Is it Illegal to Spy on my Cheating Spouse?

You will likely feel hurt and betrayed if you suspect that your spouse is cheating on you. This is a perfectly understandable feeling to have. Despite this, you may act irrationally due to the emotions you are experiencing. For example, when it comes to obtaining information regarding your spouse that is incriminating, you may attempt to go outside of what is within the confines of the law.


Cell Phone Wiretaps

You could be at risk of criminal and civil charges if you are caught making efforts to record conversations your spouse is having. Some states may require that both parties consent to the recording while others may only require the consent of one person. The recording may be admissible in court if you were not part of the conversation that you recorded of your spouse.


Email Accounts

These days, accessing the email account of your spouse is quite easy. If the password saved automatically, you may be able to get into the email account through the use of your computer. However, you could face criminal charges if you access an email account without the person’s permission.  


Text Messages

Advances in technology allow you to use your computer or smartphone to download text message from your spouse’s phone. With certain software, you may even be able to access text messages that have been deleted. If you do not own the phone, it may be illegal to obtain these text messages from your spouse’s device. In court, these text messages may not be admissible.


Tracking Your Spouse with GPS

There could be legal ramifications for putting a GPS tracker on your spouse’s vehicle to gather information regarding where they may be going. You could face serious criminal charges if the vehicle is owned or leased by your spouse. According to community property law, you do not have the right to track your spouse’s vehicle with a GPS tracker.  

When it come to wiretapping laws, they must be followed, even if you are going through a divorce. Your spouse has the right to bring forth civil or even criminal charges if you attempt to illegally gather information. Lack of awareness does not mean that you will be exonerated from breaking the law. Prior to gathering any evidence against your cheating spouse, it will be important that you meet with a divorce attorney. A family lawyer Arizona residents turn to can provide you with legal advice that will ensure that you do not break the law trying to gather evidence against your cheating spouse.

 


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hildebrand Law for their insight into family law.

 

When To Choose Divorce Court Over Mediation

Divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. Sometimes, the stress and heartache can be mitigated if both parties want and agree to settle it civilly. However, there are cases when settling a divorce in court may be more advisable than seeking a divorce through mediation. Here are some cases where divorce court would be the ideal option.

A Combative Partner

If one party in the case is particularly combative, you may have no logical choice other than divorce court. In more dramatic cases, volatile clients might have retained a divorce lawyer who also aggressively pursues every remedy possible, to the extent that peaceful negotiations are not feasible. This mixture of an angry spouse with an aggressive lawyer can make mediation impossible.

Spouse Using Divorce Court as Revenge

It’s no secret that divorce court can require a lot of time, money, and energy that you might not have. Some particularly malevolent spouses may leverage this, making the divorce proceedings as lengthy and time-consuming as possible, to “get back at” their partner. If one party insists on using court and refuses mediation, divorce court is the only option left.

The Other Spouse is Absent

The previous two examples happen frequently. Perhaps a more rare occurrence is that one of the parties simply leaves town and doesn’t come back. In this case, divorce proceedings may still occur, but mediation requires that both parties are present. If your spouse leaves and does not return, you will need to get a divorce court judge to dissolve your marriage. While this can be annoying, it’s significantly less stressful and time-consuming than some other divorce court situations.

Spouse Attempts to Manipulate Mediation Efforts

If your spouse is particularly dishonest, they might take advantage of the more casual atmosphere of mediation and lie about key facts. Mediation requires a “good faith” effort from both parties in order to be fair and effective. More manipulative parties can create costly fabrications that would be perjury if done in divorce court. In these scenarios, the more reasonable spouse may be the one requesting divorce court over mediation in order to avoid losses that will be difficult, if not impossible, to recover later.

Physical Danger Present

Your safety is paramount at all times. Because mediation is less structured, it’s riskier to negotiate with a spouse who has previously been convicted or accused of domestic violence. Even though divorce court is more costly, it provides more physical security and fewer opportunities for a violent spouse to attack.

In most cases, mediation is advised if it’s possible. Some of the benefits of mediation include:

  • Much smaller fiscal burden
  • More peaceful proceedings
  • Matter is kept completely confidential

Regardless of whether you choose mediation or a court proceeding for a divorce, getting counsel from a divorce lawyer in Bloomington IL is always a good idea.

 


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into divorce.

 

5 Common Accident Scenarios Involving Trucks and Cars

Distracted drivers, drivers running red lights and loss of control while speeding are common reasons why cars are involved in accidents.  When large trucks and cars are involved in accidents, there are different risk factors to consider.

