Family Law Information

Family Law

Verbal Abuse 101

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in Family Law |

Have you ever been insulted by your co-worker due to your “dumb mistakes”? Have you ever felt like you are a failure because of what your parents tell you that anything you do is ‘unsatisfactory’? Have you even been cussed at and shamed in front of people? Have you been unreasonably ignored by your friend because you have been recognized as a weird person to talk to? If so, then you have been a victim of verbal abuse.

According to Kellie Holly, verbal abuse is an ill-mannered social interaction wherein the perpetrator attacks the victim by either insulting, provoking, cussing, calling hurtful names, belittling, or shaming him/her. Usually, the perpetrator uses a very offensive set of words with a highly sarcastic or angry tone of voice. However, this derogatory act does not have to include a colorful spectrum of cuss. In other words, the choice of vocabulary doesn’t matter. An intellectual, comprehensive vocabulary still can be used in verbal abuse. The tone of voice can also be counted for a friendly tone cannot cover up the ill-mannered act done by the abuser.

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The nature of this negative action can be alarming due to its occurrence and effect on the victim. The victim can experience it anytime, anywhere, and from anyone. It would, therefore, mean that it is a spontaneous act and dependent on circumstance – whether predicted or unpredicted circumstance. Sample experiences can be in school before class starts, where a student belittles another due to his/her physical appearance. Another would be at work where the boss insults his/her employee in front of his co-workers, and at home where a family member negatively comments his/her child for getting a single B despite being at the top of the class. Creating a humiliating environment would leave the victim some negative psychological effects or emotional pain. Sample effects would be self-doubt, lack of confidence, fear and anxiety, anger issues, depression, loss of self-worth, and etcetera.

However, as time passes, verbal abuse has evolved and can be done in another way. Due to technological advancement, perpetrators have a new platform to humiliate their victim/s. The abuser can use social media – such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – as a tool for his/her whim. He/she can type his/her harassment towards the victim by either sugar-coated or straight forward words, even add a supportive material – such as video or picture –, and post it to his/her page. The danger of this written verbal abuse is the possibility of its blowing up and becoming viral in social media platform/s. It can be passed around to people by tags, e-mails, tweets, or hashtags, and the effects of this to the victim could be grave. Some people have even been driven to suicide due to what others have been saying online.  Verbal abuse has become easier for everyone to engage in. Having said all this, we just need to keep in mind that if we have the ability to put each other down to shame by speaking, then we also have the ability to uplift each other by words. We have the ability to encourage, give confidence, and make each other smile and laugh.

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Settling Libel Cases: How can you do it?

Posted by on Dec 4, 2015 in Family Law |

Defamation is a form of offense that happens when a person makes false statements of facts that lead to the injuring of someone else’s reputation. Since people can make false remarks against another person in more ways than one, there are specific terminologies for specific forms of defamation. If the accused defamed someone else by written or published means, the case is called as Libel. On the other hand, if the defamation was made by means of the spoken word, then the case is called Slander. Cases of defamation, specifically libel, are settled before trial in a lot of instances. This article will discuss what you must expect regarding how to issue settlement in a libel case.

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The first thing that we must know regarding how to issue settlement in a libel case is why libel cases are usually settled outside of court.

Almost all defamation cases are settled before they reach the courtroom, with some states even requiring alternative ways to resolve issues related to this type of case before it gets to a trial. Multiple reasons exist why settlement usually happens for libel cases, but the consensus is that it is done because lawsuits can cost a lot of money, the results of the trial can become unpredictable in most occasions, and resolution of cases can take a very long time. These reasons apply to almost all cases aside from libel, but they apply especially to defamation, libel, and slander because these are extremely based on facts only. Therefore, in order to properly build a case against a person suspected of committing libel, exact and loophole-devoid facts must be established, experts must be hired, witnesses must be requested to come forward, and painstaking research must be done.

Settlements can be made before the lawsuit is filed, or once the discovery period is complete. There are three ways on how to issue settlement on a libel case. Settlements can be made using negotiations between you, or with your attorney if you happen to be represented, and the defendant or his attorney is he too is represented. In addition, cases can be resolved with the help of an arbitration or mediation from a neutral third party.

The first type of settlement, negotiation, is defined as the agreement made between the two parties as an attempt to reach a compromise.
The second type of settlement, mediation, is done with the help of a neutral third party. Mediations are non-binding and will usually cost money depending on where the mediation happens, as well as on the mediator’s skills.

