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Understanding All The Issues You Are Facing

Other Issues Like Medical Challenges Can Effect Your ChildPromoting Healthy Relationships through understanding the issues is something that Fathers For Equal Rights organization and staff will help make a reality. It is the hope of The Fathers For Rights Organization that every child will by opportunity be able to form a healthy relationship with both parents, regardless of the status of their family structure. Additional issues that might prevent this from happening arise in families all the time. Some may be addressed legally, others reflect current standards lacking or that don't address your particular situation. For the most part, this area of the website addresses many of those other issues.

How Can Fathers For Equal Rights Help You?

By providing you an education about the issues that could affect your next steps, we invite you to read and educate yourselves about these other issues you may be facing. Keeping an open mind and allowing yourself to be aware that many types of issues may play a vital role in finding solutions to the challenge you face are of particular importance in this area of the website.

Let't take a look at the Other Issues area of this website:

If you become aware of a situation, legal issue, experience an issue that could be addressed here in this section of the Fathers For Equal Rights website, will you join with us in helping others to understand. We need to hear from you. Each family situation is different, and depending on the state you or your children live in, understanding about what issues are important in the resolution of your particular challenges will be necessary for the benefit of each party concerned. If you don't see what you are looking from the list above, please be sure to contact us here at the Fathers For Equal Rights Child Support Information Center office 214 953-2233 for more information.

Since this area of the website does change on a frequent basis, you are invited to return on a regular basis for the latest and most current information about the additional issues with regard to Child Support. Proper education, information, and action by parents and attorney's means you will have the greatest degree of success in keeping your children moving forward toward the future of their lives in the best possible manner. Proper support is critical to them developing as vital members in school, home, and family life.

By: Melanie Sullivan

Winter 2005-06

Divorce involves many complicated issues, such as support, alimony and property division. But who gets custody of your good credit?

Divorce can prove financially as well as emotionally stressful. If you find yourself faced with a divorce, it is important to start planning your financial future now.

Follow these 10 guidelines to help maintain your good credit when going through a divorce:

  1. Know your current credit and debt situation. Obtain copies of your credit reports as well as your spouse's credit reports. Make a list of all debts and decide who is responsible for each account (see sidebar).
  2. Have a plan. Your divorce decree should state what will happen (frozen assets, wage garnishment, etc.) if your spouse stops making payments. Make sure you have quick legal recourse if your spouse stops paying, and ensure your ability to make those payments yourself if necessary.
  3. Open a checking and savings account in your name only.
  4. Get at least one individual credit card and utility in your name only.
  5. Pay off all debts. Sell or refinance your house or other assets to cover outstanding debts, if necessary.
  6. Close joint accounts. Request that joint accounts be placed in the responsible party's name only as an individual account. If joint accounts cannot be reverted to individual accounts, then freeze joint accounts and tell the creditor that you will not be responsible for any more charges after that date.
  7. Remove all authorized users from your individual accounts - that especially means your spouse and his or her family members. Authorized users are not obligated to pay back any charges they make.
  8. Don't stop paying the bills. Keep making regular payments during the divorce process.
  9. Don't wait until you're in a crisis situation. Get your financial situation in order before you file for divorce.
  10. Contact your creditors. Your creditors are not a party to your divorce decree and are not legally bound by it. If your spouse fails to make a payment for a joint account, the creditor can and will pursue you for the money; it also will appear on your credit report. However, the creditor may enter into a separate payment arrangement with you or take your name off an account.

Creditors are not required to change joint accounts to individual accounts. A creditor may require you to reapply for credit on an individual basis or refinance a mortgage in order to remove one spouse from the loan obligation.

Get all agreements with creditors in writing. Make notes of all phone calls including names, dates and the topic of conversation. Don't have your name removed from any title if you are still responsible for the loan.

Divorce is difficult even under the best of circumstances. Pay attention to credit issues before a divorce, and you can make the divorce process easier and relieve much of the stress.

# # #

Melanie Sullivan is a military spouse with degrees in law and finance, and she is the author of a self-help guide to credit repair, "30 Days to Better Credit."

# # #

Who's Responsible For What?

Individual accounts: You are responsible for paying any debt in your name, whether you are married or not. If you live in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin), both you and your spouse may be responsible for debts incurred while married. Individual debt of one spouse may appear on both your credit report and your spouse's credit report.

