Engaging in commerce on the Navajo Nation can be very rewarding for your business, as the Navajo Nation can offer lower operating costs than are found in most metropolitan areas as well as access to labor and other resources. In order to conduct business activities on the Navajo nation, businesses are required to acquire a business license separate and apart from any business registration the business has with the state. Furthermore, even with the Navajo Nation business license, the business will be subject to additional Navajo Nation regulations, above and beyond applicable federal and state regulations. At C.J. Lee & Associates, P.C., we provide legal counsel to companies conducting business in the Navajo Nation, and can guide you through all steps of the registration process and advise you on all applicable Navajo Nation regulations.

Obtaining Your Navajo Nation Business License

Per the Navajo Nation Corporation Act Title 5, Chapter 19, you must register as a foreign (non-Native American owned) or domestic corporation in order to be granted the ability to conduct business on the Navajo Nation. Even if you are already incorporated with the state, you are considered a “foreign corporation” with regard to the Navajo Nation and must register as a foreign corporation. Registering as a foreign corporation requires the filing of two applications for Certificate of Authority, and two copies of your Articles of Incorporation, including amendments.

For those businesses that have not separately registered as a business under any state laws, they can register with the Navajo Nation as one of the following business entities: Domestic For Profit Corporation; Close Corporation; Nonprofit; or Agricultural Cooperative.

As a business registered with the Navajo Nation, that business is obligated to carry out the following duties:

  • File an Annual Report with the Navajo Nation
  • Communicate any changes in registered agents or company addresses to the Navajo Nation
  • Alert the Navajo Nation of any major restructuring or organizational changes

Business Restrictions Applicable to the Navajo Nation

A company with a Navajo Nation business license is subject to specific restrictions in how it conducts business in the Navajo Nation. For example, the Navajo Business Opportunity Act requires that any business issuing requests for bids must first consider Navajo-owned businesses and offer them first opportunity before a bid can be issued more broadly. Per the Navajo Business Procurement Act title 12, Chapter 15, failure to comply with applicable laws may result in your inability to obtain or renew a lease permit.

At C.J. Lee & Associates, P.C., our Navajo business law attorneys have the experience to help your business understand how to apply with all applicable labor, employment, and business law rules and regulations applicable to the Navajo nation at the federal, state, and tribal level. Call us now at 505-399-5022 for a consultation on how we can help your business thrive within the Navajo Nation.

Copyright CJ Lee & Associates PC

How do you go about leasing the oil and gas resources that exist on tribal lands? It is a complicated process involving trust land issues and numerous federal laws relating to energy production. Consulting with a law firm experienced in protecting the rights of Native Americans and their unique challenges can be instrumental in achieving an accurate overview of matters associated with oil and gas leasing rights on their lands.

As the American oil industry seeks to get more of its energy from within United States borders, the oil and gas rights on Native American trust lands has come under closer scrutiny. Tribal lands within the Unites States contain up to 20 percent of the country’s gas and oil resources, and they are controlled by a small concentration of tribal governments, who largely rely on the U.S. federal government for guidance and support.

Tribal Governments and Federal Oversight

Current legislation has emphasized giving tribal governments greater decision-making authority over their natural resources; however, the barriers to their economic development — particularly with regard to these resources — are exceptionally challenging.

The federal government continues to lend support and oversight to tribal governments based on the “trust doctrine” which loosely requires that the federal government provide:

  • Protection of Native American lands and First Nation usage rights.
  • Upholding of tribal sovereignty and self-governance.
  • Basic social, medical and educational services.
  • The federal government to act in the best interests of Native American tribes.

As a result of a major lawsuit in 2010 that led to a $3.4 billion class action settlement against the federal government’s mismanagement of individual trust funds, there is a much more intense scrutiny of federal government oversight is now in play. This has brought about immense legal challenges with regard to oil and gas rights on tribal lands.

Trust land oil and gas resources have come sharply into focus with U.S. government security concerns relating to “homegrown” energy harvesting and sustainability. Tribal lands host enormous resources, and have the potential to considerably elevate the Native American economy. External pressure and federal lobbying from the non-native energy industry has only increased the challenges. Oil and gas extraction from tribal lands is as controversial as it is in other communities in the country.

