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What is Fault and No Fault Divorce?

What is Fault and No Fault Divorce?

When it comes to divorce, knowing the laws can be just as important as knowing you’re right. Laws and proof have far more weight than convictions. It’s unfortunate, but once you understand this basic idea you can save a lot of legal hassle and grief. One common question in divorce proceedings is the fault and no fault laws.

This article will answer many questions.

What is a no fault divorce?

What is a fault divorce?

What are the typical problems?

What are the differences?

Who can help explain the legal ramifications?

What is a no fault divorce?

All states allow this legal process, where both agree that the divorce is not caused by one spouse or the other. For example, you might say you simply do not feel the relationship is working. You may have differences which make it impossible to stay married. Note that these are not terrible words allowing for two people to part. In legal terms, one spouse does not have to prove the other spouse has done something wrong, but must say it in terms recognized by the state. These reasons for parting do vary from state to state, but are very similar. As all states use this form of divorce separation, it’s the most common.

What is a fault divorce?

As noted, state laws do differ on the reasons for differences, and this is particularly true with the fault divorce. Not all states allow the it to be used. It works much like it sounds: one or both spouses blame the other for the divorce because of some action. This may be cruelty, emotional and/or physician pain caused to one spouse by the other. One spouse may attack the other, or a variety of other scenarios.

Other Problems

There are many other cases for a fault divorce, enough to merit more of our time. Adultery is a very common cause, where one spouse has relations with others outside the divorce. Sometimes one spouse goes to prison for a long time, making the relationship too hard for the other spouse. It may even be that one spouse is no longer capable of making love to the other.

What are the differences?

As you can see, the terms sum themselves up. No fault is an even break for both spouses, while a fault divorce can be much more complicated. State laws do differ on points, such as whether fault divorces are even allowed. There are even cases where both parties are clearly at fault, such as both committing adultery, giving grounds for the judge to decide which spouse is least at fault and granting it to him or her.

Who can help?

Yes, divorce law is a lot tougher than deciding to part ways. Actually, it’s much easier than it used to be; whether that’s good or bad is for society to consider. There is much more to divorce law. If you have more questions, consult with an experienced divorce attorney. Get one with experience in handling divorce cases, who has time available to spend with you, and who you can afford.…

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Divorce Settlements – Five Common Mistakes You Must Avoid to Obtain a Positive Result

Divorce Settlements – Five Common Mistakes You Must Avoid to Obtain a Positive Result

Negotiating your separation agreement can be one of the most trying, costly, and long-lasting events in your lifetime. Just like our transition to colder weather, a change in attitude and mindset can enhance your chances of a faster and financially positive divorce settlement.

To be better informed and able to make the tough decisions that come along in the process, take a step back and avoid these common mistakes.

1. Assuming your divorce will be fast and not costly

Depending upon your selection of a divorce attorney or mediator, the amount of assets at stake, the amiability of the partners, etc., your divorce can cost more money and take longer to settle than you may think. For most couples, the whole process can take one to two years. The cost can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand, even if you do not go to court (which can cost at least $25,000 plus for each spouse).

At first blush, splitting the family financial pie would appear to be a fairly simple task. An equitable property division, consistent with the respective spouse’s divorce rights would lead you to believe that each partner would walk away with half of what was shared by two.

This mathematical formula does not consistently work in divorce. Spouses have unequal salaries and income potential. Many times, families live beyond their means; there may not be enough money to go around. These factors, along with the typical “hanging on to each dollar” can lengthen the process, which leads to additional time and mounting costs.

2. Selling out your future

Your final decisions concerning which assets you are keeping will have an impact on your immediate future and long-term goals. What are the hidden expenses (maintenance, income taxes,etc.) of the assets you may want? Will you have enough money to pay your bills? What financial assets will you have to face unexpected costs and meet long-term goals (e.g. college costs, retirement, etc.)?

Trading away long-term options (e.g. retirement accounts) for short-term needs (desires) may not be in your best interest and may lead you to sacrifice tomorrow for what you may want today.

