Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Belize

Executive Summary We advise our clients who have asset protection issues to use a Belize Trust. The assets of a Belize Trust are immune from the decisions of a foreign court. This includes, bankruptcy courts, family courts, civil judgements and fraudulent conveyance allegations. Anything the foreign (Non Belize) court does is irrelevant when it comes to Belize Trust Assets contained in Belize. The catch all that lawyers like to use is the fraudulent conveyance allegation. They sometimes get the home country court to make a ruling that there was a fraudulent conveyance. Any order, decision, ruling, etc. from a foreign court is a big zero when it comes to the Belize Trust in that it has no legal value concerning Belize Trust assets. When one opens a bank account in Belize using a Belize Trust the banks tend to force issues regarding trust paper work to weaken the trust. So we do not have the Belize Trust open the bank account to preserve the privacy and asset protection value of the trust. What we do is use a Belize Corporation or other corporation from another country to open the bank account. The shares of the corporation are then titled to the Belize Trust and this is documented. This makes the corporation and corporate bank account property of the Belize Trust and thus immune from the decisions of a foreign court. Any such judgments from a foreign court cannot be domesticated or enforced in Belize against Belize Trust Assets. This is the only Trust that has this provision. No other trusts have a statutory exemption against fraudulent conveyance allegations. We will review some conditions for collecting a foreign judgement if the assets are not owned by a Belize Trust, just a regular corporation. If the assets are owned by a Belize Trust they are safe so there is nothing further to talk about.
Belize Corporation Bank Accounts One needs to remember that a personal judgment is not a judgment against a corporation. These offshore corporations legally in the eyes of the law have their own separate liabilities and assets. They are separate and distinct judicial persons. Just because you own the stock, it does not mean your debts transfer to the corporation. The ownership of these anonymous bearer share corporations is not recorded in any public registry or database. It is not easy for a creditor or financial enemy to submit evidence to the court to establish ownership. Even if ownership was established there are a number of other obstacles facing your financial enemies.
Foreign Judgment Reciprocity Belize will only recognize the judgments of a country that recognizes their judgments in their own courts on an equal basis with the way Belize treats their judgments. They tend to favor British Colonies in this regard. Other conditions that must be met to enforce a judgment in Belize follow:
Judgment has to be no older than six years.
Judgment must be final. Time for appeals has expired.
Judgment needs to be from a Superior Court of the country. Municipal court judgments may be difficult or impossible to enforce.
The court had correct jurisdiction over the matter.
The matter was not previously and correctly decided in another court.
The debtor was duly served according to the laws of that country and had ample time to respond.
If the plaintiff and defendant had an agreement to settle disputes in a matter differently than using the court that issued judgment, then the judgment may be not admissible in Belize. Thus the two parties may have agreed that proper venue would be country B, yet the plaintiff sued in country A. The agreement may have called for arbitration yet the plaintiff just sued. This sort of thing could cause the denial of the judgment.
If the judgment is for a fine, penalties or taxes it might be disallowed.
Summary It is most difficult to litigate against an offshore corporation where the underlying debt is against a person or another corporation. If you use a Belize Trust you become safe from the decisions of any foreign court including fraudulent conveyance as long as the assets are contained in Belize and thus under Belize law. In any event the conditions required for a judgment to be enforceable in Belize can be onerous and expensive from the perspective of a judgment creditor. Lawyers in Belize and the country of the judgment would be needed and double legal billing gets costly right away. If the debtor realizes there is a pending action he will remove the assets from Belize right away which thwarts the efforts of the creditor and the money he has spent is wasted. This is something not seen very often.

Reasons to Update Your Will

A will is a legally binding contract that is widely considered one of the most important documents you will ever sign. The majority of parents with children actually do not have a will and without one you will not be able to allocate your children any benefits. The general consensus is that after death the eldest family member will have control of your estate, however the reality is this will be decided in court and a judge will end up with the final say. Here are three fantastic reasons to update your will.

Relationships

Over the years you may have developed new relationships with people and organisations, such as finding a new partner or becoming a member of a charity or church. You may want to adjust your will to eliminate any old relationships so that they will no longer receive your benefits upon death. Newborns can be listed as beneficiaries and children who have reached adolescents can be listed as executors.