Native Americans living on Indian reservations rank as the most economically disadvantaged people in the United States. For those tribal lands with abundant oil and gas resources, such as the Navajo Nation, development can radically change this situation.

Important Challenges Exist with Regard to Oil and Gas Rights

Mineral wealth has been historically one of the underlying dynamics of national growth. The Native American holdings represent a potentially significant expansion of that wealth, if extracted. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reports that there are 42 federally recognized tribes that have gas and oil production, including the Navajo Nation in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. There is a complex web of laws, precedents and oversights that must be adhered to, carefully and correctly.

Some key challenges include:

  • Federal government maintains trust obligations to these “domestic dependent nations,” and Indian lands cannot be legally encumbered or conveyed without federal approval.
  • Tribal governments are not uniform in constitution, direction or enforcement and may act arbitrarily with regard to oil and gas exploitation.
  • Some tribes, such as the Navajo Nation, have rejected the Indian Reorganization Act which gives these tribes a bit more power since they will not have to seek federal approval for tribal council legislation. But, legislation directing pertaining to trust property will still require such approval.

At C.J. Lee & Associates, P.C., we can assist in in all oil and gas rights issues, as well as the leasing initiatives available to you or your tribe. We have experience. We can help. Call us now for a consultation at 505-728-7799

IMG_1919

Did you know that Native American tribal governments, including the Navajo Nation, are not constitutional states or foreign entities, but “domestic dependent nations”? As such, these tribal governments retain many sovereign powers beyond the authority of the U.S. Federal government.

There are more than 500 tribal governments recognized by the United States government, some with control over very large territories, and with hundreds of thousands of members. The Navajo Nation has a population of over a quarter million and governs more than 15 million acres of land over three Southwestern states.

Who is Involved in Making Laws that Impact the Navajo Nation?

Tribal governments have greatly increased their political and economic impact on the rest of North America, and this has opened up concerns as to the exact definition of their powers. Retaining experienced legal counsel is vital to understanding your place in this. These discussions have included no less than:

  • The Supreme Court of the United States
  • The Unites States Congress
  • The federal Executive Branch
  • Tribal governments
  • States
  • Municipalities
  • U.S. businesses
  • Individual U.S. citizens

When Laws Stack Up, It Gets Complicated

Each tribal government makes its own constitutional laws, which often include older laws created in response to historical necessities that are no longer relevant, but still have the power to be invoked. In the past these laws were often in response to ongoing U.S. Government treaty negotiations, and not one cohesive constitution or body of legislation. Additionally, commercial and social interactions between U.S. constituents and Native Americans are controlled by many other levels of law, ranging from bordering cities to multiple departments of the federal government. As a result, the field of Native American law is possibly the most complex system of legislation in the world.

The most complicated legal relationship exists between the tribes and the states in which they exist. Laws established to keep the tribe and state jurisdiction clear has grown less distinct over time. Issues of tribal sovereignty in matters of non-Indian contracts have led to countless “compacts” (legally binding agreements) between tribal governments and state legislators. These compacts cover a wide area of subjects from taxes to physical resource entitlement.

A well-publicized series of compacts exists between the state and tribal governments concerning Indian gaming. Today it has grown far beyond its original establishment in the 1970’s, and has created a huge economy across the Indian Nation. Because tribal sovereignty overrode existing state prohibitions for gambling, the resulting laws regulating Indian gaming facilities are among the heaviest for any enterprise in the world.

Although the proliferation of Navajo Nation laws makes it harder for you to confidently guide your business, the Navajo Nation economy and culture continues to advance and tribal members and the outsiders doing business with them can find numerous opportunities to prosper. At C.J. Lee & Associates, P.C., we pride ourselves on being able to help steer our clients through any complicated issues without getting needlessly entangled in unseen regulations. We have experience far beyond the ordinary, and we can help you resolve even the stickiest problem. Call us now for a consultation at 505-728-7799

Introduction

How federal environmental legislation promoted tribal-regional consolidation

The 5 December 2016 Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers appellate court ruling in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s request for cease of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline adjacent to the territorial boundaries of the Native nation by Energy Transfer Partners. The landmark decision to deny the easement required for permit of the $3.8 billion under- construction pipeline that would carry crude oil 1,200 miles across four states, to bore under Lake Oahe, was based on legislation protecting federal lands.

