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Common Divorce Misconceptions

As a divorce lawyer knows, many people see the legal system portrayed on television shows and movies and mistakenly believe it is how the system really works. However, one should remember that those situations being portrayed are for entertainment value and often rely on the dramatic effect to hook the audience. The actual processes involved in the legal system are far more complex than they may seem. Some of these common misconceptions include the following.

The reason for the divorce makes a difference.

For the majority of divorces, this is not true. Although the actions of a spouse may have been horrible — for example, if they are guilty of infidelity — it does not necessarily make a difference in how the division of assets and debts will be decided.

The majority of states have a no-fault divorce option, which is similar in theory to irreconcilable differences, meaning no one is to blame for the divorce and the couple has just decided to end the marriage. Some states do have “fault” grounds, which do include abandonment, adultery, bigamy, and extreme mental and/or physical cruelty.

These grounds may not affect the divorce settlement, but they can affect child custody and visitation issues.

Everything will be divided between the two spouses right down the middle.

This is another misconception people often have; however, it is not the way divorce settlements work. If your state is an equitable distribution state, the court will take all the assets a couple has — including earnings, savings and retirement accounts, personal property, and real estate — and divide those things by which the court deems as fair, which does not always mean monetarily equal.

Some of the factors a judge may consider when dividing the marital estate are how long the couple was married and the ability of each spouse to earn an income. If your divorce lawyer negotiates on your behalf in mediation or arbitration, you have even more control over the division of assets. 

Hiding assets is a smart move to keep the other spouse from being awarded a share of those assets.

This is also a big mistake when going through a divorce. The courts may overlook hiding an affair from your spouse, but if you attempt to hide assets, be prepared for some possibly heavy sanctions. In some cases, courts have been known to take all those hidden assets and award them all to the other spouse.

Contact a Divorce Law Firm Today

If you are ending your marriage, call an experienced attorney, like a divorce lawyer from a law firm like AttorneyBernie.com.

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The Effects of Driving Under the Influence

DUI Lawyer

DUI LawyerDriving under the influence is one of the most common offenses that people commit every day. This type of crime is also one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths all over the world. Because of this, most states have become stricter when it comes to implementing laws against driving under the influence.

A DUI lawyer from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright is needed when you are facing a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is a serious offense that can lead to significant fines and even jail time. The laws in most states make a first offense a misdemeanor, with subsequent offenses moving up to felony-level if they are within a certain number of years of the first infraction.

Effect on your driver’s license

Driving under the influence is not only dangerous to the driver himself but also to other people on the road. Because of this, it’s important to take action whenever a driver is suspected of being drunk or high while driving a car. However, in order for these suspicions to translate into any legal action, there needs to be proof.

If a DUI is your first offense, you have options that can keep it off your record. You may also be able to negotiate a plea agreement whereby you plead guilty to a lesser charge. Even if the evidence against you is substantial, an experienced DUI lawyer from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright may be able to find a way to reduce your penalties and get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Criminal Case

A DUI charge can carry significant consequences. Even if you qualify for a first-offender program or diversion program, you will still be facing penalties such as license suspension or revocation, fines, and probation. You may also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on your car. A good DUI lawyer from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright will be able to advise their client about how to proceed after being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Increased Insurance Premiums

Many insurers are reluctant to cover drivers who have been convicted of DUI offenses at all. If they do offer coverage, premiums are likely to be significantly higher than for drivers without any convictions on their records. An experienced attorney may be able to have your charges reduced so that you don’t lose your license at all.

What are the consequences of a DUI offense?

If this is your first time getting arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), you may find yourself wondering what the consequences are. The first thing to know is that each state has its own laws and penalties for those convicted of a DUI. Even if you have committed the same crime in another state, it does not mean the same penalties will apply.

It is also important to note that the more times you get arrested for a DUI offense, the more extreme the penalties will become. The law tends to be harsher on repeat offenders, which is why it is so important to hire a DUI lawyer from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright immediately after your arrest.

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How To Know If Your Business Will Be Sued

No business owner likes to think about getting sued, but lawsuits are a reality that many of them have to face. If you own a business, it is important to recognize when you may be sued. The sooner you sense trouble, the more likely you will be able to mitigate it. Here are a few signs your business will be sued from our friends at Brown Kiely, LLP.