Joint accounts: Both you and your spouse are responsible for paying the debt. This is true even if your divorce settlement states that one person will be responsible for the debt. Joint debts are reported to credit bureaus in both names.

Authorized users:

You may authorize another person to use an individual account in your name, but you are responsible for the entire debt. If you are an authorized user on another person's account, you are not liable for the debt. However, the debt still may appear on your credit report.

Keep Your Financial Information Under Wraps

By: Office of Inspector General

While you're keeping an eye out for bargains this holiday season, you may also want to keep an eye on your personal and financial information as well. That's because the holidays - with online, mail order, and credit card activity - provide ample opportunity for identity theft.

According to the Office of the Inspector General, identify theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S., costing consumers more than $5 billion annually. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself - many of which involve little more than an involve little more than an increased awareness on your part.
To help you get started, you may want to consider the "3-D" approach mentioned below.

Defend:

Deny potential thieves access to personal information. Here are just a few ways to help keep potential thieves at bay:

  • Never give anyone your account numbers, access codes, PIN numbers and most importantly, your social security number without being 100 percent sure how that information will be used.
  • Refuse to give out personal information over the phone, unless you've initiated the call and are confident of the source. By the same token, be wary of e-mails or links to official looking Web sites that request personal information.
  • Install firewalls and regularly update the virus protection software on your computer.
  • Limit the number of identification cards you carry, and be sure to keep your social security card in a secure location.

Destroy:

Identity thieves gain access to your personal information through a variety of sources - some sophisticated, and some ordinary. Eliminate them before your information falls into the wrong hands.

  • Shred all financial documents, bills and receipts before placing them in the trash.
  • Destroy any unwanted mail offers so that someone cannot apply in your name. You may also take outgoing mail to a secure location such as the post office.
  • Delete any unsolicited or unfamiliar e-mails as they may contain viruses or spyware.
  • Be sure to purge all information from your computer's hard drive and disks before discarding them.

Detect:

In the event you do fall victim, early detection can make all the difference in limiting the amount of damage that's caused.

  • Review all credit card and other financial statements thoroughly, and look for unusual activity. An unfamiliar charge could serve as a warning signal.
  • Regularly monitor your credit reports to see if any fraudulent activity or new applications for credit have appeared. Fortunately, this is easier than ever as you now have the right to receive one free credit report a year from each of the three reporting companies.
  • Watch your check numbers. If you see checks clearing with numbers well in advance of those you are currently using, it's most likely a sign that someone has ordered checks from your account.

The 4th D?

If you discover - or even suspect - that someone has stolen your identity, don't delay before taking action.

  • Issue a fraud alert by immediately contacting any of the credit reporting companies listed below (you only need to contact one, as they're required to share such requests). This will prevent any further credit applications from being processed, and make sure that no one can access your credit report without notifying you first.
  • In addition, you'll also want to file a report with the local police, and complete the Federal Trade Commission's universal fraud affidavit to document your claim and help limit your liability.

To issue a fraud alert, call any of the following credit bureaus: Experian 1-888-397-3742, Equifax 1-800-525-6285, TransUnion 1-800-680-7289.

To request free credit reports from any of the companies listed, call The Annual Credit Report Service at 1-877-322-8228 or visit their Web site at www.annualcreditreport.com

Your House

By: Amy Crane, Bankrate.com

When you're splitting up, your home is a refuge in a sea of uncertainty. Your kids are comfortable there, so you may yearn to hang onto that house after the divorce. But does it make financial sense?

Like many other aspects of divorce, it depends. Weigh the expenses involved in keeping the house and what you may have to give up to get it against your desire for emotional stability for yourself and your kids.

Property division is one of the most important decisions during a split-up. "The property division in a divorce is final and you can't undo it even if you realize later that you made a mistake," says Carol Ann Wilson, a certified divorce planner and author of "The Financial Guide to Divorce Settlement." "Other areas of a divorce decree can be changed, such as child support or visitation, but not the property settlement."

While the property settlement is final, there is flexibility in crafting it. Options include co-ownership between you and your ex-spouse for a certain number of years, or taking sole possession and refinancing to keep mortgage payments reasonable.