Standing Rock has become synonymous with protest, as the tribe has maintained its Treaty rights extend beyond the territory in question. Now indisputable that federal environmental legislation preempts the company’s rights to continue construction under a protected waterway, as well as tribes claim of sovereign territorial jurisdiction of those waters. This follows a 9 September 2016 Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers federal court decision, and statement by three federal agencies in September 2016, that would have allowed Energy Transfer Partners to proceed with the pipeline construction.

CERCLA, CWA, FWPCAA, and Oil Pollution Act of 1990

The federal appellate court ruling in favor of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe DAPL complaint, reflects judicial adherence to Clean Water Act 33 U.S.C. §1251 et seq. (1972) and related regulation protecting national waterways. Legislative foundation to induction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) itself under President Nixon, the CWA was informed by the Federal Water Pollution Control Amendments (FWPCAA) 33 U.S.C. §1251- 1376 et seq. (1948), amended between 1952 and 1988. The goals of the CWA ensure healthy access to water by humans and wildlife. Regulation of dischargers is outlined in the guidelines to permit for, and control of oil spillage, and effluents from factories and wastewater plants under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) of 1972.

Prior to enactment of the CWA, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948 provided the basis regulation and: 1) establishment of a regulatory framework to pollutants discharge control in the jurisdictional waters of the US; 2) formative basis to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) policy and administration; 3) a system of standards to audit and control of contaminants; 4) codified restrictions on use of waterways; 5) financial allocation guidelines to planning of municipal construction of sewage and related facilities; and 6) procedure to surface water pollution response. Oil spillage is part of the surface-water-quality index definition of primary water pollutants in addition to heavy metals, synthetic organic compounds, and dissolved solids.

By 1990 the Oil Pollution Act 33 U.S.C. §2701 et seq. amended the CWA to include Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans for oil transport in waterways, as well as compliance audit, mandated by state EPAs or Departments of Environmental Management (DEMs). Monitoring of Total Maximum or Daily Loads (TMDL) is part of the state-by-state strategy for the control and reporting of industrial pollutant flows in waterways. Distributors and indirect dischargers involved in the treatment of effluents such as chemicals, oils, and waste, must perform those processes in accordance with the standards laid forth by EPA federal regulation.

Wetlands defined in the CWA classify types of wetlands preserves, and abatement and control measures allowed by classification. Other regulatory guidelines to the CWA provide for rules to: groundwater contamination; combined sewer overflow; and farm run-off. The Coastal Zone Management Act 16 U.S.C. ch. 33 § 1451 – 1464 (1972) furthers regulatory enforcement of the management and use of ocean and great lake fronts. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) 42 U.S.C. §300f et seq. (1974) supports public health administration in Food & Drug Administration (FDA) control of municipal waterways in accordance with EPA rules to testing of drinking water for microbial pathogens, oil and other chemicals such as pesticides.

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act 42. U.S.C. §9601–9675 (1982) Superfund policy for taxation of chemicals is a system of federal accountability which allows the EPA to monitor and fine non-compliant entities. The decision by the appellate court to refuse the easement allowing for construction permit of DAPL, is in part based on Energy Transfer Partners inability to follow CERCLA guidelines. CERCLA sets limits to pollution in compliance with U.S. federal government regulatory rules, and serves to determine the scope of liability companies sustain for contamination of the environment, in cases involving oil spills and other toxic releases in federal waterways.

Superfund also involves a public action warning system to mitigate exposure. The policy is intended to leverage EPA compliance for long-term remediation of risk, and legal representation on behalf of the public good. EPA enforcement of protections of waterways from manufactured chemicals, oil, pesticides etc., and waste disposal of those products follows CERCLA guidelines.

DAPL: A Tribal-Public Choice

During the DAPL protests, the question has been effectively asked, “so is it federal land or Sioux land?”, pointing to the issue of sovereignty bound with a protest waged against big oil, and the threat of toxic tort violations to reservation waterways. In a Native American Indian political context undergoing change, the opportunity to restate Treaty rights asserts an interest in consolidation of adjacent lands to reservation governance for the protection and betterment of those natural reserves and waterways, through the enforcement of federal regulatory legislation. Such as scenario would put the federally recognized tribal nation in the role of political leadership; prioritizing an agenda of federal land and waterways preservation and conservation, and participatory governance of the region with private land owners.

by: Tamara Campbell

References

Cox, R., 2010. Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere. London: Sage Publications.

