Legal Marriage Separation

A marriage dissolves only after a divorce is final. However, there are instances when a couple may choose not to reside together as a married couple. In such cases, the finances, assets, and debts are divided among the couple along with the custody of the child, and the two individuals can begin living separate lives. This is called a legal marriage separation. It is also required in cases where the couple is seeking a divorce. Many states require that a couple legally separate before getting divorced, and hence, the concerned papers will have to be drawn from the court.


Usually, the marriage separation agreement is drawn after many discussions and negotiations regarding the division of assets, liabilities, the support, maintenance, custody, and visitation issues of the children. All terms and conditions have to be clearly mentioned in the document. It is usually recommended that an attorney be hired to draft an agreement that will need all your requirements. You can find plenty of sample agreements on the internet. This document has to be duly attested by the couple and two witnesses. Such agreements are very beneficial in saving money during a divorce. In a contested divorce, i.e., a divorce without an agreement, the costs can go into thousands of dollars in attorney fees, court costs, filing fees, etc., which in turn can cause a lot of stress and emotional strain. In an uncontested divorce, the separation document is ready, which already contains information regarding the alimony, child custody and support, and property division. Hence, the cost of the divorce is far less and is also very quick.


This arrangement is usually seen as a preamble to divorce. But, it has been observed in many cases that when a couple spends some time apart, it gives them an opportunity to think and reevaluate their need for a divorce. There have been many instances when the couple has decided to give their marriage another chance.


Marriage is a powerful institution, and every couple must make every effort to ensure that it brings them every joy that it promises to bring. However, people grow and change over a period of time, and it may so happen that the two people who promised to spend their lives together now find it difficult to live under the same roof. Divorce is now not the only way out. There are many kinds of help available these days like counseling and a separation.

This process is one step away from a divorce, and a couple must evaluate their reasons very thoroughly before deciding to separate. One of the most prominent guideline to follow when deciding if it is the right option for you is that, your reasons for it must be almost the same as your spouse. Once this is decided, there are some rules that you must follow during the tenure.

  • Set a tentative duration of how long to remain separated, for example three months. At the end of this duration, both of you can evaluate your options and feelings and carry forward from there.
  • Both the members must agree to individual and joint counseling during the period. This will give a chance to each of you to work out your individual feelings and also work out your issues together as a couple.
  • If you and your spouse really want to give your relationship another chance, then both of you must agree not to date anybody else during that period.

To conclude, the system is doing everything in its power to ensure that the rate of divorce goes down. It is very unfortunate when the statistics show that one in every two marital bonds is headed towards a divorce. The aforementioned arrangement helps the couple live separate lives but still remain married, giving them ample opportunity to work out their differences, no matter how long it takes. Every individual must use this golden opportunity and give love another chance.

Marital Separation

Every marriage is different and yet none is perfect. Every relationship has its own set of problems, which are unique to that relationship. The success of a marital relationship depends upon how well the couple resolves their conflicts. Lack of willingness from both sides to address the underlying issues, often leads to divorce. However, there are some couples who are desperate to hang on to their marriage and are willing to go that extra mile to make things work between them. For such couples, separation can be a good solution. As per statistics, most couples head for divorce after the separation period expires. Nonetheless, there are a few couples who gain an entirely new perspective upon their relationship and get on with their life with a fresh start. Thus, this process is worth a try for every couple experiencing difficulties in their relationship.

How Does Separating Help
Couples who hit troubled waters in their relationship, often spend most of the time bickering and arguing over petty things. Every morning they wake up to each other, only to face the same issues again. Due to the constant bickering over frivolous things, the couple often ignores the main cause of dispute. Things begin to turn ugly as the couple eventually resorts to hurting each other and pampering their own egos. There is neither time for introspecting one’s behavior, nor there is any productive discussion to make things work between them. By filing for separation and implementing it in due course, the couple gets some breathing space. The temporary exit from each other’s lives allows them to handle their lives independently. This helps to restore the mental peace in both the partners. They get ample time to ponder over their past mistakes and come up with some solutions to resolve the issue in question. At the end of the period, each of the partners gains a fresh perspective towards their relationship. This can eventually help the couple to bond again.