You Just Fired an Employee Who Refused a Severance Package

Sometimes businesses offer their employees severance packages when letting them go. Many severance packages require employees to waive the right to file a lawsuit for termination. If an employee refuses to accept a severance package, it is a big red flag. There’s a good chance that the employee may be considering taking legal action against your company.

Communication Stops After a Dispute

If there is a dispute between your business and another party, you may be able to resolve it through communication. However, if the other party suddenly stops responding to your phone calls and emails, it is a cause for concern. The party may be getting ready to file a lawsuit against your business and has been advised to stop all communication with you.

Your Business Has Grown Significantly

At first look, having your business grow sounds very positive. Although it is wonderful to see your business take off, it can make it vulnerable to legal issues. When others take notice that your business has grown, they may assume that you have a lot of money and pursue frivolous lawsuits.

You Have Many Customer Complaints

Even the most well-run companies will receive a customer complaint every once in a while. However, if your business has an overwhelming amount of customer complaints, it may be a sign of trouble.

What to Do If You Believe Your Business Will Be Sued

If you have reason to believe that your business will be sued, do not just sit around and wait. It is important to take control of the situation as soon as possible. Begin by contacting a reputable business lawyer that specializes in commercial litigation in Maryland. A lawyer can advise you to move forward with this matter. If you have any documents pertaining to your case, such as contracts and emails, show them to your lawyer. The more information your lawyer has to go on, the better.

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Can I Get Help To Modify Child Support? 

Can I Get Help To Modify Child Support? 

After a child support number has been determined, you may wonder if you will need to make these payments for the rest of your children’s young lives. While, for the most part, it is true that these are steady payments you will need to make, it is possible to modify child support payments if your circumstances have changed. It is always best to try to make these changes with the help of knowledgeable lawyers because they will know the best approach to take and know which evidence will be necessary for showing that the amount of child support you are paying now is no longer needed. 

What Evidence Must I Provide For My Child Support Modification Case? 

Typically, to show that child support needs to be changed, you will need to show that there have been significant changes in your circumstances. These circumstances can be your own or your child’s. The burden of proving that there have been significant enough changes will be on the parent who is attempting to modify the child support. Thus, you must document your expenses, your current income, and any other debt you owe.

  • You lost your job or received a pay cut. If you are in the unfortunate position of losing your job or receiving a pay cut, you should speak with lawyers, like family law child support lawyers from a law firm like The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright
  • You have more children with your new partner. If you have started a family with someone else and have more children of your own,  you may wish to ask for a decrease in child support payments as you now have more places your money is going to support your family. 
  • You have a medical emergency. If you are involved in a personal injury or become ill, your excessive medical expenses may overwhelm your ability to pay child support. 

What If My Child’s Other Parent Is Asking For More Money? 

If your child’s other parent is asking for more money, you may counter it (i.e., seek to prevent it from occurring) by demonstrating that a significant change in the other parent’s financial circumstances has not taken place. A judge will only review child support modification applications if a significant change has occurred first, such as job loss, a growing family, or a medical emergency.  It will be up to your ex to prove that there are changes so substantial that they warrant increasing your payments. 

Bear in mind that you may produce evidence of your own financial hardship or how an increase would put you in a state of financial pains.

Get The Help You Need For Child Support Payments

If you need help regarding either an increase or decrease in your child support payments, please reach out to a local family lawyer for more help. The reality is that child support modifications can result in debt and homelessness. You can find yourself a statistic if you do not address child support modification strategically and with guidance from legal experts.

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The Differences Between Military and Civilian Divorce 

Military Divorce Lawyer

Marriage can be hard, and a marriage in which one or both spouses are in the military can be even harder. It’s no surprise that when it comes to the military, the divorce rates are slightly higher than those in the civilian population. 

If you are facing a divorce, there are some things that you should know about military divorce. Divorce is governed by state law, but there are some federal laws in place that will affect the divorce process if you or your spouse are in the military. Here are some of the ways that a military divorce is different to a civilian divorce.