3. Ignoring Income Taxes

Income taxes will affect most of the major financial aspects of the divorce settlement. Generally speaking, the transfer of property pursuant to a divorce is a nontaxable event. But that changes if you subsequently sell the property. At that time, you will be solely responsible for paying the tax on all of the gain (profit) earned from the time you and your spouse originally purchased it.

Consider carefully how you will file you tax returns while you are in the process of creating a separation agreement. Although there are non-financial considerations, the Married Filing Separate filing status normally yields the highest overall tax rate. Filing Head of Household normally produces the least amount of tax.

You will also want to review the tax implications of alimony and child support, dependency exemptions, and various tax credits that are associated with the custody of the child.

4. Not protecting your financial interests

Maybe you have been married for 10, 15, 20 years or more. It is difficult to think about separate accounts or removing your spouse’s name from charge cards. The reality is that you are at risk any time you hold a joint interest in, or have responsibility with, or are financially dependent upon your ex-spouse.

What happens in the future if your former spouse defaults on payments, becomes disabled, goes bankrupt, or dies?. You should consider these possibilities that could have a significant impact on your financial position and take appropriate measures to protect your interest ( and that of your children ).

5. Not recognizing “A bird in hand…”

You may have to weigh decisions like this: What do you want, the Lexus worth $35,000 or the mutual fund worth $30,000? Do you want lifetime payments that begin at age 65 (or if and when your spouse retires )or $300,000 today?

Keep the phase in mind, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In divorce situations, this axiom usually holds true. Let’s take a look at the Lexus. Sure it may be worth $35,000 now, but what will it be worth next year? If you really need cash, how much could it be sold for? The mutual fund is liquid now, will most likely increase in value, and provides a cushion for those unexpected expenses.

What about retirement income? It sounds secure, but you may have to wait 20 or 30 years to receive the payments. It may be wiser to take the cash now, make prudent investment decisions, and build your own retirement nest egg.

In my experience, it is …

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Areas of Law For Law Students to Explore

Areas of Law For Law Students to Explore

If becoming the next Georgia divorce lawyer or Georgia divorce attorney isn’t for a new law student, they have other fields of law in which to choose. Going to law school provides many options for students to select. Like most post graduate programs, law school opens doors to a wide variety of industries and professions that are in need of legal counsel. Four options that a new student may select as their field of expertise are environmental, real estate, personal injury and criminal law. All of these fields are independent of one another and provide lucrative, rewarding jobs.

Environmental law specifically focuses on the protection of the earth and the people that inhabit it. It deals with everything from protecting companies who produce pollutants to the people who may be breathing those very pollutants into their lungs. A person who specializes in this field should have a great interest in creating, maintaining and enforcing laws that impact our natural world. For instance, if company ABC wants to drill for oil in a certain location, they will need a person to make sure they are following all the state and federal guidelines that protect the earth and people surrounding their site.

Real estate law is a huge expansive field of expertise. It encompasses the sale and acquisition of property by individuals, businesses and large corporations. Any time there is a transfer of property, legal aid is needed. This legal representation reviews all contracts and agreements and makes sure everything discussed is officially binding. A person who chooses this field for their area of expertise must enjoy being an integral part of the process of buying and selling land and buildings. Having legal aid during these acquisitions, not only makes the process smoother, it also protects both buyer and seller from start to finish.

Personal injury law is very important for anyone who has physically or mentally suffered due to negligence from someone else. For instance, legal aid would be needed if a person is in a car accident and experienced damage to the neck and back. This person may be out of work and without compensation for a long period of time. Legal aid would help this injured person secure money from the person responsible for the accident. Businesses also need legal aid in the field of personal injury. If companies have jobs where it is highly likely that their employees may be impacted physically, they need to make sure they are abiding by all laws that protect such employees. A person who would select this for their field of expertise would have to have an interest in protecting individual’s rights when it comes to their bodies and minds.

