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Car titles and loans in divorce

Deciding who gets the vehicle during a divorce is part of dividing marital assets. This can also include deciding who will pay off the loan.

Ryan Caleb Ballard | Aug 21, 2015

Getting divorced?? Better start estate planning!!!!

Indiana code 29-1-4-1 Survivor's Allowance Spouses that are domicilied in Indiana at the time of the decedent's death are entitled to $25,000. If there is no spouse, child under 18 years of age are entitled to the allowance. This allowance is not limited by creditor claims. Intestate Estate Distribution The surviving spouse shall recieve one half of the estate if survived by a child or a deceased child. The spouse shall recieve 3/4 of the estate is no surviving issue, but survived by one parent. All of the estate if no parents or children. Special rule for step families: If the spouse is a second marriage with no children, and the decendant has a child from a previous marriage, the spouse is entitled to 25% of the value of the real property minus liens and encumbrances. Personal propety follows the same rules as a first spouse. Indiana code 32-17-11-29 Personal property owned as tenants in common, exceptsion upon the death of either husband or wife, household goods acquired by the marriage and any promissory note, bond, certificate of title to a vehicle, or other written or printed instruments, evidencing an interest in tangible or intangible personal property in the name of both husband and wife; becomes the sole property of the surviving spouse unless a clear and contrary intention is expressed in a written instrument (will or trust). Indiana Code 29-1-3-1 Right to Take Against the Will Spouse may elect to take against the will. This entitles spouse to default intestate rules. Election must be made within 3 months after the will is submitted to Probate (I.C. 29-1-3-2) Indiana Code 29-1-3-8 Afterborn and adopted children IF the spouse fails to provide for any children born after or adopted after the making of his last will, the child shall is entitled to an intestate share, unless there is evidence the omission was intentional or, when the will was executed, the testator knew of living children and still left substantially all of his/her estate to the spouse who survives him/her.

