San Jose Personal Injury And Family Law Blog

Parents should include taxes in custody agreements

When ending a marriage, parents usually have a significant number of things on their minds. From determining child custody to working out both child and spousal support, it is easy for some important matters to slip through the cracks. Since taxes are usually not on people's minds during the fall, California parents may overlook who gets to claim children as dependents on federal tax returns.

Because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, child dependency deductions are eliminated through 2025. However, some parents can still see tax benefits from claiming  children as dependents. In the case of a divorced couple, only one parent can claim a child in a given year. In general, the custodial parent -- the parent with whom a child spends the majority of his or her time -- is the one who gets to claim the child.

Pedestrian accidents: Tesla driver runs down couple

California police say that a woman in a rented car caused a recent deadly accident. One person was killed and another was injured in the pedestrian accident, and neither the responsible driver nor another involved motorists suffered any injuries. Pedestrian accidents can be particularly tragic, since victims who are traveling on foot are more vulnerable to fatal injuries than people who are traveling in enclosed motor vehicles.

According to police, the 21-year-old driver had used the Getaround app to rent a Tesla. The app works much like Airbnb, and allows owners to rent out their vehicles. For reasons that are still not clear, the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when she drove straight through a red light and hit another vehicle. Both drivers lost control of their vehicles, and the Tesla driver ended up running down two pedestrians. The pair was a couple who were out celebrating their wedding anniversary.

Protecting credit scores during divorce

Credit scores determine much of what a person has access to. From securing an auto loan to finding reasonable housing, credit scores can either help or hinder an individual get to where he or she wants to be. For these reasons, California couples might be worried about filing for divorce. While the divorce process does not affect credit scores, actions taken during and after certainly can.

Joint debt is fairly common in marriages. In general, debt that a couple takes on during marriage is considered marital property, which must be divided between both parties. However, even if one person is tasked with repaying a certain debt while the other is responsible for other obligations, any issues may ultimately come down to the whose name is on the debt. This means that even if an ex is responsible for repaying a loan, a creditor can still come after his or her ex-spouse for nonpayment, which affects credit scores. When possible, refinancing loans in only one person's name can be helpful.

Wrongful death claim can help after the loss of a loved one

An unexpected death is a complicated situation for surviving family members to handle. Families often struggle to cover funeral expenses and adjust to losses in income. These financial damages can make it difficult for families to fully process their loved one's death, and concern over money can even interrupt the grieving process. If a California family has experienced the loss of a loved one, it may be extremely important to pursue just legal recourse through a wrongful death claim.

A person does not have to be criminally charged in order for a family to pursue a wrongful death suit, which is because criminal negligence is different than civil negligence. This means that, while that person might not have acted criminally, his or her behavior may have still been negligent. Demonstrating that negligence is not always easy though and requires identifying a number of elements, including that the surviving family members suffered financial damages as a result of their loved one's death.

A custody dispute may feel unavoidable for some fathers

During a divorce, California parents usually just want what is in the best interests of their children. However, what those best interests are can be highly subjective. Long-held biases in both the general public and family law can make it difficult for fathers to continue being active parents after divorce. For some, it could even lead to a custody dispute.

There are currently around two million stay-at-home dads in the United States. Despite this, 14% of Americans think that opportunities for mothers to bond with babies should be prioritized over bonding opportunities for fathers. This attitude goes beyond initial bonding, as 53% of people think that mothers are just better suited for child rearing. Only 1% of adults believe that a father could do a better job at caring for a baby.

Four tips for being an effective co-parent

Divorce ends marriages but not parental responsibilities. Both spouses have a duty to their children to remain active parents throughout their children’s lives, but how do you actively co-parent with a former partner?

Luckily, there are strategies that any parent could implement into their parenting style, especially after a divorce. All you need is to remain open to new parenting techniques and prioritize your child’s interests first.

Does divorce go up as the economy improves?

Could the state of the economy predict whether a marriage will last? According to some experts, the economy does indeed affect the divorce rate. When the economy is going strong and incomes begin to grow, the number of divorces in California and across the rest of the country also increase.

Even though money is one of the main contributors to marital stress, having more money does not necessarily help. A 2018 study from Northwestern Mutual found that 41% of respondents reported that financial anxiety negatively affects their relationship. As it turns out, having more money actually increases financial stress rather than alleviating it.

How To Protect Your Legal Rights After a Car Crash

Statistically, it is likely that you will be in at least one car accident. When this happens, the legal determination of liability is probably the last thing on your mind. However, there are certain steps that you can take in the days and weeks following a crash that will protect your legal rights and facilitate the advocacy that a personal injury attorney will eventually do on your behalf.

First, we recommend calling the police after every accident, even minor ones. The reporting officer will prepare a police statement which, although generally inadmissible as hearsay in a court of law, is an important investigative resource.

Here's what to expect during a divorce trial

It would be nice if everyone peaceably parted ways and made a new-start without any animosity or vengeance towards the other person. But the reality is that many divorces lead to trial when two people cannot agree on the terms of their divorce.

If you are finding it hard to come to any agreement regarding custody, alimony, asset distribution, etc., then you need a strong legal team to help you fight for what you want in court. There are many sensitive factors at play that could influence the outcome of your case. Proper navigation is key when deciding what moves to make in and outside of the courtroom.

How Posting On Your Social Media Can Greatly Impact Your Personal Injury Claim

hann.law_.march_-1024x683.jpg It might be tempting to post on your social media about the accident you were just involved in. Maybe you even want to post a photo of your injury. However, it is not a wise move to do so. Documenting your accident with posts and photos on your social media sites can end up being harmful to your personal injury claim.

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