Criminal law is a fourth area in which a law student could specialize. This form of law protects and prosecutes people who may have broken the law and/or are innocent and are in need of defense. For instance, if a person drives while intoxicated and gets arrested, they would need legal aid to help them stay out of jail. The court system would need legal representation to help put that person in jail. Either way, they system requires people who specialize in this form of law.…

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Valuable Tips to Help You Go Through Cheap Divorces

Valuable Tips to Help You Go Through Cheap Divorces

People who are looking for cheap divorces might want to know that there are thousands of lawyers who are willing to take up your legal proceedings and charge exorbitant rates.

Furthermore, divorce can be traumatic and cause painful experiences which can drain you emotionally and rob you of your time completely as well. Apart from affecting your emotional well-being, divorce can also hit your financial future hard.

There are many couples who fall prey on such uniformed personnel who may or may not be experienced. They end up losing all their money. It is always wise to ensure that you hire the attorneys who can carry out responsible legal proceedings and give you the best outcome.

You’ll need to educate yourself and know what questions to ask before hiring one.

Here are few tips that will help you to go through divorces by hiring quality divorce lawyers:

Patience: It is important for you to resist the temptation to sign on a letter just because his price is low. Many law firms may represent themselves at a very low cost because they take on a large number of clients. At times, these firms are typically overwhelmed and disorganized, your case probably will not get the time and attention it needs.

Investigate: Investigating on the firm before agreeing for any legal representation will ensure reliability. You can investigate by asking for references or check with local bar association where you can find out if the firm has been charged with any professional violations.

Additional expenses: You can save on additional expense by hiring a firm which is close to your office. This will reduce the cost of travel expenses and billable hours associated with your case.

Fees for Attorney: The fee schedule for the attorney should be specified and fixed beforehand to avoid other additional confusions later on. A complete fee schedule comprising of the contract terms, charges for photocopies and billable hours should be mentioned.

Communication: Communication saves time and money, so be sure that you will be kept aware of any deadlines for submitting divorce information prior to hearings. You could compile that information yourself and save yourself the money of having your divorce attorney do it for you at the last minute. Any legwork that you can do yourself will save hundreds of dollars in billable time.

Divorce is a very crucial phase. Hence, one should thoroughly search for the various options available for cheap divorces and select a good divorce attorney after having inquired about his background. This will be well worth your time.

Most importantly, cheap divorces involve educating one self on the various legal processes. You can make it less expensive by taking up the responsibilities which you are capable of doing it yourself. It will not only ensure that you get a cheap divorce, it will shorten the process significantly.…

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A Perspective on the Divorce Process

A Perspective on the Divorce Process

During the past decade, numerous television series have sensationalized the divorce process. Thanks in part to the writers of those television series, we members of the viewing public now have a skewed perception of the divorce process – we mis-perceive the divorce process as being ‘exciting’, ‘vigorous’, and ‘glamorous’.

As a divorce attorney, let me shoot straight with you….there is nothing exciting, vigorous, or glamorous about the divorce process or the justice system in general. If you do not believe me, you are welcome to shadow me to work one day. Our day will begin in Oklahoma Divorce Court where, once you start to look around, you will see that the divorce attorneys who practice in real life bear zero resemblance to the divorce attorneys you see on television.

On television the attorneys wear $2000.00 suits. On television the attorneys use ‘shark-like’ tactics and behave in a way that is ‘cut-throat’. Those are the same television attorneys who exclaim to all who can hear their arrogant voice ‘I do not care about the consequences, I only care about winning’. Reality check, this is not television is Real Life Court.

In Real Life Court, an attorney who wears a $300.00 suit is considered ‘high-end’. In Real Life Court, an attorney who uses ‘shark-like’ tactics is perceived by his colleagues as being ‘unprofessional’ and he quickly becomes stigmatized by his own reputation. In Real Life Court, you do not hear attorneys talk about ‘the win’, you hear them talk about ‘the settlement’. The settlement is reached outside of court, according to terms that are mutually favorable for both spouses.…

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Why You Need a Prenuptial To Avoid The Double Dip

Why You Need a Prenuptial To Avoid The Double Dip

I am a family law attorney, also known as a divorce lawyer, in the Rochester Hills area of Oakland County Michigan. In order to remain current regarding the law in my area of practice, I read every case decided by the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court with regards to my area of practice.