Dealing With The Mortgage

Although the mortgage is by no means the only expense involved in keeping the house, it's a good place to start. With today's interest rates near all-time lows, refinancing may be affordable and fairly painless. If you're dividing assets, you may be able to buy out your spouse's share of the equity and still keep your monthly payment affordable.

The catch: You must qualify for a mortgage with your own income, a combination of salary, alimony -- if you get any -- and child support. If you can't qualify for a new mortgage, another option would be co-ownership after the divorce is final. Under such an arrangement, you both continue to own the house, contributing jointly to pay the mortgage, taxes and upkeep.

"A lot of times people will co-own the house for two or three years with a drop-dead date by which time the house will either be placed for sale or one party will buy out the other party's interest," says Joan Coullahan, a certified divorce financial analyst in Vienna, Va. "In other cases, the partners in a joint ownership agreement will evaluate on a yearly basis whether they want to continue to co-own."

Co-ownership isn't for everyone: Some couples don't want to be tied to each other financially after a divorce. In some cases, there is so much animosity between the husband and wife that such a cooperative arrangement wouldn't work, Coullahan says. Also, if a spouse leaves his or her name on the mortgage, it may be difficult to qualify for another mortgage for a house of his or her own.

Factor In Upkeep Costs

Besides the mortgage, include upkeep costs of the home in your post-divorce budget. Write down all ongoing costs such as gas, electric, sewer and water bills. Don't forget outside maintenance such as snow removal and lawn upkeep.

In addition to the regular bills, budget for unexpected repairs and regular maintenance. You don't want to be caught short if you need a new water heater.
Katharina Gschwend, a certified divorce financial analyst in New Providence, N.J., recommends hiring a building inspector to evaluate the house and see if any major repairs are on the horizon.

Look at your own records to see what work you've already completed. Also, consider what work you haven't done to spot potential trouble spots. If, for example, the house is more than 20 years old and still has the original roof, add a new roof to your budget.

Consider Tax Implications

Taxes are the last part of the affordability picture. "A lot of expenses are beyond your control, and taxes are one of those expenses," says Gschwend. "Expect that your property taxes will go up, because they usually do."

As property values rise in many areas of the country, taxes increase. Many state and county laws require periodic reassessments, which can significantly increase your tax bill, especially if you've improved the house or prices spike in your area.

The positive side of the tax picture includes the mortgage interest deduction, the head of household deduction and the capital-gains tax exclusion. If you get the house in a settlement, you can deduct your mortgage interest and taxes on your income tax return. In addition, if you have primary custody of the children, you can file as head-of-household, which will give you a bigger deduction than filing single.

If you and your spouse sell the house upon divorce, you each can exclude up to $250,000 of any capital gain. In a joint ownership situation, both parties can also benefit from the exclusion when the house is finally sold.

Trading Assets

If you really want to keep the house, you have to give up something in exchange. "In many cases the house is the major marital asset, and there has to be a trade-off of assets, so the husband usually gets other assets such as the pension or 401(k) if the wife wants to keep the house," says Gschwend.

It's important to get an impartial assessment of the worth of the house so attorneys and divorce financial planners can construct a fair asset swap agreement. Coullahan refers clients to a real estate agent who has access to a database of comparable properties in the same area. If the home is unique or there is a dispute about the value, the couple can hire an appraiser to provide a fair valuation.

Wilson notes that real estate in general is not a liquid asset and that while homes have appreciated rapidly in many parts of the country recently, that may not always be the case. She advises her clients to find out the average appreciation of homes in their areas.

It's a good idea to hold on to some investments or a share in your spouse's 401(k) plan or pension, the planners say. Stock may appreciate faster than real estate, and the lower-earning partner in a marriage -- usually the wife -- doesn't have the ability to replenish retirement and investment assets in the same way as the higher-earning partner, Wilson says.

Consider Downsizing

In some cases, it makes sense to downsize immediately to a smaller house, especially if the expenses involved in keeping the house are more than you can afford. Some people associate the house with their failed marriage and are anxious to start fresh somewhere else.

On the other hand, in some areas of the country, rents and housing prices are so high that even a smaller house or condo may be out of your price range. Also, it may not be possible to find an affordable house in the same or another high-quality school district.

