Divorce 101 for Filipinos

Here’s a situation: A and B, both Filipinos, went to the United States to get married. After several years, marital troubles started to occur between the couple and after efforts at reconciliation failed, the two started to part ways. They figured that since they were married in abroad, they decided to get a divorce in the US.

Upon return to the Philippines, after obtaining a decree of divorce, A and B mutually divided their properties between them and went their separate ways. Now, here’s where it gets tricky: Apparently, A incurred debts after their ‘divorce’. And now creditors are after not just A’s properties but also that B’s, which left the latter distraught. Is this even possible? Yes.

First things first: Divorce is NOT applicable to Filipinos. Even if the couple successfully obtains a decree of divorce, the same is VOID in the Philippines. In effect, in the eyes of the law, the couple is still legally bound as husband and wife.

Art. 15, otherwise known as the Nationality Principle, of the New Civil Code provides:

Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines, even though living abroad.

Given this, the creditors may go after the property of B as the same forms part of the community property of with A. After all, they are still a married couple.

However, Divorce obtained outside the country, may, in certain instances, be recognized in the Philippines. How?

Article 26 of the Family Code, reads:

All marriages solemnized outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were solemnized, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except those prohibited under Articles 35(1), (4), (5) and (6), 36, 37 and 38.

Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.

What makes this provision applicable to Filipinos are the presence of the following elements:

  1. That the there is a valid marriage between a Filipino and a foreigner.
  2. That the alien spouse obtains the divorce abroad and such decree capacitates him/her to remarry.

What if the Filipino later on became a naturalized foreign citizen, is this now applicable to him? It depends. In Republic vs. Orbecido III, the Supreme Court ruled that: “The reckoning point is not the citizenship of the parties at the time of marriage, but their citizenship at the time a valid divorce is obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating the latter to remarry.”

Posted in Law

Tips For Choosing the Perfect Lawyer

Choosing the perfect lawyer / attorney would be the hardest part for any one. You need some one with great passion and professional touch in the profession to win cases for you. A lawyer should be more like a friend to you to cleanly understand your issues and problems. You need a lawyer who is specializing in that particular matter of concern. A divorce lawyer / attorney won’t be that much efficient in handling criminal cases / accident cases. So you should do your research before choosing you lawyer.

To choose your right lawyer, you at least do the following:

  1. Talk to your friends / relatives who have gone through the same pace of life, ask them and get to know whom they have selected.
  2. Do talk to more than one lawyer / attorney.
  3. While handling with law firms, do talk to the lawyers / attorneys who is going to take up your case rather than the councilors / executives.
  4. Find what the lawyers are charging and their style of functioning.
  5. Some senior lawyers would take up the case and hand over that to juniors. We need someone who really understand our issues and find a solution for us.
  6. Do search in yellow pages / white pages / Bar association websites and read reviews about the lawyers / Law firm.
  7. Find out whether the lawyer is a member of local, state, or national associations.
  8. Determine the experience of the lawyer and the types of cases that have been handled by him.
  9. How you will be informed about the case progress and how often?
  10. Get clarified how long it takes to resolve the issues.

Choose the lawyer who provides you the answers that make you comfortable. You need a smart lawyer who will work hard on your behalf and complete all assignments in a timely and professional approach. You also need a lawyer who you get along with and like. By selecting the right lawyer will would save you precious time as well as money at the same time you can also reduce your stress level as the lawyer is going to take up the assignment.

Posted in Law

How To Expand Your Family Law Practice: Ten Money Making Tips For Divorce Lawyers

The divorce rate in the United States is likely to rise over the next five years due to the ten sociological trends that will be outlined below.

These changes will create an abundance of work and opportunities for family lawyers and matrimonial lawyers.