 

You may have a choice of where to file for divorce and it might matter to your finances

 Just like in a civilian divorce, you need to do so in a state that has jurisdiction over the people in the case. Typically, this means the state where the service member lives or both of you have legal residents. While this differs from state to state, in most cases, if you have lived there for six months or more, you can claim legal residents. 

The Uniform Service Former Spouses Protection Act (USFPA) states of the service member’s state of legal residence always have the authority to divide the military pension. This is why, while it may make sense to divorce in your state, you may want to reconsider if you are the service member. Since the division of pensions is always complicated is important that you contact a military lawyer to help you through filing for divorce.

Your divorce could take longer

The Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is to protect service members abroad from the distraction of having to deal with civil litigation, like divorce, at home, so they can focus on their military missions. This means that the SCRA allows for filing extensions and prevents courts from making final rulings and legal matters until the service member can be present. This is great news if you’re the spouse in the military, but if you aren’t, it could mean that the divorce proceedings can take far longer than if you were just a civilian.

 

Child custody issues can be more complicated

 No matter who you are, resolving disputes about child custody is rarely easy. It gets even more complicated in the military divorce when one parent may be deployed or have duties that are not always compatible with the care of a child. In the past, it was more difficult for active duty service members to be awarded custody, but today the courts are more inclined to focus on the overall best entrance of the children rather than assuming the military parent cannot take care of their child.

We understand that going through a divorce is a difficult time. It is why we suggest hiring a military divorce lawyer like our friends at Robinson & Hadeed to help you through this process and make it go as smoothly as possible.

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4 Urgent Reasons You Need a Family Lawyer

There may come a time when you realize that the marriage between you and your spouse should be over. Divorce is a complicated and tricky legal process that often leaves those involved exhausted and worn-out. In order to keep some degree of sanity, it can help to have a lawyer working with you every step of the way. If you aren’t sure whether now is the time to hire a family lawyer, here are four urgent reasons why you should:

#1 Your spouse is keeping children from you.

When one parent attempts to keep the children from the other, this is considered parental alienation. A spouse may try to do this hoping that the other will lose their visitation rights. If your spouse wants you to stay away from children you have a right to see, then you must call a lawyer.

#2 Your spouse has been using up your finances.

Leading up to divorce, one spouse may use up the financial resources as a way to prevent losing it when assets are divided. Unfortunately, this is a reckless move for that parent and such behavior is not likely to be taken well by the court. 

#3 Your spouse is claiming false allegations against you.

You will want a seasoned family law lawyer on your side if your spouse has begun making false claims of domestic violence, fraud, child abuse, etc. If the judge believes the other parent, then you risk losing custody and visitation of your children. You must get a lawyer involved to help you navigate how to protect yourself. 

#4 Your spouse has engaged in a criminal offense.

If your spouse is committing crimes, you’ll need to reach out to a lawyer. Illegal behavior can endanger your children. Even if you do not have kids together, your spouse may try to get you in trouble as if you also participated in the crime.

A family lawyer, like one from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, can attest that when divorce is on the horizon it can cause any spouses to act out in ways that hurt the other parent and/or children. By recruiting help from a lawyer, a person can be better protected from a tarnished relationship with children, false accusations, and money stealing.

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Military Divorce Lawyer Tacoma WA

If you’re trying to get a divorce in Washington state, you may find that it is very difficult if you are an active service member. The process is considered to be confusing and complicated. This is even more true if you have children or you have been married for a very significant number of years. It is also even more complex if your spouse is deployed while the divorce or family law case is filed.

The military divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA such as the ones available at Robinson & Hadeed can help you as they have helped hundreds of active service members and their spouses throughout Tacoma, Washington. They have a lot of experience navigating difficult and testing matters of divorce, especially when it comes to being divorced while you were in the military actively serving.

Issues that may come into play for a military service member who is active in deploying when they are seeking to get a divorce are things such as disability, whether it’s a full or partial disability, BAH and even retirement can be complicated depending upon the circumstances that are involved in your case. However, a good experienced military divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA is going to be able to help you by informing you exactly how everything in your case is affected by everything else tied to your service record.

