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Attorney At Law

Virginia Divorce What is Equitable Distribution?

In any Virginia divorce case, one of the issues that will almost certainly come up is “equitable distribution.” Virginia’s divorce law has a section concerning the division of the parties’ property. That is ?? 20-107.3 of the Virginia Code.

That section authorizes the Circuit Court judge in a divorce to divide the parties’ property and decide how the parties will pay their debts. The parties’ residence, savings and pension rights are usually the largest assets. Sometimes one of the parties has a business that was either started during the marriage or expanded during the marriage. Debts will typically include a mortgage and perhaps credit card balances owed.

The general rule in Equitable Distribution

The general rule is that money earned by the parties during the marriage and assets acquired with it are marital property. Property the parties owned separately before the date of marriage or acquired later by gift or inheritance are considered separate property. The Circuit Court judge in a divorce case can divide only marital property. Separate property cannot be divided by the court.

The fact that property is held in the name of only one of the spouses may not matter. As long as it can be proved that the funds used to buy the property were marital, then the property will be treated as marital and divided by the court.

Case example of Equitable Distribution in a Virginia Divorce

I recently finished a case in which the husband purchased a house shortly before the parties married. He took title in his name only. All of the money used to pay the mortgage was marital. That is, it came from the husband’s paychecks. I represented the wife and we persuaded the Circuit Court judge in Virginia Beach that the house was marital.

The husband appealed the case to the Virginia Court of Appeals twice. The first time the Court of Appeals said the judge did not use the correct method in analyzing whether the property was marital and sent the case back to him. The judge again found the property was marital and the husband appealed a second time. The second time the Court of Appeals concluded that the judge had analyzed the case correctly and affirmed his decision. This is the second opinion.

Mixed assets

Where the parties used both marital and separate property to buy an asset, the court can determine what portion of the property is marital and what portion is separate. A common example of this situation would be where the parties buy a house and use money from an inheritance to make the down payment and then make all of the mortgage payments from the salaries or wages they earned during the marriage. The marital portion can be divided but the separate portion belongs to the spouse who contributed it unless it can be shown that they meant to make a gift of it to the other spouse.

The apportionment of debts

The apportionment of debts also depends on whether they are marital. Whether a debt is marital depends on whether it was acquired for a “marital purpose.” The classic example of a debt that was not incurred for a marital purpose would be where the husband has a $15,000 American Express balance for a vacation taken with his mistress. Debts incurred for legitimate marital expenses are marital and the judge can divide them between the parties.

If you need legal advice about your Virginia Divorce call us now to (757) 491-0240 or (757) 619-5304 or visit our website…

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Attorney At Law

Considerations When Purchasing or Driving a Truck – Think About Accidents!