DAPL: Treaty law vs federal law. Kare 5 Dec 2016. http://www.kare11.com/news/dapl-treaty-law-vs-federal- law/362249021

Dennis, B. and F. Mufson. Army Corps ruling is a big win for foes of Dakota Access Pipeline. Washington Post 5 Dec 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/04/army-will-deny-easement- halting-work-on-dakota-access-pipeline/?utm_term=.cea2733c872f

Kennedy, M. Judge Rules That Construction Can Proceed On Dakota Access Pipeline. The Two Way: Breaking News from NPR 9 Sept 2016. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/09/493280504/judge-rules-that- construction-can-proceed-on-dakota-access-pipeline

Landy, M.K., et al., 1994. The Environmental Protection Agency: Asking the Wrong Questions – From Nixon to Clinton. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lightbody, J., 2009. Defining A Canadian Approach To Municipal Consolidation In Major City Regions. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, 3, 2009.

Office of Public Affairs, 2016. Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. U.S. Department of Justice 9 Sept 2016. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/joint-statement-department-justice- department-army-and-department-interior-regarding-standing

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2017. http://www.epa.gov

Planning the unexpected

While the fact that we’re all going to die is known to many, no one wants to discuss this subject let alone face mortality. Unknown to most people is that living in denial only ends up costing you a lot of money in taxes and attorney fees. Estate planning is important whether you’re young, single or retired. But why do people keep putting it off knowing that it’s something they need to do?

Some common reasons given for the procrastination include:

The process is long

Due to the lack of information, a lot of people have the misconception that estate planning is intimidating and time consuming. A Denver estate planning attorney only asks you to fill in a questionnaire that indicates your assets and liabilities. During your initial consultation, your attorney will ask you who you’d like to appoint as your agent. It’s essential to carry any documents you’d want reviewed. Finally, the attorney will go through your suggestions and make the necessary recommendations.

An initial consultation can take 2 hours, after which you’ll have a follow up meeting to sign your documents.

I’m too young

Age is not a defining factor in estate planning. You may not have a lot of assets to list, but you would like to be able to appoint someone to take care of you when you become incapacitated.

It’s too expensive

This is a common excuse given considering the attorney fee and the cost of setting up a trust if you’d like one. Nonetheless, you do not have to part with a lot of cash as you can our chase the software or just buy forms. However, if you are in a complicated situation, it’s always best to hire an attorney.

I’m confused about the whole process

Choosing an agent who you fully trust can be daunting as it is confusing. If you do not have anyone in mind, you can appoint a bank representative, an attorney or even a trust company.

There are countless reasons given for procrastination when it comes to estate planning. To reduce the stress and the hassle that comes later on when you’ve died, it’s important to have an estate plan. Consult an estate planning attorney today for consultation.  Contact CJ Lee & Associates PC at (505) 728-7799 or email info@indianlaw.lawyer today.

Sources

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/10/estate-planning-checklist.asp

http://wealthmanagement.com/archive/estate-planning-primer

http://www.ascendfinancialplanning.com/dont-procrastinate-any-longer-estate-planning-is-necessary-and-simpler-than-your-think

The Difference 

It can be difficult to determine if a negative statement about another person would be considered defamatory and subject to legal action. Generally, a defamatory statement is presented (in writing or speech to a third party) as a false statement of fact. It can be a negligent or intentional statement, and causes harm to the person mentioned in the communication.

There are several kinds of statements that could be defamatory simply based on their content. For example, making a statement of fact that another person has committed a crime would be defamatory if it was false. Also, stating that someone has a disease could be considered defamatory if untrue. Finally, making false statements about someone’s professional competence may fall under the classification of defamation.

However, publically making a negative statement about someone might only be considered an opinion. For example, “Bob is a mean person” is not a false statement of fact; it is merely an opinion even if it harms his reputation. It might rise to the level of defamation if the following false statement was made about Bob: “He is a mean person who has stolen thousands of dollars from unsuspecting widows.” This implies that he may have committed a crime, and the statement could be considered defamatory.

There are also different standards for private citizens and public figures.

