If I Don’t Agree With The Alimony Judgement, Can I Refuse To Pay?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Being forced by the court to pay your ex for alimony is certainly not the most fun thing to do. After separation, the topic of alimony can be a heated one. Especially since most couples who go their separate ways don’t want to be reminded of their ex and the last thing they want is to give them some of their money. But, the court may have determined that one person has to pay their ex alimony as a way to help the other get back onto their feet. Here we have explained why refusing to pay out of spite may end up making things worse for you in the end: 

What can I do if I think the ruling is unfair?

One thing most of us learn in life is that things aren’t always fair. If one ex isn’t happy with the verdict, instead of just refusing to pay they can appeal the judgement. It isn’t a good idea to purposefully halt payments if the outcome didn’t pan out in your favor. Failing to pay alimony after being enforced by the court may result in indirect civil contempt of court, losing your license, or even being viewed as in criminal contempt of court in some states. 

What if I can’t pay the alimony amount?

If failing to pay alimony occurs, the court may take into consideration whether that person makes enough money to afford such payments. The more severe punishments are typically reserved for exes who don’t pay but make well more than enough to satisfy the payment terms established by the court. Not paying one or a couple payments due to timing or paperwork errors is usually forgiven by the court.

However, if it appears that you are attempting to deceive the court and/or your former spouse, then chances are they won’t be very kind when it comes to repercussions. If you contact the court and notify them that you are struggling to make payments, then it shows the court you are trying to be transparent and do what you can to abide by alimony terms. 

Can I return to court to request modification?

An experienced family law lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA, like from Robinson & Hadeed, can help you request a modification for alimony. Keep in mind that you will need to make a strong case for yourself as to why the adjustment is necessary. Be prepared to bring documentation that supports your claims and what amount you would be able to pay on a recurring basis. Some common reasons why alimony gets approved for modification include:

  • The former spouse got a new job and is now self-sufficient
  • The former spouse used to earn less during the marriage, and now earns more than the other
  • The former spouse is now living with a new partner and has someone to help support living expenses
  • The paying spouse cannot financially afford payments due to a change in job, medical condition, or injury 

What Is Equitable Distribution?

Personal Injury Lawyer

“Equitable distribution” is a legal term that comes into play when you get a divorce. What it means is that the property settlement you and your soon-to-be former spouse agree to must treat both of you fairly and impartially. Most states require this kind of a property settlement agreement.

If you live in one of the following states, however, equitable distribution is not an issue:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

These states are community property states, meaning that all marital property must be divided equally between spouses during a divorce. If you live in Alaska, you have the option of designating your marital property as community property.

How Equitable Distribution Works

If your state requires equitable distribution, you have a great deal of leeway in how you construct your property settlement agreement. You can take many things into consideration, including the following:

  • Whether one of you incurs substantial health care and prescription drug costs due to a chronic disease or medical condition
  • Whether this medical condition prevents the affected spouse from working
  • Whether one of you earns significantly more than the other
  • Whether one of you pays child support to a former spouse or partner
  • Whether one of you has an alcohol, drug, or gambling problem that causes you to dissipate assets

In other words, your property settlement need not make anything approaching an equal distribution of your marital property in order to be fair and equitable. Your own unique situation dictates which of you gets what.

Separate Property

Keep in mind that your separate property, also called nonmarital property, plays no part in your property settlement agreement whether you live in a community property or equitable distribution state. Separate property includes such things as the following:

  • Any property you acquired or owned before your marriage
  • Any property you received as an inheritance during your marriage
  • Any property you received as a personal gift during your marriage, including gifts your spouse gave you

This property is and remains yours and yours alone.

Obtaining Legal Help

Given that constructing a fair and equitable property settlement agreement can become quite complex and complicated, you would do well to retain an experienced lawyer, like a family lawyer from Scroggins Law Group, before attempting to put one together. You definitely need the advice and counsel of a competent attorney before agreeing to any property settlement your spouse urges you to sign. Your attorney knows the laws of your particular state and can protect your rights. He or she can also advise you of the tax consequences of various property settlement provisions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Truck Accidents

Truck Accident Lawyer

Most often, truck accidents end up with severe consequences. Because of the size of the vehicles and the weight they carry, they can cause more serious damage than other traffic accidents. If you were in a truck accident, you might have some questions that need to be answered.