Income and Assets

You may have listed your car, estate or business in your will and these assets may have changed. Even if you have not sold any of these assets, the value has still changed, for instance your car depreciates and your business grows in revenue. As such the insured amount listed on your will is going to be different and a lot of complications can arise when dealing with these matters after death.

Residency

The location where you created your will is governed by state laws. If you have changed location since then, you will need to consult an attorney to find the legitimacy of your will. State laws can be very different from each other and have different qualifying requirements.

The Law

Laws change all the time and you will want to keep up to date with any legislation affecting your will. The best way is to visit an attorney of the state who can help to validate your will for you and inform you of any changes in law.

Yearly Checklist

The best way to keep up to date is to simply have a yearly check up. Law firms specialising in estate battles can review your will and can work with you to successfully create your ideal will. At the end of the financial year is when most changes take place and is the best time to review your estate, assets, income, superannuation and all other elements that fall into your will.

List down a checklist and consider the following 10 points: children, marriage/separation, death of beneficiaries, location changes, circumstantial changes, state laws, taxation law, time since last review, new business and income increase/decrease.

Your will dictates where your assets will go after death and without one a judge will decide for you. This includes ownership of children under the matured age. If you would like to know more or if you are ready to take another look at your will then jump online and search for a law firm that specialises in estate battles.

What Type of Lawyer Handles Swimming Pool Accidents

Sadly, swimming pool injuries and drowning deaths occur at a very high rate. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that everyday there are at least 10 pool related injuries or deaths that occur. What is even more alarming is the fact that 20 percent of these incidents occur to children under the age of 14, and of that 20 percent, a majority of the events happen to children between the ages of one and four.

In most cases, a personal injury attorney would handle a case surrounding a pool injury or drowning death. However, some of these cases can become complicated and may be in the best interest of the injury victim or their family to consider using a personal injury attorney that is very familiar with, or only handles, pool injuries or drowning claims.

— Injuries Associated with Pool Injuries and Drowning —

There are many different types of injuries that can occur in a swimming area. However, head trauma from falling and brain damage from loss of oxygen while underwater are the most common injuries. People who are submerged under water and become oxygen starved can suffer with one or more of the following issues:

Learning disabilities
Limited brain functions
Loss of use of one or more limbs
Speech problems
Hearing problems
Blindness
Personality changes usually resulting in quick temperedness
Organ damage
Permanent serious brain damage
Death

Additional issues may arise from these types of injuries that are less common based on the individual that suffered the injury.

Many of these injuries require life-long therapy and care. Individuals that have been injured in a swimming pool or hot tub area accident and their families should seek competent legal representation to seek compensation to cover the costs of care.

— Factors That Contribute to Drowning Deaths and Pool Injuries —

Pool areas can be dangerous, especially for children. There are many reasons that a pool injury or drowning can occur. Some of the more common reasons include;

Failure to place a safety cover or fence off the pool area
Failure to keep pool area fence locked
Lack of adult supervision around to pool at all times
Lack of warning signs around the pool area
Failure to provide lifeguards for public swimming areas
Failure to mark the depths correctly in the pool

It should be note that accidents and drownings involving children under four years old occur most often in their own home.

— Pool Safety Tips —

The effects of injuries associated with pool injuries are often suffered for a life time. Taking a few simple precautions may allow you to avoid the tragedy of pool related injuries or accidental drownings.

-If you own a pool, make sure that everyone in your home can swim. You can begin with lessons for children as young as six months.

-Establish pool rules. These rules should include:
oNever swimming without an adult present
oNever swimming alone
oNo diving, even in the deep end of the pool
oNo running around the outside of the pool
oStay away from the pool cover always
oAlways keep pool chemicals locked away

-If your pool is located outside, you will want to have a four foot fence with a gate that can be locked installed around the pool. You may also wish to lock the gate to your backyard. You must take precautions against neighborhood children entering your pool without your knowledge.

-Take a pool safety class and know how to properly perform CPR. This will be very helpful if an accident should occur. In fact, everyone who is old enough in your household should have CPR training.

— The Statute of Limitations —

When you have been injured in a pool related accident, or if your loved one lost their life to an accidental drowning, you must understand that there is a limited amount of time for you to seek compensation.

