Hiding Your Assets in Divorce: What You Should Know

Couple at Lawyer's office

Couple at Lawyer's officeWhen you’re thinking about divorce and have a considerable amount of assets and money, you may be tempted to hide those from your spouse. This is especially true if you believe that you have (solely) worked for that money or if you are extremely angry at your spouse. You may have your reasons for doing so, but it can get you in legal trouble.

Can you get away?

While there may be a chance that you can get away with concealing some of your assets, there are always risks if you do so. You have to keep in mind that during the “discovery” process, both spouses are required to submit relevant information to the other party and have to provide testimony about those. Albuquerque divorce attorneys note that if you lied and got caught, you may face perjury charges and monetary fines.

What are the penalties?

If you, however, fail to provide financial information to the other party, the court will order you to submit them. If you disregard the court orders, you may be held in contempt or even be incarcerated. There are serious risks involved in hiding assets, as it can affect not just the property distribution, but also child support and alimony. The consequences of getting caught are also expensive.

What should you do instead?

This is why rather than attempting to hide your assets, you should consult a reliable divorce lawyer. Your attorney can protect your rights, assets, and interest while helping you reach a fair divorce settlement. You shouldn’t also let your emotions rule your financial decisions, as it could harm your purse. You have to pick your battles wisely and only fight for those that are worth it.

Deceiving your spouse by concealing your assets means that you are messing with the law. Other than losing your credibility in court, you could also face monetary sanctions if you get caught. It is best to declare your finances upfront to protect yourself during the settlement.

Categories of Crime Under Criminal Law

Lawyer reviewing a paper

Lawyer reviewing a paperA crime is any act punishable by your state. Civil and criminal law are the two broad categories of law. Civil laws mainly focus on legal controversies and monetary damages. Criminal law, on the other hand, involves serious crimes.

Penalties for breaking criminal law are unlike in the case of civil law, which involve forfeiture of a convict’s rights and imprisonment. With these consequences, it is prudent to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Provo to ensure you get an acquittal when faced with a criminal offense charge.

Here are different categories of criminal law based on their severity.

1. Infractions

At times referred to as petty offenses, an infraction is a violation of municipal code, ordinance, and administrative regulation. Under some jurisdictions, this includes local traffic, and state rules.

These offenses are punishable by fines and no incarceration. When used as a punishment, incarceration is typically for a limited period. Disorderly conduct, DUI, and petty theft are some common types of infractions.

2. Misdemeanors

These crimes are more serious compared with infractions. They are punishable by incarceration at a local county jail or through fines.

Deception, theft, stalking, gross indecency and aggravated assault are common criminal offenses in this category. Experts typically regard misdemeanors as crimes of moral turpitude, unlike infractions. Misdemeanor convictions might hence reduce your chances of getting a good job or a scholarship.

3. Felony

This is the most severe criminal offense. A felony is punishable by a fine and incarceration of more than a year. A felony conviction is also grounds for deportation in the case of immigrants.

Felonies include arson, rape, robbery, terrorism, treason, and kidnapping. Felonies in most states have a three-strike law, which stipulates a life sentence for anyone convicted of a felony thrice.

These classifications of criminal law affect not only the punishment for the crime but also their prosecution. Felony charges, for instance, require an indictment or preliminary hearing, unlike other criminal offenses. Juries are also typically reserved for felonies and serious misdemeanors.

More Americans May Rush Their Divorce Due to Tax Changes

Divorce agreement contract with couple fighting over moneyA spike in divorce cases could occur across the country within the next several months, mostly because they would want to avoid being subject to a new rule on alimony payments.

By 2019, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will no longer deduct alimony from a paying spouse’s income. This will repeal a 76-year-old rule that has required the recipient to pay the taxes on alimony.

Divorce rush

If you live in New York, the need for divorce mediation by Long Island lawyers will be more relevant if you want to expedite the process of negotiations. Once the tax changes take effect, however, it may lead to messier court battles just because of disagreement over alimony payments.

Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, head of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, believes this will be the scenario. Since men comprise the majority of paying spouses, the tax changes will prompt them to settle on a lower figure. On the other hand, their wives’ lawyers may argue their case for a higher settlement in front a judge, Marzano-Lesnevich said.

State capitals

A possible impact of the new rules on alimony payments could lead to a lower divorce rate in states such as New York. An analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey showed that Hudson ranked as the divorce capital of the state.

The city had a divorce rate of 16.7% in the last two years, while the state’s divorce rate reached 8.7%. Married couples accounted for more than 29% of the state population. The survey based its findings on a study of divorce cases among couples between 15 years old and above.

You should consult with a lawyer and find out how the new alimony system will affect your income. For now, your best course of action would be to hasten the divorce process before Dec. 31.

Instances When a Child Support Order May Be Changed

Photo of family

Photo of familyCircumstances in life change and even if your child support order was formally established, you still have a chance to have the details adjusted. Whether you need to have the particulars of the child support order modified for a short while or permanently, there has to be evidence that your circumstances have changed.

Increase in Responsibilities

The requirements of children increase as they age. For instance, some might begin participating in activities such as sports, while others might start wearing braces.

The custodial parent should engage the services of family lawyers in Wellington. They will facilitate your request for more support for the increasing needs of your growing children adequately.

Reduced Income

It is not unusual to find one spouse losing their primary source of income after receiving the child support order. When this happens, the custodial parent might require having the amount of child support as indicated in the initial order reviewed.

Likewise, if the parent who pays the child support is no longer able to fulfill their obligation, they could seek to have the amount reduced.

Increase in Concurrent Obligations

If, for instance, you are the non-custodial parent and you remarry and have more children, it follows that you will have more responsibilities.

You might want to have your child support obligations reduced to sufficiently cater to the needs of your new family. This will help in maintaining a reasonable balance in both homes.

Substantial Increase in Income

You might discover that the parent responsible for paying child support has an increase in income, or they are potential beneficiaries for an inheritance. As such, you have the right to petition for an increase in child support. The percentage increase will be from the new source of income.

Child support modifications are vital as they help maintain the balance between two households sustained by a single breadwinner. After the establishment of the initial child support order, the circumstances of either parent might change.

For this reason, it would be helpful to have the child support order modified to make life easier for all the parties involved.

Methods of ‘’Dispensing of Administration’’ Used in Probate

property title being signedProbate is necessary if somebody passes away with property still legally titled in his/her name. It involves changing the deceased’s title into that of his/her heirs. Typical probate administration of a deceased’s estate requires the appointment of a personal representative.

In some methods, however, a personal representative is not appointed. These methods are collectively called ‘’dispensing of administration’’ and require the guidance of a probate lawyer in Denver or any other state to navigate. Below are the common methods of ‘dispensing of administration’ you might come across.

Small Estates

According to probate law, an attorney can opt for the small estate probate method if the decedent has up to $40000 in net assets, which should go through probate. The process is faster and simpler compared to a typical probate administration. Small estates with above $15000 in assets require publishing of a notice in the paper.

Refusal of Administration Letters

Surviving spouses, children, creditors, or dependents of the decedent can claim particular amounts of property using the process of ”refusal of letters”. In this process, the probate court neither appoints a personal representative nor open a standard probate estate administration. The title owned by the deceased passes on to the dependent, spouse, creditor, or children, depending on the asset amount set by the state.

Determination of Heirship

A personal representative in probate law is appointed within a year of the decedent’s death. If this is not done, your attorney can start a determination of heirship process to transfer the assets from the deceased’s name. A petitioner requests the probate court to determine the decedent’s heirs. The judge then decides who the inheritors are and what they should get.

For those who wish to use a ‘’determination of heirship’’ for real estate only, an ‘’affidavit of heirship’’ is ideal. For this option, you must name and locate all potential heirs. It works best if all spouses and potential heirs cooperate in the creation of the affidavit.

