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February 2020 Archives

Study finds some psychology tests used in court may be invalid

People in Virginia who are facing felony charges might be required to take IQ or psychology tests that are not well-regarded by psychologists. According to a study that appeared in "Psychological Science in the Public Interest," around 33% of tests used by courts did not receive a review in major psychological publications. Among those that did, around one-quarter were considered unreliable, and just 40% were favorably reviewed.

How to prepare for a divorce or a spouse's death

Virginia residents might be confident that they can handle their finances no matter what happens to them. However, a new survey from TD Ameritrade found that this may not necessarily be the case. The company surveyed 2,000 adults between the ages of 40 and 79 who had at least $25,000 that they could invest. It found that 87% of respondents were sure that they would be financially secure if their partners passed away or if their marriages ended.

Paper offers suggestions for reducing implicit bias

Attorneys and judges in Virginia might be able to reduce the likelihood that jurors will return verdicts based on implicit racial bias by discussing the phenomenon openly. This was one of the conclusions of a paper written by an Arizona assistant federal public defender that appeared in the "Seattle Journal for Social Justice."

Deciding whether to settle or go to trial

When couples are considering divorce, settling matters themselves may seem like the most logical and amicable solution. However, there may be times when going to trial is unavoidable. Couples in Virginia who are unwilling or unable to reach an agreement, whether over assets or child custody, may have to leave the decision in the hands of a family court judge.

Lawsuit shows tainted evidence may lead to false allegations

When a person is arrested in Virginia, evidence is a key factor in the case. This is true for relatively minor crimes like marijuana possession and for major crimes like murder. During an investigation, law enforcement is required to adhere to certain protocol in evidence collection. If there is a violation, it could be used as part of the criminal defense.

Reasons women file for divorce

Though women are often portrayed in divorce stereotypes as the ones left behind, more than 70% of divorces are initiated by women. Whether they are seeking an annulment, legal separation, uncontested divorce or contested divorce, there are several main reasons women in Virginia give for ending their marriages.

Managing emotions during a divorce

For many Virginia couples, divorce can be a challenging and emotionally difficult time. Where people once felt love for their spouse, it can be all too easy for those feelings to be surmounted by anger and even hatred. While these kinds of negative feelings may be natural during a divorce to some extent, it may be wise not to allow them to guide a legal strategy or approach to divorce negotiations. People may want to share their negative emotions with their friends or a therapist while keeping a clearer, more neutral eye on issues related to child custody or property division.

Studies find some courts skeptical of abuse claims

When parents in Virginia get a divorce, child custody negotiations can sometimes turn unpleasant. In some cases, one parent may accuse the other of abusing the child. The other parent might counter with a claim that the abuse allegation is untrue and that what is actually happening is a phenomenon known as parental alienation syndrome, in which one parent attempts to turn a child against the other parent.

Drugs and weapons seized during Virginia narcotics sweep

A multi-agency narcotics operation in Virginia on Jan. 22 resulted in five individuals being taken into custody and the seizure of guns and illegal drugs according to the Amelia County Sheriff's Office. All five suspects were being detained at the Piedmont Regional Jail at the time of the report.

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