The Statue of Limitations are laws that are in place that limit the amount of time a person has to seek compensation for a personal injury. These limitations vary from state to state and can be as little as six months from the time of the injury. On average, the Statute of Limitations for seeking compensation for a personal injury is two years.

If you do not file a claim for compensation before the Statute of Limitation expires, you will not be able to seek compensation for your injury and losses. It is important to speak with a personal injury law firm about your rights as soon as possible after an accident occurs so that your rights as a victim are protected.

— Speak to a Lawyer Immediately About Your Rights —

If you or your loved one has been injured in a pool or spa related incident, you may have specific rights to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. You will want to talk to a lawyer who is knowledgeable about these types of cases and their respective injuries. During your initial consultation, it will be explained what rights you have as an injury victim and what types of compensation you are entitled to under your state laws.

Custody of Children after a Divorce

Over the course of history women have been given custody of children after a divorce more often than men. This used to be seen almost as an automatic right. This has changed slightly in recent times though, with Fathers given significantly more rights when it comes to looking after children post-divorce. This applies to both custody and visitation rights if their ex-wife has been given custody. A Fathers role in the development of children is taken much more seriously than in previous times. Family Law states that Fathers have equal rights to Mothers and each decision should be made on its specific merits.

Statistics show that women get custody more than men though. What is the reason for this? It could be that there is still some bias towards women by judges, who assume that Mothers make better parents. On the other hand it could just be that Mothers tend to more often be in the position where the children living with them would be more appropriate.

After a divorce there are many factors that are taken into consideration when deciding which parent should get custody of the children. Each parents employment status can be a very important factor. If one parent works full-time and the other doesnt work at all, it may be deemed best that the children live with the parent who does not work. This is because (s)he has more time to be able to devote towards the children. This may be one reason why women gain custody more often than men; it is more common for women to be stay-at-home parents than men, although this is not as common as it once was. A decision is most likely to be based on this reason if the situation was the same when the couple were married, and this parent has spent more time with their children as a consequence. The decision can in some cases be made the other way round, with the parent who does work being deemed to be in a more financially stable situation. This is not always the case because this parent will usually be required to make maintenance payments to help the other parent bring up their children.

The situation each parent finds themselves in and the stability of this situation is also important. This can depends on employment as well as other factors, such as lifestyle. If one parent has medical or psychological problems, then they may not be deemed the best parent to bring up the children. If one parent has re-married it could work either way. It may be seen as a negative to have someone else playing a part in their upbringing so soon after their parents have separated, but it could also be decided that this is a better family environment to bring children up in. A criticism of the system is that too much of the decision comes down to the opinions of a particular judge, and no matter how much Family Law stipulates what should happen, everyone has certain biases.

Andrew Marshall (c)

Understanding the Data Mapping Requirements for Your Information Governance Toolkit Assessment

With information governance recognised as an essential part of managing an efficient and high quality business, it is vital that organisations and individuals understand the importance of the concept and understand the way in which information is handled and transferred into and out of their organisation. Vital to understanding your own information management processes is the act of data mapping. This is now a key element for NHS bodies looking to demonstrate compliance against the information governance (IG) Toolkit standards.

Data mapping is an effective way to chart the flow of information into and out of an organisation and subsequently identify any high risk areas, allowing for the development of guidance to minimise these risks. The IG toolkit suggests that there are four key elements that need to be considered when mapping data;

1. Data Type

According to the Information Governance Toolkit guidelines, the types of data that should be mapped include such items as:

– Appointment letters – Birth notifications – Adoption records – Employment records – Personnel records – Payslips – Client surveys

This list is by no means exhaustive and as you start to think about the data that moves into and out of your organisation, you will appreciate that there is a great deal of information transferred.

There is also specific guidance available on the types of data that do not need to be mapped, an exclusion list, this includes items such as:

– Telephone conversations – Face to face discussions – Video conferencing

2. Data Format

The next thing to consider is the format that data is stored and transferred in; this includes both digital and hard copy data such as letters, x-rays, MP3 files, CDs, emails

3. Transfer methods

Again, the way in which data is transferred can include anything from courier delivery, faxes and internal documents being carried by staff to another department.

4. Location

When considering locations you need to think exactly where data is coming from and where it is going to, both internally and externally. For example: Schools, patients’ homes, other NHS organisations or departments, prison services etc.