The Court of Appeals issued a published opinion, which means that the divorce trial courts must follow this ruling, on September 4, 2012 that has serious implications for small business owners in the divorce context. This opinion deals with the issue of double dipping when it comes to a small business owner or professional practitioner and spousal support or alimony. I have always recommended that small business owners, professionals (doctors, lawyers, accountants etc.) and people involved with family businesses should have a prenuptial agreement and this opinion makes it is essential to have one.

The Issue

May a court use a small business owner’s higher income, relative to the fair market value of his or her actual job description, to calculate child support and alimony and then add that excess income back into the business to calculate the value of the business for the purpose of property division?

The Answer

Yes, the court ruled that in some circumstances it may be equitable for a court to double dip with regards to the income of a small business owner and the value of the business. Double dipping is a situation where in technical terms a business or a professional practice is valued by capitalizing its income, some or all of which is also treated as income for spousal support purposes. The divorce courts typically grant the spouse of the business owner or professional practitioner 50% of the value of the business or practice. This issue really deals with how to value the business and determine the income of the owner spouse for purposes of support.

In the case at hand, the husband was a small business owner of a company, QPhotonics that he formed in 2000 at which he began working full time in 2004. The husband actually earned $240,000 in salary from QPhotonics. To determine the value of the company, the family law attorney will retain an expert to determine what the actual fair market value of the business owner’s salary would be if the business owner worked for another company and performed the same managerial tasks. In this case, the expert testified that the fair market value of the husband’s compensation was $130,000. The court used this income to calculate alimony and child support.

The expert will then take the “excess” salary (in this case $240,000-$130,000 or $110,000) and add that back into the value of the business to determine the value of the business for purposes of property division. This increases the value of the business for purposes of property division but decreases the income for purposes of computing alimony or spousal support and child support. This is done to avoid adding the salary back into the business for purposes of calculating the value of the business but still using the higher salary to determine support. In this case, the expert testified that the value of the business, after adding back in the “excess” salary of $110,000, was $280,000. The court awarded the wife $140,000 for her share of the value of the business.

The trial court in this case, avoided the double dip and stated that for purposes of fairness and being equitable, a divorce court should determine whether or not the valuation of the business is for the purpose of distribution of property or spousal support but not both. This seems correct.

Surprisingly the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed this decision. It indicated that the trial court’s decision to award spousal support is discretionary and should reflect what is just and reasonable under the circumstances of the case. Unlike child support, spousal support does not follow a strict formula and the Appellate Court declined to adopt a bright line rule with respect to “excess” income and held that courts must employ a case-by-case approach when determining whether double dipping will achieve an outcome that is just and reasonable within the meaning of the alimony statute. It remanded the case back to the divorce trial court to determine whether the equities in the case warrant utilizing the value of Qphtonics for purposes of both property division and spousal support.

Summation

This approach seems patently inequitable because it falsely inflates the value of the business or professional practice by adding back in income and profit that is not actually in the business but then uses the same dollars to calculate a higher amount of support. It is for this reason, that …

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How to Find the Perfect Divorce Attorney

How to Find the Perfect Divorce Attorney

If you and your spouse are getting ready to go through a divorce it is time for you to know how to find the right divorce lawyer for you. In our discussion today, we will take a look at some factors that are important for you to consider in order for you to find the best possible lawyer.

We have selected 3 factors that you should consider beginning with where to find a divorce attorney.

Tip #1 – Where to find a divorce attorneys

Do you have any idea where to begin looking for attorneys? One of the first places to consider is by asking your friends and family. Talk to someone that you might know that has recently gone through a divorce. If you have a lawyer that has handled any previous business for you, then see if he or she has a recommendation for a good divorce attorney. If you are not comfortable talking to family and friends, you can use the Internet. You can do a Google or Yahoo search for a divorce in your town or in a town near you.