When Does Separating Help
There are certain circumstances in which this helps, while there are cases where separation only prolongs an impending divorce. It helps in cases where both the partners show an equal urge to save their marriage. When both the partners are willing to take efforts to do whatever it takes to work out issues between them, the chances of reconciliation are very bright. However, in cases where only one partner clings to marriage while the other is in hurry to get divorce, the chances of successful reconciliation are nil. People with cheating spouses or threatening partners seldom benefit from the process. Lastly, the decision should not be made reluctantly and seen as an obstacle towards the divorce. Instead, it should be a mutual agreement with the hope for a positive outcome.

Dealing with Separation
If the decision was not mutual, then it might come as a shock to the spouse who did not instigate it. Oftentimes, people take their partner’s warnings to leave them very lightly. Finally, when it does happen, they might realize their mistakes and make attempts to reconcile with their partners. However, this won’t help in cases where the spouse was anyway ready to file for divorce. In some cases, the process may widen the gap between the couple and may force one of them to get closer to the third person, if involved. Hence, it is important that the couple reaches a consensus where each of them agrees not to get involved with any other person during this period. If the rift between the couple was already wide and there was a lack of communication, then the two partners may continue with their lives as nonchalantly as before. However, if the love and attraction between the couple is still intact, they will indeed yearn to get back.

During this period try to lead your life as healthy as possible and maintain a positive outlook towards life. Let go of past grudges and learn from your mistakes. Render emotional support to your children (if involved) and take efforts to rebuild your life.

Considered a Legal Separation

At times, the differences in marital alliance increase to an extent wherein divorce seems to be the only way out. But, that’s one option which is best left untouched, unless the chances of reconciliation don’t exist at all. A much better way out is to try to work things out by giving each other enough space, and this is where legal separation comes into the picture. Basically, it is a type of separation wherein the couple remains married in legal terms, but opt for separation and choose to live their separate lives on their own terms. Being married, but opting for separate lives; that may sound a bit confusing, and one has to go through some details to get a hang of this legal process.

What is a Legal Separation?

So, ‘legal separation’ is a legal process which allows a couple to opt for de facto separation without having to break the matrimonial alliance. Simply put, it is a legal provision which allows the couple remain legally married, while choosing their own separate lives. It is at times referred to as ‘judicial separation’ and ‘divorce a mensa et thoro’ (‘divorce from bed-and-board’). While some sources refer to it as ‘separate maintenance’ as well, this term actually refers to financial arrangements post legal separation, and hence, should not be considered a synonym for the process. The process is initiated through court proceedings after which the permission is granted by a court order. As legal separation involves monitoring by the court, it is considered better than simply starting to live separately.

According to the United States Laws

The laws pertaining to legal separation, and the procedure involved, may differ from one country to another – and one state to another within a country. In the United States, this process is recognized by all states – except for Georgia, Florida, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Texas and Mississippi. Division of assets as well as debts, the custody of the child/children, support payment for either spouse, etc., are some issues which can be sorted out by resorting to legal separation. However, the assets and debts acquired by either of the two individuals involved in course separation are not considered to be a part of the marital estate.

What is the Purpose of Legal Separation?

Even though it is not stated so, the most prominent purpose of this concept is to give the married couple a last chance to see whether things can work out between them. Going by the judicial point of view, a couple is granted the permission to opt for legal marriage separation when the court is convinced that the couple can no longer get along, but they want to remain legally married in order to protect other interests – family, social, religious, or financial, which are of significant importance in their lives. By opting for a legal separation, the couple protects these interests until they come to a conclusion that things cannot get better from here on, and opt to file for a divorce.

Legal Separation Vs. Divorce

Even though a stipulated period of legal separation is mandatory for filing divorce which, in turn, makes this type of separation a part divorce proceedings, one has to understand that two are different from each other. The foremost point of distinction between legal separation and divorce is the fact that divorce is an extreme measure which ends your matrimonial alliance – and results in severe implications on the lives of both individuals involved. For instance, the health insurance cover, which continues in case of legal separation, is brought to an end by a divorce, and this in turn results in both individuals having to shell out more money for premium. Similarly, a person who is legally separated is not entitled to marry another person, and if he/she intends to do so divorce is a must. Legal separation doesn’t lead to divorce, the latter has to be initiated explicitly if reconciliation is not possible.

At the end of the day, legal or judicial separation is believed to be a temporary solution for marital woes, wherein you are neither married nor divorced. It is virtually impossible to say whether separation of any sort is an ideal way out as circumstances tend to differ from one case to another. However, if you believe that separating from your spouse is the only way out of the prevailing circumstances, you should assess the legalities involved in your jurisdiction so as to make sure that the separation process best protects your interest.