The Long Term

Before making a decision on what to do with the house, both parties in a divorce should consider the long-term consequences. Make sure you're not giving up your financial security in exchange for a house you won't be able to afford in the long run.

Many divorce financial planners and certified divorce financial analysts use specialized software to calculate the long-term effect of various child support, alimony and property settlement scenarios. Involving a financial planning expert in your divorce negotiations can help ensure that both parties are fairly treated.

"I find that when both partners feel they are fairly treated, they will have a decent relationship in the future," says Coullahan. "These issues carry over into parenting, so if the wife made bad decisions in the divorce and didn't get enough financially, it affects the kids too."

Coullahan recommends that couples in this situation visit the Web site Splitup.com which offers a variety of free calculators dealing with property division, sale of the home and income and taxes.

Article courtesy of: Dorothea E.H. Laster, Attorney at Law

I. Impermissible Discrimination

Texas is an employment at will state. With few exceptions, an employee can be fired for a good reason, a bad reason or no reason at all, just not an impermissible discriminatory reason. Some (although not all) impermissible discriminatory reasons for taking an adverse employment action against an employee are the employee's:

  • Race (includes reverse discrimination and interracial marriage);
  • Age (forty or over);
  • Disability;
  • Gender (including pregnancy);
  • National Origin;
  • Color; and
  • Religion.

II. Strict Filing Deadlines May Apply

If you believe that you have been discriminated or retaliated against for an impermissible reason stated above, you must file a charge of discrimination within certain time frames, or your right to sue about those claims under state and federal civil rights statutes may be forever lost. How much time you have to file a charge of discrimination depends upon whether you will file suit in state or federal court.

III. Information About Filing Suit in State Court For Private Sector Employees

If you decided to file suit in state court, you should know that at the time this website was published, the law required that you file your employment discrimination or retaliation charge with the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division within 180 days from the last discriminatory or retaliatory act. See Section § 21.202 of the Texas Labor Code entitled STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS for the most current information about your deadlines.

***Note, much shorter deadlines apply to government employees***

A. The Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division is located at:

6330 Hwy. 290 E, Suite 250
Austin, Texas 78723
Phone: 512-437-3450

  • To review the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division Act Fact Sheet regarding whether you may have a discrimination complaint click here.
  • To learn how to file a Texas Workforce Commission Act complaint click here.

IV. Information About Filing Suit in Federal Court For Private Sector Employees

If you decide to file suit in federal court under certain federal statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the ?ADEA? Age Discrimination Act, and/or ?ADA? Americans with Disabilities Act, you have 300 days or less to file your employment discrimination or retaliation complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from the last discriminatory or retaliatory act.

***Note, much shorter deadlines apply to government employees***

A. The Dallas District Office of the EEOC is located at:

207 S. Houston Street, 3rd Floor
Dallas, Texas 75202
Phone: 214-253-2700

  • For hours of operation and directions to the Dallas Office EEOC click here.
  • For information on time limitations and the filing of an EEOC Complaint with the Dallas District Office click here.

B. The Houston District Office of the EEOC is located at:

Mickey Leland Federal Building
1919 Smith Street, Suites 600 & 700
Houston, Texas 77002-8049
Phone: 713-209-3320

  • For hours of operation and directions to the Houston Office click here.
  • For information on time limitations and the filing of an EEOC Complaint with the Houston District Office click here.

V. Additional Time May Be Available For Race Claims Under 42 U.S.C. § 1981

Because of a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, if you assert a claim of race discrimination or retaliation you may have up to four years from the last discriminatory act to file your suit.

Based upon the experience of this office, it would be unwise to place all your eggs in one basket and allow your Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division and federal EEOC filing deadlines to pass.

Federal and state law may require that you prove at trial that you gave your employer notice of the discrimination, and that your employer failed to take prompt remedial action. Meeting the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division and federal EEOC filing deadlines can be good evidence that the employer knew about your concerns.

It is important to note that Section 1981 does not extend the filing deadlines on age, gender, religion or disability claims.

VI. No Substitute For Legal Advice

Whether it may be best to file in state or federal court should be discussed with a qualified legal professional based upon your specific circumstances.

