentially lead to severe psychological or physical dependence too.

More serious than simple possession is possession with intent. This offense alleges that a person who possesses illegal drugs has intent to sell, distribute, deliver, or even manufacture a controlled substance since the amount of drugs in his/her possession is obviously too much for any one person to use . Due to this, a simple possession charge can, therefore, be elevated to possession with intent. Aside from the among of drugs, the presence of some items, like sand/mall plastic bags, containers, or scales are also more likely indicative of a possessor’s intent to sell. While simple possession may only be a misdemeanor, possession with intent is always considered by state and federal authorities as a felony.

Though it is only right that those involved in drug crimes and other drug-related activities be caught and punished, it cannot be denied that a lot of innocent people suffer many years in jail due to wrong conviction, which can be due to:

  • Systemic bias, or institutional bias, which refers to an inherent tendency to support particular outcomes (such as excluding black jurors from trials involving, especially, African Americans);
  • “Tunnel vision” or confirmation bias,” which involves forming an initial impression about one person’s guilt, and then tunneling or focusing on proving that person’s guilt while overlooking exculpatory information and other suspects; and,
  • Plea bargaining, wherein an accused would rather confess to a crime that he/she did not commit just to be given a minimum sentence for the offense he/she is being charged with. While a plea bargain would save a person from a lengthy time in jail, it also forgoes the necessity of a trial wherein he/she can prove his/her innocence.

Even if one is caught with marijuana or any other type of drug, it will definitely be beneficial if he/she would have a highly-competent criminal defense lawyer who may be able to save him/her from conviction or who may be able to help lower the sentence a judge will hand down in case of a conviction.

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