601(a) Waiver or Advance Parole? Different Options for Different Situations

Image of worker stamoing immigration paperwork as approved.

601(a) Waiver or Advance Parole? Different options for different situations.

When it comes to a family member leaving the country with the intent to reenter so that their status can be corrected, the amount of time the process takes, and which route a person chooses can be of great importance. Not only is there the consideration of a close relative that may have been around for years prior to this having to travel to a country they may not have seen since childhood, there is the time factor and the always present concern that once they are out, they may not be allowed to reenter.

While a 601 waiver can be used to address a wide range of conditions that would make a person otherwise inadmissible, the 601(a) waiver is used only when the undocumented persons presence in the country is the sole inadmissibility condition. That is, if an immigrant crossed into the country without inspection but has not violated any other laws and would otherwise be immediately eligible for the petition process, a 601(a) waiver may be the right way to go. It is simpler and almost always less expensive of a process, as well as being potentially less time-consuming.

However, when it comes to DACA recipients only, there is another option to consider. Advance Parole is a method of bypassing the 601/601(a) process. By obtaining an approved I-131, a DACA recipient could use that I-131 to leave the country and be immediately eligible for an adjustment of status upon reentry, thus avoiding the potentially lengthy process of the consular interview that is still required with a 601/601(a) waiver. It is important to note that with DACA recipients the reasons they can use to obtain an I-131 are limited. The applicant must be requesting travel for either employment, educational, or humanitarian purposes. If approved, the DACA recipient will be recognized as having validly entered the country upon their return, making them potentially eligible to immediately begin the adjustment of status process.

Advance Parole does not come without risks. If there are any other reasons a person could be found inadmissible, they may still be denied reentry upon inspection at the border, despite having the approved travel status. 

Whatever method may seem right for you, it is important to always consult with an immigration attorney to be certain that the process goes well. Immigration Law is a complex and constantly changing field and those attempting to undergo the process without the guidance of a professional are at a much higher risk for something to go wrong, which could result in a family member being barred from reentering the country for 3 years, 10 years, or even permanently.

If you have a family member that needs immigration help, we at Eason Law are ready to help. Call or set up an appointment online to speak with one of our attorneys and find out how we can help your family stay together and stop living in fear of deportation.

Contact us today for your FREE consultation.

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Jonesboro Criminal Defense & Family Law

Serving Northeast Arkansas as well as numerous other counties in Arkansas, Eason Law has built a reputation for providing excellent legal services to our clients in a courteous and professional manner. Every client has a unique need when consulting with an attorney. We work together with each individual client and tailor our representation to meet the needs and goals of each client.

Navigating an Auto Accident and Personal Injury Claim

Navigating an Auto Accident and Personal Injury Claim What to do and when to do it

Being involved in an Auto Accident can be a very traumatic experience. Even the most minor fender bender can sometimes become incredibly stressful and overwhelming. The insurance company’s goal is to compensate you as little as possible for your loss and/or injury. Below are some helpful tips to remember for anyone involved in an auto accident. The goal is to put you and your legal team in the best position possible for a more favorable outcome.

  1. Always call the police after an accident. Always. A police report will serve as a formal record of the auto accident and can swing a case in your favor, particularly if the other driver was cited for his or her role in the auto accident. A police report also goes a long way toward avoiding “he said/she said” situations should your legal case go to court.

  2. Obtain the other driver’s name, address, phone number, email address and insurance information. Try to obtain their license plate number as well.

  3. Photograph any damage to your vehicle, the vehicle of the other driver, and any personal injuries you may have suffered during the auto accident. Make sure to give all this information and documentation to your lawyers.

  4. Obtain the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of any witnesses to the auto accident. As stated above, make sure to give all this information and documentation to your legal team.

  5. Always get medical attention right after a car accident. A medical record contemporaneous with the auto accident is important to show your condition at the time the auto accident occurred. Keep detailed records of any and all medical treatment you receive as a result of the accident. This includes any and all types of medical treatment, so physical therapy, mental health appointments and dentist appointments should be documented as well. Keep receipts for all expenditures, including co-pays on office visits, so your legal team may include these damages when making a demand to the insurance company.

  6. Do not agree to provide any statements—written or oral—to the other driver’s insurance company or attorney without first seeking legal counsel. Do not sign any forms without consulting an attorney.

  7. Even if you start to feel better, continue with your recommended course of medical treatment. Always follow the direction of your medical providers!

At Eason Law, we have helped many people navigate auto accidents and personal injury claims. We know and understand the difficulty of navigating the legal process and negotiating with the overbearing insurance companies and have helped numerous clients receive favorable compensation for their injuries. If you need an experienced legal team to help you navigate your personal injury or auto accident matters, call Eason Law today and let us help you through the process. 

Contact us today for your FREE consultation.

Please click the scheduling link below to set a time and date with one of our attorneys. We’re looking forward to helping you!

The Results Are In-You Are The Father!

The Results Are In: You Are The Father!

What are your legal rights when you have a child with a woman, but you’re not married to her?

