Law Tool Box

Equip yourself with the right legal knowledge.

Changing Your Name Legally

Have you recently suffered from a bad divorce or just simply hate the name your parents gave you? Well, the good news is, you can change your name by a legal process which can be overwhelming for first timers. Today, we're going to focus on how to change your name legally.


Any name is good except for some.

You can legally change your name to whatever you want as long as it's not a celebrity's name, not a trademarked name, not a numeral, not a punctuation mark or not anything offensive. You can't also change your name to commit crimes such as fraud, or avoid outstanding debts.


Marriage and divorce can make it simple.

In a majority of states, men and women can easily change their last name to their spouse's surname, hyphenate their surnames or create an amalgamation. You don't need a court order to get this done. If you're getting a  divorced, a judge will take care of that during the divorce proceedings.

NO lawyer required.

It might be overwhelming to fill out the legal documents but filing a Petition For Name Change is pretty simple. However, if you feel that the whole process is something you can't survive on your own, you can seek the help of a lawyer.


Be ready to pay a fee.

In a large number of states, you usually have to pay a fee to file your petition for a name change. In addition, you may need to pay to notarize your forms. 


Update everything.

Okay, you need to let government agencies know about your new name. You can wait until you get your official document before you go around changing your details.


Laws are different in different states.

State laws vary so, you need to a lot of research about what is required in your state. Some states require you to advertise your new name on the local newspaper. Do some deep research before you try to do the process.


Worker's Compensation 101

Most people don't have a clue about what worker's compensation is but it's something that could really bring some positive light when an injury at work happens.  So, what is worker's compensation and what can you do when you have a reasonable claim? Let's try to get a closer look at this legal issue.

  • This basically comes from an injury at work which may or may not produce a disabling condition. You might be hurt but able to work or you might be hurt but not able to work.
  • It has two sides: the employer's obligation to pay for medical bills and if you end up disabled, the employer has the responsibility to pay you for some of your wage loss.
  • Not reporting the injury to your employer could result to complicaions which can just give you a hard time. Always let your employer know if you had any accidents while at work and never keep it to yourself. 
  • Get medical care as soon as possible and let a doctor treat you. This step will determine if you're able to go back to work or not. You have the right to have your employer pay for your medical bills and not use your health insurance.
  • If you're not able to go back to work, you will be paid two-thirds of your wage. There is also a maximum amount which means that if you're a high wage earner, you might get less than what you're earning.
  • It's based on your average weekly wage and employers may pay you differently if you are paid hourly or daily. For instance if your weekly wage is $300, then you should get two-thirds of your wage which is $200.
  • Sometimes the employer might not agree and may require you to see a doctor that they specified. However, an injured worker has the right to choose their own doctor in a reasonable field.

Adoption Basics

If you're not blessed to have your own child, there is always an option to adopt less fortunate children who might need your tender love and care. However, adoption is not simple as it seems. It requires some legal understanding to do it eaily. Here are the basics about adoption:

Who is allowed to adopt?

Generally, any adult or couple is eligible to adopt. Adoption law an vary in different states. In some states, married people can adopt individually if they're legally separated or f the spouse is not competent legally. Some states also require petitiones to be state residents. Age restrictions are also applied in many stats. Eligible ages vary from state to state.

Who can be adopted?

Again, this varies in various states. Three states require children below the age of 18 can be adopted. On the other hand, 25 states allow the adoption of any person of any age. 

Three Types of Adoption

Private Domestic Adoption
This is also known as birth mother replacement. A US-born infant is placed for adoption by the birth parents with their legal consent. 

Foster Care Adopton and Interstate Adoption
This describes the adoption of children that are under the custody of the state or a county's department of child and family services.

International Adoptions
This means the adopton of a child who is a resident in a foreign country. Foreign law will generally apply to this kind of adoption.

The Adoption Process

Generally, the first step in adoption is the termination of the parental rights of the birth parents. Each state has separate laws about how birth parents could terminate their parental rights which can make their child available for adoption. This can be done voluntarily or involuntarily.

Next, a home study will be done to the applicants. A caseworker will be assigns to write the home study which will include the basic information acquired from interviews. This may include the applicant's education, employment, family background and so on. It takes between three to six months to complete.