Bastarrika, Soto, Gonzalez & Somohano, L.L.P.

Woodland Park Legal Issues Blog

The naturalization process in the United States

People all over the world look at the United States with hope. It is often the place they plan to move to as they work toward a happier, safer life. As a result, they move to places like New Jersey and other areas around the country. Their ultimate goal is to seek naturalization, a process that can seem overwhelming and confusing.

Reportedly as an attempt to ensure that those seeking citizenship in the United State are sincere, there are multiple criteria that must be met. Before a person can apply to become a naturalized citizen, the person must be at least 18 years old. The individual also must have been a lawful, permanent resident of the United States and physically present in the country for at least five years prior to applying; certain exceptions do apply to the residency requirement. Successful applicants must also be "of good moral character" and able to speak and understand English.

New Jersey police investigate double murder

There are likely many people in New Jersey and across the country who would agree that family relationships can often be complicated. However, most families do not experience violence. Unfortunately, police have recently charged a man with murder in the deaths of his parents.

Police claim they became involved in the incident after receiving a request from the couple's son to conduct a welfare check. When they arrived at the couple's house, they allegedly discovered that the man and woman were deceased, reportedly due to knife wounds. Police apparently immediately suspected the couple's other son of killing them.

Are you safe from ICE in a church?

The immigration climate in the United States has been volatile lately, and you may be among the many who live in fear about your future in this country. As laws change and the enforcement of those laws grows more rigid, you may feel some days like the walls are closing in around you and you have nowhere to turn to avoid deportation.

If removal from the country is a primary concern of yours, you may be considering your alternatives. Perhaps you have heard through the media that some are seeking sanctuary in local churches because agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot reach them there. Before you choose this step for avoiding removal, you should learn the facts and obtain reliable information about your options.

How abuse is factored into alimony awards

Marriages end for a variety of different reasons.  Many couples in New Jersey who choose to pursue a divorce will often take the route of seeking a no-fault divorce in which parties claim an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and irreconcilable differences. However, under certain circumstances, a fault divorce may be appropriate in the event of abuse or other factors. Victims of abuse and the subjects of such allegations often wonder how these claims will impact decisions regarding alimony.

There are several different types of alimony and several factors that are considered when a judge determines whether alimony is appropriate and if so, how much. For example, some spouses may receive temporary support, allowing them an opportunity to get back on their feet financially following the end of a marriage while others may be awarded permanent support. Though a judge may consider the length of the marriage, the age of the spouses and the contributions of one spouse to another's career, the goal of such payments is to ensure that one spouse does not live in poverty while the other is financially secure.

How do claims of domestic violence impact child custody?

There are a variety of different of reasons why a couple in New Jersey might choose to end their marriage. In fact, allegations of domestic violence are one reason why many people choose to seek a divorce. Because family courts are dedicated to protecting the best interests of children, they may rule conservatively in child custody cases that include claims of domestic abuse.

Courts are often tasked with determining custody arrangements. While most courts recognize the importance of having both parents involved in a child's life, allegations of domestic violence require special considerations and could ultimately impact a custody arrangement. Judges will examine a variety of different issues before making a decision, including whether the alleged abuse was directed at the child or affected the child, whether there is a continued threat to the child or other parent, physical evidence of the abuse, pending criminal charges as a result or police documentation of the abuse, among other issues.

Cause of New Jersey pedestrian accident under investigation

For many grandparents in New Jersey, there is often nothing more enjoyable than taking their grandchildren for a walk. Most people feel relatively safe doing so, especially when there are sidewalks in the area. Unfortunately, a stroll turned into a nightmare for one grandmother after she and her two grandchildren became victims of a pedestrian accident.

The incident happened one afternoon on a day in January. According to reports, the woman was walking with her two grandchildren, an infant in a stroller and a child identified by witnesses as around 3 or 4 years old. Reports claim that a driver allowed a vehicle to jump the curb, striking all three.

How can you bring your fiancé to the United States?

With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air. It’s also all over store shelves, in the news and in conversations by those around you. But if you’re a United States citizen with a fiancé living overseas, this season of love may cause you to wonder how you can bring your fiancé to America and make being together your reality.

What steps do you need to take?

New Jersey man pleads guilty to manslaughter

When a person faces criminal charges in New Jersey, he or she may be unsure of the available legal options. Depending on the severity of the charges, the decisions that the accused individual makes could potentially have significant consequences. In fact, a man has recently opted to plead guilty to manslaughter after he was arrested in connection with the death of an alleged drug dealer.

The incident that led to the man's arrest happened in Feb. 2017. The body of the alleged victim, a 29-year-old man, was reportedly discovered by a park ranger who was picking up trash in a New Jersey park; it had reportedly been dumped down a slope. The discovery was made after a friend reported the man missing; his abandoned vehicle was discovered parked nearby.

New Jersey car accident sends woman to hospital

It might be easy to become complacent while driving. Unfortunately, such complacency can cause a driver to be less diligent, potentially causing a car accident. In fact, a woman in New Jersey was transported to the hospital following a recent crash.

The incident happened just before 6:30 a.m. on a day in mid-December. Reports claim that a 47-year-old male was driving a sports utility vehicle in the northbound lanes of a New Jersey roadway at the time of the accident. The man allegedly made a "fast lane change," moving from the middle lane to the left lane. Unfortunately, he reportedly struck a vehicle in the left lane when doing so.

Seeking bankruptcy protection in New Jersey

Most people in New Jersey are hardworking individuals who are dedicated to ensuring that all of their obligations -- including their financial ones -- are met. Unfortunately, some people may experience unforeseen circumstances, such as the loss of a job or an illness or injury, that may impact their ability to meet these financial obligations. For these people, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be a viable option.

A person seeking such protection must provide a great deal of information to the court, after passing a means test. First, a petition must be filed. Additionally, several other filings are necessary, including information on unexpired leases, executory contracts, a statement of financial affairs, a list of current expenditures and income as well as a list of assets and liabilities. A person with mainly consumer debts must provide even more information, including a certificate of credit counseling and evidence of payment from employers for the previous 60 days.

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