Once you have considered all of the above points the next step is to map all of the different combinations of the 4 elements so that ultimately you are able to produce a clear and easy to understand map of exactly what, how and where information is transferred.

But the task doesn’t stop there, the next step is to analyse this map to identify any high risk areas where information security procedures could potentially be breached, you should then go on to produce guidance to minimise these risks to ensure that following your data mapping exercise your systems and mechanisms for data transfer are secure, efficient and appropriate.

The IG toolkit guidance suggests that within smaller organisations, all of the above could be carried out by one individual, who knows all of the processes involved in transferring data. However in larger organisations it is advised that a number of individuals contribute to this exercise to ensure that knowledge around specific department practices and procedures is shared, to enable a full understanding of the data transfer processes throughout the organisation.

How does Legal Separation differ from Divorce

Legal separation is where a married couple legally separate without getting divorced. During this legal process decisions regarding children (such as custody, visitation rights and maintenance payments) and financial issues (such as debt, mortgages and assets) are decided upon. It is really an official separation, going further than simply living apart but not as far as getting a divorce. After a legal separation a couple are still legally married but live separate lives. They are formally living apart and the courts may be used if there are any disputes.

In some ways a legal separation is like a divorce, with the most obvious reason being that the couple are not living together. If a couple have children similar arrangements need to be made as they would were they divorcing, either through agreement or through the courts. Where each spouse lives and who pays for it needs to be established as does who has access to shared funds or assets.

So, why do couples choose legal separation instead of just getting divorced? Some opt for this because they dont like the idea of getting divorced, possibly for religious reasons or they dont want the stigma of being divorced. Often couples use legal separation as a trial to see if they would like to stay together or divorce. It gives them time and space to make a decision. They may find that living apart makes them realise they miss each other and want things to return to the way they were, or they may want to be separated permanently. Sometimes legal separation leads to divorce, sometimes it leads to reconciliation and sometimes they remain separated without getting divorced.

Although some couples remain separated for good without divorcing, this is fairly rare. If they are not going to remain together as a couple most will prefer to cut their ties with each other. Another important consideration is that while still married, they are unable to marry anyone else.

So, is legal separation necessary or can couples simply live separately without the legal process? Well, they can if they wish, but it is not always that simple. Whether that is preferable depends on an individual couples situation and preferences. Legal separation can be more complex in some ways due to the legal processes that must be gone through. But, on the other hand, it can also simplify things as they will both know where they stand on certain issues.

Beatrice Sareen (c)

Traditional Games that are Played in an Indian Wedding

Indian weddings are full of zest and joy and to make them all the more enjoyable a lot of games are played during the different ceremonies. This way the seriousness of an Indian matrimony ceremony gets lightened. These games are meant to elevate the mood and to raise affection and understanding between members of the two families.

Heres a brief description of different games played during an Indian wedding:

1. Fish the Ring
Fish the ring signifies who will rule the roost in the home front. This game is played when the couple appears as man and wife before the family gathering for the first time. In this game, the bride and groom are supposed to take off their rings and put them in a pot of clear water with rose petals in it. As both the rings settle, the newly-weds are asked to churn the water as enthusiastically as possible. After they take out their hands out of the water, everyone looks at the water. If the bride lags behind in the game, it determines that she will be obedient wife. If the grooms ring remains in the water, he will be wrapped around her finger.

At times, the rings are placed in a pot of milk and the couples are asked to `fish`. Whosoever is able to find the ring first will always have the upper hand in the marriage!

2. Hiding the Shoes
This game is played when the couple reaches the mandap for the `pheras` and the groom removes his shoes. The friends and sisters / brothers of the bride hide his shoes. After the Pheras, when the groom gets up to leave the mandap, the bridesmaids surround him and demand an shocking sum of money in exchange for his shoes. Then the friends and brothers of the groom beg and plead to give the shoes back and to reduce the sum of the money asked. After the stupid arguments, the groom pays the ransom and is allowed to put on his shoes.

3. Going Home
This game is played at the grooms house. The entrance of the house is blocked by the sisters of the groom to welcome the bride. The sisters pretending to be helpful point out a covered heap to the bride. They ask their sister-in-law to bow her head to it before entering. The bride, who is already nervous and anxious, obliges and dutifully bows her head. After befooling the bride, the cover is pulled off to expose a pile of old footwear cleverly arranged in a mound.