Fatigued Truck Drivers

Truck drivers are under strict orders to get materials to their destination in a timely manner.  Also, some truck drivers are compensated by the mileage the cover.  These factors are common reasons why truck drivers will continue to drive even when they have not had adequate rest.  This lack of rest leads to the drivers making poor decisions, having a delayed reaction and in some cases, driving recklessly.  If you experience a truck driver veering into your lane, appearing dazed or anything unusual, you should do one or all of the following:

  • Notice the location on the highway where the truck driver is and call 911 and report
  • Signal to the driver that they may want to pull over
  • Honk your horn
  • Get away from the truck

Poor Road Conditions

It is always recommended that you stay a safe distance (at least 5 seconds) from a truck driving on wet and/or icy roads.  As these conditions are risky for any driver, they are especially dangerous for large truck drivers.  These types of road conditions can cause large trucks to possibly veer into other lanes as well as spin out of control.  The weight and size of the vehicles, along with having 18 wheels to control make it very hazardous.

Blind Spots

A study conducted in 2015 revealed that there were 3,850 fatalities reported in which the accident involved a large truck while 69% of those fatalities involved occupants of the small car.  While small cars have blind spots, they are not the same as blind spots of a large truck.  Beside the right door of the truck, behind the truck and in front of the truck are blind spots that most small vehicle operators are not aware of.  Therefore, it is advised that drivers avoid these areas around large trucks for long periods of time.

Hasty Lane Changes

For the small vehicle operator and the truck driver, changing lanes should be proceeded with caution.

Due to the massive blind spots that the large truck driver has, it is always possible that he can’t see the small vehicle while making a lane change and cause an accident.  Also, it is not wise for the small car driver to change lanes too quickly when a large truck is involved, for theses same reasons.

Right Turning Truck

Large trucks are big as well as long and require more space when making turns.  In order for the large truck driver to make a right turn, he needs to swing wide which will steer him into the lane to his left.  If you encounter a large truck with his right turn signal on while you are intending to make a right turn yourself, you should be aware of this, otherwise, it is quite possible that your car will be side swiped by the truck as he swings back to his right to complete his turn.

If you have been injured by a truck, be sure to contact a pedestrian accident lawyer Salt Lake City UT residents depend on today.

 


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into truck and car accidents.

 

Things to Consider When Going Through a Divorce

Ending a marriage is never easy. Regardless of the reason for getting divorced, it is an emotional and complex ordeal for everyone involved. Becoming consumed by the hardships of divorce can often distract you from the legal matters at hand. There are a number of important life components that are impacted by a divorce. Amid the chaos and emotional roller coaster you will want to keep a clear enough mind to ensure you make decisions that are best for the future of you and those around you. The following are some of the things to consider when proceeding with the divorce process.


Children

If you have children, then they are probably your biggest concern as you and your spouse dissolve the marriage. Minor children, especially, are directly impacted by a divorce. Even if you and your spouse are at complete odds, it is important to be civil and make decisions with their best interests in mind. To ensure the best for your children, you should consider and take care of the following issues as soon as the decision to divorce is made:

  • With who and where will the children stay? If possible, you and your spouse should make this decision together rather than taking it to court. Unless one parent is unfit to care for the children, shared custody is usually best for children. If you and your spouse will live in different geographical regions, then you will need to decide where the children will primarily live and go to school.
  • Who will pay for what? Child support can be necessary if one parent makes less money than the other or if one parent has primary custody. Again, this issue can be settled outside of court with the other parent.
  • How will you tell the children? It is best to plan a time where you and your spouse can sit down and tell the children together in a civil manner. You should have all the details worked out at this point so your children are not involved in any of the stress. This is a difficult time for children, so you should do whatever you can to help them cope


Assets

When you go through a divorce, you and your spouse will have to divide your assets and belongings. This can be a stressful ordeal, especially if there are large disparities in earnings or disagreements on who gets what. The following are things to consider:

  • Understand the laws in your state and any agreements that may have been made before or during your marriage.
  • Determine what is marital property and what is separate property
  • Choose a date for asset valuation and run inventory of all marital property
  • Claim and divide personal and household goods
  • Determine if someone will receive real estate or if it will be sold
  • Determine how joint accounts and investments will be divided


Your New Life

While dealing with the legal issues and the emotional hardship, it hard to think beyond anything pertaining to the divorce. It’s important, however, to start thinking about and planning for your future. Unfortunately, the reality is that life as you know it is about to change, so it’s best to be prepared. While making decisions, you should also keep in mind what is best for you.