Tips to File for Legal Separation

unduhan-21Relationships cannot be treated lightly, let alone a marriage! They are a two way street and there is always a lot that goes into making them work. But truth is, nobody is perfect, and every so often a relationship, or more specifically, a marriage could turn sour. The reasons could be numerous, what’s important is, knowing what you want the end result of the marriage to be. There’s only two ways it could work. Either you work on it and fix it, or you end it. The latter does seem drastic if the problems are not so grave. Filing for a legal separation at times like these is the better way out for sure, especially because it gives you the space to restore the relationship back to what it may have once been. A lot of people are unaware at times, and this could lead to mistakes in the decisions made. So let us first understand the basic distinction between a divorce and legal separation.

Legal Separation Vs. Divorce

The stark difference between a legal separation and a divorce is that when a couple has opted for the former, they are still legally married, whereas being divorced would mean that a marriage has been dissolved altogether. Every now and again a legal separation could act as a means to help resolving differences and other marital issues, but there are no guarantees. There are instances when things work for the worse and the result is divorce. But what is legal separation really? Here’s what it is…

Legal separation in effect refers to validating a state of being separated from one’s spouse while still being married. Occasionally used as a solution to fix a marriage, in a majority of cases, a legal separation acts as nothing more than a buffer and a method to buy time so that important details can be figured out. Money matters, property matters, in case of children, custody matters, the period of legal separation acts as the perfect medium to decide these issues. Another advantage is that reconciliation is way simpler in case of separation especially since according to law, you are still married.

Divorce, on the other hand, is a permanent dissolution of marriage. A step that is way more extreme as opposed to that just mentioned. This is as much a legal process as a separation is, and cannot be gone ahead with, without the countenance of the court. It takes away the marital status of the person, but it does not nullify the marriage. Also, divorce is not permitted or patronized by all religions, and cultures. Thus, in cases like those, legal separation acts as the best solution. So, now that you are aware of the basic difference, we’ll move on to filing for separation.

Filing for Legal Separation

  • Very evidently, the first step towards filing for a legal separation is to turn to the services of a good lawyer. There are instances when people will opt to go through handling the procedure themselves, but in situations like that, the bare minimum of the advice of an experienced lawyer is required.
  • It is also important to make sure that you meet the residency requirements of the state you live in. Every state has a different system of functioning, and you must find out certain details before you get in to deep into the procedure.
  • The next important aspect to keep in mind is that of filing a legal separation agreement, along with the petition. The purpose of this agreement is to cover factors such as child custody, child support, visitation rights, spousal support, and / or all such legalities. The purpose for this agreement normally is so that there is concrete documentation if the separation were to lead to divorce.
  • Ongoing through the procedure mentioned thus far, the petition needs to be served on your spouse, unless it is being filed jointly. Once your spouse has been served with the petition, he / she has a certain amount of time to respond to it. Upon agreement from both parties involved, a notarized signature of both parties is required in order to be provided to the court. However, if for any reason, the petition isn’t accepted, a counter petition may be filed.
  • If everything is acceptable to all parties involved, the separation agreement must be signed and submitted to the judge. This agreement will get reviewed by the judge, and then filed with the county clerk.

Every state may have certain specifications that it works too, hence, it is of utmost importance to clarify all such details before getting into the procedure. Now that you know the filing process, all you need to wait for is the completion of processing. As far as possible though, try to save your marriage from getting to that point in the first place.

Get a Better Understanding of Probable Cause

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides protection to the common man from arbitrary arrest, and unreasonable searches and seizures. The provision reads as follows: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”.

According to this provision, a police officer must have a ‘probable cause’ to make an arrest, to search a person or property, and to obtain a warrant from the judge. In other words, there must be sufficient reason for a police officer to arrest a person, or to conduct search and seizure without a warrant. In that case, he must prove that there was probable cause, based on which the action was made. In order to obtain a warrant for search or arrest, the officer must establish the probable cause before the judge. This concept is mainly applied in criminal law, rather than civil law.

