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Harrisonburg Virginia Legal Blog

A certain type of debt may lead to marital problems and divorce

Anyone who has ever wondered how they would pay a large bill or make their rent understands the stress that comes with not having enough money. In fact, money or a lack thereof is a major source of personal stress of many Virginians that can wreak havoc on their lives. Marriages can suffer when money woes plague relationships, and problems concerning money are a common cause of divorces.

However, a recent survey found that one specific type of financial liability seemed to take a leading role in causing divorces between American couples. Student loans were identified as the cause of divorce for around one out of every eight failed marriages. This may not come as a surprise to readers of this Harrisonburg legal blog as the costs of post-secondary education have skyrocketed in the United States.

Will my ex be required to pay child support?

Under Virginia law, both of a child's parents are required to support them financially. This means that when a court decides the custody of a child, the parent who receives physical custody and the noncustodial parent will both have to pay toward the well-being and needs of their offspring. Noncustodial parents are the ones who generally are bound to child support orders and agreements.

To this end, a noncustodial parent will probably have to pay child support. The Virginia guidelines require courts to look at the incomes of the child's parents as well as the costs that are associated with raising a child in the community where the matter is being resolved. Based on those and other factors, a court will decide how much money a parent should have to pay to help take care of their child.

Defending one's self against damaging assault allegations

The crime of assault is serious and can leave a person facing significant penalties if they are convicted of charges alleging that the engaged in that prohibited conduct. This post will examine the steps that a prosecutor in the courts of Virginia must take in order to prove their case against a criminal defendant charged with assault. It will also discuss ways that defendants can demonstrate their innocence or provide applicable defenses to their alleged crimes.

An assault happens when one person's threatens another person with physical harm. The alleged aggressor in the assault event does not actually have to hurt their alleged victim because an assault only involves the threat of pending injury. When physical conduct results after an assault, the related criminal charge of battery may be added to the individual's list of charges.

How is debt divided in divorce?

Now that you are divorcing, you face the overwhelming task of dividing your marital assets and debts. You may be apprehensive about splitting your retirement accounts, family home and savings, but the prospect of assuming your spouse’s debts may be even more alarming.

Maybe they have accumulated a substantial amount of credit card debt, student loans or pushed to purchase a new lake house. You do not think that you should have to carry your spouse’s debt with you into your new life. Will the Pennsylvania courts agree?

Family separation an emotional issue in immigration matters

The separation of children from their parents as they attempt to enter onto American soil has become one of the biggest news stories of the current presidential administration. Although many of the cases of kids being taken from their parents at the border are happening in the southern region of the nation, Virginia residents may have questions and fears about what family separation actually means.

Family separation is associated with the "zero tolerance" policy that the federal government has taken against allegedly illegal immigration. The administration has chosen to enforce a law that allows it to criminally prosecute any person who illegally enters the nation. As children are generally not charged with crimes and cannot accompany their parents to prison, they are being taken and placed in detention centers apart from their parents and relatives.

Penalties for DUI convictions increase with subsequent arrests

An arrest based on a DUI in Virginia is a serious situation. It can mean that a driver will, if convicted, lose their license and have other possible penalties to face. However, the penalties associated with DUI convictions in the Commonwealth are not all the same. As a person accumulates more DUI convictions on their record their punishments will become more and more severe.

For example, a first-time DUI conviction will result in a $250 fine and the possibility of the driver losing their license for a year. If they are convicted of a DUI crime again within 10 years of their first conviction, they will be mandated to spend 10 days in jail with the possibility of a sentence of up to one year, a mandatory fine of $500 and the possible loss of their license for up to 3 years.

Does Virginia recognize capital murder?

The Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes multiple forms of murder in its criminal code. One of those forms is capital murder, and convictions based on capital murder charges can result in the death penalty. This post will discuss some of the factors that may prompt a prosecutor to seek capital murder charges against a person that they believe is guilty of a homicide crime.

A homicide that includes allegations of a "murder-for-hire" or a hit-man may be met with capital murder charges. Additionally, murders of certain people, such as law enforcement officials or children can be elevated from first degree murder to capital murder on the basis of those facts.

What is sole custody and how is it determined?

Children are undoubtedly at the mercy of legal decisions during divorce and custody disputes. What’s at stake is if a child will have equal, partial or no access to the other parent. Custody battles have a reputation for being a long and complicated process. It is often highly stressful for parents and children when legal decisions are in limbo.

Tensions arising from both sides of this sensitive debate are common as heated arguments are heard by the court. The obligation of the family court system is to decipher what is genuinely in the best interest of the child. Although shared custody is the most common outcome, sole custody may be a possibility depending on your situation.

Custody options for Virginia parents

The end of a marriage is a difficult time for the individuals who have chosen to legally part ways. But, regardless of their financial situation or their portfolio of property, if the individuals share children, they will undoubtedly experience some trepidation and sadness over the dissolution of their kids' family home. This post will briefly touch on some of the child custody options Virginia parents may learn about as they work to end their marriages in divorce.

The custody of a child includes two important areas of need: physical custody and legal custody. Most people are familiar with physical custody as it has to do with where a child will live during and after the finalization of a divorce. Legal custody has to do with how the parents will make important decisions about raising the child.

Fault may serve as the grounds for a Virginia divorce

The end of a marriage can be hard on a Harrisonburg couple and when the parties decide that it is time to file for divorce, they must meet certain requirements to move their case forward in the courts of Virginia. There are jurisdictional matters that must be satisfied and the filing party also must select a basis for their divorce. In Virginia, a party may file a no-fault divorce, if they have been separated from their spouse for at least a year. If not, they may use one of the state's recognized fault grounds to end their marriage.

A host of acts can form the basis of a fault-based divorce. For example, if one spouse commits adultery, then the other spouse may use that as the reason for ending their legal union. Additionally, a spouse's conviction of a felony charge and confinement in prison may also be a sufficient basis on which to end a marriage.

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