BAH is your basic allowance for housing, and it can be affected by your divorce especially if you have children because the primary custodial parent will receive benefits for housing with children, and the non-custodial parent can receive a BAH differential is going to be paid out an allowance to the member that lives in military housing or they have their spouse or children living with them but pays child support that is greater than half of the difference.

A basic allowance for housing is a monthly allowance that you see when you are in the military and it offsets the cost of housing when you are not living on base, in case your divorce can impact the amount of BAH that you receive. 

If you are the only parent in the military and you get a divorce you may still receive BAH but it will depend heavily on where you live post-divorce, and sometimes if you are considered single by the government you will be forced to move back on base and live in base housing and you cannot receive BAH because the government is going to pay 100% of her housing at this time

You should reach out to a military divorce lawyer in Tacoma, WA if you have any questions about getting a divorce while in the military and you are worried about how it may affect your benefits and change your living situation. 

 

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Estate Litigation & Bequests

Estate Litigation Appeals Lawyer

Families have disagreements. Families at times also separate. Divorce and familial disputes happen and there are ways to navigate the issues. A family lawyer can help families wade through divorce and separation disputes; however, there are other complex scenarios that come into play for families when a loved one passes. What happens to property and assets? Who is in charge of distributing assets? How are a loved one’s creditors paid? What if there wasn’t a will? All of these questions and more can be answered by an estate litigation appeals lawyer from a firm like Klenk Law, which has provided some insight below.

What is a Bequest?

A bequest is a gift that a person receives as an inheritance after the original owner died. There are many types of bequests and a person may inherit in one or more forms. Disputes sometimes arise in regard to a bequest that an individual inherited or expected to inherit, and it may be necessary to hire a lawyer to defend one’s self. The most common types of bequests include:

  • Specific bequest: The decedent may have bequeathed a certain property or amount of cash.
  • General bequest: This is usually a cash sum or type of property that is distributed amongst the heirs. Each bequest may be identical, or there may be an unequal distribution as per the instructions in the will or authorized by the probate court.
  • Residual bequest: Once the estate’s debts have been paid and the specified bequests have been fulfilled, what is left over is considered the residual bequest.
  • Percentage bequest: This refers to a percentage of the estate’s total assets.
  • Demonstrative bequest: When a certain source generates the heir’s gift. For example, the gift may be a percentage of the liquidized funds generated from the sale of stocks and bonds.
  • Executory bequest: After a predetermined or specified event occurs, the heir will receive their designated gift from the estate. A common example is when a child turns of legal age or graduates from college.
  • Charitable bequest: This is a gift from the estate to a registered charity. This includes charities of a community nature as well as educational, religious, political, and scientific, among others.

Note that there are laws governing bequests and what items or assets can be bequeathed as well as the conditions of the bequest.

What Are My Legal Options if There is a Bequest Dispute?

If a will is contested by someone included or excluded from the will, it may cause delays and other issues with regard to the distribution of the estate’s assets. Most likely a hearing will take place in a local courtroom with the goal of resolving any issues surrounding the dispute. Whether you are going through a divorce and have a custody dispute, or defending your rights to inheritance and you are contesting a will, it’s important to reach the results that are best for the family. Even if the will includes a no-contest or anti-contest provision, it may not disqualify the recipient from inheriting assets of the estate. Seek experienced legal counsel for disputes of this nature in order to ensure that the estate is protected and that inheritances are passed on to rightful heirs.

 

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Creditor Harassment: Your Rights and the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act

When a client retains our office to handle their debt and other financial issues, we also set out to determine whether or not they may have been unfairly and improperly treated by a debt collector attempting to collect a debt.

You too can use the following guide to determine whether any debt collector attempting to collect a debt has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act or “FDCPA.”

If you can answer yes to any of the following, then you may have a valid Fair Debt Collection Practice Act claim against a debt collector.  Most credit card companies sent their unpaid debts to collection agencies.