What Kind of Truck Is Considered “Big?”

In the legal world, when someone is referring to an accident with a big truck, he or she is referring to a semi-truck. Some other names these types of vehicles could go by include big-rigs, log haulers, tractor-trailers, tanker trucks, concrete trucks, chemical tankers and other similar names. This isn’t referring to a pickup truck, regardless of the size.

What Should I Do After a Big Truck Accident?

If you are in an accident with a big truck, there’s a high possibility you’ll be injured. You should seek medical attention right away. If you are able, you should collect any evidence you can while at the scene, but this should only come second to medical care. After you are in a healthier position, you can begin to contact insurance companies and lawyers to help you seek for what you deserve.

Is There Anyone To Sue After a Truck Accident?

There are typically a lot of entities and individuals that could be involved in big truck accidents. You may be able to sue the truck driver if he or she was negligent. You might be able to sue the trucking company or the owner of the truck. A truck manufacturer or another driver on the road could be the cause of the accident, and you could file your lawsuit against him or her. There are a lot of possibilities, and your lawyer can help you pinpoint who is to blame.

Does the Statute of Limitations Apply to Truck Accidents?

Yes, the statute of limitations does apply to truck accidents. It’s important you learn what your state’s statute is so you get your claim filed on time. In some states you have three years, while others might allow up to five, and some only allow one year. Each circumstance is different, and you need to be sure so you don’t miss your opportunity to seek compensation.

Getting the Answers to All Your Questions

If you still have more questions about truck accidents, you can typically find the answers from a legal professional. Contact a truck accident lawyer, like from MartinWren, P.C., today to learn more.

The Unique Issues in a Semi-Truck Crash

Truck Accident Lawyer

A car accident can prove detrimental to property and person. The damage inflicted may range from minor all the way up to a complete loss for both vehicle and body. Some of the most devastating vehicular crashes involve semi-trucks. These large vehicles are heavy and the forces involved in a collision often leave cars damaged beyond recognition and the occupants disabled or dead. There are other unique issues that go along with semi-trucks crashes, making the process for recovery even longer. Discover some of the reasons why truck accidents are difficult to move along.

Truckers Work for Companies

While semi drivers may be independent in some respects, in others, they are not. Some work for themselves, but most haul goods for larger companies. These trucking companies usually carry insurance on their rigs and drivers. However, this is not always adequate to cover a crash, especially one where people are killed. Truckers should also carry insurance on themselves to ensure that they and their families are protected should there be an accident.

Federal Regulations Dictate the Rules

The trucking industry is an essential business. It is responsible for transporting goods from the port of entry out to where consumers may purchase them. The federal government has rules and procedures in place to ensure that truckers operate these large vehicles safely. One thing is the amount of time a trucker may drive before taking a mandatory rest period. While recent changes have lifted some of these regulations, they are still in place to keep truckers and other drivers safer.

Investigation Procedures Take Time

The investigation of a fatal crash is normally handled by the police who have jurisdiction in the area. Trucking accidents are different in that there are other agencies that may come in to comb the scene for evidence and examine the vehicles involved. This investigation may become protracted and lead to long delays in handling a claim against the truck driver, trucking company and the appropriate insurance companies. There are times when the federal regulators will also need to investigate a crash, hampering the proceedings even more.

Luckily, a truck accident lawyer, like from MartinWren, P.C., is at the ready to help in the unfortunate aftermath of a semi-truck crash. This type of attorney specializes in dealing with the unique circumstances involved in a crash investigation. Finding someone local may provide the most help when looking to recover in the wake of the devastation this type of accident often causes.