The third type, called arbitration, is quite similar to mediation. The only difference of the former to the latter is that the proceedings in arbitration are more formally staged and the decision of the arbiter is legally binding and can be enforced against both sides. Since the setting of arbitration is more formal, it costs more than mediation, and the total amount spent on the process is equally split between the two parties involved. To be further informed about your choices when it comes to settling, it is always recommended that you talk to a lawyer that can help give you professional assistance.

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5 Signs You Have a Stalker

Posted by on Jun 20, 2015 in Family Law |

Stalking is a real problem that is faced by many people, not just celebrities. The fact that we are more connected than ever with social media makes it easy for a would-be stalker to watch their prey. In this regard here are five things to look out for. If you’ve noticed any of these, you might have a stalker.


1. The person “coincidentally” appears everywhere – this means that the suspicious individual seems to be everywhere you go. Whenever you go grocery shopping, take a walk with the dog or drive to work, the perpetrator suddenly bumps into you. This is the first sign to look out for because it means that you are being watched and followed.

2. The person is very persuasive – this is not courting or anywhere near that. This means that the perpetrator does not take “no” for an answer. You may have politely declined to a dinner invitation before or ended a random conversation with them when they popped up somewhere – but those instances won’t stop them from trying again. This is where they watch your social networking page for any updates about your life and take notes on the things you like or places you often go  with friends.

3. The person sends unwanted gifts – one irresistible sign from the is when the perpetrator leaves gifts by your door. They try to win your heart by lavishing you with expensive items because they will not accept the fact that you are uninterested with them. If you accept the gifts, thinking that this will put a halt to what is currently happening – then you are wrong. This will only make the stalker feel like they have a chance with you.

4. The person becomes physical and threatens you – this is the most alarming sign of all. This puts your safety at stake. This is when the stalker decides to get their way by brute force. They have run out of resources to please and try to get you, which made them decide to resolve matters through coercion.

5. The person threatens to commit suicide – one trait of a stalker is overly possessive of their current obsession. This leaves them extremely dangerous. In an attempt to make you stay or be with them, they will threaten to initiate self-harm. You, in return, will give in and the vicious cycle repeats itself.

The above-mentioned warning signs may be of big help not only to the younger generations but the future ones as well. Every person being told of these indicators may have already paid this information forward to others.

Just always remember that others may have had a similar situation but survived. This is why these signs are meant for the society to be known. This helps ensure the safety of every person in a certain country. It is helpful always to keep in mind that a stranger is still a stranger and that no matter how good-looking or friendly they seem to be is not an assurance that they will not do a wrongful act.

Stalkers have amplified nowadays with the use of modern technology. It is therefore, even more important, to be careful with accepting friend requests from people you do not personally know, posting public pictures on your account page or setting meet-ups with a stranger. People should put to mind that the first line of defense is to prevent putting oneself in danger. On the other hand, if a stalker was able to get a hold of you without the use of any social sites or gadgets –then it is time to let the law address this problem.

Remember always to be careful and to keep your personal lives private and far from the view of the public’s eye. This will help lessen the chances of meeting a stalker and will keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

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5 Ways for You to Get Legal Advice for Free

Posted by on Apr 15, 2015 in Family Law |

Legal issues and court proceedings are very stressful. If you want to win a case, you need to find a legal representation that you are entitled to. But it doesn’t come without a price. More so, the price isn’t cheap, which makes many people reluctant to seek legal advice.

You don’t have to worry about expensive legal assistance now. There is already a wide array of legal services that come without charge. There are also services that, though they cost money, are discounted so that you can have access to effective legal representation and advice you require.

There are many ways for you to get a free legal assistance. You only need to be diligent in finding it. Most law firms offer ridiculous prices for certain services, but if you are smart, you can get those services in discounted prices, or even for free. Find and have access to free legal assistance. You can search the internet or find local law firms and check their services.