What is Probable Cause?
The concept is defined as follows: “Apparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person has committed a crime, thereby warranting his or her prosecution”.
In simple terms, probable cause can be explained as the requirement that has to be satisfied by a police officer so as to make an arrest or search without a warrant, or to obtain a warrant from a judge. The requirement is that, he/she must have adequate reason to believe that the suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime. When it comes to search and seizure, the officer must have enough knowledge to believe that stolen goods, contraband, weapons, or any other evidence of crime are hidden in a particular vehicle or property, so as to conduct a search without a warrant.

Examples of Probable Cause

Example I: A police officer finds a person (A) roaming around vehicles parked on the street, in the middle of the night. In that case, the police officer may develop a ‘reasonable suspicion’ against ‘A’. Reasonable suspicion is not a ground for making a warrantless arrest. The officer detains ‘A’ for a short time and performs a frisk. If nothing is found, there is no ground for an arrest. If ‘A’ had tools like a hammer, screwdriver, and wrench; and he was getting nervous when questioned, the officer has a probable cause for arresting him. In this case, the officer has sufficient reason to believe that ‘A’ was about to commit a theft, as he found evidence to prove the same.

Example II: A police officer intercepts a car and its driver for speeding. He searches the vehicle, and finds a bag of cocaine hidden beneath the driver’s seat. The officer has probable cause for arresting the driver and seizing the vehicle as well as the cocaine, without a warrant.

Example III: An officer receives information that a gang of three is planning to rob a bank. He cannot arrest them or seek a warrant on the basis of this information. He follows them and collects enough evidence to prove their intention. He finds them buying masks and gloves, tools like bolt cutters, large bags, etc. The officer seeks a warrant against the gang through his testimony about the information received and the evidence collected. In such circumstances, the chances of obtaining a warrant is very high.

Sources of Probable Cause
So, probable cause is the standard to assess the reason behind a warrantless arrest or search , or a request for search or arrest warrants. From the examples mentioned above, it is clear that it is not based on mere suspicion. In order to make a warrantless arrest or search, or to obtain a search or arrest warrant, a police officer has to establish a probable cause, which must be based on factual evidence. Such evidence can be obtained from different sources. They include observation, expertise, informants, and circumstantial evidence.

Observational evidence is the proof collected by a police officer through observation. It includes what he hears, sees, or smells. For example, an officer can arrest those people who were found using illicit drugs. Some officers are trained to detect and identify certain gestures, tools, etc., that may point towards criminal activities. Such expertise is also a source of evidence, that forms the basis of probable cause. Circumstantial evidence is another source. For example, an officer finds a person hiding behind a store in the middle of the night. The person has a bolt cutter and other tools with him. In that case, he can arrest this person, whom he suspects to be a thief. In some cases, informants provide some evidence which can become the probable source. Such information can be received from victims, witnesses, or even informants. Probable cause is not a cause of concern if the defendant consents to the arrest or search.

How Much Evidence is Needed to Prove Probable Cause
There is no clear-cut method to calculate the amount of evidence required to establish probable cause. It is the judge who has to decide whether there is probable cause to make the arrest or search in a given case. As the standard is flexible and varies from case to case, the most important factor is to attain a balance between the duties of the police and the rights of citizens against arbitrary arrests and unreasonable searches. In general, it can be said that the standard of probable cause is something between ‘reasonable suspicion’ and ‘preponderance of the evidence’. In simple terms, it should not be a mere suspicion, and it need not be that elaborate as ‘preponderance of the evidence’, the standard of proof required in civil trials.

It may also happen that the officer acted in good faith and believed that he had enough reason; but the judge may conclude that there was in fact, no probable cause. In such cases, the evidence becomes inadmissible in court. However, it very important for a police officer to have a valid and strong probable cause, even if the suspect turns out to be innocent.

In short, probable cause is a legal concept that can be described as the reason behind: (1) a warrantless arrest or search; or (2) a request seeking a warrant. In Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, the Supreme Court held that, “Probable cause exists where the facts and circumstances within the officers’ knowledge, and of which they have reasonably trustworthy information, are sufficient in themselves to warrant a belief by a man of reasonable caution that a crime is being committed”.

A Simple Explanation of the Best Evidence Rule With Examples

In a legal dispute, two or more parties present their grievances before a court of law. To support their claims, either party can introduce some proof, which the judge can use in deciding the outcome of the lawsuit. Such proof produced before a judge with his/her permission is known as evidence.

Evidence can be of different types. All spoken or written statements made by witnesses is called testimonial evidence. Material evidence involves all objects relevant to the lawsuit, like murder weapons in a criminal case. On the other hand, documentary evidence involves written material, like wills and contracts. Finally, demonstrative evidence contains recorded aspects of the case, such as photos, videotapes, and maps.