Skills You Need to be a Criminal Investigator

A law officer working

A law officer workingAs much as we like to believe there’s hope for humanity, the prevalence of crimes cannot be denied. Thankfully, science has advanced to the point that we can test evidence to prove a suspect’s involvement beyond a reasonable doubt. It’s an exciting field, and it’s not surprising if you would like to learn the basics of being an investigator yourself.

To get you started, know the skills you should have:

Diligence

There are online criminal investigation courses, so accessibility of information is not a problem. However, you do need to be diligent to learn the craft. It will not be enough to read through the suggested materials without taking in everything. You should also take the initiative to go beyond what is expected and ask questions when you are confused.

Presence of Mind

You will see details of a crime that are not released publicly, and some of them might be too much if you have a weak stomach. If you want to be in this kind of profession, you need to learn to keep your cool. Presence of mind is also important when you’re looking at an unfolding crime scene, and you need to take in as much of the details as possible. This is something you can start honing early on because it can be handy in real life too.

Attention to Detail

This goes well with having presence of mind because when you have a clear focus, you can see everything more clearly. It’s important to stay objective on the job; otherwise, certain details might trigger you and cause a bias in your perception. You should also be mindful of seeing one case after the other, as you could mix up important information and ruin the case.

It’s interesting that we know more about crime-solving and have handy tools at our disposal. To take full advantage of them, know the basics of criminal investigation.

Is There a Good Time to File for a Divorce?

couple consulting a divorce attorneyMarried couples in the U.S. typically seek legal counsel in January about the involved procedures of filing for a divorce, which led the month to become the unofficial “divorce season.”

Unlike in December, which has been dubbed the “engagement month,” divorce inquiries normally increase in January before reaching their peak in the next two months.

Post-Holiday Blues

Kathryn Smerling, a New York City-based psychotherapist, said that couples normally delay their pursuit of divorce until January due to the preceding holidays. Whether the children know something is amiss, their parents try to keep up a happy disposition throughout the festive season.

A reason for the delay involves indecision, as many remain uncertain how to handle child custody and financial issues, according to Smerling. In 2018, divorce may be more common among married couples in the U.S. due to the impending tax reforms by next year. The changes include alimony payments that will no longer be tax-deductible for paying spouses. For this reason, many will try to rush the divorce process to avoid such scenario.

In Colorado, those who plan to file for a dissolution of their marriage may consult with a Denver or Colorado Springs divorce lawyer, particularly when the issue is a complicated one.

The Long Case

While some Americans hurry to finalize their divorce, there are issues that cause it to drag on (and cost more), such as child custody and support, alimony, and division of property and debt. In fact, some issues go on even after you’re long divorced from your spouse. While you may file around January, it could take longer than you expect.

Legal counsel will be one of your first options before filing for a divorce. Have you found a good lawyer? They’re your key to filing a fast and (hopefully) less costly divorce.

 

3 Miranda Law Exceptions Everyone Should Know About

woman interrogated by the policeYou know, or must know, that a police officer should give the “Miranda Warning” before questioning you when you’re in custody. Otherwise, no one can use your statements, and all the proof obtained from the interrogation against you during a trial.

However, you should know that even the Miranda rights or rule comes with three major exemptions.

1. Emergency or Public Safety

Authorities could use all statements you make during interrogation, even if they haven’t read your Miranda rights to you, against you if the interrogation was required to protect the safety of the public and the officers.

For example, in a situation where there’s a looming threat to public safety, such as a suspected terrorist attack, and police officers are trying to determine where the imminent attack is going to occur or where terrorists left a bomb, officers could continue interrogation, explains a defense attorney in Kent.

This also applies even if you’ve already invoked your Miranda rights because they could still use your statements against you in court.

2. The Informant

Confessions or statements obtained from paid informants or undercover agents such jailhouse informants, even if the government employs and pays them, do not violate the Miranda rights.