We are certain that the majority of persons who accept employment discrimination charges for state and federal government civil rights agencies perform their duties in an exemplary fashion. Unfortunately, however, we receive complaints that people have been discouraged from pursuing their claims further when filing their charges. For that reason we encourage you to seek advice from legal professionals with experience in litigating employment discrimination cases regarding the viability of your employment claims, and that you not rely upon clerks or administrative personnel for that assessment.

Many legal motions have been filed over the issue of whether the retaliation box was checked on an employee's charge of discrimination. Many legal fights have been waged over whether an employee's charge of discrimination checked the continuing action box. Similarly, legal fights have been had over the earliest date of discrimination identified in the employee's charge of discrimination. Although many employees are not represented by a lawyer when they file their charge, What you don't know can hurt you? If possible, consult with a lawyer who practices employment law prior to filing your charge. If that is not possible, read the charge document very carefully. Everything you have stated has been reduced to a one page document. If important information is missing, ask why or refuse to sign until it is included. If dates are wrong, have them corrected prior to signing. When you sign the charge, you do so under penalty of perjury.

Employment-Based Visas - Labor Certification - Adverse Effect On U.S. Labor

By: Warren & Associates

Immigrant VisasWhen an employer applies for labor certification for an alien, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) evaluates, among other things, whether alien labor will adversely affect the U.S. labor market. Specifically, the DOL certifying officer considers whether wages and working conditions will be affected for similarly employed native U.S. workers. Generally speaking, if the alien's wage or working conditions would be less favorable than those typically offered to U.S. workers, the application for labor certification is denied.

In making this determination, the officer considers several factors, using his or her knowledge of the U.S. labor market, the relevant industry, and the prevailing wages and benefits offered in the specific occupation. Most often, wage determinations are contested. However, the prohibition against an adverse affect on U.S. labor extends to working conditions, as well.

Wages

The DOL establishes a prevailing wage rate that an employer petitioning for alien labor certification must offer U.S. workers who apply for the job. First, if a statutory wage exists, that wage rate is used. This typically arises for occupations covered by the Davis Bacon Act or the Service Contract Act. If there is no such statutory rate, the certifying officer considers whether a prevailing wage rate has been established through a collective bargaining agreement. If neither of these options applies, the officer computes a wage rate using the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, which includes wage data by industry and geographical location.

The data pulled from the OES system is made as specific as possible. If a statistically sufficient sample of data can be pulled in the local area, such as a metropolitan statistical area like Chicago, Illinois, that data is used. If not, the OES system uses area data. If that is also insufficient, the system defaults to state data, then to nationwide data.

The OES surveys are conducted in three-year cycles for two levels of wage rates. The entry-level wage is established for each occupation, as well as an experienced worker rate. An employer must have offered the relevant wage rate to U.S. workers who applied for the open position.

If an employer disagrees with an OES wage rate determination, it may challenge the determination using its own data. Data used to challenge OES determinations must meet certain criteria relating to its age, geographical and industry areas, and methods. Specifically, the employer's data must be less than two years old, it must cover a geographical area no broader than that used by the OES system, it must be cross-industry, it must be statistically sound, and it must use a mean rather than a median wage rate.

Working Conditions

Most employer challenges to DOL findings regarding the adverse effect of alien labor on the U.S. labor market are to wage data. However, employers occasionally challenge findings relating to working conditions, such as work hours and fringe benefits. The main area of contention relates to labor that lives with the employer. When living in is a condition to a job, the employee must be provided with free room and board that is not shared with anyone else, and the employee must be allowed to leave the work site on off hours.

Only if the DOL finds that alien labor will not affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers will an application for labor certification be approved.

National Security Issues

By: Warren & Associates

Grounds For InadmissabilityCertain people are "inadmissible" for purposes of entry into the United States, either as an immigrant or as a visitor. There are many reasons why a person could be considered inadmissible to receive a visa and enter the United States, including that the person's entry would jeopardize United States national security interests.

These grounds include people for whom there are reasonable grounds to believe that they will engage in espionage, sabotage, or terrorism while in the United States. It also includes people whose activities would threaten U.S. foreign policy or who are members of a totalitarian or Communist political party. Participation in Nazi persecutions or genocide will also render a person inadmissible. The only waiver available for these grounds is for certain people who were members of a totalitarian or Communist party.