Among all the types of evidence explained above, documentary and demonstrative evidence are unique. This is because, making duplicates of documents, photos, or videotapes is a routine affair. This brings their reliability into dispute when such is evidence used in deciding a case. This is why the best evidence rule is used, as the following sections explain.
What is the Best Evidence Rule?
When the contents of a written work or photograph are disputed in a court, then submitting the original copy of such object(s) as evidence is a must. Any duplicate copy of such an object is not admissible as evidence, when the original is available. This legal doctrine is known as the best evidence rule. In the United States, Rules 1001-1008 in Article X of the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) deal with this principle.
What Does it Apply To?
1. Writings and Recordings: Includes letters, words, numbers, or their combinations; either handwritten or mechanically printed on paper.

2. Photographs: Still photographs, X-rays, films, videotapes, and motion pictures.
♦ It is applicable only when the contents of the said document or photograph are to be proven.

♦ When the existence, and not the contents of such recordings is to be proven, original copies are not mandatory.

♦ If the offering party cannot provide the original copy, duplicates may be allowed if the court receives a satisfactory reason.
When are Duplicates Allowed?
■ When the original copy is lost or destroyed, without any fraudulent intentions of the party offering this evidence.

■ If the original copy cannot be obtained by any judicial process.

■ When the material is of a public or official nature.

■ If the original copy is in possession of the opponent.

■ When the writing or photograph is not directly related to a case.
Origin of the Rule
The origin of the best evidence rule can be traced back to the British courts of the 18th century. During this period, courts attempted to limit testimonial evidence in favor of written or documentary evidence. Owing to the lack of sophisticated copying equipment at the time, documents had to be hand-copied by a clerk, which posed the risk of introducing errors. Therefore, the courts required the offering party to produce only original copies to prevent inaccuracies. In the modern day, this rule is used to prevent fraud by digital manipulation of documents and photographs, rather than keep out errors.
◊ United States v. Rivera-Carrizosa
In 1993, Agustin Rivera-Carrizosa was arrested for illegally reentering the United States despite being deported a year ago. During the trial, an agent testified against him, saying that he saw his birthplace mentioned as ‘Mexico’ on his birth certificate, which he found in his immigration file. When Rivera-Carrizosa appealed, the Ninth Circuit Court reversed his conviction because the original copy of the birth certificate had not been produced in court.
◊ Dyer v. State
In 2010, Curt John Dyer was arrested for stealing DVDs from an adult video store in Lauderhill, Florida. The main evidence against him was the store manager’s testimony, saying that he saw the accused committing the crime on surveillance video. The Fourth District Court of Appeals turned down the conviction, because the prosecution had failed to produce the surveillance footage before the court.
◊ United States v. Duffy
In 1972, James H. Duffy was arrested for transporting a stolen car from Florida to California. The evidence produced against him involved the testimony given by an FBI agent, saying that he had seen a white shirt with the letters ‘D-U-F’ in the trunk of the stolen vehicle. Duffy appealed to the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, saying that the best evidence rule had been violated, as the original shirt with the writing had not been produced in court. The judge turned down his appeal, saying that the laundry mark on a shirt was not a writing in the true sense.

The best evidence rule is a relic of the times when copying was done by hand, making original copies the best representation of any document or photograph. With modern photocopying technology making high-quality duplicates possible, many courts have begun to consider these copies as good as the original ones.

Legal Transcriptionist Job Description

The term ‘legal transcription’ is not so popular as ‘medical transcription’ since it is comparatively a new trend in the legal field. Duties and responsibilities of a medical transcriptionist and a legal transcriptionist are more or less the same, only the fields are different. Although no particular degree is required to become a legal transcriptionist. The candidate needs to have a perfect understanding of legal terminology and a good command over English language.

Legal Transcriptionist: Duties and Responsibilities

Legal transcription job description involves typing the legal documents while listening to dictations from legal professionals. This helps to store the documents in correct form and produce them when required. Documentation involves correct use of legal terminology which is quite different from common language. Grammatical or typing mistakes are not tolerated. Accurate legal records help the lawyers to provide more protection to their clients. Lawyers can go through these documents and can prepare well to win a case. Some companies prefer to outsource their work for a quicker turnover while some prefer to rely on in-house transcriptionists. Those have been in medical transcription for a year or two, may be selected by the employing facilities to work as legal transcriptionists and may be provided on-job training.