Dyan Williams | Mar 14, 2015

5 Things to Do To Get Your Marriage-Based Green Card

Introduction Marrying a U.S. citizen is one of the quickest -- but not necessarily the easiest -- way to get a green card. USCIS will deny the case if it does not receive sufficient evidence of a bona fide marriage or if it determines that the marriage is a sham. A U.S. citizen's filing of an I-130 petition with USCIS is the first step to helping the foreign national spouse become a permanent resident. A spouse who was lawfully admitted to the United States or who qualifies for 245(i), and is still in the U.S., may concurrently file an I-485 application to become a lawful permanent resident (green-card holder). One advantage is that the spouse does not have to depart the U.S. to apply for an immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate. Submitting the I-130 and I-485 together is known as the one-step petition/application. Normally, USCIS processes and adjudicates both at the same time. The foreign national cannot receive a marriage-based green card unless USCIS approves the I-130 petition. Here are five things to do to get your marriage-based green card: 1. Enter into a bona fide marriage USCIS will approve the I-130 petition only if it finds that the parties entered into marriage in good faith, i.e. intended to establish a life together at the time they married. The U.S. citizen petitioner has the burden to show by a "preponderance of the evidence" that the marriage is bona fide. Basically, this means the petitioner must show that it is "more likely than not" that the marriage is real. Typically, USCIS expects a bona fide married couple to speak each other's languages, live together, share common interests, co-mingle their finances, own joint property, and celebrate important events like holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. A good faith marriage is one that is entered into for reasons other than for circumventing U.S. immigration laws. It could be arranged or freely chosen by the parties. It may be based on mutual love and affection, shared religious beliefs, a need for lifetime companionship, or a desire to raise children together. A bona fide marriage is the opposite of a sham marriage, which is when the parties marry solely to primarily to obtain immigration benefits for the foreign national. 2. Establish a life together and collect proof of this Before the one-step petition is filed, the couple should take steps to establish a married life together and collect documents to prove they are committed to one another. Examples include: Living together (joint residential lease or mortgage statement showing both names, driver's licenses showing same address); Buying major assets together (motor vehicle title, invoice for furniture); Adding the spouse as a beneficiary to employer-sponsored benefit (life insurance policy, health insurance plan, retirement account); Co-mingling assets and liabilities (joint bank account statements, joint credit card statements, joint tax returns); Sharing household expenses (utility bills in both names); Going on vacations together (travel itineraries, photographs); Participating in shared activities (gym or club memberships); Spending time with mutual friends (affidavits from third parties attesting to the bona fides of the marriage). The Service will consider the parties' conduct before and after the marriage to determine their true intent at the time of marriage. Circumstances might require the couple to live apart temporarily, especially for work-related reasons. If the couple is not living together at the time they file for immigration benefits or at the time of their interview, they need to have a good explanation and gather reliable documentation showing they have a real marriage. Examples include: Letters, emails and greeting cards you have exchanged with each other; Airline tickets, hotel bills and other receipts showing trips you made to see each other; Telephone records showing calls you made to each other; Photographs of the two of you together and with family and friends, taken over a considerable period at different events; Correspondences (bills, letters, cards) sent to both of you at the same address; Receipts for gifts you bought each other; Birth certificates of (biological, adopted) children you have together, or evidence that you are trying to have children. 3. Provide sufficient evidence of a bona fide marriage The Instructions for Form I-130 list the types of documents that may show the bona fides of a marriage. They include documentation showing joint ownership of property (e.g. mortgage, car title); documentation showing co-mingling of financial resources (e.g. joint bank account); birth certificates of children you have together; and affidavits from third parties confirming the bona fides of your marriage. Your marriage certificate and proof of termination of any prior marriages (e.g. divorce decree or death certificate of previous spouse) only show that your marriage is valid. These documents are required, but are not sufficient to show the marriage is bona fide. Filing a one-step petition is not just about completing the forms and submitting the filing fees. You also need to carefully document the bona fides of your marriage and give the USCIS a sense of who you are as a couple. The more documents you present to show your marriage is real, the easier it will be for the officer to approve your case. Some types of documents are also more persuasive than others. For example, birth certificates of your children, mortgage statements for your shared home, and life insurance policies showing one of you as the other's beneficiary are much more persuasive than photographs of the two of you together, your joint residential lease , and your joint utility bills. They are harder to fake and are practically non-existent in sham marriages. Even when USCIS does not find that the marriage is a sham, it may still deny the petition if there is insufficient evidence to show that it is more likely than not that the marriage is bona fide. No matter the circumstances, you must avoid submitting any fabricated, false, forged or altered documents to USCIS. This could lead USCIS to find that you committed fraud or willful misrepresentation of material facts to obtain immigration benefits. This would require you to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to obtain the green card (even if you managed to get the I-130 approved). 