Seeking Entry To Engage In Espionage, Sabotage, Or Other Unlawful Activity

An alien is inadmissible to the United States if he or she seeks entry with the purpose of engaging in espionage, sabotage, export of prohibited technology, any activity with a purpose of violent overthrow of the U.S. government, or "any other unlawful activity." The "unlawful activity" provision has been interpreted narrowly, including activities such as organized crime involvement.

An alien is inadmissible if he or she has engaged in terrorist activity. "Terrorist activity" is defined as any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed and which involves any one of a number of specific characteristics, including hijacking, sabotage, assassination, or the use of explosives. "Engaging" in terrorist activity includes a broad spectrum of actions.

An alien is also inadmissible if he or she is "likely to engage" in terrorist activity after entering the United States. Spouses and children of aliens inadmissible due to terrorist activities are also inadmissible themselves if the terrorist activity has occurred within the prior five years to the time that the spouse or children seek entry into the United States.

Adverse Foreign Policy Consequences

An alien is inadmissible if a potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequence would result from the alien's entry or proposed activity. There are two exceptions to this ground of inadmissibility. One, if an alien is an official of a foreign government, or a candidate for election to a foreign government office, the alien is not inadmissible on the basis of the alien's past, current, or expected beliefs, statements, or associations. Second, any other alien (who is not a foreign government official) can not be deemed inadmissible on the basis of his or her past, current, or expected beliefs, statements, or associations unless the U.S. Secretary of State personally determines that the alien's admission would compromise a compelling United States foreign policy interest. Aliens fitting into either of the two exception categories are deemed admissible.

Communist Or Totalitarian Party Membership

An alien is inadmissible if he or she is or has been a member of the Communist or any other totalitarian party. There are a few exceptions to this rule. One is if the aliens' membership: was involuntary, occurred when the alien was under 16 years of age, occurred by operation of law, or was for the purpose of obtaining employment, food rations, or other necessities. A second exception applies if the membership is a past membership, the membership terminated at least two years prior to entering the United States (five years in some cases of aliens from countries still controlled by totalitarian governments), and the alien is not a threat to the security of the United States. A third exception exists for an alien who is an immediate family member of a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.

Participants In Nazi Persecutions Or Genocide

An alien is inadmissible if he or she participated in Nazi persecutions or any other activity considered to be "genocide" under international law. Genocide involves the specific intent to destroy a designated group of people who share a common characteristic, such as ethnicity or nationality.

Association with Terrorist Organizations

Finally, in addition to the category "engaging in terrorist activity" discussed above, any alien who is associated with a terrorist organization in any way is also inadmissible. The U.S. State Department maintains a list of organizations known to support or endorse terrorism. If an alien is associated with a terrorist organization and intends to engage in activities in the U.S. that could endanger the welfare, safety, or security of the United States, that alien is inadmissible.

Employment-Based Visas -EB-3/Skilled Workers And Others

By: Warren & Associates

The United States uses a worldwide cap on most types of immigration, along with a preference-based system, to control entry of aliens into the U.S. One of the main types of immigrants, that is, persons who intend to stay permanently in the U.S., is employment-based. Within the employment-based preference, the third level of preference is for skilled workers, professionals, and certain other workers.

Who Qualifies As A Skilled Worker?

The requirements to qualify as a skilled worker are lower than those in the EB-1 and EB-2 categories, which cover priority workers, advanced degree holders, and aliens with exceptional abilities. Skilled work is defined as permanent, year-round work that requires at least two years of experience or training to perform. Post-secondary education in the area of work does qualify as training. More information about how to distinguish skilled from unskilled labor is available at the Department of Labor (DOL)

Who Qualifies As A Professional?

To qualify as a professional, an alien must have obtained a U.S. baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent. The degree must be in the area that is typically required for the profession in which the alien will be engaged. An alien may not substitute work experience for the requisite degree.

Who Qualifies As An "Other Worker"?

The "other worker" category includes workers in jobs that do not require at least two years of experience, education, or training. Because of the use of the worldwide cap and preference system to assign visas and the relatively low preference for "other workers," there is a substantial wait to obtain a visa in this category.

How Do I Apply?

Aliens do not file their own applications for EB-3 visas. Instead, their prospective employers file petitions for them at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regional center. All petitions must be accompanied by both a written, full-time, permanent job offer and a DOL individual labor certification.