  • In a bad economy, some people stay in bad relationships because they feel trapped. In short, they can not afford to leave their spouse. Today’s economy is quite strong. Home prices are rising and the stock market has been on the rise. Many people who are unhappy with their marriages can now afford to terminate these unfulfilling relationships.
  • The opioid crisis, the heroin crisis, the increase in alcohol abuse will create a lot of familial stress and will contribute to marital disintegration in America. Interestingly, many private corporations are now investing in drug treatment center to profit from the increased need for these services.
  • Domestic violence often coexists with addictions and substance abuse. Spouses in violent relationships will need to be protected by family lawyers and by the criminal justice system.
  • The rising number of people who are addicted to pornography, video games and social media will continue to put a strain on marriages and on family life. Many clinicians and attorneys are seeing the impact of these kinds of addictions on marriages and on intimate relationships.
  • Laws allowing same sex marriages create more relationships. More relationships means that there will also be more relationships which end in divorce.
  • Internet dating has made it very easy to meet, to hook up with people and find another spouse. Consequently, people are not afraid of being alone and will not hesitate to remove themselves from an unhappy marriage.
  • The public is now more aware of the value and utility of pre nuptial and post nuptial agreements. Attorneys will need to create more and more of these contracts.
  • Infertility treatments are creating many complicated legal issues for couples. Who owns the fertilized eggs is merely one example of the kind of legal issues that this relatively new technology is generating for families and for their lawyers.
  • The growth of mediation will simplify and shorten the divorce process and make it easier and less expensive to terminate a failing marriage. Consequently, more people will be likely to utilize the legal system to end their marriages.
  • Similarly, collaborative divorce is gaining in popularity and is creating another viable route to divorce for some couples in America.

 

Posted in Law

Estafa Vs B.P.22 – What Is the Difference?

We’re pretty sure there’s a point in time that you became party to a transaction, either as payee or payer. Of course as payee, receiving cash is much preferred as you are sure that your payment was given to you in full sans any further action needed from your end. Now as payer, issuing a check is so much more convenient, especially for substantial transactions, as you would not have to worry about bringing cash and making sure that all your expenses are accounted and debited for, up to the last centavo.

It’s great if all transactions went smoothly without any hitch. However, with both parties making and receiving payment all in good faith. But what if you were conned by someone you had the mistake of trusting? Or what if you issued a check as a show of good faith to close out on a deal but at the time of issuance, the account has insufficient funds and you made a mental note to replenish the account as soon as you got paid. Alas, you then notice that your check bounced.

The above instances had surged over the years and has caused an unfortunate chain reaction which prompted the filing of either or both the following cases: Estafa and Violation of Batas Pambasa (BP) 22 or the Bouncing Checks Law.

Estafa Through Issuance of Unfunded Checks
The crime of Estafa is punished under the Revised Penal Code. One can be held guilty for Estafa by means of issuing a bouncing check with the use of false pretenses or fraudulent acts executed prior to or simultaneously with the commission of the fraud:
“By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. (Article 315(2)(d) of the Revised Penal Code as amended by R.A. 4885)”

How can a person be held guilty for Estafa?

Under the RPC, the following elements are necessary to hold a person guilty of Estafa:

  1. Postdating or issuance of a check in payment of an obligation contracted at the time the check was issued
  2. Insufficiency of funds to cover the check, and
  3. Damage to the payee thereof.

The most important element here is the damage caused. Absent any of the following elements, a person cannot be held liable for Estafa.

Case in point:

Andres owns and operates a trading good business and bought merchandise from Bonifacio and issued an unfunded check in consideration of the goods received.

In this scenario, Andres can be held liable for Estafa because he issued a check knowing it to be without sufficient funds to pay the items he bought from Bonifacio. The issuance of the bounced check here was with fraudulent intent.

Bouncing Checks Law (BP 22)
Unlike Estafa which has its basis under the RPC, BP 22 is enacted through a special law. A person can be charged for violation of BP 22 when he commits the following acts:

  1. Making or drawing and issuing any check to apply on account or for value, knowing at the time of issue that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment, which check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid reason, ordered the bank to stop payment;
  2. Having sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank when he makes or draws and issues a check, shall fail to keep sufficient funds or to maintain a credit to cover the full amount of the check if presented within a period of ninety (90) days from the date appearing thereon, for which reason it is dishonored by the drawee bank.

How can a person be held guilty for Violation of BP 22?

Violation of BP 22 can be filed against any person when the following are present:

  1. Making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value;
  2. Knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and
  3. Subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment.