A legal transcriptionist is expected to analyze the data on his own. He/she is supposed to retain what is essential and to remove what is not required in written documents. He/she should know the proofreading techniques as well. He/she needs to pay attention to details while listening the recorded court proceedings or information. The transcriptionists may be required to make written documents of court proceedings with the help of notes or recorded audio tapes. Sometimes, the transcriptionist himself has to record the court proceedings by speaking into the microphone (without disturbing the others). The microphone is covered by a mask which helps prevent disturbance. The transcriptionist is expected to record everything going on in the court, including the reactions and hand gestures of the witnesses, lawyers, plaintiffs, defendants, etc. noticed during the arguments. He/she is expected to write down the detailed report of the legal proceedings by listening to the recorded information. Good knowledge of the legal system, various laws plays an important role in legal transcription process. A legal transcriptionist would be expected to have good research skills, language skills, computer skills as well as management skills.

Legal Transcriptionist as a Career

At the entry level, you may work in the office of a private practice attorney who has large number of cases. Then depending upon your experience and excellence, you may get a chance to work in larger firms or larger corporations. You can also work in government departments, insurance companies and banks. All these employing facilities require accurate legal records for various purposes. Those who have a good command over English, solid understanding of legal terminology and excellent listening, writing and typing skills may think of becoming a legal transcriptionist. The demand for legal transcriptionists is growing day by day. Legal transcriptionists can make good money as they are in demand. Certain career institutes offer training courses for legal transcription. Those who have a certification for legal transcriptionist training will obviously be offered good salary at the entry level. You may be offered ‘on the job training’ as well. Your earnings will grow with experience. Even retired lawyers are working in some companies as legal transcriptionists as they find it easy to write up legal records.

These days, plenty of jobs are available for legal transcriptionists as there is very little competition. The labor bureau is expecting an overwhelming increase in the demand for legal transcriptionists for next few decades. As a legal transcriptionist, you can even work from home. Once you have some experience of working in large firms, you can work independently. So this is a good career option for young and aspiring students who have a keen interest in legal proceedings.

Ways to Become a Legal Transcriptionist

Legal transcription is becoming one of the fastest growing careers in the legal world. Why? Well, quite similar to medical transcription, legal transcription is also a highly demanded job profile. This is because just like the medical world, there is a constant need for quick and accurate documentation of the various happenings in court cases. So, people with superior typing and active listening skills are sought out for legal transcription. This Buzzle article will offer you some guidelines on how you too can go ahead and become a legal transcriptionist, given that it doesn’t have any formal educational requirements for the profile.

Becoming a Legal Transcriptionist

Know your Language
Being any kind of transcriptionist requires a very efficient command over the language that you will be transcribing in. For the purpose of this article, we’ll take that as English. So, if you have plans of becoming a transcriptionist, then one thing you need to make absolutely sure of is that you have impeccable knowledge of the English language. Grammar is of utmost importance, because sometimes you may be required to even review and proofread legal documents. When you know your grammar well, you can catch incorrect statements and correct them, thus making the document error free. Getting certified in an English speaking course can help you with this. Or if you’ve majored in English while in school or college, that can also prove to be beneficial. This is not a mandatory step, but will definitely help you increase your level of confidence.

Get Typing
The next step to getting into the world of legal transcribing is to master the art of typing. Yes, you will be required to listen, comprehend and type verbatim whatever is dictated to you about particular cases by your employer. Or you may also be employed directly in the courthouse to type out the court proceedings as they take place. So, it is imperative that you have a very good typing speed. About 65 to 80 words per minute is the average typing speed that is expected of most legal transcriptionists. For this, you also need to have a good knowledge of word processors and be at least moderately computer literate. You can enroll yourself in a proficient typing course and learn to type fast and increase your speed.

Get Certified
Once you’re confident about your typing speed and your language skills, you can search for courses on legal transcription. There are several online courses which not only guide you on the process of legal transcribing, but also help you to learn, read, pronounce, and understand the various legal terms that are used in everyday court proceedings. Plus, they also give you knowledge about the format of documentation in the legal world. Most of them last about 12 weeks. When searching for such courses online, or in your locality, make sure that you choose one which is suitably accredited by the Department of Education of the United States of America. Again, note that getting certified in legal transcription is not a formal requirement for the profession, but it will certainly give you an edge because you’ll already have some prior knowledge of the functioning of the job.