One of the main concerns when purchasing a vehicle should be safety, especially if it is intended for a family vehicle. If you are looking for a truck for work or just because you like trucks, one thing to consider is, for the most part, trucks are safer than cars in a car to truck collision because they are bigger, sit higher, have a full frame under them and have more mass than a car.
But on the downside, trucks have a higher likelihood of turning over than a car does due to its higher center of gravity. But when judging from truck to truck looking for the safest vehicle you should take the advice from someone who knows.
2010 Safety Ratings and Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knows. They do extensive crash testing of trucks to determine which vehicle ranks highest across six parameters. The numbers for the 2011 trucks have not been published, but for 2010 they have determined that the Chevrolet Silverado, the GMC Sierra, and the Toyota Tacoma have tested the highest in safety.
Frequency of accidents involving trucks rank third, behind cars, which ranked first, followed by SUV’s, which seems to correlate with the numbers owned. The holiday season, October through December, rate the highest numbers of accidents, Thanksgiving being the top producer of injury and death. While the most often crashed day is Friday, I wonder if it is because everyone is in a hurry to get home from work and start their weekend, or because of people going out and drinking on the weekend? Maybe it’s a combination of the two.
And oddly enough, most accidents occur in the day time in fair weather. I wonder if that is because more people are out driving. And it seems that, contrary to popular belief, males out number females in accidents by 20%. Is that because there are that many more males or those women actually do drive better than men? Obviously it’s because there are more men.
What Causes Accidents?
Tailgating, reckless driving and failure to yield rank as the top three causes for accidents, and persons aged 16-20 are the most oft crashed. Of course most of the fatal accidents involved alcohol, and many persons were injured or killed due to the lack of seat belt use. Approximately one quarter of fatal, and nearly half of injury accidents occur on the interstate, while around 75% of intersection accidents occurred in urban surroundings.
The best way to decrease these numbers is to drive safer. Don’t drink and drive doesn’t necessarily refer just to alcohol. If you can’t walk and chew gum, why do you think you can drive and eat that cheese burger? Also, if you are tired, rest, or STOP and get a caffeinated drink like coffee or a soda. And for goodness sakes, DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE! This is a serious problem among the younger crowd today and needs to be addressed.
Buckle Up!
Follow the speed limit signs, they are not suggestions, they are the law! Buckle up! Pay attention to your surrounding at all times and always expect the other diver to not be paying attention. Obey traffic signs and lights, yellow means caution the light is changing prepare to stop, not floor it! Stop signs mean stop, they don’t mean slow down and look to see if anyone is coming then resume speeding. Just because you are in a truck doesn’t make you safer. All vehicles are dangerous if not operated properly and safely. Follow the rules and drive safe, not just because the life you save may be your own, but just because you might save a life.…

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General Article

Detecting Nursing Home Abuse

Detecting Nursing Home Abuse

Nearly everybody reaches the age where they will need extra help with their everyday living. Our elderly were once vibrant and youthful children and adults who worked hard to earn a living and raise their own families. When the day comes when we can no longer care for our elderly parents, we will have to look for a reliable nursing home or extended living facility.

Nursing homes are a necessary part of our society, for they provide the elderly with the round-the-clock care that they desperately need. As men and women age, their needs are much like the needs of a young infant; therefore, it is often necessary to place our loved ones in a nursing home where they can get the care they need.

Nursing homes are paid good money by private individuals and by the state to care for elderly individuals; unfortunately their standard of care is not always where it should be. Overcrowded nursing homes and understaffing have created an environment where nursing home neglect can occur as a result. Even when caregivers have the best intentions, elderly patients can be pushed aside, or their needs can be neglected when there are staff shortages.

Aside from overworked and underpaid staffing issues, there’s something far more worse going on in our nation’s nursing homes. Sadly, there have been thousands of cases where nursing homes were downright abusive towards elderly patients. This may seem like something that can’t possibly happen in your nursing home, but the truth is that the problem is far more widespread than people have been led to believe. What types of abuses go on behind closed doors? Virtually anything you can imagine has probably already occurred. Nursing home abuse can be physical, it can be emotional, it can involve sexual abuse, overmedicating, malnutrition, and it can involve financial exploitation.

Physical abuse within a nursing home would consist of unnecessary use physical restraints, hitting, slapping, and punching among other types of abuse. It can also mean overmedicating or heavily sedating a patient as a means of control.

Sexual abuse can include: fondling, molestation, and sexual assault/rape, sexual battery, forcing the elderly individual to watch pornographic material and forcing them to undress. Emotional abuse can consist of threats, belittling and social isolation. All of which can lead to psychological distress in the elderly patient. Financial exploitation can refer to when a caregiver steals cash out of an elderly person’s wallet or purse, it can mean taking money out of their bank accounts and it can mean writing checks from the elderly person’s checking account. It can also mean a full-fledged identity theft scheme where the caregiver steals their social security number, birth certificate and credit cards. Sometimes financial exploitation can go undetected for years before it is brought to light.

If your loved one is in a nursing home and if you have observed some things that didn’t sit right with you, you should start looking further into your concerns. Have you noticed any unexplained bruising? Is your loved one afraid of his or her caregivers, or do they seem to argue with them? Are things missing from their room? Has money or jewelry gone missing, or is money missing from their bank accounts? Has there been any unusual activity on their credit cards or other accounts?