4. Take the interview seriously and prepare well for it. In marriage-based green card cases, the foreign national beneficiary and U.S. citizen petitioner will be interviewed at the USCIS field office in their jurisdiction. The officer will place you both under oath at the start of the interview. Tell the truth at the interview, even if the answers are less than ideal. Giving false testimony or misrepresenting facts at the interview is grounds for a denial. Discrepancies between your and your spouse's testimonies and inconsistencies within your testimonies also hurt your credibility. They will cause the officer to doubt the bona fides of your marriage. At the interview, listen carefully to the USCIS officer's questions and respond truthfully to the questions you're being asked. Giving too many details about your courtship and embellishing stories about your shared life can make you less believable. There's no need to volunteer information that was not required on the application forms and is not being asked for at the interview. While you should not give misleading information to cut off a line of inquiry from the officer, you also don't want to open up a line of questions that could unnecessarily bring out negative information. If you don't understand a question, ask the officer to repeat it or rephrase it. If you don't recall information or you're not 100% sure of your answer, let the officer know. If you feel you're being asked inappropriate questions, stay calm and avoid arguing with the officer. (You may ask to speak with a supervisor.) If your first language isn't English or if you're not fluent in English, be sure to bring a qualified interpreter. Otherwise, you could misunderstand the officer's questions or the officer could misunderstand your answers. USCIS often interviews you together, but may interview each of you separately. When separate interviews are conducted, the officer will ask you each the same questions and compare your answers. If both of you tell the truth, it's more likely that your answers will be the same or similar. Consistent testimonies help to persuade the officer that you have nothing to hide and that your marriage is bona fide. Even bona fide married couples do not always observe, perceive or recall things the same way. For example, would you give the same answers if you were separately asked the following questions: Where did you first meet? How did you meet? Where did you go on your first date? When was your first date? How many people attended your wedding? What did you to to celebrate your marriage? Why did you get married? Who proposed? Where were you when marriage was proposed? What are your spouse's work hours? What is the color of the wall in your bedroom? Which side of the bed do you sleep on? Where did you go on your last vacation together? Who woke up first this morning? These are just a few of the many potential questions the officer may ask you. It helps for you and your spouse to prepare for the interview and make sure you're on the same page when it comes to your relationship history and shared life together. Your testimony at the interview can be the deciding factor in whether your case gets approved. Following the interview, the adjudications officer can approve the one-step petition, issue a Request for Evidence, have a site visit conducted at your claimed residence, conduct further investigation, or issue a Notice of Intent to Deny the petition. 5. Get help from an experienced immigration attorney You're better off consulting an attorney from the outset, before you file your one-step petition. An experienced attorney can review your application forms for accuracy and completeness, advise you on the types of documents to submit to prove the bona fides of your marriage, prepare you for what to expect at the interview, and represent you at the interview. An attorney can also discuss red flags in your case and counsel you on how to address them. At the interview, a USCIS officer who suspects the marriage is fraudulent may give the U.S. citizen an opportunity to withdraw the petition and write a statement to that effect. Having your attorney at the interview will help you protect your rights and make the process less intimidating. When your attorney is present, a USCIS officer is less likely to ask you questions that seem deeply probing and extremely person. A diligent attorney will also take notes, ask clarifying questions, and object to inappropriate lines of questioning. The attorney will also be able to give you an assessment of how the interview went and advise you on follow-up matters. Conclusion Entering a bona fide marriage, establishing a life together, submitting documentation of your shared life, successfully completing the interview, and seeking advice from counsel are five key steps to getting your marriage-based green card. Marriage fraud is a crime. A person who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws is subject to imprisonment (up to 5 years), a fine (up to $250,000), or both. A marriage fraud finding is also a permanent bar to obtaining an approval of any subsequent petitions for the foreign national. So if USCIS denies an I-130 petition upon finding that the marriage is a sham, the foreign national could never get a green card based on a second petition by the same spouse or by a new spouse, for example, (unless the marriage fraud finding was overturned on appeal or on USCIS' own reconsideration).

