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Archive for April, 2013

What NOT to Do During a Divorce

Going through a divorce is never easy.  Divorcing couples often face difficult emotional, financial, and legal issues that can leave them feeling overwhelmed and confused.  We’ve compiled a list of common mistakes made during divorce, to help you navigate your way through a divorce and avoid making costly mistakes that can negatively impact you down the road.

  1. Ignoring tax consequences of divorce:  When going through a divorce, many couples overlook the tax consequences related to spousal support, child support, and property transfers.  For example, alimony received is normally taxable as ordinary income.  Also, if your divorce settlement deals with retirement assets, you need to be aware of the potential penalties and early distribution fees.
  2. Not telling your attorney the “whole” truth:  People withhold information from their attorneys for a number of reasons.  Sometimes they are embarrassed about certain facts or situations.  Other times, people facing a divorce feel that going into too much detail with their attorney will slow the process down, and ultimately cost more money.  It is absolutely necessary to be truthful and forthcoming with your attorney, so that he or she can effectively deal with potentially harmful aspects of your case.
  3. Involving your children in the divorce process:  It is very important to make sure that you don’t discuss your divorce with your children, or allow them to overhear your conversations about the divorce.  It doesn’t matter how old your children are or how unfair your ex is being – don’t make the mistake of involving your children.
  4. Rushing into a settlement:  In an effort to end the divorce process as quickly as possible, it can be tempting to accept the first settlement proposal that you are presented with, or sign settlement documents without taking the time to understand the legal ramifications.  You must resist the urge to “just get it over with.”  You should never sign anything without consulting with an attorney.
  5. Dating too soon:  You may be thinking that since you and your spouse are separated, you are free to date, right?  After all, it wasn’t your idea to get a divorce.  Wrong!  Many people going through a divorce make the mistake of jumping into a new relationship too soon after a separation.  This will likely make your ex much harder to negotiate with, and could cause more stress for your children.

Aiding and Abetting Driving While Impaired

How your “Designated Driver” can cost you your license.

An individual can be charged with Aiding and Abetting a DWI when they allow another person to drive their car while that person is under the influence of alcohol.  If the driver is stopped and charged with a DWI while the owner of the vehicle is in the car, then the owner will probably be charged with Aiding and Abetting Driving While Impaired.  We see this happen sometimes where a friend is “better off to drive” and takes his friends keys.  If the driver is stopped and charged with DWI, the passenger/car owner may find themselves in handcuffs as well.

When charged with Aiding and Abetting a DWI it is extremely important to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney.  A conviction for Aiding and Abetting a DWI carries the same punishment as a Level 5 Driving While Impaired conviction and may result in loss of driving privileges.  A level 5 punishment may consist of  minimum imprisonment of 24 hours, maximum imprisonment of 60 days, and a maximum fine of $200.  The jail sentence can be suspended if the defendant does at least 24 hours of community service or 24 hours in jail.  The defendant convicted of Aiding and Abetting must also obtain a substance abuse assessment and complete any recommendations from that assessment, just as if they were convicted of Driving While Impaired.

If you or someone you care about is facing a Aiding and Abetting DWI charge, contact us today, we can help!