It’s also important to look around the room. Is it clean? Does your loved one look well fed, or have they recently experienced a sudden loss in weight? Are there any foul odors in the room; does your loved one have any bed sores? Are they making wild claims that somebody hurt them, or that somebody stole from them? It can be a common mistake to dismiss claims by the elderly, or chock up their complaints to Alzheimer’s, or wild hallucinations.

The elderly are very susceptible to being taken advantage of in more ways than one. Whether you suspect nursing home abuse, neglect, or if you think your loved one suffered from a wrongful death at the hands of their caregiver, then contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with these types of cases. They can help you with the legal aspects, and they can help bring the abuser to justice so that nobody else has to be harmed by them.…

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General Article

Find Out If You Deserve Compensation For Your Injury

Find Out If You Deserve Compensation For Your Injury

Although you might think that finding a good New York liability attorney will be complicated, it could actually be quite simple. Of course, to find the best attorney for your case, you have to be willing to do your share of research. As there are many attorneys to choose from in New York, you will have to know exactly what you are looking for.

It is important to do a bit of research in order to make sure that you have found a good match. After all, an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice may not be the best choice if you have been injured for example, while visiting a department store, which would require a New York premises liability expert.

Or maybe you want to file a lawsuit against a company because you were harmed by either a faulty product or because the product featured certain hazards which the company failed to mention on the product’s packaging or on a leaflet contained inside the package. New York liability cases occur much more often than you think, so you mustn’t feel as if you are the only one who wants to seek compensation from a company who has failed to manufacture a trustworthy product, whether it was accidental or not.

If you have been injured because a property owner has failed to make the premises safe for people, be it a hazardous step or a broken tile, the company is at fault for the accident. Any time a person or business takes on the ownership or maintenance of a property, they are also assuming any liability that could result from their negligence. If you have been injured due to such a situation, you could not only receive recompense for any medical bills that may have resulted, but also from any loss of wages due to having missed work. This is where having a New York liability lawyer can really come in handy, as they know exactly what you will be entitled to and can help you get it.

Not only does this apply to products or property, but this can also apply to situations such as a medical misdiagnosis, in which you could be compensated for mental and emotional distress. If you have sustained an accident through any of the following circumstances, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a qualified New York attorney.…

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Legal

Young, Hip and Vulnerable – 4 Reasons That Young Professionals Need an Estate Plan

As an Atlanta estate planning attorney, I know Generation Y has a lot to think about…starting their careers, buying their first home, starting a family. All of these things are beginnings, so it’s a rare day when someone in this generation wants to think about The End. But there are 4 reasons that they might need to…
A lot of people think that youth is an excuse for putting off doing a will or trust. But estate planning is not just about planning for your death. It is also prepares you in the event you experience an incapacitating injury and are unable to make your own financial or medical decisions. While the odds are certainly in your favor that you will not need an estate plan, you should still consider these four scenarios…
1. You need a plan in the event that you become disabled or incapacitated.
Unfortunately tragedies happen every day. And you are not immune to them because you are young. If something happens to you and you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your own financial, legal, and medical affairs you’ll need to make sure that there are basic documents in place such as a medical directive, power of attorney and HIPAA authorization so someone can.
2. You need to pass your assets.
You might be asking, “What assets?” Even if you do not yet own your own home, you need to consider IRAs, retirement accounts and life insurance accounts offered through your employer. You need to make sure that beneficiaries are named in the right way to make sure that the people you want to leave them to get maximum benefit.
3. You need to name guardians for your kids.
If you have children, you simply must name guardians. You should be the one who decides who will raise them if you are no longer around. You do not want this decision left to squabbling relatives or to a court system who doesn’t know you or your child.
4. You need to plan for your pets.
If you have a pet, chances are they are a big part of your life. They are totally devoted to you and also totally dependent on you. Have you stopped to think what might happen to them if something were to happen to you? If you want to make sure your companion is cared for if the unexpected happens, you could choose to put together a plan for their continued care. The plan may include directions about feeding, medical care and other needs along with funds necessary to provide for your pet’s support and to compensate the caretaker.
The scenarios above are just a few to consider when deciding if you need a will or trust. If you are in the Atlanta area, I encourage you to talk with an Atlanta wills and trusts lawyer. Only then will you have the peace of mind of knowing that you are fully protected.…