Ian William Hasegawa | Nov 18, 2014

How to Avoid Probate without a Revocable Trust

You still need a Last Will and Testament. A will is an important document that establishes your intentions for your property once you have passed. This is important to state in order to keep your family members from fighting over your property. If you have minor children, it is important that you appoint a guardian for them in your will, in the even that you and your spouse pass away prior to your children becoming adults. In Arizona, it is best to have your will drafted by an attorney, and it should be signed, notarized, witnessed and include a self-proving affidavit that is also signed, notarized and witnessed. Have your residential property pass to your beneficiaries via Beneficiary Deed For a small fee, you can have your local estate planning attorney record a beneficiary deed that will give your home to your children, or any named beneficiary, once you pass away. If you are married, it will not give your house away until both you and your spouse have passed. This is an efficient way to pass along your home because it avoids probate and also does not give your children/beneficiaries any ownership over your home during your life. Your home is therefore protected against the various liabilities that can affect your children such as law suits, divorces, bankruptcies, or creditors. A beneficiary deed, however, is not generally recommended for any investment or rental properties that you own. All tax-deferred retirment assets will avoid probate with proper beneficiary designations. Your IRA, 401K, Pension, and other retirement assets that enjoy tax efficiencies all have beneficiary designations on them. You should check your beneficiary designations periodically and update them as necessary. It is good practice to have a primary and contingent beneficiaries designated on these accounts. The most common scenario is to have your spouse as the primary and your children as equal contingent beneficiaries. With correct beneficiary designations, your retirement assets will pass on to your loved ones outside of probate. All non-tax deferred assets can pass on to loved ones with proper POD/TOD instructions Your accounts that are not tax deferred - savings, checking, brokerage - should all offer you the option to Pay On Death (POD) or Transfer On Death (TOD) these assets to your loved ones. You should contact your financial institution to make sure you have designated someone (or multiple people) to receive your accounts upon the passing of the last surviving account owner. These POD/TOD designations are free and allow the assets in these accounts to pass outside of probate to whomever you designate. Your vehicles can pass to your loved ones via Beneficiary Designation There is a Department of Motor Vehicles form to fill out that allows you to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries of your vehicle after your death. This is also a probate-free process and requires a modest fee, your vehicle title, and a trip to your local DMV. If all of your remaining assets, not already covered above, qualify for the "Small Estate Exemption", then you have likely avoided probate in Arizona. Probate can be avoided in Arizona if your personal property (everything except for real estate) does not exceed $75,000.00 (as of 2014). The small estate exemption for real property is $100,000 or less of equity. If your assets fall under both of these small estate exemptions, then you can keep your estate out of probate in Arizona. Beneficiaries or heirs can claim this property using an affidavit for the collection of personal or real property, without having to file a probate action in an Arizona court. The affidavit is much less expensive than probate (hundreds vs thousands). Remember that any personal property conveyed by beneficiary designation or using "Pay On Death" instructions, automatically avoids probate and is not counted towards the $75,000 small estate value. Any real estate that is conveyed by Beneficiary Deed is likewise not counted toward your small estate real property exemption value of $100,000. Consult an estate planning attorney if you need help with the affidavit for collection of person or real property. For many, a Trust is a better solution. Do you have children with special needs? Do you own rental property? Do you want to retain some control on how your beneficiaries recieve their inheritance (ie: not all at once!)? Do you own your own small business? Do you have a blended family? Do you own collectibles or tangible property (not in a financial institution) that is worth more than $75000? Do you need to protect your assets and qualify for Arizona Medicaid (AZ Long Term Care System)? Are you a veteran looking to qualify for the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance benefits? If you answered "Yes" to any of these, then a Trust may be a better estate planning solution for you and you should consult with an estate planning attorney for guidance. Most will offer you a free initial consultation. Make sure You are Taken Care of During Your Lifetime All of the above refers to planning for when you are gone, however, your first priority in your estate plan should be to provide for your care in the even of a catastrophic illness or mental incapacity. In addition to a Last Will and Testament, make sure you have in place a Living Will (advanced medical directives), General Health Care Power of Attorney, Mental Health Care Power of Attorney, General Financial Power of Attorney, Appointment of Guardian, and Appointment of Conservator. These are all important so that in you become incapacitated. Appointed a trustworthy person to made decisions on your behalf is critical so that a court does not have to decide for you. It becomes impossible to appoint an agent once you are incapacitated, and woul d require your loved ones to spend a lot of money and time asking the court to appoint a guardian and conservator over you.

Allen A. Kolber | Aug 3, 2014

How to Prepare For Your First Bankruptcy Consultation

Choose an Attorney First, try to get a referral from a friend or relative, or best of all, another attorney whom you trust. Review the attorney's website to see if he or she is the right attorney for you. Review on-line articles and guides to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of Bankruptcy. Be prepared to ask how the Bankruptcy case will affect each aspect of your life: your home, car, bank accounts, credit score, retirement accounts, student loans, taxes, etc. Prepare The Following Documents To Bring With You For Your First Meeting: 1. Photo Identification and Social Security Card 2. Any new or old credit card statements or bills from creditors. 3. All correspondence from collection agencies and attorneys regarding outstanding debts. 4. Pay stubs from each job that you and your spouse have received for the last 6 months. 5. If you are the owner of a business, the most recent tax returns and 6 months bank statements for the business. 6. One bill for each rent or utility you pay. 7. Homeowner's/renter's insurance policy with a rider listing belongings insured 8. Your federal and state tax returns for the last 3 years (including W2's, 1099's, etc.). 9. If you own a car or other vehicle, title and any lease and loan documents. 10. If you own a house or other real estate, any mortgage document that lists the name and address of the lender, along with the total amount that you owe, as well as any appraisal showing the value of the property. 11. Bank statements for the last 4 months for each bank account that you have (savings, checking, CD's). 12. Most recent statements from IRA and/or pension funds. 13. Copies of any documents showing receipt of public assistance. 14. Copies of any documents indicating student loans. 15. Copies of any lawsuits, judgments, letters from a Marshall or Sheriff, and letters from attorneys. 16. If you are currently going through a divorce, or are recently divorced, a copy of any Divorce or Separation Agreements, or documents providing for domestic support or child support obligations).