The details of potentially defamatory statements require the knowledge and expertise of attorneys. Contact our office today with any concerns you may have about libel (a written defamatory statement) and/or slander (a spoken defamatory statement).

Types of Claims

Every year, millions of people are injured in accidents that is not their fault. This can be at home, at work, in their cars, or even outdoors.

In many cases, although the victim themselves are not to blame for the injury that they have suffered, someone else is at fault, and the victims should be able to obtain compensation for the damages they have suffered. Personal injury law is a complicated aspect of the legal system. However, with the right guidance from a personal injury solicitor, the process of making a claim can become much simpler.

The first step is to recognize that a personal injury can include both physical and psychological damages, which can be sustained at work, through a traffic accident, because of negligence, or as a result of faulty goods, amongst other circumstances.

If you are considering taking legal action to claim compensation for a personal injury that you have suffered, you will need to speak to a solicitor that specializes in this area of law as soon as possible, since there are strict time limits when it comes to constructing a case.

The most common claim for a personal injury case is typically negligence, and the time limit in place for creating a case here is usually three years. This means that court proceedings must be issued within three years of your injury for them to be considered in court. In certain circumstances, the court may decide to extend a time limit, but it will depend on the specifics of the case.

The Amount of Compensation

One of the first things that many people ask when it comes to filing a personal injury claim, is just how much they may be capable of gaining in terms of compensation. The honest truth, however, is that the amount of compensation a personal injury claim is capable of generating is a variable factor.

The amount of compensation that you get in any case will depend on the individual components of your claim, and many different factors will generally be taken into account when it comes to generating the worth of your injury. For example, certain aspects that court will consider include:

  • Whether the victim has sustained any permanent damage
  • The nature of the injury that has been sustained
  • The extent to which the injury is covered by insurance
  • The amount of medical bills accumulated because of the injury
  • Lost wages
  • Any expenses related to travel for the injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Other various out-of-pocket expenses

How Personal Injury Claims are Resolved

Personal injury claims can either be solved through a negotiated settlement that takes place outside of court, through a formal arbitration, or by a trial including a jury. The options that are available for the settlement of a personal injury claim may depend on the jurisdictions in question and the amount of damages or compensation the victim seeks to receive.

There are disadvantages and advantages to all methods of resolution, but fortunately, an experienced and skilled attorney is all you need to help guide you through the process and come out at the other side. Although a marvelous lawyer is extremely important when it comes to successfully filing a personal injury claim and acquiring the compensation that you deserve, it’s worth remembering that any decisions regarding a claim settlement will still be yours.

This Law Firm Understands Your Predicament

Attorneys simply provide a guide and resource to help you move through your personal injury claim as well as possible. For more advice on the concept of personal injury and claiming for compensation, contact the outstanding attorneys that work for CJ Lee & Associates, via phone at (505) 728-7799, or email at info@indianlaw.lawyer

The Basics: What is Insurance Litigation?

It is common practice for individuals and businesses alike to purchase insurance agreements as a way of protecting themselves against future financial hardship should an unforeseen event have negative impact on their lives.

Trust

Policyholders who take out an insurance policy do so within the understanding that the insurance company will act in good faith and do their best to meet their own obligations when it is time to file a claim. Insurers that fail to follow through on their obligations will sometimes find that they are brought into question and embroiled within insurance litigation.

The Types of Insurance Litigation

The subject behind a case of insurance litigation can vary somewhat widely. Sometimes, a case will be brought against an insurance company because they have shown allegedly ‘bad faith’. The term ‘bad faith’ refers to when the company has failed to make critical information known to the customer, or they have failed to properly investigate a claim within a timely manner. Bad faith is a term that is used quite commonly throughout case law.

The term can be used to describe an undue delay when it comes to handling claims, a company refusing to put adequate investigation into a claim, or refusing to defend a lawsuit properly. In some cases, bad faith may refer to threats that are made against the insured in an attempt to prevent them from claiming, or a refusal to make or convey a reasonable settlement offer.

Other lawsuits can center on other concepts, such as the denial of a perfectly valid claim, or an insurance policy provider offering the insured party significantly less money than their claim is actually worth. Refusing to settle or negotiate claims is also a common subject when it comes to insurance litigation.