Tip #2 – Understand the different types of payment arrangements

Know what you can afford when it comes to hiring an attorney. Let’s talk a little bit about the type of fees that you may encounter when hiring a lawyer. Lawyers usually charge either by the hour, by a flat rate, ask for a retainer or charge some contingent fees. The standard or the more usual type of fee arrangement is by the hour.

The flat fee tends to be for cases that are not very difficult. Just make sure that you know what is included in the flat fee and what is considered extra.

The retainer fee is a certain amount of money that is paid up front. The money is put in a special account. As the work is done, the price of the work is deducted from the account.

In certain types of cases, lawyers are not paid by their client. In these cases, the lawyer is paid a percentage of the money that is won in the case. The types of cases that you might see this type of fee arrangement are accident cases, injury cases or malpractice cases.

Make sure that you know how much that you can afford and balance that with what you are going to require for your case. Talk with your prospective lawyer and see if there will be any extra charges for paralegals or any type of specialist work that may need to be completed.

Tip #3 – Questions to ask your prospective lawyer

By this point, you should have a list of names of prospective lawyers. These are names of lawyers that you will interview. You want to make sure that you don’t hire a lawyer until you have interviewed them. Here are a list of questions that you should consider getting answers to.

What is your experience in divorce litigation?

How many years have you been a divorce lawyer?

Do you handle other areas of law?

If you do, what percentage of your cases are divorce cases?

Are you currently handling a lot of cases?

What will happen in my divorce?

What kind of information do you need from me?

What kind of issues will I need to resolve?

How long will my divorce case take?

These are a few questions that you can ask your prospective lawyer so that you can get familiar with your prospective attorney. Once you have this information from the various lawyers that you speak to, you can then go through your answers and see which lawyer you are most comfortable with.

Answers to these questions will help you to see if the lawyer can help you concentrate on the various problems and issues surrounding your divorce, make sure that he has all of the facts about your divorce and giving you good feeling as to the type of relationship and rapport that you can develop with this lawyer.…

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The Four Most Important Qualities A Divorce Lawyer Must Possess

The Four Most Important Qualities A Divorce Lawyer Must Possess

Getting a divorce is never easy. Aside from the emotional anguish that both parties go through, there are also the legal processes that you have to deal with like spousal support, child custody and support, distribution of property and division of debt.

If you are facing an ordeal such as this, the best thing that you can do is to find a divorce lawyer who will not only inform you of all your legal rights but who will represent your best interests in court as well.

Some people who prefer quick divorces, immediately resort to the yellow pages and start looking for a cheap lawyer. Some scan the world wide web looking for some cheap divorce online sites.

There are countless sites that can be found on the internet offering cheap divorce online. Yes, there are actually sites who can let you file divorce online nowadays. Other online divorce sites offer free divorce consultation while others claim to have the cheapest divorce rates.

What some people don’t realize is that finding a good lawyer takes a lot more reasoning and deduction than just flipping through a phone book or picking a random lawyer among from various internet divorce sites.

Rather than pick a random name in a phone book or the internet, you can use this list as a guide on how to find a good divorce lawyer.

1. Specialization – A lawyer specializing in divorce obviously will have more expertise than a lawyer who doesn’t.

2. Experience- A divorce lawyer’s experience in the system and the intricacies of the whole process will be an advantage to you and your interests.

3. Statics- You can gauge a divorce lawyer’s success by his track record. Find out if he/she was able to get the settlement the client wanted.

4. Personality- It is always a good idea to hire a lawyer you can get along with really well. Remember that this is a person you are going to see a lot of throughout the divorce process and it is really important that you could communicate with him/her really well.

Although a divorce is a painful experience that some people have to go through, there is consolation in the fact that there are divorce lawyers out there who, aside from having experience and expertise, also offer low cost divorce and who are also willing to help people get through this crisis.…