  • Decide on a new living situation. If you do not stay in the house you lived in with your spouse, you will need to find a new place. This may be in the same area or a new area, but it is important to have the arrangements ready for you, and any children involved, for once the divorce is finalized.
  • Figure out a new budget. You will no longer have the income of your spouse. If they made more money, you might need to budget better and reconsider some expenses. If you relied solely on your spouse’s income, then it may be time to search for a job. It also may be the case that either you or your spouse will be paying alimony, so that should also be factored in.
  • Take care of yourself. Don’t forget to give yourself a little TLC during and after this difficult time. You might consider putting more time into other relationships, such as with your children, friends, parents and other family. Finding new hobbies and pursuing interests can also be a way to help you cope and start a new life.


Contact a Divorce Lawyer

Because of all the complexities and stresses presented by divorce, it may be helpful to seek some legal support. An experienced divorce attorney Tampa Fl recommends can help review your situation, consider your options and determine the best course of action for you and your family.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from the McKinney Law Group for their insight into divorce.

 

Personal Injury 101

Personal injuries are a hardship that no one should have to face. Unfortunately, accidents happen and sometimes, they are the result of someone else’s negligent behavior. There are a number of factors that a victim of a person injury claim must contend with in the event that they choose to go through the court process. Personal injury attorneys play an important role in providing their clients with legal representation swiftly in order to help them to be awarded a fair settlement.

Types of Personal Injuries

There are a number of personal injuries that you could be susceptible to if you are in an accident. The injury you receive is really dependent on the accident that you are in. The most common types of personal injuries include:

  • Broken bones
  • Whiplash
  • Brain Injury
    1. Traumatic Brain Injury
    2. Concussion
    3. Contusion
  • Spine/Back Injuries that could result in paralysis
  • Internal Bleeding

How do I Prove Personal Injury?

There are several factors required in proving a personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney may be able to secure a settlement for you if you are successful in proving the following:

  • Duty of Care: When a person gets behind the wheel of a car or when a doctor patient relationship is established, there is a duty of care that they are responsible for. This means that they must act responsibly. For example, a driver of a motor vehicle upholds duty of care by abiding by traffic laws.
  • Violation of Duty of Care: A person may be found negligent for the accident that they caused if it is found that they did not uphold their responsibility to duty of care.
  • Causation: Essentially causation is when the accident was the result of a person’s negligent behavior, which ultimately led to the victim’s injuries.
  • Damages: This is the award that the victim is entitled to if the defendant is found negligent for their actions.

What Type of Damages Can I Collect?

If you have suffered an accident at the hands of another person, you may be entitled to damages if you are able to prove that the person was negligent. Damages that can be collected from a personal injury award include:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages
  • Loss of Future Wages
  • Expenses from altering your home if retro fitting your home is required
  • Pain and Suffering

When you are recovering from an injury, the thought of enduring a court process that has the potential of being long and drawn out, can feel especially daunting. Working with a trusted personal injury attorney such as the top motorcycle accident lawyer Las Vegas can be helpful when determining whether or not you should move forward with a lawsuit.

 

Thanks to authors at Nadia Von Magdenko & Associates for their insight into Personal Injury law.

 

Why should I hire a criminal defense lawyer if I’m charged with a DUI?

A Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offense is a serious charge and a conviction can be costly as well as result in significant jail time. During the legal process, it’s important to protect your rights. A DUI lawyer can consider your best interests while guiding you through the court system. A skilled DUI lawyer may be able to reduce your charge or have it reduced altogether.

Your Right to Legal Representation

When you are arrested, you have the right to seek legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, you might be eligible for the services of a public defender at no charge to you. You also have the right to hire a criminal defense lawyer.

Public Defenders

Public defenders are licensed attorneys who represent those who cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Due to most cities’ budget constraints, the public defender’s office is often overworked and their caseload per attorney is high. Unfortunately, this isn’t good for the defendants as they may not receive the focus and attention that their case demands for the best possible outcome. Though working with a public defender is better than representing yourself, it may not be an optimum solution.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

For many people who are charged with a serious crime such as a DUI, their main concern with hiring a criminal defense attorney is the cost. However, they may not qualify for the free services of a public defender. In addition, not hiring a DUI attorney can make all the difference in your case. In some instances, fines can run in the thousands of dollars. You might also lose your driver’s license which can affect your ability to commute to work and make a living. A DUI conviction might also affect your future job prospects, housing options, and personal relationships. Hiring a criminal defense attorney offers many advantages, including these:

  • Focus on you. A DUI criminal defense attorney can focus more time, energy, and resources to your case than the average public defender. You cannot choose your public defender, but you can choose your criminal defense attorney. Most will offer a free initial consultation, and during that meeting you can inquire about their caseload to verify that they can dedicate themselves to your case.
  • Experience. A DUI criminal defense attorney is familiar with motor vehicle laws, upcoming and new legislation, and police procedures involved with DUI arrests. A public defender, on the other hand, must represent their clients in many areas of the law. This makes it challenging for them to specialize in representing DUI defendants.
  • Knowledge. When you are arrested for a DUI, your license will be revoked and you will be granted a temporary driving permit which is meant to last until your trial. You will have a short time to request a hearing with the DMV to contest the suspension of your license. If you don’t do this, you can lose your license even if you are not convicted of the DUI. This, and other legal considerations are things your DUI criminal defense attorney such as the DUI lawyer Peoria IL locals trust will be aware of and can notify you about. A public defender may not know or have the time or resources to inform you of what you need to know.

 

Thanks to authors at Smith & Weer P.C. for their insight into Criminal Law.

Did your Parents Ever Forget about You? Repay the Favor with Knowledge

Many of us lead busy lives and may not check in our elderly parents as often as we should. We may be so overwhelmed with work and home responsibilities that we forget that our parents may need help. However, no matter how healthy your parent may seem, aging can takes its toll. It’s important for all of us to check in our parents from time to time.

All it takes is calling your parents or visiting them once a week. It takes just a little time out of your day and can give you a peace of mind that they are okay.

It may be in your best interest to speak to an estate planning attorney such as the estate planning attorney Scottsdale AZ locals trust about pre-planning documents such as Durable Power of Attorney’s, Medical Power of Attorneys or Declaration of Guardians.

Make the effort to learn more about managing health conditions in elderly people, like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Signs of these diseases include the inability to recognize oneself or family, difficulty communicating, groaning, moaning or grunting. Once your parents can’t do basic tasks by themselves, like taking showers or going to the bathroom, it is time to step in. If you make them realize that they require help now, they may be more likely to ask for it.

When our elderly parents have memory loss or get confused easily, it may be time to choose a power of attorney. However, if you do not have these documents together when your parents are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, you will have to seek Guardianship over your parents through the Courts.

Fortunately, you can help your parents with their needs without getting the courts involved. It may be a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your parents’ needs so that he or she can point you in the right direction. Your parents took good care of you when you were a child, so now it is your turn to take care of them.

If you visit your parents often and are willing to have these difficult conversations with them, you can avoid getting the court involved later. Talking about certain topics may be uncomfortable at first, but they are necessary. It’s important to look out for your parents’ best interests. If you have any more questions about this, set up a meeting with a qualified attorney.

 

Thanks to authors at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Estate Planning.

How Much is my Case Worth?

When you’ve been injured in an accident and decide to pursue a personal injury claim, you might wonder how much your case is worth. The best way to know how much your case is worth, is to know how much your “damages” are.

Damages is a legal term for the money awarded to a party in a lawsuit based on a monetized calculation of the injuries they sustained. Some injuries are easy to translate into money, for example, medical bills and lost wages already come with dollar amounts. Other injuries, like pain and suffering, can be a bit harder to monetize.

Special Damages

The damages that are easily calculable are often called Special Damages. These damages are easy to assign a dollar amount to because they are derived from things like:

  •   Automobile Repair Bills
  •   Medical Bills
  •   Future Medical Bills
  •   Therapy bills
  •   Lost wages (calculated from your salary)

Special damages are pulled straight from the actual dollar amounts assigned to your bills. If you want to know how much the Special Damages are worth in your case, you need only look at the actual numbers. Things are a little less clear when future costs must be calculated, but those numbers can be assessed through expert witnesses (professionals in their field) and past evidence (previous bills for example).

General Damages

General damages intend to compensate a party for loss or injury that is not easily calculable. Common general damages include:

  • Physical Pain and Suffering
  • Mental Pain and Suffering
  • Physical Disfigurement/Impairment
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Lower Quality of Life

The dollar amount awarded for general damages varies greatly from case to case. As a result, general damages are often estimated by using a “multiplier”.

The Multiplier

Used by insurance adjusters and juries alike, the multiplier is way to place a dollar value on General Damages. It begins by calculating all the Special Damages (the ones that already have numbers assigned to them) then multiplies that sum by a number between 1.5 and 5. Which number between 1.5 and 5 is used is often hotly debated. But the multiplier should be based upon other factors in the case, including the severity and longevity of the general damages.