Same with Estafa, the presence of all these requirements is important. Otherwise, the charge of BP 22 will not attach. Note that knowledge of insufficiency of funds is presumed when it is proved that the issuer received a notice of dishonor and that within 5 days from receipt thereof, he failed to pay the amount of the check or make arrangement for its payment. Additionally, in BP 22, good faith is immaterial. Meaning, the mere issuance of an unfunded check already consummates the crime.

Using the same example above, Andres can also be charged for Violation of BP 22, other than Estafa, because BP 22 cases also cover issuances of bouncing checks for value received.

Where does the disparity lie?

It is Estafa when, among others, you issue an unfunded check with fraudulent intent in consideration of something of value you received. Here intent is material and good faith may be used as a defense.

It is a case for Violation of BP 22 when you issue an unfunded check whether or not it is for an obligation you contracted prior to the issuance of the check or not. Simply put, you are liable for BP 22 whether you issue a check for a present or a past obligation.

Posted in Law

How To Respond To Settlement Letters In Copyright Infringement Cases

Settlement letters are sent to particular internet subscribers who are identified to have infringed a copyrighted material. Also known as letter of demand (LOD), the letter is usually composed of the name of the infringer, IP address, and all the details about copyright infringement. First of all, getting a demand letter such as a TCYK letter more likely means that you did violate the law and the copyright enforcers have evidence to prove that you have infringed a copyrighted content. Second, it is not advisable to just ignore the letter as it could result to serious legal consequences. So, when you get a demand letter, respond to it. In every illegal download case, ask about the situation or what the letter means. If you ever find yourself as a “John Doe” defendant, here are a few practical tips that can help you in your defense in the lawsuit:

– Settlement amounts are usually negotiable. If you get a TCYK letter or any settlement letter, chances are you will be offered a settlement amount. The figure may be changed depending on your approach or how you attempt to negotiate. So, it would not hurt to try especially if you really did it.

– Among the copyrighted materials that you can possibly pirate, porn bears the most embarrassment and it involves more risks so find a way to settle quickly. Don’t waste your time delaying the case. It is best to make it go away the minute it’s presented to you.

– Do not fight a subpoena. Doing so could only expose your identity. Copyright infringement is not something that you could just take for granted. You need to protect your own identification and avoid a potential scandal that will not help you in any way in your life.

– Fighting a case could lead to more expensive costs compared to every negotiated settlement. Besides the hassle that can be expected in a lawsuit, there are legal fees that you need to consider should you decide to fight a case. You may get a total that could have been avoided if you just settle.

As provided by copyright law, a copyright grants a creator exclusive rights to the distribution or reproduction of his original work. There may be exceptions but initially, the creator owns the copyright of their created work. It would be good if people have a better understanding of how creators such as those in the entertainment industry come up with works of art. But in the meantime, they should focus on how to respond to a letter of demand.

Posted in Law

Understanding Probate and the Problems That Can Arise

Detroit probate attorneys are an excellent way to tie up any probate issues that you or a family member may have. This may include, but is not limited to, validating and executing wills, estates, trusts, and other funds. A probate lawyer can also provide legal advice to the deceased’s heirs or remaining family members.

The process of handling probate can be extremely complicated, especially in the event that a person dies without leaving a will. A will is basically a legal set of instructions for how the deceased wanted his/her property and finances to be dispersed. When these instructions do not exist, it can be difficult to decide where and to whom the deceased’s property can legally go to. Usually, the decision is made by a state court. Michigan is similar to many other states in that it could take years for the handling of probate to be settled. This is where hiring a Detroit probate lawyer can be extremely advantageous.

Take a situation where a person dies with a will or trust in place but no living beneficiaries. In such a case the probate lawyer would step in and work on behalf of the remaining heirs. It is the job of the Detroit lawyer to help the heirs navigate the legal system and settle the estate. It is the desire to dispose of a probated estate as quickly and as fairly as possible.

Probate law is a difficult and time consuming process. It involves many prospective interested parties including debtors and heirs. When there is no will or trust instructions left behind, the process becomes more difficult. The probate judge imposes Michigan probate law in an equitable manner. The Detroit probate lawyer represents the interests of their client in order to receive a fair outcome.