Alimony and Divorce Basics

Personal Injury Lawyer

No one plans for divorce when getting married. The statistics say that around half of marriages will result in divorce at some point in their lives. That means 1 in every 2 people will need a lawyer in the future to represent their divorce case. If you or a friend or family member is heading towards divorce, it can help to get advice from a lawyer from the very start. A lawyer can protect your interests during one of the most complicated and sensitive legal processes. With emotions running high and worries for the future, it makes sense that someone would find reassurance from a lawyer who is familiar with divorce cases. 

How do I know whether I will have to pay alimony?

Spousal support, or otherwise called alimony, is not automatically enforced in most states. However, it can be ordered by a court judge based on specific circumstances. If a spouse is going to endure significant hardships without monetary support, then spousal support is likely to be considered. The ultimate deciding factor depends on what degree the spouse needs help in order to have a reasonable standard of living. The law does recognize that a spouse should not be compulsory as a result of the marriage ending. Alimony is unlikely to be approved if any of the following apply:

  • Both spouses are self-sufficient and employed
  • The duration of the marriage was less than 2-3 years
  • If the spouses can agree on alimony, then it would just need final approval from the family court judge

What does a marital settlement agreement consist of?

Essentially, a settlement agreement for divorce is going to list the terms of the separation. These terms often cover property division, plans for children, alimony, child custody, and other issues that are relevant for their divorce. The spouses can either arrange the terms of the settlement between themselves, or have a family court judge decide for them. Most spouses will be motivated to be amicable when they realize that it’s either they reach a solution together, or a court judge who isn’t in their shoes will be deciding for them.

Does reconciliation happen and can a divorce be cancelled?

Yes, marriage reconciliation does and can happen. and your spouse can cancel the divorce even if papers have been already filed. What you would need to do is request a divorce dismissal from the county clerk before a judgement has been entered. The court may send each spouse paperwork to complete, in which both would have to sign the divorce dismissal form. 

Anyone who has ever said that divorce was easy has probably never actually been through one. Thankfully, there are legal professionals who understand how difficult this life transition can be, even when things are amicable. Consider reaching out to a divorce attorney in Staten Island, NY, such as from Kleyman Law Firm, for insight if you anticipate divorce is on the horizon. 

What if my trademark is refused or opposed by another party?

Personal Injury Lawyer

You’ve applied for a trademark, and you’re eagerly awaiting a response from the USPTO. You’re certain everything will be okay because you performed an extensive search for pre-existing marks that are the same or similar. You believe your mark is strong, unique, and overall perfect. Then, you get a reply that is not what you wanted. Rather than your application being met with little resistance, it came with challenges and hurdles that you are now trying to figure out how to overcome. 

When your trademark application has been denied, opposed, or met with some other obstacle in the way from getting you an approval, you should consult an intellectual property lawyer. 

Trademark Refusal and Appeals

If the USPTO refuses your trademark application, it is your right to appeal.This is done through a process that requires you to present your appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Like other intellectual property procedures, appealing a trademark refusal is complicated. In general, you want an intellectual property lawyers’ assistance. Our firm has handled many appeals over the last few years. We can explain what is going on and help you to determine whether you should pursue an appeal. 

Opposition from Another Party

If your trademark is accepted, you must clear another hurdle. Each week, the USPTO will publish your trademark in their Official Gazette online. This is a notification to the public regarding your trademark. Once it is published, there is a 30 day period in which the public can object to your trademark. In general, an objection occurs when the mark is similar to another mark and could cause confusion. If this should occur, you would likely need to attend a proceeding with the Board to determine the fate of your trademark. 

Should the 30 day period pass, and there is no objection to it from the public, your trademark will become registered. However, it is possible for a third party to initiate a cancellation proceeding which is similar to an opposition. If you’re in either situation, you may want to ask an intellectual property lawyer for assistance. 

Maintaining Your Mark

Once your mark has been approved and registered, every few years you will need to file various documents with the USPTO. It is also possible, after so long, to ask the USPTO to make your trademark registration incontestable. This is a process that strengthens your mark.