Legal Advice

The following are five ways to get free legal advice that you can consider whenever you need assistance from lawyers without the need to put out some cash:

  1. You can schedule a free consultation session with a local lawyer. There are law firms offering 10 – 60 minutes of free legal consultation. Even if a law firm doesn’t offer “free” services, if you inquire with them, they will still give you more or less 10 minutes of their time to talk free of charge. This is because they see you as a potential client, and they will show off their skills to talk you into hiring them.
  2. Seek law offices funded by the government. Most governments have agencies where fresh and inexperienced lawyers are hired to “gain experience”. Since they are government operated, many of their legal services are free or of discounted price. In the United States, these government-funded offices are called “legal aides”, and you can find them using your area’s phone directory.
  3.  Avail of free legal assistance offered by local law firms and local courts. Many doctors offer free medical aid. Lawyers can do the same, too. Local courts provide legal clinics for free and legal services for people involved in certain lawsuits, especially when they are related to family law. Your local court may have its website for you to check on schedules. Local law firms have advertisements on free services as well.
  4. Call a legal aid or a public attorney’s hotline. Local legal hotlines offer advice for people in certain legal situations. They are especially available to people who are victims of domestic violence. In many cases, their advice is free of charge; in some cases, they may have charges but only at minimal costs.

Your area may have more than one legal firm offering legal hotlines. Do a search and find the firm that can help you the most in your situation.

If you live in the United States, it is important that you call a legal hotline within your state. Different states have different laws and you may end up having the wrong advice if you talk with a lawyer of another state.

  1. Check your local law schools if they have free legal services clinics. A lot of law schools offer free legal clinics. This is for their law students to have relevant experience on legal cases. These clinics usually take on criminal issues and civil laws. Some law schools offer legal clinics focusing on only one legal issue such as a clinic on domestic violence or one on child abuse.

The legal help provided in clinics organized by law schools are given by law students. But they are guided by experienced law experts. Even if the law students themselves are not licensed yet, a guarantee from their instructor will assure you of an accurate advice on your case.

Usually, law school clinics are focused on helping people with low income. However, some special law clinics will take challenging cases regardless of the person’s financial status. This is to give law students experience in handling difficult cases.

These five ways to get free legal advice prove that everyone has the right to justice. Nothing is free anymore, as many people say, but this statement was proven false by those who are willing to help without taking anything in return. Legal issues are not uncommon in any country. Many people are not able to answer to lawsuits because they cannot afford legal advice. With the help of concerned law experts and students, people now have a chance to answer and defend their side.

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Top 10 Latest States that Approved Same Sex Marriage

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in Family Law |

The rights of every citizen is a priority to every democratic country. In this steadfast times of technology and ever-changing environment, people will adapt. The more equality is being demanded by civilians; the more laws are being promulgated.

People are now open to different types of personalities and relationships. This is where same-sex couples arise on what used to be taboo. Problems and disputes arise as well with the government and religion. Nevertheless, people still stand with their right of being with the person they ultimately relate to.


So, which states allow same-sex marriages? These are the top 10 list of states in the U.S. which recently legally allowed this type of marriage:

Nevada – which is in the Western, Mountain West and Southwestern regions of the U.S. It has a population of 2,839,099 of which mostly live in Clark County. The date of ruling was last October 7, 2014 and declared effective last October 9, 2014, by the federal court.

West Virginia – which is in the Appalachian region of the Southern U.S. It is the 41st largest state by area in the United States where the largest city is Charleston. It has a population of 1,850,326. The ruling was enacted last October 9, 2014 and deemed effective on the same date by the federal court.

North Carolina – is located in the Southeastern part of the United States. It has a population of 9,943,964. The ruling was enacted last October 10, 2014 and declared effective on the same date by the federal court’s decision.

Idaho – is located in the northwestern part of the United States. It is the 14th largest in all states with a population of 1,634,464 making it the 39th most populous. The ruling was enacted last October 7, 2014 and deemed effective last October 15, 2014, by the federal court’s decision.

Arizona – can be found in the southwestern part of the United States, which is also the 6th largest of all states. It has a population of 6,731,484 making it the 15th most populous of all the 50 states. The ruling was enacted last October 17, 2014, and declared effective on the same date by the federal court’s decision.

Alaska – can be found in the northwest border of the United States. Its population is 736,732. The ruling was enacted last October 12, 2014, and declared effective last October 17, 2014, by the Federal court’s decision.

Wyoming – is located in the mountain region of the Western United States. It is the least populous with only 584,153 residents. The ruling was enacted last October 17, 2014, and deemed effective last October 21, 2014, by the federal court.