May 29, 2014

Getting your ex off a car loan

Parting ways with your spouse also means parting ways with any loans you hold jointly. Despite what your divorce decree says (for example, it may state that you will take ownership of the car), unless you settle up directly with the lender, your ex is still partially responsible for the loan. How do you remove your ex’s name from any car loan you may have together? Here are some steps to follow: 1. Refinance the loan. If you've been awarded the car in your divorce, go to your lender and see if you can work out a new deal (aka, a “refinance”) for paying for the car—one that doesn't involve your ex-spouse. The loan company will look at your income and your credit history to make sure you can afford the payments without your ex (if you can’t you can ask someone to cosign for you). You may actually find that your credit history alone is better than it was with your spouse, which means you may qualify for a lower interest rate, and thus, lower payments. 2. Take out a personal loan. Let’s say you don’t make enough to make the loan payments by yourself and the financing company won’t allow you to refinance. Now what? Go to a bank and see about obtaining a personal loan (again, you will have to show proof that you can make those payments, but the criterion may be less stringent and the monthly payments more affordable). If you get a personal loan you can use the money to pay off the car loan, thereby ridding yourself—and you ex—of it. 3. Ask for a “novation” of the loan. Novation is a technical term for essentially subbing out your old loan for a new one that releases your ex of any debt responsibility. This is a viable option if you were awarded the vehicle in your divorce settlement. To secure a novation you need to contact your lender and request that the loan be transferred into your name. You may also be able to renegotiate the terms of the loan with your lender. For example, your may push for a lower interest rate or a change in the length of the loan, all of which will change your monthly payment. 4. Sell the car. Another option is to sell the car and take the proceeds to pay off the loan, dividing any money that is left with your ex. This may not be ideal if you want and need your car, but it does serve the purpose of getting your ex off the loan. Last but not least, be careful with titles. Just because you get your ex off the title does not mean he/she is not still on the loan agreement. The loan is a contract you made with the lender—it has nothing to do with the title. If you miss or are late with the payments, your ex’s credit rating will suffer along with your own.