PROPER COLLECTION PRACTICES ARE REQUIRED BY LAW

  1. Do you feel that you have been unreasonably harassed or been the victim of aggressive collection practices by a debt collector
  2. Has a debt collector contacted you at unreasonable times of the day (either before 8am or after 9pm)?
  3. You are entitled to receive verification of a debt within five days of a debt collector contacting you.  Can you think of an attempt to collect a debt by a debt collector in which this has not been the case?
  4. Has a debt collector called a family member other than a spouse or parent?  Has this occurred on more than one occasion?
  5. Has a debt collector called you at work on more than one occasion, and done so despite you asking them not to call you there?
  6. Has a debt collector used threatening or obscene language in their conversations with you?
  7. Has a debt collector falsely led you to believe that they have either commenced a lawsuit against you or that they were going to start a lawsuit against you?
  8. Has a debt collector provided inaccurate information to you about the status or nature of your debt?  You are not required to pay more than you owe on a debt.
  9. Has anyone left you a voicemail seeking to collect a debt and in doing so failed to advise you that they were a debt collector and attempting to collect a debt?
  10. Has anyone attempting to collect a debt from you done so without informing you who they were, from where they were calling and for whom they were collecting the debt?

MOST COLLECTIONS VIOLATIONS INVOLVE CREDIT CARD DEBT

If any of these events has occurred to you, do not be afraid to take down the contact information from whomever it was you spoke to.  Rest assured that debt collectors have certain rules by which they are to abide and if they fail to do so, you may be entitled to recover damages.

ONE REMEDY FOR COLLECTIONS VIOLATIONS IS DEBT ELIMINATION.

Here in Connecticut, we have been helping debtors and working to protect their rights since 1983.  If you are in the state, call us at 203-23-2233 to speak to an experienced and caring debt relief and creditor harassment attorney.  Otherwise, we urge you to seek experienced assistance in your home state for problems with aggressive collection tactics. Aggressive collection tactics can be overwhelming and it is why we suggest seeking the help of a creditor harassment attorney like the ones at The Law Offices of Neil Crane for assistance.

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Legal Considerations for Prospective Parents Considering Surrogacy

The surrogacy process allows for prospective parents to engage in family formation with the assistance of, at minimum, a surrogate mother who carries the child of the prospective parents – most often after an embryo transfer has taken place. Once the child is born, the prospective parents assume their full parental rights with regard to that child. If you are considering family formation via surrogacy, it is important to understand that this arrangement is both a “social” one and a “legal” one. Meaning, that you and your surrogate will each have significant control over the social aspects of your arrangement, but in order for that arrangement to be both legal and legally enforceable, certain standards and contract protocols will need to be strictly observed. 

The Law Protects Prospective Parents and Surrogates Alike 

Both your interests and the interests of any surrogate with whom you may choose to work with will be protected via a surrogacy contract. Just as it is with any legally enforceable contract, the expectations of your arrangement will be articulated within the contract’s terms. If either you or your surrogate violate these terms, you will be able to seek a legally-enforceable remedy for that breach. Essentially, once your surrogacy contract is finalized and signed, you’ll be able to breathe much easier, knowing that everyone’s rights have been protected and everyone knows what to expect from the process. 

Surrogacy Laws Vary by State

Whether you live in Nevada or New Jersey, your state’s laws will dictate how your surrogacy contract must be constructed, what terms it may/must contain, and how it may be enforced. As a result, you’ll want to speak with our firm as soon as you can about your state’s surrogacy laws so that you know what you can expect from your arrangement. 

Parental Rights 

Per the terms of your contract, you – as the intended parent(s) of any children born as a result of your arrangement – will have parental rights over those children. Unless you choose to specify otherwise, your surrogate will have no parental rights over those children. 

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you are considering family formation via surrogacy, schedule a risk-free consultation with the experienced Nevada legal team at Contemporary Legal Solutions today to learn about your rights and options under the law. As surrogacy regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, it is important to avoid making any assumptions about your unique situation until our trusted legal team has evaluated your particular circumstances. Once you have asked any questions that you may have and have voiced your concerns, our team will provide you with an objective analysis of both your rights and your options. You can then make whatever informed decisions are right for you and your family accordingly. 

Know that you will never be pressured by our team to make any particular decision. It is our privilege to educate prospective parents about their rights and options and to provide them with necessary support if/when they choose to move forward with surrogacy – when you meet with our firm, both you and your situation will be treated with the utmost respect. We look forward to speaking with you.