Job Hunt
Once you get certified the task of hunting for a suitable and appropriate job begins. You can apply with independent lawyers. Or you may also apply to a legal firm which handles multiple clients and different domains within the legal world. You can also look for openings at courthouses. The job requires a lot of concentration and confidence in one’s ability to hear and type out accurately whatever is being said.

The job prospects in legal transcription are only growing with time. It can unfold into a full-fledged legal career and that too at an appealing income between $35,000 to $40,000 a year. So, if you think you’re made for this kind of job, then go ahead and do all that is required. Good luck!

Tips to Guardianship is Different from Custody

For the sake of children
In certain courts, legal professionals have begun to use the term ‘parenting schedule’ in place of the words ‘custody’ and ‘visiting’, so as to rule out the difference between custodial and non-custodial parents, and aid better child development.
It is a little difficult to distinguish between these two legal terms, which are sometimes inadvertently used as synonyms. However, the implications of both terms are different, depending on the context of the legal issue.

Legal guardianship and custody can often be a complex scenario. In case of parents having custody of a child, legal guardianship is not generally allocated. If, for any reason, the legal custodian (either of the parent) is not able to take care of the child anymore, a third party can be appointed as a guardian. Nevertheless, in all conditions, it is seen that the orders issued by the courts are in the best interests of the child.

Guardianship Vs. Custody
The term guardianship can be referred to in three different situations: legal guardian in case of a senior (infirmity due to old age), guardian of a minor (below 18 years), guardian of a developmentally disabled adult. Here, we would consider guardianship of a minor in comparison to what is known as child custody.


Guardianship: An individual who takes care of another person or of another individual’s property is a guardian. The difference between these similar terms is made clear by the fact that, a guardian is not a parent. He/she may be a close relative of the child or parent. It is sought when caregivers intend that the child should have a permanent home, and where parental rights are not concluded. Sustaining relations with the extended family is also one of the purposes.

Custody: Here, it is simply the legal right to take care of a child (such as a child whose parents are divorced). Child custody deals with the rights and duties of both parents towards their children. It is the division of responsibility, especially as allocated between the divorcing parents.

Guardianship: Orders are given by probate courts, which primarily deal with matters of probate and administration of estates. It is generally a more precise and cohesive order, as it legally hands over the child into the guardian’s care. Guardians may also be supervised by the courts.

Custody: Allocations are made by family courts. This is most often seen to be an arrangement amongst the parents regarding the future obligations of their kids, following their divorce order.

Guardianship: Here, the entire responsibility of the ward rests with the caregiver. All decisions regarding the ward’s education, welfare, health, and any other tasks requiring support and maintenance come within the purview of the guardian’s duty. For example, looking after the ward’s food, clothing, shelter, educational needs, safety, protection, medical and dental care, physical and emotional growth, etc.

Custody: There are two kinds: Legal custody (who makes important decisions like education, health care, etc. for the child); and Physical custody (who the children live with). Both legal and physical custody can either be joint or solely the responsibility of one parent. Responsibilities under legal custody include school and child care, religious activities and institutions, medical, psychological or other mental health counseling or therapy needs, extracurricular activities, etc.

Guardianship: The guardian is authorized to take important legal decisions for the ward; for instance, regarding any property issues. He/she is rather primarily allocated that duty. Guardianship is normally both, physical and legal. It is a greater obligation than that of custody. Guardians may also require to report to the courts annually.
Custody: The custodian also has to decide for the child. However, there can be a situation where the child is with one of the parents on a weekend. So, the non-custodial parent becomes responsible for the child, but cannot take any legal decisions for the kid.

Guardianship: This can more or less be a long-lasting relation. It ends only upon either the death of the guardian, or when the minor grows into a major (adult). The court too can terminate the guardianship if the parents become capable of taking care of the child.

Custody: In case of custody, the court can order sudden modifications, changing the custody of the child, in cases of circumstantial events in the life of either of the parents.
If the best interest of the young one is kept in focus, all legal intricacies can be sorted out. It is observed that if both the parents go along well with each other, the development of children is achieved in a better way; which is also an example of the ‘reasonable visitation’ order, where visitation is kept flexible to suit the needs of the child.