Let an Attorney Help You

Whether you would like to apply for a trademark, file an appeal, or recieve a trademark audit, an intellectual property lawyer can help you. Their services are typically broad, and will include:

  • Trademark search
  • Filing for a trademark
  • Communicating with the USPTO
  • Appeal a trademark refusal
  • Fighting for trademark rights in the event of a dispute
  • Trademark litigation

A lawyer can help you with just about any task related to trademarks and intellectual property. To get started, call a trademark lawyer, like from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC

How Does Helmet Law Affect Your Motorcycle Claim?

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Everyone knows that helmets can decrease the likelihood of traumatic brain injuries and other head injuries during a motorcycle crash. However, if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of your crash, this doesn’t mean that you were at fault. How does helmet law affect your car accident claim?

What Are the Helmet Laws?

Every state has its helmet laws, regarding motorcycles. In the 1960s, the federal government did require states to have motorcycle helmet laws to qualify for highway funds. However, in 1976, the government was no longer allowed to penalize states for a lack of compliance with helmet safety laws. Most states have some form of helmet law, but not all of the laws are as strict as others.

New Hampshire is the only state that does not have any motorcycle law at all. Some states restrict certain riders but not others. To find out about your specific state’s laws on motorcycle helmet use, it is important to discuss it with a lawyer.

Do Helmet Laws Matter?

After an accident, if your state has a motorcycle helmet law, you could have a citation for breaking the law. This can also affect your motorcycle accident claim. When you file a lawsuit against another driver, you are saying that he or she is responsible for your injuries. In some states, there are comparative negligence laws. This law states that you cannot sue someone or recover any compensation if the person is less to blame for your injuries than you are.

If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your accident and suffered a severe head injury, there may be some question as to how liable the other driver is. Now, of course, if the other driver was driving recklessly and caused the accident, odds are he or she is more at fault than you are for the accident itself. However, if your injuries would have been milder if you had been wearing a helmet, then the law will take that into account.

If you weren’t wearing a helmet at the time of your accident, you could still have a claim against the other driver. If you were injured due to his or her negligence, then you can still file a claim because you weren’t at fault. To find out more about how to pursue your claim, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer, like from Martin Wren, P.C., as soon as possible for a consultation.

What Can I Do About My Debt?

Personal Injury Lawyer

There are a lot of steps you can take to manage and even eliminate your debt before filing for bankruptcy. 

Get Organized

Whether it’s a little bit of debt or a lot, it can be easy to just turn a blind eye rather than face real financial consequences. Do not do this! The best way to manage your debt is to be knowledgeable about it, so get organized. Know how much you owe and to whom. Make a spreadsheet and for each debt list the following:

  1. The creditor
  2. The total amount of debt
  3. The monthly payment
  4. The due date

If you are feeling overwhelmed by this task, just take a look at your credit report. It will do the majority of this work for you. Update your list every few months as the total amount of your debt fluctuates. 

Next, make a budget and pay your bills on time each month. Decide which debts to pay off first and make more than the minimum payment if possible. You can only pay as much on your debt as you can afford. If, after getting organized, you find it hard to pay all or some of your bills each month, consider debt relief.

Debt Relief

It goes by many names: debt relief, debt settlement, debt reduction, debt negotiation, debt resolution, etc. But debt relief applies only to unsecured debt, which is a debt that is not secured by collateral, like credit cards and certain types of loans.

Settlements are negotiated with the creditors in an attempt to lower the amount of debt due. Once an agreement is met, the terms of the debt relief are put into a contract. Often, the creditor will forgive a large part of the debt in return for a one lump-sum payment in exchange for the debt to be considered cancelled and the matter closed.

Bankruptcy

If you find yourself owing more money to creditors than you have, or can foreseeably earn, it may be time to consider bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 is the most commonly filed bankruptcy amongst individuals. The assets you own will be liquidated and used to pay off your debts. After that, the bankruptcy is usually dismissed. Chapter 7 is often referred to as a “fresh start.”

If you don’t qualify for a Chapter 7, you may be eligible for a Chapter 13, also known as the “wage earner” bankruptcy, because you must have a reliable source of income to file for it. Your finances are reorganized into a plan that allows you to pay back creditors over three to five years while maintaining control and ownership of your assets. 