When you search for a probate lawyer, you will want to make sure that you do your homework. Make sure that your candidates are knowledgeable in Michigan probate law, as well as experienced in actually practicing in the state of Michigan. You can easily phone up prospective lawyers and ask if they offer a free consultation, and if so, sit down and do a brief interview to get a feel of each lawyer’s competency. This will not only ensure that you hire a lawyer who will handle your case efficiently, but also one who you feel comfortable with.

Posted in Law

Three Reasons You Don’t Get Legal Help

There are three main reasons you don’t get the legal help you need:

ONE, you are intimidated by lawyers and the legal system. It’s like an “old boys club”. You aren’t included, so you feel left out. You are an OUTSIDER!!!

TWO, you don’t know who to call. Lawyers, like doctors, specialize. They usually know, concentrate on and practice one area of law. You not only have to find a lawyer that is experienced in the legal area of your problem, but then you have to choose which one is best from a pool of names. How can you know which one is best for you?

THREE, you have to check your pocket book before you call, to see if you can afford to get advice. At rates running $150-$250+ an hour, you tend to sweep the problem under the rug and try to forget about it or handle it yourself. You can’t afford the help you need!!!

SOLUTION: Have a full service law firm on “retainer” at a reasonable, affordable price.

You WILL no longer be intimidated. You no longer have to be left out of the Justice System. The “playing field” will be leveled for you.

You WILL know who to call, in advance, to answer your questions and help with your problems. No matter what area of law your problem pertains to, you will be able to get the help you need.

You WILL be able to afford the help you need. You can have a full service law firm on “retainer” for a reasonable price.

Posted in Law

Of Film Festivals, Creativity, and Copyrights

Movies with poor reviews do not necessarily give anyone the excuse to pirate them. Art is subjective and stealing is wrong. These are two truths that should be recalled when dealing with piracy. It is not wrong to share content as long as it doesn’t cross any copyright. Copyrighted materials are certified and protected, and owners have grounds for copyright infringement claim if necessary.

Film Festivals

The world constantly asks for innovation; that’s almost a rule. In film festivals, exploration and development meet. Storytellers who take risks with fresh ideas get to display their original work. It is where indie or independent artists show off their stories without political and commercial pressures, and restrictions.

Film festivals connect artists and audiences in several countries. It is a place where both established and emerging artists show documentary and dramatic films, innovative short films, cutting-edge media and art installations, and live music performances. It brings together the modern day’s most original storytellers and supports engaging programs for students and the community.

Every film festival welcomes distinguished artists and opens great opportunities for students and newcomers. Some movies are even directed by celebrities. For example, “The Company You Keep” was directed and starred by an American actor. This political thriller was well-crafted, and the creator skilfully directed a cast of talented actors. When this TCYK LLC film was pirated, copyright holders tracked the infringers to protect their rights.

Media Copyright Literacy

While you play other people’s intellectual property, it is essential to have a basic understanding of what is legal and ethical. Everyone should learn how to be a good digital citizen and get familiar with the copyright law and respect content creators and their original work.

Upon creation, any work is automatically copyright-protected. When your work is capable of copyright protection, it is likely that you own the copyright. However, copyright might belong to someone else if you have assigned or transferred your copyright in writing. Also, ideas cannot be protected unless it is made into its material expression like a painting, novel, or film. So it is important to transform your ideas in its material form.

Copyright protection applies to all formats whether it’s in print, online, or digital media. While there are organizations that protect freedom of expression and help people understand their rights and responsibilities around copyright law, there are also entities like the owners of the TCYK LLC film that are dedicated to protecting the rights of creators and content owners.

Only the original content holders have the exclusive right to the use of their work. It isn’t fair that other people commoditize from other people’s work without their consent. Copying and distributing others’ work without permission is copyright infringement, which means illegal distributors could be charged with a huge sum for damages.

Creativity is unique, and artists deserve all credits due to them. Some are too passionate about their craft that they don’t mind how their work is being used. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to all. Most creators need financial support to make and produce their work. Pirating does not help them in any way.

Posted in Law

Why Is a Driving Licence Check and Validation Important?

