When to Use Mediation for Elder Abuse

Mediation and litigation are two different ways to resolve legal disputes. While mediation is often a part of litigation, it doesn't always have to be. Disputes can be mediated outside of litigation and lawsuits.
There are pluses and minuses for either choice, and either can be the better option depending on the case. If you're in the midst of an elder abuse case, you may be wonder which one is right for you?
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is considered a form of 'alternative dispute resolution.' It involves a neutral third party who facilitates a discussion (between the parties to a legal dispute) focused on resolving the dispute. Over the last few decades, as a result of how successful mediation has become, more and more courts have required litigants participate in mediation or alternative dispute resolution before being allowed to move forward with a trial.
Mediation is a good way to seek a compromise resolution that preserves relationships. It gets parties who..

Same-sex Couple Sue to Foster Refugee Children

There are many couples who want to have a child, but can't have one of their own. There are also many children who are waiting to be adopted. Seems like there's a simple solution, but it's not always that easy for couples who want a child to actually adopt one. Take for example Fatma Marouf and Bryne Esplin.
The couple was unable to have a child with alternative pregnancy methods, and decided to foster a refugee child. However, when they tried through a federally funded organization, they were denied.
The couple has sued several federal entities and the Conference of Catholic Bishops because they claim that they were denied because they're in a same-sex relationship.
What Led to the Lawsuit?
The couple states that they reached out to Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, which specializes in placing refugee children, to start the process for adopting a child. According to the complaint, during a phone interview, an employee of Catholic Charities told the couple that..

Is It Illegal to Hide Cryptocurrency in Divorce?

It's never a good idea to try to cheat the law. When going through a divorce, property division begins by determining the assets of the splitting couple then divvying up those assets.
Hiding property is, as you might expect, a regular fear and feature of the divorce process. Stocks, bonds, bank accounts, and 401(k)s can be tracked down by your ex's lawyers. As can (more easily) the house, the car, and the dog. But what about anonymously held cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin?
Assets Are Disclosed in Divorce
When a married couple divorces, property is split between the two parties. How, exactly, depends on the laws in your state. It might involve splitting a couple's 'community property,' or it can involve a process called 'equitable distribution' where a judge determines what's fair for all parties.
In addition to the generally strong emotional turmoil of dissolving a marriage, haggling with your ex-everything over who gets anything can make for..

Can a Hotel Check Your Room If You Post ‘Do Not Disturb’?

Many hotel guests want privacy, and giving guests what they want is good for hotels. So as more hotels and casinos announce regular check-in policies for guest rooms, questions are being raised over the wisdom and legality of the universal 'do not disturb' placard. The answer might surprise you.
Hotels Serve Guests, and Protect Themselves
Hotels generally give their guests a fair amount of privacy and security in their rooms. Units have locks, including locks that can only be opened from the inside, and most hotels will try and accommodate patrons with special requests, such as changing check-in and check-out times and keeping valuables in a secure location.
There are legal and good business reasons for doing so. Hotels owe guests certain legal duties, including providing for guest security and welfare, providing safe premises, and warding against the ever-present risk of lawsuits involved in running a major establishment serving many people. Reducing accidents, injuries, ..

What to Do If Someone Else Claims Your Child as a Dependent

You can claim a $4,050 dependent tax exemption for each qualifying child under federal tax law. Married couples filing jointly generally claim their children on their return, which is easy enough to manage between them. But when parents file separately, which often happens in the case of divorce or separation, the familiar tug-of-war over the kid(s) can extend to tax returns.
So what happens if someone else claims your child as a dependent?
Your Child, Your Exemption?
It's fairly common for multiple taxpayers to try and claim the same child as a dependent. So the IRS has developed a series of black-and-white rules for determining who wins out.
To start, it's always the legal parent who can claim a child for tax purposes. You should know who that is, as it's pretty straightforward. A legal parent has priority over another parent-like figure or relative.
If there are two legal parents (again, common for divorced or separated parents) then it's generally the custo..

What to Do If Someone Esle Claims Your Child as a Dependent

You can claim a $4,050 dependent tax exemption for each qualifying child under federal tax law. Married couples filing jointly generally claim their children on their return, which is easy enough to manage between them. But when parents file separately, which often happens in the case of divorce or separation, the familiar tug-of-war over the kid(s) can extend to tax returns.
So what happens if someone else claims your child as a dependent?
Your Child, Your Exemption?
It's fairly common for multiple taxpayers to try and claim the same child as a dependent. So the IRS has developed a series of black-and-white rules for determining who wins out.
To start, it's always the legal parent who can claim a child for tax purposes. You should know who that is, as it's pretty straightforward. A legal parent has priority over another parent-like figure or relative.
If there are two legal parents (again, common for divorced or separated parents) then it's generally the custo..

Tips for Students to Help Prevent School Shootings

It unfortunately seems that the frequency of school shootings has increased. Just yesterday, at least 17 people were killed during a school shooting in Florida. Every time there's a school shooting, the debate on gun control comes to the forefront of the news. While this is a valid debate, it seems that more is at play than just preventing people from being able to buy guns. There may be things that parents, staff members at school, and other students can do to help prevent these tragedies in the future.
Can Anything Be Done to Prevent School Shootings?
A school shooting can't always be prevented, especially if the shooter doesn't exhibit any signs of violent tendencies or indication that he or she is planning a school shooting. However, there are signs sometimes that someone is planning something, and if you notice such signs, it's a good idea to pay attention to these signs and take them seriously. This is true for parents, school staff, and students. For exampl..

Student Loan Forgiveness Options May Disappear Under New Budget Plan

Higher education is important to many people, but it doesn't come cheap. In order to get a college or graduate degree, many people need student loans. Of course, the hope is that once you receive a degree, you'll be able to get a job, and repay your student loans.
However, this isn't as easy as it theoretically seems. For this reason, there are various repayment options for people who take out student loans. But, under President Trump's new spending plan proposal, there are many changes to repayment options for those who owe money for federal student loans.
What Would Be Changing?
The budget plan, as currently written, would do away with the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and curtail income-based loan repayment plans. The plan would also cut funding for federal work study in half, and embolden the government to go after students who aren't paying their loans. These changes to student loans would apply to those students who borrow after July 1, 2019,..

Is Equitable Distribution of Marital and Non-Marital Assets the Same As Equal Distribution?

No, equitable distribution of marital and non-marital assets is not the same as equal distribution. Equal distribution states, known as community property states include California, Louisiana, New Mexico, Washington, Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Wisconsin, and by agreement of both parties, Alaska. All other states distribute marital assets using the term “equitable” which, in legal terms, means “fair” distribution of assets.

Tips for Talking to a Lawyer on the Phone

Almost everyone knows that you have a right to counsel if you've been charged with a crime. People will also be inclined to seek out a lawyer if they want to file a lawsuit, or if they're being sued. But, there are many other instances where a lawyer can be very helpful.
For example, it's usually a good idea to consult with a lawyer while planning your estate because he or she can ensure that your estate plan is in compliance with your state's laws, and can advise you on how to reduce your estate taxes. But, how do you decide when to call an attorney? And how do you decide if the attorney you call is right for you? These are valid and important questions to ask yourself when you're thinking about hiring an attorney. Read on for some tips for talking to a lawyer on the phone.
How Do I Find a Lawyer?
If you have friends or family who have already used a lawyer (that they were happy with) in a similar legal matter, it's a good idea to ask them for the lawye..