A special thanks to our friends and contributors at Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insights.

 

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

When unmarried couple are deciding whether or not they should create an estate plan, they should keep in mind that it can offer just as many of the same goals and benefits as couples who are married. However, there are a few key differences, and this article will go into depth explaining them. Unmarried partners typically have no requirement that they must leave behind something to their significant other like married couples do. Married couples, who in most states, cannot completely cut their spouse out of an inheritance, have stricter rules because they are bound by law. A will for a single person (or a living trust in some cases) can list a non-spouse as a beneficiary of the estate, along with other blood relatives like parents and siblings. In a case where an unmarried couple is creating wills, those wills will not affect disposition of jointly owned homes and accounts.  That is because assets held in joint tenancy pass to the other tenant (the significant other in this case) when the other tenant passes away.  This tends to complicate matters even further, where a couple is not yet married but still owns assets jointly like a married couple would own them.


Things to Consider First

Obviously, an unmarried couple completing an estate plan would likely need their own separate advice and lawyer to represent their separate property plans for jointly held assets. Something else to consider is that setting up beneficiaries could be a vital mistake for an unmarried couple.  This is because unmarried couples tend to list each other as beneficiaries for life insurance but do not stop to think that if there is a breakup and the beneficiary is never changed, that long forgotten ex could end up receiving a windfall from being listed as the beneficiary on an insurance policy or bank account.  In many states, these beneficiary designations are considered contractual and unaffected by later failure in the relationship. An unmarried couple can also list each other as healthcare and financial power of attorney in case of incapacity.  Each person in the relationship should consider how well they know the financial aptitude and healthcare attitudes of their significant other, especially where the couple keeps their finances separate. Unmarried couples should also be sure to list alternates in place which would cover them in the event that there is a breakup subsequent to the documents being created.


Contact an Attorney

If you are not married and are considering creating an estate plan, you should reach out to an estate planning attorney today such as the estate planning attorney Scottsdale AZ locals turn to. Unmarried couples should keep in mind that they must make an estate planning if they want to ensure their non-marital partner receives something from their estate.  The heirs of an unmarried person who dies intestate (without a will) are normally siblings and parents. Estate planning is necessary for unmarried couples who want to leave everything they own or at least some of their estate to their significant other.

 

Thanks to authors at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Estate Planning.

Relocating with Children After Divorce

 

Once you finish getting through a divorce process, there are many tasks you may still need to accomplish. After dealing with paperwork, hours of deliberation, child custody matters and more, you will then have to consider how and where you plan to move with your children. These tips below go over how you can make life a little easier for you and your children when it comes to relocating.

 

#1 Check the Details in your Custody Agreement

Make sure that your decree of child custody permits you to move anywhere with your children. There may be restrictions on being able to move beyond a certain geographic location or mileage. The topic of traveling restrictions can be common during divorce resolution meetings, and can be worked out between both you and your spouse.

 

#2 Check the Laws in your State

Some states may actually establish a geographical limit on each divorced spouse and his or her ability to relocate with their kids. It can vary by state, but typically the parent of custodial custody has to give the other parent a written notice of their intention to relocate. The noncustodial parent then has the option to file an official objection, where a trial regarding the move will be scheduled with a judge. In some states, the custodial parent has to submit a written request for a court’s permission to move. Then the court will probably schedule a hearing to decide whether this relocation is in the children’s best interest.

 

#3 Consider Hiring a Moving Company

In the midst of moving plans, you will likely have a large to-do list of things to accomplish. The most obvious and major task is moving all of your belongings into another home. This can be the hardest and longest part of the moving process. When you have children to consider and still take care of during the move, it may help you save a large amount of time and energy to hire movers Fort Washington, MD recommends. Many believe believe moving everything yourself will save money, but will be worth it when you can focus on other details of your move. Some moving companies also offering packaging and cleaning services, which will prove useful when your previous landlord comes by to inspect the place for cleanliness once all of your belongings are out.

 

#4 Maintain a Healthy Negotiation

If it all possible, it is in every family member’s best interest that you and your spouse maintain somewhat of a healthy communication dynamic. Perhaps you can attend mediation and find a resolution you are both happy with regarding the move, without having to attend a court hearing. It may help to offer longer periods of visitation to the noncustodial parent, in exchange to not fight the relocation request.

There are ways you can make moving with your children easier. The above tips can alleviate stress, minimize time and help prevent any roadblocks in your moving plans. Your children will thank you for it when you can spend more time focusing on moving together, versus the tedious and heavy lifting tasks at hand.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Suburban Solutions for their insight into moving services.