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Ridgeland Legal Blog

Is asylum your only hope of avoiding harm in your native country?

Though you may have felt a great sense of pride for your native country, you may have always known that its borders did not act as a safe harbor. You and your family may have had the ability to remain off the radar of any real danger for a time, but some incident led to you and your loved ones becoming a target.

In order to protect yourself and your family, you may have decided that fleeing your native country was the only way to avoid harm. As a result, your next steps may have involved trying to obtain asylum in the United States, which you likely knew would not come easy.

Prenuptial agreements may not determine child custody

A well-crafted prenuptial agreement can not only provide a streamlined divorce without needless complications, it can even strengthen your marriage and keep it strong by protecting both spouses from difficult financial pressures that often sink the union. However, even an otherwise strong prenuptial agreement is vulnerable to challenges if it includes invalid provisions. Some of the most commonly included invalid provisions that may threaten an agreement address child custody and child support.

When parents divorce, the court hearing the matter prefers for the parents to present a parenting plan they both approve to the court, but it only gives them so much flexibility to determine the arrangement. The chief concern of the court is the best interests of the child, and it may amend or outright reject a parenting and custody agreement that places parent's preference over those interests.

What documentation do I need to get a work visa?

Coming to the United States to begin a new job can be exciting and frightening. In addition to starting new employment, you will be entering a new culture with many unfamiliar practices and customs. Nevertheless, you may be looking forward to the challenges, and perhaps obtaining your visa to work in the U.S. is something you have wanted to do for a long time.

A limited number of work visas are available each year, and your prospective employer may have made arrangements for you to begin your new position in Mississippi as soon as possible. One of the most frustrating things that can happen during the process of attempting to obtain a work visa is to learn that you have not included the correct documentation with your application. Failing to include all documents the National Visa Center requests, completed thoroughly and accurately, may mean delays in your visa process.

Stepchild adoption and gaining consent

Forming a family in the modern world may require a little creativity and sacrifice. In some cases, members of separate families may want to legally bind together, which is often permissible, but complicated. Commonly, a stepparent may wish to adopt a stepchild, which requires some careful planning and execution.

All stepparent adoptions must consider the wishes of the birth parent who is giving up parental rights to the child. In fact, all stepparent adoptions must include the birth parent's permission for the adoption to go through, unless the birth parent has already forfeited their rights in some other way. If, for instance, a birth parent loses his or her parental rights because of abandonment, then it is probably not necessary to secure that parent's permission to adopt.

Know your rights when speaking with law enforcement

Speaking to the police, no matter what the circumstances, always involves some level of risk. A police officer's primary concern is upholding the law, and if a person speaking with a police officer says something that the officer believes indicates that the person potentially committed a crime, the officer may take action to detain or question him or her. Before you speak with police in any circumstance, it is important to understand your rights.

First, you must understand that literally anything that you say to a police officer is potential evidence against you, even if you do not believe you are under investigation or accused of a crime. You always have the right to remain silent, other than giving a police officer your name, although this is not always the best choice in every circumstance.

When must police read Miranda rights?

At this point in American history, most people have at least a passing understanding of their Miranda rights because of how frequently television and movies portray a police officer arresting a suspect and issuing a Miranda warning. However, may people still do not understand when their Miranda rights apply and when a police officer must read a suspect his or her rights.

In general, anything that a person says to a police officer may count as evidence against that person. While a person may have the legal right to remain silent other than giving an officer his or her name and identification, many people give officers more information than they have to, simply because they assume the officer is only casually speaking with them and not gathering information.

Understanding parenting time interference

Parents sharing custody or visitation rights almost always run into some conflicts from time to time, which is to be expected. Sometimes, however, the actions of one parent may violate the rights of the other parent to spend time with the child or develop a relationship. When one parent obstructs the parenting time or relationship of the other parent, it may constitute parent time interference, which can result in the loss of parenting privileges or even criminal charges in some extreme instances.

Interference may occur either directly or indirectly. Direct interference occurs when one parent prevents the other from physically spending time with the child. This may range from neglecting a visitation or custody schedule to physically taking the child to another state or refusing to return a child after spending custody time together.

Drug possession and intent to distribute

All drug charges are something worth taking seriously, but charges of possession with intent to distribute are very serious indeed. While Mississippi is surprisingly forward thinking in some areas of drug law, such as allowing for decriminalization of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute moves beyond a basic violation and into fairly serious, potentially life-altering legal territory.

This charge has two components, and both components must be present for the charges to hold water. First, you may contest the charges based on the evidence of your possession of drugs. If you can successfully argue that you did not properly "possess" the drugs, you may have grounds to dismiss the charges. Possession generally means that a person has some substance "under control." This may mean in your car or home, for instance. However, if law enforcement charges you with possession after finding drugs in your home, you may challenge the charges and claim that the drugs belong to someone else or that you did not realize they were in your home.

Can driving after drinking one beer land you in jail?

When you get together with your friends or go out on a date with your spouse, you might be among many others in Mississippi who like to have a beer, glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage with their meals. As long as you are age 21 or older, that's perfectly legal. As a conscientious citizen, you know you're responsible for the choices you make regarding alcohol consumption and operating motor vehicles. The last way you want your evening to end is behind county jail bars.

You might wonder how it could be that prosecutors could charge you with DUI if you consumed a minimal amount of alcohol before driving. Others have asked the same question who didn't understand how various physiological factors can impact alcohol effects in the body. The bottom line is that, if you wind up facing charges, things will likely go a lot more smoothly in court if you act alongside experienced guidance.

Prenuptial agreements have restrictions

Creating a prenuptial agreement is an excellent way to protect yourself and the one you love as you plan for your life together. While many people still assume that prenuptial agreements are only used by those with great wealth or as a back door to a marriage, making it easier to exit, prenuptial agreements feature important protections that benefit couples even if they remain married indefinitely. However, these tools have their limitations, and those who do not understand these limitations may invalidate the entire agreement with some faulty terms.

Child support and child custody issues are not appropriate in a prenuptial agreement, even though it seems intuitively as though these issues make perfect sense to include. While it is possible to set aside certain assets for a child in a prenuptial agreement, it is important to not frame this within child support or use it to influence custody matters.

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