5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Texas Real Estate Attorney

Texas real estate attorneys help you with transactions relating to some of your most valuable assets: your real property. The expertise and knowledge that a real estate attorney like Dan Martens has cannot simply be replaced by advice from a real estate agent or broker. The attorney you select will play a pivotal role.
Before you hire a Texas real estate attorney, make a list of questions to ask your prospective choices. Consider their answers to these questions during your selection process:

1. How much experience do you have?

This question seeks to nail down whether the attorney you are considering has enough experience to competently handle your case. In addition to knowing how many years the lawyer has been practicing law, it is also important to know how long he or she has been practicing real estate law. You want to ensure that your Texas real estate attorney will have a firm grasp on the legal issues and know what challenges may arise.
You should also figure out whether the attorney graduated in Texas or from another state. Then, ask about how much of his or her experience was based on Texas law since real property laws are determined on a state-by-state basis.

2. Have you handled cases like mine before?

If you are dealing with a complex legal issue, you will want to be sure that your lawyer has a firm grasp on the case without having to expend a lot of time to research a novel issue on your dime. If your case is a more standard one like a landlord/tenant dispute or a closing on a single-family home, ask how many similar cases the lawyer has handled. This will clue you in on how well-versed the lawyer is with your particular legal issue.

3. What would your legal strategy be for my case?

While the lawyer may not be able to give you an exact legal strategy before diving into more of the intricate details of your case, an experienced Texas real estate attorney should be able to give you a brief overview and general plan on how he or she would tackle your legal issue. A lawyer should be able to concisely explain why you need his or her services and how the lawyer can help. Look for concrete steps the lawyer describes, as well as vague assurances that may be a hint that the lawyer does not know what he or she is talking about.
An experienced real estate attorney should be able to explain the basic actions that will need to be taken, including any legal filings.

4. How will I be billed?

It is important that you have a good understanding on how you will be charged for your lawyer’s services. A seasoned Texas real estate attorney will provide a written agreement that shows the rate you will pay and explain when you will pay it. The agreement should also outline other costs that may be passed onto you, such as long distance calls, copying costs and filing fees.

5. Who will be working on my case?

Make sure that the lawyer you are meeting with will actually be the one handling your case. If not, ask who else will be working on your case and what experience they have.

Contact Us for More Information
If you would like more information on questions to ask prospective attorneys for your case, tips on handling real estate issues or advice on what to look for in your chosen lawyer, visit www.danielmartens.com today.

Dan Martens

Experienced Family Lawyer in Texas Explains Everything You Need to Know About Your Finances During a Divorce in Texas

If you are going through a divorce in Texas, it is important that you understand the various financial implications that this event will have on your life. An experienced family lawyer in Texas can discuss the laws in Texas that may impact your divorce and provide you with targeted legal advice during this process.

Dividing Assets and Debts

Texas is a community property state. Texas courts presume that all property and income you acquired during the marriage is community property and equally belongs to each spouse. Therefore, courts in Texas will generally equally divide the assets a couple has during a divorce, as well as their debts.
A divorcing couple can reach an agreement regarding how they want to divide their property and debts and ask the judge to approve this arrangement. However, if they are unable to reach an amicable agreement, the court will have the authority to divide the assets and debts during the divorce case.
The court first classifies property into two categories: separate property and community property. Separate property includes property that belongs to one spouse, such as the property that was acquired before the marriage or a gift given to just one of the spouses. Community property is everything other than separate property that was acquired during the marriage, including income.

Community property often includes:

• Real estate
• Business interests
• Automobiles
• Money
• Financial accounts
• Retirement accounts
• Furniture
• Personal belongings like clothes

Community debt is any debt that either spouse incurred during the marriage. It is important to understand that regardless of how a divorce decree is worded, it does not affect a creditor’s right to pursue compensation from either or both spouses.
A family law attorney can help explain which assets and debt are subject to division and which are not.

Retirement Accounts

Retirement accounts are often considered community property and subject to division, even if the spouses have not retired. These accounts can be very valuable, so it is important to consider them during a divorce in Texas. Retirement accounts may include:
• Military retirement plans
• Pensions
• 401(k) accounts
• 403(b) accounts
• Individual retirement accounts
• Profit sharing plants
• Keogh plans
• Stock option plans
• Employee stock ownership plans
• Annuities

To receive a portion of your spouse’s retirement account, you must ask for this relief during the divorce process. Additionally, you must obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order from the judge so that the retirement plan administrator will have the authority to divide the account.

Child Support

The court may order the non-custodial parent to pay child support to the custodial parent. The amount of child support depends on how many children are involved in the case and the net resources of the paying parent. The paying parent pays a certain percentage of their net resources for child support as follows:
• 20% for one child
• 25% for two children
• 30% for three children
• 35% for four children
• 40% for five children

For More Information
If you would like more information on how to divide property during a divorce, would like to speak to a knowledgeable family lawyer in Texas or want tips on handling financial matters involved in your divorce, visit www.bdwilliamslaw.com today.

