Why You Need an Attorney During a Divorce

Prenuptial Agreements: Is Yours Still Valid?

Posted by on January 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prenuptial Agreements: Is Yours Still Valid?

Signing a prenuptial agreement may have seemed like a great way to protect your assets, but things change after a few years of marriage. If your partner has significantly more wealth than they did at the beginning of your relationship, you might feel entitled to at least some of what you have accumulated as a couple in your time together. Often, prenuptial agreements are hard to get around, but there are some things you can do to try have the agreement tossed as you enter divorce proceedings.  1. Can you prove your spouse was unfaithful? Many prenups have a faithfulness clause. This means that if your spouse cheated on you, the signed prenup can be void, if the state determines the clause to be enforceable. This is easy if you know for certain that your spouse did not honor their vows with fidelity. However, with so much money on the line, some people go to great lengths to hide their extramarital affairs. You can hire a private investigator to gather more evidence for your lawyer to use, or you can try and gather evidence on your own. Emails, text messages, photographs, or the testimony of others can help you to prove infidelity. 2. Were assets mingled? Only certain assets are protected by prenuptial agreements. Your spouse should have gone to great lengths to keep community property separate from the assets protected by the contract. However, if your spouse used money that belonged to both of you to fund business or personal expenses, the protected assets are then co-mingled with community assets, rendering the prenup void. For example, if your spouse went on a business trip, but billed his or her conference fee and hotel stay to your personal account, and the business assets were protected by the prenup, you could argue that you are now entitled to business profits, since your own property helped to fund the business.  3. Was the prenup signed under duress? Sometimes, the nature of the agreement itself will make the contract inadmissible in court. If you can prove that your spouse or a close family member threatened you or your family in any way in order to coerce you into signing the prenup, your lawyer can work to make sure it is not recognized during divorce proceedings.  4. Were you in the right mind when you signed? Prenuptial agreements that are signed when one or both of the potential spouses are drunk, on drugs, or even exhausted or ill, may not stand up in court. Both parties should have entered into the agreement with understanding and mindfulness.  5. Does the prenup accurately reflect the assets that are protected by it? Sometimes, the wealthier partner may not be thorough in drafting the document, or they may fraudulently represent their wealth, failing to disclose in full their assets when the prenup is signed. If you can prove that your spouse did not allow you to see fully the wealth they were trying to protect when you signed (secret ban accounts, real estate holdings etc.), the prenup will no longer have bearing on current division of assets.  6. Is the agreement too outlandish or unfair? Sometimes, these agreements are used to establish the marital tone expected by each partner. Sharing of assets might be based upon frivolous expectations...

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Failure-To-Protect Laws May Lead To Jail Time For Abuse Victims

Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Failure-To-Protect Laws May Lead To Jail Time For Abuse Victims

About one in four women and one and seven men are, or have been, victims of intimate partner violence. While there are laws that help protect domestic abuse victims from perpetrators, sometimes those laws are used to further persecute sufferers. Case in point, some prosecutors use failure-to-protect laws to put parents in jail for abuse committed unto children by intimate partners, even though the parents may not have participated in the abuse. Here’s more information about this problem. About Failure-to-Protect Laws Failure-to-protect laws are typically encased in the wording of other laws written to address children’s’ rights and parental responsibilities. For example, in Florida, the child neglect law includes the failure of a parent or caregiver to protect a child from abuse or neglect caused by another person among its definitions. The laws serve two purposes. First, failure-to-protect laws are designed to hold parents accountable for not preventing their children from being abused or taking steps to stop the abuse when it occurs. For instance, a woman was arrested in 2009 for allowing her boyfriend to harm her two young children on multiple occasions and not reporting the incidents or making any reasonable effort to protect the kids. The second purpose is to make it easier for state child protection agencies to remove children from the parents’ care to prevent the children from being further victimized. In most cases, failure-to-protect is charged as a felony. However, the type of felony charged may vary depending on how egregious the offense was. For instance, in Delaware, a person will be charged with a class G felony if the child is seriously harmed, but it will be upgraded to a class E felony if the child dies. Almost all of these charges call for jail or prison time for defendants found guilty. How Abuse Survivors are Victimized by the Court System While the reasons behind failure-to-protect laws are noble and helpful in many situations, the laws have been used to further hurt victims of domestic violence. When abusers are reported to authorities, an unfortunate side effect is prosecutors sometimes decide to also charge the domestic abuse victim with child abuse or neglect based on the failure-to-protect aspect of the associated law, even if the parent or caretaker doesn’t participate in the abuse. For instance, an Oklahoma woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison after her son reported his stepfather for sexual abuse. The prosecution argued the woman was just as responsible for the abuse as the perpetrator because she allegedly knew about the molestation—having caught her husband in the act—but  did not leave the relationship or report the crime. Unfortunately, in this case and many like it, the prosecution doesn’t always consider the bigger picture. Domestic abuse victims are typically terrorized by their abusers and may be subjected to physical violence if they do anything that the abuser doesn’t like. The victim may be too scared to go to authorities or may not have the resources, such as a phone or car, needed to seek help. Another issue is the abuse may cause physiological damage that affects the victim’s mental health and capacity. For example, a June 2015 article in the Huffington Post highlighted the reality that many women in abusive relationships suffer from traumatic brain injuries that can have a...

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Family Divorces: Learning To Separate The Digital Life

Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Family Divorces: Learning To Separate The Digital Life

In today’s society, a divorce is a lot more than moving out from your home. Along with the physical world that you live in, divorces expand to the digital world. With social media profiles and digital content, your family footprint can cover a lot of ground. Protecting yourself and getting through the divorce as easily as possible often involves a lot of changes to your digital world. By coming up with plans on your own and working with a family law attorney, you have the ability to peacefully change your social media life and cope with your divorce at the same time. Password Changes Divorces can be bitter, and instead of being the victim of a personal attack, it’s important to protect yourself as early as possible. Change the password to all of your personal social media and online accounts. Choose a strong password that cannot be figured out by the former spouse. Use multiple passwords for different accounts to add extra protection. Work with an attorney to come up with a list of all the social media websites that you use. Even if you have not used a website in a while, it’s a good idea to change the password or completely delete the account. This change can protect your account from getting attacked and also prevent any personal information from getting deleted by a spouse. Family Privacy A divorce is a vulnerable time children who are going through big changes. Do not let the problems get even worse due to actions on social media. While you may be outgoing and upfront on social media, you should keep your personal family business as private as possible while on the website. Keep things vague and post as little as possible about the divorce. It can help protect your children from unwarranted rumors and gossip. The public posts you put on social media could also be used against you during a divorce case. This is another crucial aspect of limiting social media. For example, if you’re bragging about money spent or your lifestyle, it could impact your alimony agreement. Marriage Statuses When the time comes, you will eventually have to change your social media status from “Married” to “Single.” Choosing to do this on a whim could hurt the feelings of the other parties involved. Instead of rushing or delaying your status change, it’s a good idea to communicate this with your spouse and complete the action at the same time. It may seem like a petty thing, but it can also help show a united front on your children. It will help put your social media life into perspective and create an amicable atmosphere. If you’re not on speaking terms with your spouse, then your attorney can help bring up the issue during any form of mediation. Starting Fresh Social media pages may feel like a history book on your life. Instead of reliving memories that bring pain and sorrow, it may be a good idea to start completely fresh. Moving out of your home is a way to start fresh in the real world, and creating a new social media page can start you fresh online. Instead of going through the painful process of deleting friends or connections to a spouse, you can start positively by adding friends...

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