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How the courts factor living accommodations in custody cases

Child custody can be one of the most difficult issues that parents face, especially if both parents want sole custody or one parent has primary custody but has become unable to properly care for the children. However, parents seeking custody should be aware that the parent's living accommodations are often a significant factor in determining whether or not the court will grant the parent custody.

For example, if the parent seeking custody is of the opposite gender of the child, the court may not grant custody if the parent is unable to offer adequate privacy. For example, the court may require the parent to have a separate bedroom and bathroom. Further, if there are multiple children, the court may require parents to provide separate bedrooms for each child, especially if the children are older.

Why estate planning is important

Many people in Virginia feel uncomfortable with estate planning for an array of reasons. It makes people think about their own death, and it can also bring up difficult family relationships. Some people may have superstitions about how thinking about death can bring it on. Of course, the process can also involve challenging decisions about the financial future. Still, making an estate plan is an important part of planning successfully for the future.

Many Americans do not have even a basic will, but the consequences of failing to plan can be difficult for family members and loved ones left behind. Many people envision how their assets should be used in the future, but without committing it to paper, there is nothing to ensure that this vision becomes a reality. In addition, without direction, family members may be more prone to conflict over the distribution of a person's estate. This is even the case for people who don't have significant financial assets but still want to be sure to record their wishes for their children's guardianship or the distribution of sentimental items.

How some breath tests may react to a low-carb diet

Some people in Virginia have medical conditions that may cause false positives on a breath test for blood alcohol content. An attorney for a man in Texas got the man's DUI charge dropped because the man was in ketosis from his low-carb diet. In ketosis, people may breathe out isopropyl alcohol. Not all breath tests can tell the difference between isopropyl and ethanol alcohol. Diabetes and GERD are among the other conditions that could cause a false positive for similar reasons.

A professor of forensic technology wrote a paper in 2006 about a man on a low-carb diet who could not start his company vehicle. The vehicle's ignition was equipped with a device that required a breath test. According to the professor, fuel cell breath analyzers may return a false positive. The Texas attorney reports that no peer-reviewed studies have established that such technology can distinguish between the two types of alcohol, particularly if a person has a small amount to drink. However, manufacturers say that they can.

How company benefit plan designations can affect estate plans

People starting new jobs in Virginia are often given a bunch of forms to fill out. Some of these forms require naming beneficiaries for such things as life insurance programs, stock options and retirement savings plans. Most people fill out these forms and forget them. Unfortunately, this could lead to potential problems in the future.

When an individual passes away, many people assume a will is the document that defines who gets what. However, not all assets are controlled by a will. An assortment of plans that can be significant sources of assets may be set up so designated beneficiaries receive whatever payouts are associated with those plans. The potential estate planning blunder here is having plans that haven't been updated since the first day of employment, which could be several years ago.

Passwords problems that may arise in estate planning

When creating an estate plan, it can be easy for people in Virginia and elsewhere to overlook digital assets. Traditionally, estate planning is not set up to accommodate the newer existence of online accounts, and best practices for online security say passwords should never be shared. However, estate administrators or family members may need access. The problem is not just one of personal finances either. After the sudden death of the owner of a cryptocurrency exchange in December, it was revealed that the password had not been shared. The clients, who have a total of $190 million in investments, may never recover their cryptocurrency.

A person who needs to make sure one or more people have access to his or her digital accounts basically has three options. The most insecure route is to simply share passwords with those individuals. The drawback is that this would require writing down the passwords if there are many of them. Another alternative is to write down the passwords but place them in a safety deposit box. While this keeps them safe, it can be difficult to keep the list up to date since every password change would require revisiting the safety deposit box.

Can my ex make up for missed days in a custody agreement?

It’s normal for scheduling conflicts to arise every now and then. But, if your ex is habitually unable to follow through with the timelines specified in your custody agreement, you may begin to wonder why you have a settlement in the first place.

Here are your options when your ex asks to make up for missed parent time.

DUI charges and breathalyzer tests

There has always been tremendous controversy surrounding breathalyzer tests used to convict suspected drunk drivers. Disputes continue over whether breathalyzer devices can always be relied upon in providing accurate readings.

Last July, when a news organization tested different breathalyzer machines, the results were not consistent. Yet the results of such readings often become evidence against Virginia residents facing DUI charges.

How to discuss custody with your child

Breaking the news of your divorce to your child is difficult. But, if you're gearing up for divorce proceedings, you know that was just the start of difficult conversations.

Next, you'll need to address the actual implications the divorce is going to have on them. Here are a few things you should make sure to cover.

Legal help is vital when facing drug charges in Virginia

Drugs are taken very seriously in Virginia and can cause immense problems in a person's life if they are arrested and convicted on drug offenses. Those who are arrested on drug charges in Virginia should remember the potential consequences they are facing and take steps to deal with them. These consequences can include fines, incarceration and long-term problems. There are various levels to drug offenses and these come with various penalties. Taking this seriously is a must.

For example, even though marijuana is increasingly being treated as a lower-level offense, it remains illegal in Virginia. It might not have the same penalties for other drugs, but it is still treated as a crime. For those arrested and charged with possession or the sale of harder drugs like cocaine, methamphetamine and other serious drugs, the penalties will be of greater severity. In any case, legal help is a must.

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