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Law Firms

Questions To Ask Your Divorce Lawyer

Filing for divorce can be emotional and life-changing. If you have decided to file for a divorce, you probably have already been through some confusion. When working with a divorce lawyer in Potts town PA the last thing you need is more confusion. As you prepare yourself to work with your divorce lawyer, you may have a lot of questions. Following are some important questions to ask your lawyer before filing for a divorce.

How long have you been practicing? Before you even start working with a lawyer, you will want to know how long he has been handling divorces. The more experience a lawyer has, the more likely he is to be able to handle your case in a smooth and efficient manner. Ask how many years he has been practicing and what his experience involves. Knowing your divorce lawyer in Potts town PA has helped other people in your situation before can give you more confidence in his ability to help you.

What does the divorce process generally look like? During your first consultation with your lawyer, ask him to walk you through the steps of the divorce process. You will want to know such things like at what point he will file your papers, at what point will your spouse be served, and at what point a case goes to mediation or trial. Knowing the process will clear some confusion you may be experiencing.

How many of your cases go to trial? Going to trial during a divorce can increase the cost significantly. You may want to know how many times, on average, your divorce lawyer in Potts town PA takes his cases to trial. Mediation is generally a shorter process than going to trial and less expensive. Although, if your case is complicated, your lawyer may advise that you go to trial. Ask him what his thoughts are on the subject and if how likely it will be that your case will go to trial.

What are your fees? Before you work with any lawyer, you want to ask what his fees are. Generally, you pay by the hour and some lawyers require a retainer. Ask about other fees that may show up during the process and get an estimate for those fees. You may also want to ask about any paralegals or legal assistants that work for your lawyer and the fees they charge. Having your lawyer’s paralegal or legal assistant do everything they are qualified to do for your case can save you money.…

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Attorney

Five things that a Charlotte Family Lawyer can help with Today

If you want to hire a Charlotte family lawyer you are not alone. Unfortunately, this is not often a good thing. It typically means that you are dealing with some sort of dispute with a spouse or an ex-spouse. As stressful as it may be, once you have the right attorney on your side things will begin to get better. This is why it is so important to choose a lawyer who is experienced and able to help with the particular situation you are facing.

For example, Charlotte Custody Attorney Timothy Porterfield has been serving the area for many years. He has worked with every imaginable type of case, even those that are extremely complex and messy.

If you are unsure of what a family lawyer has to offer or whether this type of professional is best for you, it is time to get in touch with somebody who can answer all your questions. At this point, you will have a clear understanding of what comes next.

To fully understand what a Charlotte, NC family lawyer can do for you, it is best to contact a professional on the phone. That being said, here are five areas in which they specialize.

Are you currently dealing with one or more of these issues? If so, you need to contact a family lawyer who can answer your questions and review your situation. You may think you know what you are doing, but once you speak with an attorney you may find that you have been making all the wrong decisions. As you move forward, you cannot continue to make mistakes.

Do I need an Attorney?

People often times shy away from hiring a family lawyer for two reasons. First off, they don’t know how much it is going to cost and whether or not they can afford it. Secondly, they are embarrassed and don’t want to show their business to the world.

There is no denying that you will have to pay for the services of a family lawyer. But remember, you are getting a lot in return as far as service and expertise is concerned.

As far as being embarrassed, keep in mind that your lawyer is not going to share your situation with anybody. Along with this, they have many years of experience dealing with people just like you. This means that they have seen every imaginable situation. There is nothing to worry about here.

As you can see by now, there are quite a few ways that a Charlotte family lawyer can help. If you don’t know what a lawyer can do for you or even if you need assistance, you should contact one to explain where you are. This is the only way to find out for sure if you truly need to hire an attorney or if you can do things on your own for the time being.…