Doing the Right Thing

Similarly to a claim of medical malpractice, the concept of insurance litigation is based on the understanding that an insurance company owes a certain standard of care to the customers that choose to take out a policy. As a valid insurance company, it should:

  • Recognize its duty to defend a claim that is given under the terms of the policy.
  • Recognize its duty of indemnification, to pay a judgment against the policyholder up to the limit of coverage.
  • Provide benefits where coverage should be given according to the policy that the holder and the company agreed to.

In order for a policyholder to be eligible for an insurance litigation case, some sort of damage must be brought against them by the insurance company. For example, a policy holder may suffer some form of damage if the insurance company in question fails to offer a reasonable settlement for a valid claim. Further damage may arise if afterwards, the policyholder is then subject to judgment in excess of the limits of the policy.

Considerations

Generally, state statutes will deal with the responsibility of the insurers when handling claims. Many states come with their own department for matters of insurance, which will be responsible when it comes to regulating how insurance companies throughout the state handle claims and deal with customers accordingly.

Beneficiaries, third-parties and policy holders have the right to file court action in the pursuit of damages when they believe that their insurance company has engaged in some manner of unfair or unreasonable practice regarding claims and coverage.

A Law Firm that can see through the Smoke

Many states actually have substantial penalties when it comes to dealing with insurance companies that violate the regulations set out for the settlement of claims. If you feel as though you could benefit from extra help or guidance in this area of law, get a hold of CJ Lee & Associates which is satisfying and committed law firm in this domain. You can call them at 505-728-7799 or email this outstanding law firm at info@indianlaw.lawyer

Personal Injury Lawyer – who, what and why?

A personal injury lawyer, sometimes referred to as a trial or plaintiff attorney, is a professional civil litigator capable of offering representation to plaintiffs who are filing cases from a psychological or physical injury. This injury will have resulted from the careless, inappropriate, or negligent behavior of another party.

The area of law that personal injury lawyers specialize in is referred to as ‘tort law’ which describes civil or private wrongs, including breach of contract, defamation, and more.

The goal of a personal injury law suit is to help a plaintiff receive compensation for their loss, which will often cover reasonable medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of earnings, emotional distress, legal costs, and sometimes attorney fees.

Types of Personal Injury Claims

In most circumstances, any legal case that involves an injury caused by another party to the plaintiff’s mind or body will constitute personal injury. However, some of the most common cases that personal injury lawyers handle include:

  • Traffic / Auto accidents
  • Cases of malpractice
  • Defective product cases
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Wrongful death
  • Slip and fall accidents

Personal injury lawyers will generally organize a case from the start, all the way through to an appeal, performing various important tasks such as investigating claims, researching case law, screening potential clients, gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, drafting pleadings, formulating legal theories, preparing and advocating at trial, and counseling clients.

Because many areas of personal injury law can be quite complex, some lawyers will focus specifically on certain niches within the profession. For example, some personal injury lawyers are particularly adept in medical malpractice cases, whereas others effectively litigate auto accidents.

Why hire a lawyer at the outset?

Although legal representation may not be the first thing on a client’s mind following an injury, there are various advantages to hiring a lawyer immediately following an injury. First of all, insurance companies will begin asking questions to both you and the other party immediately, and you will need advice on how to properly handle this process. In some cases, a lawyer can answer questions on your behalf, taking some of the pressure away from you, and allowing you to focus on speeding up your recovery.

Lawyers are also essential for making sure that you do not accidentally say something to the police or insurance providers that may somehow harm your case.

Although the law does not necessarily require you to hire a lawyer to fight your personal injury case with you and help you regain compensation, it is always a marvelous idea to at least consult with a professional before you decide to try and handle these complex matters alone.

Even the smallest injury can easily turn into a more serious, or even chronic problem, which could leave you wishing you had made your case earlier. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases is only two years from the injury, and if you leave it longer than this to go to court, then you may find that your right to compensation is lost.

A Game Changer

Furthermore, a standout personal injury lawyer will help to guide you through a difficult time in your life, providing honest advice as to whether you really need legal help to deal with your problems. In some cases, an attorney may even recommend that you accept a settlement that has been offered to you. Whatever the circumstances, a golden lawyer in a personal injury case can be the difference between prolonged, unnecessary suffering, and achieving the justice you deserve.

What is it? 