This ceremony does have a purpose – with this laughter, the ice is broken and the new bride feels more comfortable and finds a roomful of friends.

4. You Touch My Heart
Another game that is played during a wedding is You touch my heart. This game is mainly enjoyed by the women on the brides side. In this game, several round slots are made with a saree, which is wide enough for a hand to pass through. The saree is held lengthwise and bride and bridesmaid stand behind it stand. All the girls in the room thrust their hand upto the wrist out of the holes. On the other side stands the groom and from there he is only able to see an array of hands. The main challenge for him in this game is to search for his bride`s hands and he gets three chances for it. If he fails in the game, he has to pay a `fine`.

While, the celebrations have been constantly changing through out the institution of marriage and society, there are certain ceremonies and rituals that had been constant in marriage mantras. And such games make the ceremonies all the more pleasurable. They not only add fun to a marriage ceremony but each game aims at bringing the bride and the groom and their families closer. Not only this, they also make it easier for the bride and the groom to get comfortable with each others family and friends. Thought these days, many new games are coming for the bride and the groom to play together but some of the traditional games are still played religiously in many Indian weddings.

How Can They Help You

A Dallas family lawyer has the responsibility of handling cases regarding family issues. Qualified Dallas Family Lawyers who practice family law in the state of Texas can take on clients’ cases regarding the following:
* Marriage
* Prenuptial (pre-nup) agreements
* Divorce
* Separation
* Equitable division of the assets accumulated during the period of marriage
* Child custody
* Alimony negotiation
* Adoption
* Kidnapping
* Adjudication
* Juvenile
* Emancipation
* Parental rights
* Child support
* Paternity
* Domestic violence
* Child abduction

Dallas family lawyers can also handle cases other than the aforementioned. These lawyers can also handle cases that are very closely connected to the following: probation law, cases regarding property laws, trusts, criminal laws and so on.

But it is also important that you know that the cases usually handled by Dallas family lawyers are; prenuptial agreements, legal separation, divorces, child custody and domestic abuse cases. There are a whole lot of details that will need to be put into consideration when handling family law cases. For instance; a highly experienced Texas Divorce Lawyer knows all of the legalities of the state’s divorce laws. It is also important that you understand that Dallas family lawyers who practice specific areas of family law and have a reputation of performing brilliantly are the ones with a great deal of experience. You should not be fooled into believing that a family law attorney will only perform excellently based on his or her qualifications alone ??” it simply does not work that way!

As a client who is in dire need of legal representation in the area of family law, you need to realize that there is a whole a lot of “negotiation” or “bargaining” as some would call it and documentation involved when handling cases that are related to family law. For instance, a good Texas divorce lawyer is not cocky and insensitive like the movies will have you believe. A real life Texas divorce lawyer will genuinely support his or her client professionally, morally and even emotionally – an average Texas divorce lawyer is not vindictive or cold hearted at all.

You might also be thinking that the cost of hiring the services of Dallas family lawyers will be colossal but most lawyers who practice family law will usually charge their clients based on the type of case that is presented to them. For instance, when the case before a Dallas family law attorney is a divorce case, the charges for legal representation may actually vary, because this will really depend on whether the couple who plan to go their separate ways have a few unsorted issues between them like property division, child custody, alimony, child support and so on.

There are a lot of Dallas family lawyers that are known to charge by the hour; while there are family lawyers in the same state who simply charge a flat fee. Please also be informed that it is a common practice for a family lawyer in the state of Texas to charge a retainer.

Dallas Child Support Attorneys

Divorce in Texas – taking care of the kids.

Divorce is never easy. It is an admission on one or both spouse’s parts that they did not manage to sustain a marital relationship. Often there is a lot of bitterness with one or both parties invoking blame and retribution on the other. This is particularly exacerbated where there are children involved. It is important for one’s interests to be represented by a skilled attorney well versed in Texas family law in divorce cases where there are minor children.

The whole area of family law to do with Child support, custody, visitation rights is a major area of practice for Dallas Family Law Attorneys.

In Texas “conservatorship” is the name given to define what rights and duties the parents have after the finalization of divorce. Despite what bitterness there may exist between the spouses the interests of the children are actually paramount. Thus in the vast majority of divorce settlements there will be parental rights and duties awarded to both parties. This is known as “Joint managing conservatorship”.