The reason for this is that there’s no coercion or intimidation involved because the suspect was not aware an undercover informant was interrogating him or her.

3. Standard Booking Questions

The Miranda rights only apply to interrogations while in custody and not before. This means that until the interrogation starts, the law enforcement officers are not legally obliged to Mirandize you. With this in mind, what exactly is interrogation?

Essentially, any questions about personal identification, such as your name, address, and birthdate isn’t part of the actual interrogation, so nobody has to Mirandize you to answer these questions.

On the other hand, once an officer starts asking you questions that might incriminate you in a crime, that’s when the interrogation begins. You need to get Mirandized before then, or else they can’t use any statement you make during the interrogation against you.

Note that courts vary on how they might apply these Miranda rights exemptions, and the laws might also differ from state to state and between federal and state courts.

With that said, if you’re facing a criminal charge, work with an experienced defense attorney so that you could fully understand the laws that apply to your case, your rights, and the options available to you.

What to Do when Preparing for Divorce

Divorce agreement paperwork being signedA divorce lawyer will give you proper legal advice and will represent you in court. Unfortunately, the lawyer who served as the mediator during the mediation process cannot represent you or your partner in a divorce trial. You may want to get referrals from family and friends when looking for a divorce attorney. The Burnham Law Firm, P.C. recommends consulting with divorce attorney in Denver.

Do Research

Divorce is common nowadays but many do not understand the process as it is complicated and involves different aspects of family law. It is best to start preparing by doing research on it. You can read articles online or see a divorce attorney. It also helps to take notes on important things such as documents to prepare.

Prepare All Documents

Prepare all the documents you need even before the divorce process takes place. This includes financial records like credit cards and bank accounts statements, retirement records, insurance policies, and pay stubs. You should also make a list of all the assets and debts attained during the marriage, as well as you and your partner’s income and expenses.

Be Financially Ready

Divorce is a long, demanding, and expensive process. You have to be financially ready for it. Make sure you have a steady source of income beforehand.

Be Emotionally Prepared

Divorce is emotionally stressful. Understand the healing process and its five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It may help talk to a divorce therapist. You can also open up to family members and friends about.

Divorce does not always mean failure. At times, it is the better thing to do than staying together. Regardless, you should prepare yourself for it. You have to know the ins and outs of the process and be financially, physically, and emotionally ready.

Untying the Knot: Setting Objectives in Divorce Settlement

divorce decree documentFiling for a divorce is not only about legally severing a marital tie with another person. There are other things to think about, such as your assets, finances, properties, and children. It’s likely that your life is going to be different during the process and after everything is finalized. This makes it important to have a clear idea of what you want to achieve in the settlement.

Striving to be Fair

Being realistic when setting your objectives is advisable. Keep in mind that when your case goes to court, the judge will strive to be fair to both parties. You cannot expect the judge to favor one spouse unless there’s a valid reason for doing so. Matthewsfamilylawyers.com and other family law attorneys note that the court will look at each party’s needs to continue with their lives and focus on the best interest of kids.

No Blaming

Remember that the court is also not interested why the two of you broke up or who is to blame. It’s easy to believe that you deserve more because of your ex’s mistakes and behavior. If the court will handle the case, they would take an unbiased view of the situation, particularly if kids are involved. They will also consider your current and future needs.

Clarity Matters

Being clear about your objectives and minimize further conflicts and misunderstanding. This will help your lawyer understand what you are looking and want to achieve. You also need to agree with your attorney on how to approach decisions in the divorce process. If there’s something that matters to you but isn’t financially significant, make sure that your lawyer knows about it.

When setting your objectives and making decisions, it is best to listen to what your lawyer is telling you. Keep in mind that they’re experts in divorce law and its processes. If your lawyer thinks that you are being unreasonable or unrealistic, be sure to value that advice. Experienced and reliable lawyers have your interests at heart.