Meaning of Capias Warrant Ideas

No Boundaries
There is a common misconception among people that a warrant issued in one state is not valid in another. On the contrary, any warrant issued anywhere in America is valid throughout the country, unless any law expressly states otherwise.

In this age of high-tech gadgets and a thirst for adventure, each one of us has watched at least one crime show on TV. You may have become familiar with a very common dialog repeated by the cops on the shows – “We have a warrant for your arrest. You need to come with us. This officer will read you your rights”. The word ‘warrant’ is used extensively on these programs; however, these are mostly arrest warrants. Arrest warrants are issued when a person has committed a criminal offense. However, this is not the only type of warrant there is; another one that comes very close to it in nature and is hence often confused with it is the Capias Warrant. A strange name, yes, but it has a nice meaning behind it. Curious yet? The following paragraphs answer some basic questions about a capias warrant, and also state the situations in which one may be issued.
What does a capias warrant mean?

Answer: The word capias is of Latin origin, meaning ‘for the taking of’. A capias warrant, also known as a bench warrant, is one issued by a court judge for necessitating someone’s appearance in court. If a person has failed to comply with a court order for presenting him/herself on a particular day for a particular purpose, then a capias warrant is issued against him/her.

How long does it last?
Answer: A capias warrant does not have a time limit for validity. It is indefinitely valid, i.e., it lasts forever.

What does the warrant contain?
Answer: A capias warrant must contain the following particulars.
The complete name of the defaulting person, or at least a proper description of him/her.

A statement saying that the person committed such offense, or that the court has reasonable cause to believe so.
The nature of the offense, and when and where it took place.
The name, signature, and seal of the judge issuing the warrant.

What happens after it is issued?
Answer: The person against whom the warrant is issued is arrested and detained until the violation that he/she has committed is addressed or the issue is resolved. However, the court gives the detainee a reasonable opportunity to be heard. If the court is satisfied that the detainee had sufficient cause for being unable to comply with the issued orders, then he/she may be let go. However, if the detainee is unable to present such a cause, then he/she will be punished accordingly.

How is it different from an arrest warrant?
Answer: An arrest warrant is issued when a person has been found guilty of a crime and charged. A capias warrant is issued for those who are in contempt of the court ( not follow the directions given by the court). Though the basic natures of these warrants are different, the consequences are the same. The person is arrested and detained, and subsequently tried.

When can a capias warrant be issued?
Answer: There are some specific situations under which this warrant is issued. Some of the important instances are listed below.

Violation of probation

Probation has been defined as ‘the release of an offender from detention, subject to a period of good behavior under supervision’. When a person is let out on probation, the court agrees to drop all charges if he/she abides by the conditions or restrictions put forth for the duration of such probation. These conditions can involve not dealing in drugs, not resorting to violence, not leaving the city or town of residence, visiting the probation office regularly, etc. If a probationer violates any of these regulations at any point of time, then the court can issue a capias warrant for his/her arrest. The probationer has to do subsequent jail time until any further proceedings begin.

Failure to appear in court

People are called to the court for various reasons every day. A court may order someone to appear for a proceeding or hearing, either to testify or otherwise. When such a person fails to appear, the judge can issue a capias warrant in his/her name. That person is then rounded up by the authorities and presented before the court. He/she is, of course, given a reasonable chance to be heard. The court then decides the punishment according to the nature and seriousness of the default.

Failure to pay child support

Child support is paid in case of a divorced couple having children. The spouse who does not have primary custody of the children is entitled to pay to the other, a certain amount every month, to meet the child’s basic, educational, and medical expenses. This amount is in the sole interest of the child. If the parent begins to lag behind on payments, then two courses of action can follow. One, the court can issue an arrest warrant. Two, if the other spouse lodges a complaint, then the court issues a capias warrant. If the defaulting parent can show sufficient cause for the violation, then the court will direct him/her to pay off the amount some other way. However, if he/she does not have a solid cause, then the consequences can be severe, right from having their driving license suspended to having their property seized by the court to source the funds.

Failure to pay any amount

If a person has not paid any fines in the nature of parking tickets or any other penalties for any defaults even after receiving sufficient notice, then a judge can issue a capias warrant for the presentation of this person before the court. The person is given the option of paying up, or sitting in jail until such time as he/she agrees to pay.

This was all about the capias warrant. This is a very important piece of paper that can change a person’s life significantly. This is why it is always better to obey the law rather than pay the price.