May 29, 2014

Options for Handling a Car Loan During a Divorce

Divorce involves splitting your marital assets, but it also means dividing your marital debt. When it comes to your car loan and divorce, make sure your property settlement agreement spells out what to do with your loan. Refinance the Loan Let’s say you want to keep the car for yourself—or your spouse wants it. The prudent thing to do is to have the loan refinanced. This is more complicated than simply removing your spouse’s name from the loan agreement. Your loan company will make you go through the financing process all over again, providing documents that help prove you can make the payments with your income alone (if you can’t you can ask someone to co-sign with you). If your spouse is the one who wants the car, it’s still important to refinance the vehicle even if your name is off the title. If your name stays on the loan agreement, you are as legally responsible as he/she is for any payments. To avoid any confusion about who is to pay what, you can ask the court to include a statement in your divorce agreement that your ex is to refinance the car loan in his/her name within a certain period of time. What’s more, ask the financing company to send a duplicate monthly statement to you as well as to your spouse to make sure payments are current. This is especially important in community property states like Nevada, California, Texas and Wisconsin. In these states both spouses hold ownership of marital property and marital debt—regardless of whose name is on what loan or title—until a judge signs off on it and makes it legally binding. So even though you may have informally worked out with your spouse that he/she will make the car payments, if payments are missed you are as liable as your spouse for the debt. Sell the Vehicle If refinancing isn’t possible—say, neither of you can afford the payments alone—another good option is to sell the car outright. Selling the car may prove a better financial move than risking default on your loan payments, a death knell for your credit rating. Make Adjustments for the Car Perhaps you need to keep the car to get to and from your job or to get the kids around, but you know you can’t make the loan payments alone—now what? One option is what the courts call a “set-off agreement.” Here, your spouse will be responsible for the car payments in lieu of making some other (monetarily equivalent) payment, like child support or alimony. Pay Off the Loan Both you and your spouse can take money—either saved separately or acquired through the selling of marital assets like a home—and pay off the loan. For example, let’s say that the loan amount remaining is $10,000. You and your spouse pay the money to clear the loan and then agree to sell the car for its blue book value, dividing the proceeds. Or, one or the other of you can take ownership of the car and pay the fair amount for it to your ex. Get the Courts Involved Your spouse was supposed to refinance the car and get your name off the loan agreement six months ago, but never did. Now you’re getting delinquent notices from the financing company. What’s your recourse? Take your ex to court. While a judge can’t salvage your now-tainted credit rating or prevent the loan company from demanding payment, the courts can order that your ex reimburse you for any payments you made to keep the car from being repossessed.

Eric D. Beal | May 5, 2014

5 Things You Need to Know About Texas Community Property

Number 1: You may not get half. Probably the most common misunderstanding is the belief that community property means each party in a divorce will get 50% of the property that is being divided. Many men come to divorce attorneys stating proudly, "I'm willing to give her her half." Under community property laws, at divorce, there is no "half." Both parties own an undivided interest that is susceptible to division by the Court in whatever proportion it deems to be "just and right." That means that if you have a $5Million estate going into divorce, you could walk away with $2.5Mil, $1Mil, $4Mil or any other amount between $0 and $5Mil - and so can your spouse. Number 2: Your name on an item does not make it your separate property. Many people believe that if the account, vehicle title, etc. has only their name on it, the item/account must be theirs and theirs alone. That is simply untrue. The general rule is that anything acquired during marriage is part of the community estate, and subject to the rules of division discussed in Number 1, above. This rule applies regardless of whose name is on the item, account, title, etc. Number 3: Not everything is community property. Many people believe that when the marriage occurs, everything that either party owns becomes part of the community estate - that is not true. Your separate estate, if any, survives your marriage ceremony and exists during your marriage. If and when a divorce occurs, the presumption is that everything the parties own is community property, but that presumption can be overcome. Generally speaking, anything owned prior to marriage is separate property. Additionally, anything acquired by gift or inheritance is separate property. Best advice you may ever get: DON'T COMINGLE YOUR SEPARATE PROPERTY WITH COMMUNITY PROPERTY (or with your spouse's separate property). A divorce court does not have the power to divest you of your separate property; the trick is proving what is and is not your separate property. Number 4: Income from separate property is community property. The important corollary to this is that interest is income. That means, in plain terms, that the interest on a 401K (or CD or any other type of account) that you owned prior to marriage is community property. While that may not mean much if the marriage only lasts 15 months, it will if the marriage lasts 15 years. Just about the only way around this rule is a premarital or post-marital agreement. Number 5: Paying for a piece of property does not turn it into community property. Often times, a piece of real estate or a vehicle will be purchased prior to marriage. Since it was purchased before the community existed, it is almost impossible for it to be community property. Many people believe, however, that if the mortgage on the property is paid with community funds, the property "becomes" community property. That is not the case. The reality is that the character - separate or community - of the property is established at the time the property is acquired - the "inception of title rule." Once the character of the property has been set, it generally requires a gift or formal written agreement to change it. While the payments on property may give rise to a claim of reimbursement, they will not change the character of the property from separate property to community property.