Hire a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer to assist you is one of the most important steps in successfully settling a debt, filing for bankruptcy, and avoiding legal consequences. If you are interested in learning more about debt relief, contact an experienced lawyer, like a Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyer from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC, for a free initial consultation.

Toxic Mold Injuries

Personal Injury Lawyer

Toxic mold is a hazard, and according to new studies and claims, this is not going to change. Just because the toxic mold is a new type of hazard does not mean that it should not be taken seriously. Mold has the ability to advance by way of the moisture inside of your home, or simply any building. Mold can form in your basement, attic, or inside of your walls. There are several reasons why moisture may build up in your house. Moisture can build up in your home due to a matter regarding plumbing, or weather conditions can begin to affect your home. 

Mold in the Home

It’s imperative that renters and homeowners know that the mold is powerful enough to feed through the wallboard and other things in the house that make the air warmer. These things make the growth of the mold faster and more negatively impactful. Unfortunately, mold issues in the home can lead to health problems. These same health problems have the ability to stop people from going to work and make it difficult for a person to live a normal, healthy life if these problems aren’t treated medically and the mold issue is not resolved expeditiously.

Health Issues Caused By Mold

People who have been seriously exposed to the absorption of mold have been hurt, could have contracted a lung disease or a respiratory infection, and even put others such as guests in danger as well. In the event that you or someone you know has suffered a health issue due to mold exposure, you must find an attorney who will have a well-spoken way to their rights as a resident or a renter. Make sure the mold issue has been reported to a person who has a duty to fix it. In the event that the request has been ignored, he or she can be held responsible for your illness or injury. 

Contact an Attorney

In some cases, mold may damage furniture or items of clothing, and they will be responsible for replacing that as well. If a person is held accountable for breathing the mold toxins because of where they work or live, then there might have to be a civil suit to resolve the matter. If it is seen that the people who are in charge of the injuries due to mold acted carelessly, then those people will be the ones who are defendants in your lawsuit. Since the cases of mold are growing, talking with an attorney helps you make the situation clear that other people didn’t really care about it or take the mold seriously. Contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from the law office of Andrew R. Lynch, for more information today. 

Why Both Parties Should Seek Legal Representation in a Divorce

Divorce is difficult. While it may seem easy to sign a few documents and have a judge stamp his or her approval, there are timelines and requirements to consider. Also, all marital assets, including property, finances, children, and investments, must be determined and assigned. Therefore, while it is often tempting to settle a divorce without the expense of lawyers, you almost always need representation, especially if there are any discrepancies in property or custody. There are at least five reasons both parties should hire a lawyer.

  1. Deadlines, Jargon, and Negotiations

The court system is bureaucratic and dependent on deadlines and paperwork. It is challenging to keep track of everything during a divorce, which is why an attorney comes in handy. They also understand all the legal jargon that is likely to be thrown your way over the next month or so. Finally, a lawyer is well-suited for negotiations and legal disputes.

  1. Professional Relationships

Since a lawyer spends their days working with other divorce attorneys and within the court system, they develop several professional relationships. The relationships they establish can help to move divorce proceedings along, especially when they are familiar with the way the opposition builds a claim.

  1. Unbiased Opinions

Your attorney has no skin in the game. They want to get you the best deal they can without compromising your rights. Since they are an unbiased third-party, they often have a clearer understanding of your divorce than you. They will be able to tell you what of your expectations are realistic or not.

  1. Professional Demeanor

When people attempt to settle their divorce without attorneys, it can get messy. It is hard for a former couple to eliminate blame or accusation from the process, which causes unrest and frustration. A lawyer can present your side of an argument while maintaining professionalism, which helps move the proceedings along.

  1. Protection of Your Rights

If your former partner hires an attorney and you do not, then you risk losing some of your rights in the process. A lawyer only represents one half of the divorce, which means that your former partner’s attorney is only looking out for their client’s best interest. Do not risk your rights; hire an attorney.

Divorce proceedings are complicated and can be tiring. Hiring an attorney is often in both party’s best interest, ensuring that each of you gets a deal you can live with. Contact an attorney, like a family attorney from Scroggins Law Group, to discuss your case.