A Military Divorce is used to describe a divorce in which one spouse at least is serving in the military or is a retired service member. By and large it is more a description which signifies that this is a divorce involving a service member and carries no special legal sanction.

Common Difficulties

Military divorces proceed along the same lines as a civilian divorce and like a civilian divorce generally go through the appropriate court of law. Military authorities invariably keep out of a civilian court’s decisions and never attempt to influence or interfere with them. The military might however ask for special adjustments for its service members.

A classic example is a request for relaxation of residency requirements to enable a serviceman to file for divorce in the place where he/she is stationed rather than the permanent address of the couple or the place where the spouse lives. Sometimes too it becomes difficult to serve notices and other legal documents to a military person on duty overseas. If the person is serving overseas the acceptance of legal documents might not be required or indeed possible.

Key Similarities

Military couples must be conversant with the Uniform Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act (USFSPA). Under USFSPA military personnel are subject to state statutes on issues like spousal support, child support, and military retirement pay and pension. While states view retirement and pension plans as a marital asset, under USFSPA states are at liberty to treat retired military pay as property rather than income.

A Decade

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) is the department which handles direct retirement payments. For the DFAS to make direct retirement payment to an ex-spouse the condition is that the couple should have been married for at least 10 years during which the military member should have been in military service.

With that said, this verifies that someone in the military must honor their personal responsibilities. If this becomes a major issue, this can affect a military member’s service record if these trying times affect their work and productivity. If you think that just because you are in the military that that invisible wall will keep this stuff from penetrating that wall then you are mistaken.

However if a couple does not qualify for DFAS direct pay this does not suggest that the spouse is not eligible to even a part of the payment. To receive a part of the payment the award would have to be included in the settlement agreement. An award of retired military pay is separate from, and in addition to alimony or maintenance, and child support.

Percentages

The DFAS will not pay more than 50% of military retirement pay to an ex-spouse. If child support is deducted and paid from pension then the maximum combined amount deductible will not exceed 65% of disposable retirement pay.

If you are contemplating a military divorce you should hire a divorce attorney conversant with military divorce laws. A number of misconceptions revolve around a military divorce particularly with regard to alimony. An experienced divorce attorney will set your mind at rest on the various issues and be able to navigate the voluminous amount of paperwork involved.

Knowing the Law

CJ Lee and Associates is a family law firm with special expertise in divorce and related issues in both civilian and military divorce. The attorneys at this firm are totally conversant with military divorce rules and procedures and how they mesh with state divorce laws.

Should You Make Your Divorce Official? Here Are Dangers of Not Doing it

 

You’ve probably heard of someone who’s been separated for years from their spouse, yet neither party has bothered to make the divorce official. While it can seem normal, it can end up with costly consequences such as losing a significant portion of assets built up over the years or one party may end up paying maintenance.

Without a formal legal agreement that sets the terms for your separation, you may be in a disaster before you even know it. Here are some reasons why you should be worried about a long-term separation.

You have no control over how your spouse manages marital assets

If you’ve lived separately for some years, you may not know what your spouse is selling, buying, investing or earning. Suppose your spouse gets into debt, you’ll also get into debt especially if he/she using joint credit cards.

Your spouse may use this chance to hide assets from you

While you may see no urgency in filing for a divorce, your spouse could take advantage of this to make certain assets unavailable. When you finally discover what they’ve been up to when you decide to divorce, you’ll be in for a rude shock.

Alimony laws could change

Alimony laws change from time to time. The more you delay, the higher the likelihood of laws changing in your state.

Your spouse could move to another state/country

Most states have severe limitations on the amount and the duration of alimony the judge can award. During your separation, your spouse can move to another state with these set limitations. This could make the divorce
process more complicated.

Despite having been separated for years from your spouse, the law still sees this as a marriage. If your career blossoms while your spouse struggles to make ends meet, the court has the right to award assets and support in spite of the long-term separation. If you would like to file for divorce, it’s important to consult a denver divorce attorney who will guide you through the steps you need to take.

Sources

http://divorceinfo.com/livingtogetherafter.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/divorced-moms/10-legal-mistakes-people-_b_7818992.html

http://www.divorcesource.com/ds/main/divorce-myths-uncovered-1045.shtml

http://www.americanbar.org/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2012/june_2012/divorce_guide_clients.html