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Leesburg Virginia Drunk Driving Defense Law Blog

Being poor is not a crime, DOJ rules in recent lawsuit

Back in July, a major issue was brought to the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the practice of suspending driver's licenses here in Virginia. According to a lawsuit filed on behalf of roughly 1 million Virginians, police in our state have been suspending and even revoking residents' driver's licenses simply because they were unable to pay fines or court fees.

As you can imagine, many people rely on their driving privileges to get to and from work. Without a driver's license, a person would have to choose between losing their job and choosing instead to drive on a suspended license. Both choices had steep costs and made many feel like they were being punished for being impoverished. 

How to prevent asset depletion in divorce

Some Virginia residents who are getting a divorce may be concerned about asset depletion. This occurs when one spouse spends marital assets as a way to prevent the other spouse from getting them. This can be a particular problem if the spouse who is spending has a high income and the other spouse does not work outside the home. While the spending spouse can easily recover the money after divorce, the other spouse might leave the marriage with no assets.

Divorce courts in some states will issue an automatic temporary restraining order, which prohibits either spouse from making a substantive change to marital finances, but if this is not done in time, people might have to try to prove asset depletion. They may want to look over credit card statements for suspicious expenditures.

Retirement and divorce

Based on information from Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the divorce rate for individuals over 50 years old has doubled since 1990. Virginia residents who are considering getting a divorce and are about to retire should take into account the financial effects it will have.

They should first consider the state of their finances, specifically where their income is coming from and what their expenses are. Being aware of current spending habits and how they will change after a divorce can guide their financial decisions.

Dividing the Pitt, Jolie estate

Angelina Jolie's decision to file for divorce from Brad Pitt likely surprised many people in Virginia. However, there is more to the story than just the irreconcilable differences that led to the split. Speculation continues to grow about child custody matters and how they will divide their Hollywood income.

Pitt and Jolie met in 2004 when filming "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" in 2004. At the time, Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston. Since then, Pitt has earned around $315.5 million before taxes. He received a spot on the list of top celebrity earners in 2016 when he made $31.5 million in that year alone. Combined, Pitt and Jolie made $555 million since they met. Given their incomes and that both partners have been married before, it is speculated that they have a prenuptial agreement.

'Bachelor in Paradise' star in custody battle

Virginians who have followed Amanda Stanton through her appearances on "The Bachelor" and subsequently on "The Bachelor in Paradise" likely know that she became engaged to Josh Murray during the second show. Stanton has two children who she shares with her ex, and he has now filed motions to modify the child custody and child support orders that are currently in place.

Stanton's ex, Nick Buonfiglio, currently pays her $2,000 per month in child support. He argues that when the support was ordered, Stanton made only $100 per month. Since her appearances on the reality series, he claims that her income is now $20,000 per month.

Child custody reform bills becoming popular

Virginia parents who are divorcing may appreciate the fact there is a push for child custody reform in many states across the country, and some states have enacted legislation. Missouri is the latest state to do so. Other states that also have reform laws include South Dakota, Minnesota and Utah. Arizona issued a policy proposal encouraging a more egalitarian treatment of child custody in 2010, and that has been deemed to be a success.

Child custody reform bills encourage judges to emphasize equality in parenting time where both parents have responsibility. Previously, courts have favored mothers when it came to awarding physical custody, with fathers getting some type of visitation schedule.

One friend dies, another loses the life he knows

Two Virginia men, one a mere 23 and the other 25, set out on a resort-hopping excursion as two friends might, in Pennsylvania's Donegal Township. And, as young men sometimes do, as any of us might do or have done, the young man driving had had a bit too much to drink and was driving fast. This risky combination may have made it hard for him to regain control once it was lost after he alleges an animal in the road caused him to swerve suddenly.

With school back in session, alcohol dangers abound

There is an annual tradition at the University of Virginia that is known not only to its first-year college attendees but also to locals and students from other colleges as an event not to miss. This fall festivity is a drunken first weekend back at school known as the "Wertland Block Party" and, as the name indicates, it takes place on Wertland Street, near the college campus. Because the party comes with such raucous behavior, the college is cautioning its students and coordinating efforts with those of law enforcement and landlords of the houses on the street as well as the fire department.

How divorced parents may pay for a child's sports dreams

Many Virginia parents want their kids to dream big. However, if they dream of being Olympic champions or even just getting to higher levels in their chosen sport, parents may find that the costs increase. If the parents are divorced, paying the additional coaching and lesson fees can be very difficult.

Just because a couple is divorced does not mean that a child has to give up on the dream of becoming a sport sensation. In some states, courts can potentially use the child support guidelines to set aside some of the child support for the cost of the sport. This money is often earmarked as "entertainment" and may also cover other extracurricular activities such as concert tickets or a day or two at the amusement park.

Stiff penalties face allegedly drunk driver

There are few things scarier than being arrested and charged for a crime you did not commit. However, if you ever find yourself arrested and charged for a crime you actually did commit, but don't necessarily remember, it may even be worse. It may not be your worst nightmare now, but if it ever were to happen to you, you would likely agree that you were living in your own worst nightmare.

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