Montana – is a state that can be found in Western United States with a population of 1,023,579. It is 4th in size in all 50 states. The ruling was enacted last November 19, 2014, and also effective on the same date.

South Carolina – is located in the southeastern part of the United States. It has a population of 4,832,482. The ruling was enacted last November 12, 2014, and declared effective last November 20, 2014, by the federal court’s decision.

Florida – can be found in the southeast part of the U.S. It is the 3rd most populous in all 50 states with a population total of 19,893,297. The ruling in this state was enacted last August 21, 2014, and just recently declared effective this year, January 6, 2015.

The above items are the latest states to recognize fully and license same-sex marriages. Other states include Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Indiana, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Oregon, New Mexico, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Delaware, California, Maryland, Maine, Washington, New York, District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut, California and Massachusetts.

These states have a total population of 221,434,635, which is 69.4% of United States’ population.

The approval of some states in the U.S. reflects the changes that is currently happening with this generation. Some may find it offensive, vile or a form of rebellion against religion, but to most, it is simply an acceptance of being human. People in other countries are still struggling for this acceptance, and the promulgation of such laws seems distant. This is because these countries are mainly under the influence of religion. Nevertheless, a few couples decide to fly to one of these states that legally allow same-sex marriages to achieve the happiness they have always desired.

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Community Property States and their Meaning

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Family Law |

Which states are community property states? Before that, question is answered, what then is a community property? This is a matrimonial regime that originated in jurisdictions of civil law and can now be found in jurisdictions of the common law. In a community property state, all properties acquired during the marriage are equally divided between the spouses in the event of a divorce. Each of them has a given half-interest in that property and also the debts that occurred during the marriage, except those received by either spouse by way of inheritance. The assets and properties acquired at the time before the marriage or after the couple legally separated or divorced are not anymore included in the calculation.

So which states are community property states? There are 9 of them in the United States: Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Washington. Special rules are in effect to spousal property and income in these nine community property states. It is natural for courts in these states to divide equally all the properties acquired during the marriage between spouses when they are divorced. This can be in a form of one spouse maintaining the title to some assets acquired during marriage, like a house; while the other spouse receives a combination of cash as well as some assets to compensate for the difference in value. Each spouse leaves the marriage with the equal amount of marital properties.

As mentioned, marital property does not include those acquired outside of marriage, such as those incurred before getting married and those acquired after divorce. It also excludes those properties that, although acquired while the spouses are still married, were inherited from parents, grandparents, or other direct relatives provided that the property is in one spouse’s name only and it is not combined with other marital properties. Cash is also excluded if it is a gift or it is inherited from a direct relative. It should be deposited separately in another bank account under one spouse’s name only. Debts acquired during the marriage are also considered marital properties and should also be divided equally between spouses.

Although 9 in the U.S. are community property states, there are no two states that share the same laws regarding this. One state may have judicial decisions and statutes that are opposite from another when it comes to a specific legal matter. In some community property states, income generated from separate properties is considered separate income; while in the remaining community property states, the income acquired from separate property is considered a community property as long as it is generated during marriage.

 Community Property States and their Meaning

Community property also has certain tax rules. A community property results in lower capital gain taxes after one spouse dies, and the living spouse sells that property.

Community property problems arise during divorce proceedings and conflicts when one spouse dies. Such conflicts can, however, be avoided if proper state planning is done during the marriage. The main definition behind community property is “Property gained before marriage is separate, and it belongs to the spouse who seized it.

Property seized during marriage belongs to the community property except if it is gained as a gift, inheritance, or when a separate property is gifted to the community.” This main definition has led to a lot of problems, some of which are difficult to determine. One example is a business owned by a spouse before he got married. Clearly, it is a separate property, but what if this business becomes bigger during the marriage? How are the additional properties classified when they are acquired during the marriage? There are many other examples of problems that are difficult to solve when it comes to community property.

Community property consists of all types of properties. This includes real properties, or “immovable properties” such as land and house. It also includes personal properties or those that can be carried or transferred. Examples of which are cash, jewelry, bank accounts, stocks, and bonds.

The pension may have been already acquired before getting married. When contributions are made using community property during the marriage, then the proceeds of it are partially separate property and partially community property. If divorce occurs or a spouse dies, the state’s rules for apportionment should be followed.

Although nine states share being community property states, their laws are completely different and cannot be compared with each other. The laws regarding separate properties and marital properties vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

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