Luke A Shipley | Sep 20, 2013

The Contempt Process

So, you’ve gone through the divorce process, the papers are signed the judge has ruled you’re a free person! It’s all over, right? Sadly, no. The person that you’ve just divorced and taken to court may turn out to be less than responsible about honoring his/her agreements. For example, they may owe you $1,000 per month in alimony or $500 per month in child support. Maybe they were supposed to refinance the house, sign a deed, or pay off a credit card. If they don’t honor their agreements, it can have detrimental effects on you and your new life. How do you make them do what they agreed to do? You need an experienced Knoxville attorney who knows the contempt process. There are two kinds of contempt that are useful for this, civil contempt and criminal contempt. Civil Contempt Civil contempt is designed to compel someone to do something. For example, if your ex was supposed to sign over the car title to you but hasn’t done it, a good way to motivate them would be to use civil contempt. To prove a case for civil contempt your lawyer must show that someone was ordered to do something, that they have the ability to do it, and that they have not. If you prove this the person who has refused to obey the court’s orders goes to jail indefinitely until they follow the court’s order. They have “the keys to the jailhouse in their own pocket", in 0ther words; they can get out as soon as they do the right thing. In addition to jail time the court can order them to pay your attorney’s fee in pursing the contempt. In a case for civil contempt, the defendant is not entitled to an attorney even though they face jail time. Civil contempt is powerful tool that your divorce or child custody lawyer can help you understand and use effectively. Criminal Contempt Criminal contempt is designed to punish someone for doing something that a court had ordered them not to do. The most common place criminal contempt comes up is in Order of Protection cases when the person who is ordered to stay away comes around again. Criminal contempt carries a sentence of 10 days for every time someone breaks the Court’s order. If you have an Order of Protection against someone and they call you 10 times, they face up to 100 days in jail. Jail time for criminal contempt cannot be paroled or credited for good behavior. Because criminal contempt is a criminal charge, people who are charged with it, are entitled to an attorney and to have their rights read to them b the judge. To prove criminal contempt your lawyer must show beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a court order profiting a person from doing something and that they did the prohibited thing. Criminal contempt is very serious. If someone has broken a court order or you are accused of breaking one, you need an experienced Knoxville divorce or child custody lawyer who can help you through the process. In short, contempt is a useful and powerful tool in the hands of the right Knoxville divorce attorney.

Bobby Dale Barina | Dec 6, 2012

How to respond when your spouse files for divorc

How to respond when your spouse files for divorce Some people know the divorce is being filed and have spoken with the spouse about it. They know what to expect. For the rest it seems to come out of the blue. Of course later they will recall seeing all the signs leading up to the divorce. This guide is to provide some basic instructions so you can deal with the divorce. When you get served there are a few steps that you must take to ensure you are prepared for your divorce. First, you must put aside the emotional shock and focus on dealing with the divorce. Next, the most important task is to ensure your children are not placed into the middle of your divorce. Next read the papers that you were served with closely. There may be court dates contained in the paperwork. Additionally there may be discovery request and orders in the paperwork. Then it is time to focus on what items to get. A. Personal items Pictures of the family and the children’s pictures. Change all your email passwords as well as all social media passwords. Secure your jewelry. Get all old cell phones if you keep the old ones Secure your computer and backup the hard drive. Credit cards B. Documents The Mortgage Phone records Cell phone records Bank records Credit card statements Retirement account records Investment account records Insurance policies and records Car title Boat title Motorcycle title Medical insurance Medical records Children’s school records Take pictures of all items in the house. Birth certificates (yours and the children’s) Passports (yours and the children’s) Pay stubs W-2s Make a budget that details income and expense so you can plan you live during the divorce process and afterwards. This is especially necessary if you are a spouse/parent that works in the home, and your spouse provides the income for the family. Meet with an attorney who specializes in family law. Go over all the details of your marriage with your attorney.