Unfortunately, the answer is most likely none. When an unmarried woman has a baby, she is given full legal custody of the child under Arkansas law. In this situation, the mother has the right to make all the decisions for the child such as where the child goes to school, which doctor the child sees, or who is allowed to babysit or visit the child. She could even withhold the child from you as the father if she wanted to with no legal consequences.

How do I establish paternity?

If you want to see your child without it being in the mother’s discretion, the best and most secure way to have legal rights to your child born outside of a marriage is to file a petition for paternity within the circuit court in the county where the child lives. Doing so will help establish your paternity rights and help you establish custody or visitation by court order.

If you and the child’s mother have signed an acknowledgement of paternity, you’re one step closer to establishing your custody and visitation rights as a father. An acknowledgment of paternity is a finding of paternity, but it’s not enough on its own. It serves as a basis or the first steppingstone for establishing and enforcing your rights. Your name on the child’s birth certificate or an acknowledgment of paternity is more proof that you are the father, but they cannot stand alone on their own to establish paternity. The court must make a finding that you are the father for you to have any legal rights.

After the Court finds that you are the father, you are the father of the child in every sense of the word. You have the same rights as if the child were born during a marriage. Some of these rights include custody and visitation agreements. However, establishing paternity does not automatically give you custody or visitation and it comes with the possibility of paying child support as well. This will usually all be determined during the pendency of the court case, whether by agreement of the parties or through a trial.

Once the Court finds that you are the child’s father, the judge will likely make a finding as to custody, visitation, and parent’s rights. In Arkansas, joint custody is now the presumed outcome, but the court can award another form of custody and visitation if there is clear and convincing evidence that joint custody is not in the best interest of the child. For more on joint custody see our blog  Joint Custody: It’s Not Just for Divorced People Anymore.

Eason Law Can Help

At Eason Law, we have helped many people navigate paternity and custody issues. If you need an experienced legal team to help you navigate your criminal law matters, call us today and let us help you through the process. 

Contact us today for your FREE consultation.

Please click the scheduling link below to set a time and date with one of our attorneys. We’re looking forward to helping you!

Joint Custody

Eason Law explains the new rules of joint custody in Arkansas

Joint Custody: It's Not Just For Divorced People Any More!

New Rules of the Game

The most common concern parents have when separating is how much time they will get to spend with their kids after the separation.  The traditional belief is that one of the parents, usually the mom, will get custody of the kids, while the dad will only get visitation every other weekend.  However, as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast my friend.”  You can throw that traditional line of thinking out the window because today, Arkansas lawmakers have changed the rules of the game.  Now, there is a rebuttable presumption, (that means the Courts prefer it basically) that joint custody is in the best interest of the minor children, even when the parents were never married.

Joint Custody Under the Old Law

Joint custody has traditionally been disfavored in Arkansas.  This changed in 2013, when the law was amended to state that Arkansas law favors an award of joint custody in actions for divorce.  However, even after this change, judges were often hesitant to award joint custody to divorcing parents unless they were convinced the parents were truly willing to work together when deciding on what’s best for their kids.

2021- The Law Has Changed And What That Means For Your Case

This year, the Arkansas Legislature significantly amended the law on child custody again, which now provides that “[i]n an action concerning an original child custody determination in a divorce or paternity matter, there is a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is in the best interest of the child.”  The effect of the amended law is that courts are now required to order joint custody unless there is “clear and convincing evidence” that joint custody is not in the children’s best interest.  Clear and convincing evidence is a high burden to meet and requires a strong evidence showing that joint custody is not what’s best for the children.

So, what does this mean for your case?  It means that, unless you or your ex have some type of strong evidence against each other, you will ultimately end up sharing custody equally.  And this applies to paternity cases as well, not just divorces.  So even if you and the other party were never married, joint custody is still the presumed outcome.  That was not true under the previous version of the law.

Now, what happens if there is enough evidence to show joint custody is not what’s best for the children?  Does that mean one parent will only get to see the kids every other weekend?  The answer is maybe, maybe not.  Obviously, each case is different, so the right visitation (or parenting time) arrangement will not be the same for every case where joint custody isn’t awarded.  However, the new law does state that even when joint custody is ordered, the court must still set a parenting time schedule which “[m]aximizes the amount of time that each parent has with the child.”  This means that even though the parents will not be entitled to equal time with their children, the non-custodial parent should not be automatically limited to the traditional “standard” visitation of every other weekend. 

While it remains to be seen exactly how courts will implement this new law, it is clear that Arkansas is shifting away from it’s historical standards on how custody and visitation is arranged.

At Eason Law, we have helped many people navigate divorce, paternity and custody matters. Whether it be an initial divorce or paternity action or modification of custody and child support obligations, we handle it all.  If you need an experienced legal team to help you navigate your family law matters, call us today and let us help you through the process.

Contact us today for your FREE consultation.

Please click the scheduling link below to set a time and date with one of our attorneys. We’re looking forward to helping you!