Brian Williams

Why You Need a Construction Attorney Now – The Top 3 Reasons

If you are conducting any construction in Orlando, you need a construction attorney. This resource is vital when performing construction due to the highly dangerous nature of construction projects and the possibility of litigation. You cannot go without an attorney when undergoing a construction project if you want to be protected from OSHA complaints as well as client complaints. Christopher Weiss, Board Certified Construction Attorney, is here to assist you when it comes to all of your legal needs regarding your construction project in Orlando.

OSHA Compliance and Complaints

If you have a complaint or an OSHA compliance issue resulting from an injury or death in the workplace, you will need a construction attorney to assist your case. Our firm has extensive experience with OSHA compliance issues and can defend your company. Having a death or injury on the job at a construction site is a serious issue, and it is a worry that is always present. If an event occurs, you will need an attorney to handle your claim, and, if necessary, take your defense to court.

We are highly experienced in workplace safety issues and can stand in your defense if you experience a claim or an OSHA investigation brought on by a complaint. We will always attempt to negotiate a fair settlement and reduce your risk of loss and will take your case to court if necessary. These types of solutions are not feasibly navigated alone, and you will need legal counsel to help you reach the optimal outcome.

Civil Disputes or Litigation

If you experience a civil dispute, you need an attorney to help you. Civil disputes may be accusations of breaches of contract, of negligence, or insurance claims based on your construction work. These types of requests need legal representation to help reach an outcome that will not bankrupt you. Our firm is very experienced in these types of claims and can step forward to help defend you in these cases.

Civil disputes can be lengthy and costly due to the subjective nature of many claims, and the effects can be devastating to your reputation. It would be best if you had a construction attorney that can keep the demand from impacting your reputation, and that can resolve the issue quickly and without causing you undue cost or stress. If you are accused of negligence or malpractice when it comes to your construction work, you need an attorney on hand that can help you recover from and refute the claims quickly.

Contract Disputes

If you experience contract disputes with your client, the government, or shareholders, a construction attorney can help you resolve these disputes without loss of contract or work. These types of arguments can be highly stressful and disruptive to your work, and you will need an attorney to help resolve them professionally and quickly.

Working with an attorney when it comes to contract disputes can make the process pass by much more quickly and can help you recover your contract without needing to spend your time disputing the issue. Our firm can represent you and challenge the problem on your behalf, making your experience much easier and getting you the best result when it comes to your dispute and ensuring that you keep your contract as negotiated or on better terms.

Christopher Weiss

5 Ways Auto Accident Cases Are Different in Mediation than Litigation

When a person is injured in a car accident and the case is not quickly resolved through settlement, he or she often has two choices about how to proceed with the case: mediation or litigation.  These processes are very different from each other in meaningful ways, including:

  1. Mediation is a collaborative process
  2. Mediation is a collaborative process in which both parties are encouraged to work together to solve a dispute.  In litigation, the parties are treated as adversaries with competing interests.  Because mediation encourages the parties to confront an issue together, they are often able to reach an amicable decision about the case in a fraction of the time than would be possible by asking a court to decide the matter.

  3. Mediation is less expensive
  4. Mediation does not involve all of the expensive costs associated with litigation, such as expert witness fees, discovery costs and attorney fees.  The parties can choose to be represented by counsel if they would like so that their rights are protected.  Because mediation often helps to resolve the case faster, the parties can still save on the amount they pay in legal fees since their lawyers will not have to spend as much time on the case.  

  5. The parties talk face to face
  6. When a case is brought to court, the parties have no direct interaction with each other.  They may each testify and give their point of view, but they do not talk directly to each other.  In mediation, the parties may talk face to face, which make the case feel more human and approachable.  

  7. The parties are the decision makers
  8. In litigation, a judge or jury makes the final decision about a case while the parties make the decision in mediation.  A third-party neutral mediator helps guide the parties toward settlement, but the parties ultimately decide whether or not to settle the claim.

  9. Creativity is key
  10. Because the parties get to decide their own outcome of their case, they can reach agreements that are rooted in creativity.  For example, they might agree for a settlement to be made through an annuity or agree to continued medical payments.

Why Boating Accident Cases Are Perfectly Suited for Mediation

The mediation process is particularly suited to certain types of disputes. It has long been used in family and business law matters because these parties must learn how to move forward after a conflict. Boating accident cases may involve similar dynamics when victims are injured while traveling on a boat owned by a family member or friend. The mediation process is a collaborative effort by both parties to work toward a mutual resolution so that they can amicably solve the problem together and move forward in their relationship.

Mediation also provides significant benefits to parties embroiled in a dispute. Mediation often resolves a case much faster than the litigation process. The parties may be able to avoid some of the expenses related to personal injury litigation, including discovery expenses and the cost to retain expert witnesses. The parties can engage in the confidential mediation process without having to make the conflict public or reveal private medical information about the victim.

Another reason why mediation is perfectly suited for boat accident cases is that the parties can mutually agree on which laws to apply – or not apply – to the case. Boating accidents may involve complex maritime laws, but the parties may be able to resolve their issue without having to turn to these laws.
Because the parties are often able to resolve their dispute in mediation, the victim can usually receive a settlement check much faster than would have been possible through litigation. The insurance company benefits by having a certain outcome instead of having to speculate about what a judge or jury might decide. Also, mediated agreements are typically upheld, which can prevent additional long, expensive and frustrating appeals processes.