Generally and Private Causes of Action

By: Warren & Associates

Actions for Damages - Generally and Private Causes of Action

There are at least four types of actions for damages that may be brought by aliens as a result of their alleged treatment by governmental officials: (1) claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act; (2) actions under the federal civil rights statutes; (3) Bivens actions; and (4) private causes of action. These different theories of recovery differ in many ways, including what prerequisites exist before a lawsuit may be pursued, who may be sued, and what may be recovered.

The first three of these types of suits are the most successful. They each have well-defined components, theories of recovery, and defenses. However, a private cause of action could potentially succeed against government officials or the government itself. For this to occur, an alien would have to request a court to imply a federal cause of action from the federal immigration statutes. This is because the immigration laws do not expressly create a remedy for aggrieved parties to pursue.

The relevant criteria in determining whether a private remedy is implicit in a statute that does not expressly establish a private cause of action were established by the United States Supreme Court. They are as follows: (1) do the statutes, here the immigration statutes, demonstrate legislative intent to create a private cause of action, either explicitly or implicitly; (2) would it be consistent with the underlying legislative scheme of the immigration laws to imply a private remedy; (3) does the requested cause of action fall within the realm of state law, rendering it potentially inappropriate to imply a separate cause of action under the federal immigration laws; and (4) does the person requesting the creation of a cause of action fall within the class the immigration laws were designed to protect?

At least three federal circuits have considered whether implied private causes of action might be available to aliens, and all have rejected the existence of such remedies. However, at least theoretically, an alien might succeed in the future in demonstrating that these four criteria exist relative to his or her claimed damage, so private causes of action should be considered one of potential avenues of recovery for aggrieved aliens.

What To Do When Your Spouse Forges Your Names On A Loan Application

By: T.D. Lewis of T.D. Lewis Law Firm, PLLC

What do I do if my spouse forges my name on a credit card or loan application, without my knowledge or consent, and racks up a huge debt?

I am writing this article because I have found that this question comes up quite a bit when I talk to clients.

Texas is a community property state. This means, with exception, that all assets and liabilities acquired by either spouse during marriage belong to the marital community. However, if your spouse forges your name on a credit card application or other unsecured loan application, there are remedies available to you.

First, you need to contact the lender to let them know that your spouse forged your name on the application. If your spouse sent the application via mail or fax, then the lender had a duty to verify the applicant and the applicant's signature were genuine. The lender may balk at transferring the debt from you to your spouse. In that case, I would recommend you retain an attorney to file suit against the lender for its negligence. The lender will likely bring your spouse into the suit as a cross-party defendant. All of this gets a bit tricky, which is why I recommend you retain an attorney should the lender not release you from liability on the debt.

Second, you may have an action against your spouse during the divorce lawsuit under the doctrine "fraud on the spouse." Typically, after divorce, the rights of preexisting creditors are not affected. This means, even if the divorce decree gives one spouse responsibility to pay a debt, if that spouse defaults on payment, the creditor still has a cause of action for collection against the borrower of the loan. Therefore, if the above-mentioned unsecured loan has not been corrected or if it is still pending (in litigation, etc.), you are the liable party as the "borrower."

That said, in your divorce petition and during your divorce proceeding, you should assert the "fraud on the spouse" doctrine. Fraud on the spouse or community can be through "actual fraud" or "constructive fraud." Constructive fraud is when one spouse disposes of the other spouse's interest in community property without the other's knowledge or consent. Actual fraud exists when a spouse not only deprives the community of assets to the detriment of the other spouse, but may have done so with dishonesty of purpose or intent to deceive. If constructive fraud is shown, then the party alleging it need not show actual fraud, which is more difficult to prove.

This would be the case with the credit card monies, or any other assets your spouse disposed of unreasonably or via gifts to others. If this happened shortly before your spouse left, then you have a good argument. The court may not make your spouse pay you back, but it may weigh more of the community assets in your favor during the "just and right" property division.

These matters can become very complex, and in the event that you are unsure or uncertain you should consider seeking legal advice.

T.D. Lewis of T.D. Lewis Law Firm, PLLC
Dallas & Collin County, Texas
Tel: (972)455-2810
Toll Free: (877)469-5997
www.lewisjustice.com

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