If you run a fleet management company, you will have drivers who work for your company. In this case, it is the employers responsibility to make sure that their employees hold a valid UK driving licence. A Driving licence validation can help protect employers from having to pay unnecessary penalties.

The status of a driving licence may change many times for a number of reasons. In some cases a driver may not even know about the status change. After the first validation of a licence has been done, the next validation is automatically scheduled. However, the frequency of this licence checking process is usually based on a driver’s risk profile. If the licence gets disqualified during the validation process, then the employer will be notified immediately.

Third-party licence checking services conduct the driving licence validation process using the Access to Driver Data (ADD) service. ADD gives real-time driving licence information through a business-to-business interface. ADD includes all the necessary information needed such as driver’s name, date of birth, address, and other driving details such as entitlement, disqualifications, and penalties. ADD provides 24/7 real-time driving licence data. ADD gives you a quick response with accurate licence/driver information. If there is no information available, it returns a simple response saying driver’s information is not available.

What Is Driver and Vehicle Information Solution (Davis)?

Davis is an expanded brand, which includes some additional information about the driver and vehicle. It is a cloud-based solution, which enables customers to add or remove various optional modules. It mainly covers four areas: the vehicle, its driver, Policies/Guidelines and driver/vehicle related services. The modular structure of Davis allows customers to utilize either a single service or a mixture of several services. This mix-and-match approach is highly beneficial to a business in that it allows them to add or remove modules when they want. Davis helps organizations to meet the regulations needed to avoid them receiving any unnecessary penalties.

Significance of the Licence Card Data Reader

Another service provided by a third-party licence checking service is a Card Reader (CDR). It captures all the licence/driver data in a single pass. Both sides can be read simultaneously. It just requires the software to be installed on a local PC to drive the reader. Using CDR, forged data can be detected easily. CDR is very user-friendly, and requires minimal training. Once the data is read, it is directly uploaded into the software. The CDR helps to speed the process up as it can read large amount of data in a short time.

Benefits of Driving Licence Checking and Validation

Driving licence validation can offer a lot of advantages to your company, some of them are listed below:

  1. Helps identify misinterpreted information and reduce the risk of forged documentation.
  2. Saves you time, because e-consent is valid for three years.
  3. Using the card data reader can validate international licences.
  4. Companies can avoid potential penalties.
  5. Business owners can have peace of mind. They can be confident about their employees driving licence and insurance information.
  6. Improves travel/road safety for everyone, including company, customer, and the driver.

 

Posted in Law

Getting the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you’re a resident of Pennsylvania and have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, you should consider hiring a Philadelphia medical malpractice attorney to help you claim compensation for your losses. Philadelphia is a large city and has plenty of lawyers for you to choose from, however it can be a bit tricky to find the best lawyer for your case. This article contains a few tips to help you understand what to look for when considering a lawyer.

First and foremost, you have to make sure that the lawyer you choose actually specializes in Philadelphia malpractice lawsuits. This is not the time to choose someone who is only familiar with that area. Likewise, you do not want a “green” lawyer or a rookie who has not handled many malpractice cases.

The more experience a lawyer has, the more likely you are to win your case. You may also want to inquire about the lawyer’s win-lose ratio so that you can determine the lawyer’s skill and capability in practicing medical malpractice law.

To find a lawyer with a good reputation and competence, you might try asking friends and family members for a recommendation. If they haven’t personally gone through a medical malpractice lawsuit, maybe they know of someone who has and can help you contact them for a recommendation. The more candidates you can add to your “list of possibilities,” the better your chances are of finding a lawyer who truly suits you.

You can also contact your state bar association – in this case, it would be the bar for Pennsylvania. You can ask for the names of some of the malpractice lawyers in your area, thereby increasing the perimeters of your search.

It is imperative that you contact the attorneys on your list. Seeing them in person is better. You need to ask specific questions about their experience. Ask how long they have been practicing and how many malpractice cases they have handled. You can ask where they went to school as well. In doing this and in explaining your own case, you can also see if there is any comfortable chemistry between you. You have got to be comfortable with your Philadelphia lawyer, especially with a case like this.

Posted in Law