Howard Robert Roitman | Nov 18, 2012


Community Property Community Property: Property acquired by husband and wife, or either during marriage, other than by gift, bequest, devise, descent, or as the separate property of either is presumed community property. Requires signatures of both spouses to convey or encumber property. Each spouse holds an undivided 1/2 interest in the estate and cannot partition the property by selling his or her interest. However, each spouse may devise (will) 1/2 of the community property. Upon death the estate of the decedent must be "cleared" through probate, affidavit or adjudication. Both halves of the community property are entitled to a "stepped up" tax basis as of the date of death. Joint Tenancy Joint Tenancy: Joint and equal interests in land owned by two or more individuals created under a single instrument with right of survivorship. Example: John Doe and Mary Doe, husband and wife, as joint tenants Tenancy in Common Tenancy in Common: Under tenancy in common, the co-owners own undivided interests; but unlike joint tenancy, these interests need not be equal in quantity and may arise at different times. There is no right of survivorship; each tenant owns an interest, which on his or her death vests in his or her heirs or devisee. Each owner has a separate and distinct interest, which must be shown on the deed of acquisition. Each owner may deal with their interest without the consent of the other co-tenants. Example: John Doe, a single man, as to an undivided 3/4 interests, and George Smith, a single man, as to an undivided 1/4 interest, as tenants in common Community Property with Right of Survivorship Community Property with Right of Survivorship: Community property of husband and wife, when expressly declared shall upon the death of one of the spouses, pass to the survivor, without administration, subject to the same procedures as property held in joint tenancy. Requires signatures of both spouses to convey or encumber property. Each spouse holds an undivided 1/2 interest in the estate and cannot partition the property by selling his or her interest. Estate passes to surviving spouse outside of probate, no court action required to "clear" title upon first death. Both halves of the community property are entitled to a "stepped up" tax basis as of the date of death. Example: John Doe and Mary Doe, husband and wife, as community property with right of survivorship A manufactured home is considered by definition ARE MANUFACTURED HOMES CONSIDERED TO BE REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY? A manufactured home is considered by definition to be personal property. If a factory-built dwelling is converted to real estate it is no longer considered to be a manufactured home; therefore, it is no longer personal property. Manufactured home owners who own both the home and the land on which it is located may be eligible to convert their manufactured home into real property. Buying or selling a vehicle Buying or selling a vehicle is not quite as simple as finding the right car or buyer; both transactions involve paperwork. The paperwork isn't just busy work, however-it can protect both the buyer and seller, and it will be required in your dealings with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Selling a Vehicle Selling a Vehicle First of all, if you sell more than three vehicles in a year, you're technically considered a dealer and will need to be licensed by the DMV to do business. Private-Party Sales You should give the buyer a properly signed-off title. You'll need to request a duplicate if you don't have one. Apply to the state that issued the existing title. The only time you won't need to obtain a duplicate title is if the vehicle was titled in Nevada, is older than nine years, and has no liens. In that case, the buyer can submit an Application for Duplicate Nevada Certificate of Title and a Bill of Sale to obtain the title on his or her own. When signing over the title, you'll need all owners to sign the document if the names are listed with the word "and." If they're listed with "or," only one needs to sign. Buying a Vehicle From a Private Party Buying a Vehicle From a Private Party When you buy a vehicle from a private party, be sure to get a signed-off title. You won't be able to register the vehicle without one. In most cases, the existing owner of record will need to apply for a duplicate if the original is not in his or her possession, but you may apply for the duplicate if the car is titled in Nevada, is older than nine years, and has no liens. Simply fill out the Application for Duplicate Nevada Certificate of Title and a Bill of Sale and bring it in to your local full-service DMV office. To complete the Bill of Sale, both the seller and the buyer should sign off in the appropriate section. If you need to keep a copy (because there is no title), complete two forms so you each have an original. The seller should also remove the license plates from the car and keep them. Salvage titles: Do not purchase a vehicle that has an orange salvage title. It's illegal to sell salvage vehicles to private purchasers. Registration Issues Registration Issues The seller must provide a title to the buyer, but the vehicle registration doesn't have to be shown at the time of the sale. However, if the vehicle has never been titled or registered in Nevada, the buyer will need to have a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. You may do so at a DMV office. Alternatively, you can have a police officer conduct the inspection and then complete the VIN form. Although the seller doesn't need to show the registration, producing it may facilitate the sale. Seeing the registration may allow the buyer to verify that the tags are legitimate, and that the vehicle has passed recent emissions testing. It might give the buyer some extra peace of mind.

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