The actual residence of the children is also usually awarded to one parent and usually the mother. Nevertheless the other spouse will still have visiting rights and the right to be regarded as the parent. It is only in cases where the one parent is shown to be irresponsible or impaired as a parent, such as being an abuser of alcohol, drugs or being physically violent that this is overturned.

This visitation and parenting is an area of great potential conflict. Bitterness and anger plus fear and insecurity are some of the emotions that have to be dealt with. Nevertheless it is in the children’s interest that these matters be agreed and adhered to as amicably and as fairly as possible. Family Law attorneys will all deal with issues such as this often. It is strongly advisable that their counsel be followed to help the children cope with the trauma of their parents separation.

Conservatorship is but one aspect of family law, the next of course is the financial support. It should be emphasized that support may equally be sought for a child born out of wedlock. There are many cases of mothers pursuing, and winning child support from fathers of children resulting from extra marital encounters. In these cases paternity must be shown in Texas law.

There is a set “Tariff” or rate for child support laid down in Texas law. If the party has children from one marriage that has ended child support will be determined as a percentage of their “Net resources” in other words everything they might have which has value as an income. 20% for 1 child up to 40% for 5 or more. If there are children from other relationships the calculation is more difficult.

Child support ends when the child reaches the end of secondary education or the 18th birthday whichever is the latter. In all matter of child support knowledge of both parents rights and the amount due for the care and upbringing of the children is crucial. For this reason it is advisable that a firm of Family Law attorneys be appointed to represent the client and look after their interests.

Is it Time for a Divorce

Most of us enjoy fulfilling love from different relationships all through our lives. However, no love can be comparable to marital love that adults are entitled to. This love is unique for it is a homogenous blend of respect, admiration, acceptance, friendship, trust, faith and the need to feel special. Such an atmosphere of love and desire is conducive to a healthy and fulfilling married life.

If either of these is absent from a marriage, the couple should work at fulfilling that particular deficiency.

Lack of Respect

Respect for the marital spouse is the foundation stone for a strong marriage. Lack of it is signified by both, verbal and non verbal communication. Even a simple gesture like an upward eye roll indicates non acceptance and respect denial, lack of caring and aggressive behaviour. This simultaneously induces defensive and negative behaviour from the spouse which in turn aggravates hostility.

A more serious breach of respect is the verbal onslaught and physical and emotional abuse by the marital mate.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse comprises shoving, slapping, punching, kicking or strangulation. Physical abuse should never be tolerated. The partner might use such acts of intimidation for controlling the spouse or resorting to such behaviour pattern might have been a habit learnt from childhood. Whatever may be the inducing reasons, such negative behaviour jeopardise safety of all the other family members.

Emotional Abuse

Verbal abuse is more serious than physical abuse and people often tend to ignore it for the mere lack of physical symptoms and the fear of not being taken seriously. But, it is much more serious than physical abuse for it leaves an injury on the soul of a person. The abused, loses self respect, courage, self confidence, rational thinking and lives life in self doubt.

Like the eye roll, the very first act must be met with defiance. The partner must be indicated the non acceptance of such behaviour. It should be put an end to before it becomes strong enough to destroy the marriage. If the spouse fails to end aggressive behaviour, needless to say the marriage has to be terminated.

Lack of Trust

Adultery is common and more than 30% of men and 25% of women have indulged in adultery at least once in the span of their marital life. And 65% of adultery episodes terminated marital life. Adultery, as is commonly believed does not occur just for sexual fulfilment. Men have the inherent desire to be loved, respected, admired and have peace at home. These propel a man towards higher achievements. And women desire to be sincerely loved, and love financial and familial commitment from their men. The desire to feel protected is a primeval instinct inherent in every woman.

Non fulfilment of either need drives people toward adultery. The erring spouse soon loses the trust of the aggrieved partner. Both adultery and lack of trust can be easily dispelled before they damage the relationship between spouses. Counselling is a must to help partners get rid of such tendencies. Once either spouse realises what is lacking in a relationship, fulfilling that inadequacy is not difficult. Yet, if each chooses to ignore the needs of the other, then divorce might be the only solution.