Adoption Children

Charged With a Sex Crime: Can I Still See My Kids?

(U.S. Family Law and generally) Being charged with a sex crime will impact every area of your life, including visitation rights with your children. How it impacts your visitation rights will most likely depend on the seriousness of the conviction.
According to the Orlando Criminal Team, a law firm in Florida, being convicted of a sex crime can lead to very serious consequences. This can range from fines to jail time or probation over a long period of time.

In most cases, visitation privileges will be limited to supervised visits with your children. This may mean hanging you with them at the house of your ex-spouse, or visiting them in the presence of a counselor. If your sex crime was considered heinous, your visitation rights may be denied altogether.

Many Different Points To Consider

This is a very broad subject, and many of the points will be based on local ordinances and state-specific laws. It is very hard to give one “over all” answer to this scenario because so many different factors come into play.

For instance, in some states, if the sex offender was convicted of committing an act upon a minor that was outside of the marriage or on an adult, they cannot be denied visitation rights. In other states, visitation rights are automatically suspended with any type of conviction.

In most cases, sex offenders that commit crimes against children less than 14 years of age seem to have the most difficulty in establishing visitation rights with their children. Additionally, those who are convicted under any child pornography laws, even if they never touched a real person, will have a very hard time getting the Court to approve visitation.

Visitation rights may also be changed if an additional offense occurs after the person has been convicted or paroled.

Role Of The Ex-Spouse

The ex-spouse or partner in this relationship may also play a very large role in the decisions of the Court. If the former spouse feels that regardless of what the legal status is of the conviction the other parent poses a threat to the child(ren), the Court will consider their opinions above the convicted offender.

On the other hand, if the former partner believes that the convicted offender does not pose any real harm to the children, the Court will also take this into consideration. One classic example of this is a man who is 44 years old and is convicted of having sex with a 16 year old girl that he believed was 18 at the time. This is considered statutory rape, even though it was under false pretenses and consensual at the time. In the eyes of the Court, he is now a convicted sex offender. However, in the eyes of his ex-spouse, he is just a fool and no danger to her children.

Sex offenders who want to be a part of their children’s life should not give up hope. They will need to seek a defense attorney that is familiar with sex offender cases and approach the Family Court to request that their visitation rights be granted or restored. According to the Orlando Criminal Team, a law firm that specializes in this type of situation, ”sex crimes are aggressively prosecuted.” Those seeking representation should look for an attorney that is equally as aggressive for the best results.

Family Law

Preparing for the Worse: Are Your Stepchildren Legal Beneficiaries?

Parents and step parents carefully plan for their family’s future. This should include preparing for certain eventualities. When a parent dies, a minor child will be left with uncertain living arrangements and an adult child will be left to handle his or her parents’ affairs. Without proper guidance and preparation, the emotional blow of losing a trusted family member can be compounded with severe financial pressures. Parents who plan ahead will have something to leave to their children.

The Importance of Wills and Living Trusts

When a person dies, a judge will supervise the distribution of the decedent’s assets and payments of his or her debts in probate. When a person dies testate, or with a will, his or her estate is executed in accordance with his or her will. In the event that the person dies intestate, or without a will, the estate will be divided in accordance with a body of estate law. There are many personal injury video tutorials that can be watched to get an idea of what happens immediately after a loved one is fatally injured. Distributing assets in the absence of a will normally involves furnishing assets to heirs and spouses. In limited circumstances, the assets of a person who dies without relatives and intestate will escheat to the state.

Certain assets will produce income periodically beyond mere appreciation. Such assets include financial holdings like stock, which may result in the payment of dividends, and rental properties, which will result in rental income. These assets will be divided with the remainder of the decedent’s assets upon his or her death. The devisee or distributee, or person who is entitled to assets under the will or in probate, of these assets will then be entitled to the corresponding income streams.

There are several ways in which one may structure the distribution of his or her estate. Drafting a will is one of the most common techniques. A will is simply a legal document drafted by a person that specifies how his or her assets are to be distributed upon his or her death. A will is most effectively drafted with the assistance of an attorney, as there are limits to what a will may contain and many jurisdictions have specific statutory requirements which must be met before a will is to be given legal weight.

Another way to ensure that certain assets go to certain people is to co-own the asset with the future beneficiary while both parties are still alive. The ability of the executor to distribute a certain asset will be confined to the amount to which the decedent owned the asset. Transferring property while one is alive may result in tax liability incurred at present, but will avoid the inheritance tax and other taxes at a later date. If the property is undervalued at the moment due to a temporary crash, it may be worthwhile to transfer the property to the future beneficiary to reduce the taxation. However, those looking to avoid taxation should consider another method.

The third method to ensure that one’s assets are treated in accordance with one’s wishes is to create a living trust. A living trust is an agreement between the trustor, or person who owns the property at present, and the trustee to hold certain assets in trust for future distribution to other parties. To create a trust, the parties will draft a trust agreement which determines how the decedent’s property is to be distributed. The trustor will then transfer the property to the trustee, where it will be held in trust. There may be multiple trustors who contribute to a living trust and the trustees may be another person, a company, or the trustors themselves while they are alive.

Living trusts come in two forms: revocable and irrevocable. A revocable trust is a trust in which the trustor reserves the right to modify the trust or revoke it altogether. It allows for flexibility in the event that the trustor suddenly requires the assets for living expenses or no longer wishes for specific assets to go to specific people. Most attorneys and financial advisors favor revocable trusts for these reasons. An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be revoked by the trustor.

The main benefit to creating a trust is to avoid probate. Probate is a time consuming process which requires the services of an executor and a court. Beneficiaries will not receive any assets or funding until the executor of the estate has settled the estate’s debts to the satisfaction of the court. The executor of the estate will charge fees for his or her services, which can detract from the overall amount to be distributed. By creating a revocable trust, beneficiaries will avoid the delays and fees associated with probate.

Living trusts are not a solution for everyone, however. Inheritance taxes still apply to the value of assets in revocable living trusts. Additionally, the trustee will charge a maintenance fee for his or her services, which can slowly deplete the funds in the trust. Creating a trust that will withstand a legal challenge from a creditor or a jilted heir will also require the services of an attorney, which will further deplete the prospective trustor’s assets. Finally, assets not transferred to the trust must still go through probate.

Life Insurance

Preparing for the worst should include obtaining life insurance. Life insurance will provide the beneficiary specified by the policyholder with benefits upon the policyholder’s death. These benefits can help the policyholder’s immediate family members maintain their standard of living even after the policyholder passes on. There are several different types of life insurance policies available to suit different needs.

How much life insurance one should carry is a matter of personal preference and subjective judgment. When a person dies, funeral costs alone can reach thousands of dollars. A modest life insurance policy will cover these losses. Life insurance policies may be taken out for any amount, ranging from just enough to cover funeral costs to millions of dollars. Generally, policyholders should ensure that their benefits cover several years of their income.

Carrying a life insurance policy has two primary benefits over simply saving money and including it as a part of one’s estate. First, life insurance proceeds are generally exempt from taxation. When a person dies, the value of his or her estate is taxed; life insurance payable to specific beneficiaries is not included when determining inheritance tax. Second, life insurance allows beneficiaries to avoid probate, which allows for quick and relatively hassle-free payments.

Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits include a limited death benefit payable to unmarried children and spouses. This benefit is limited to $255, so it likely pales in comparison to benefits distributed by a life insurance policy and the value of one’s estate. To be eligible to receive this death benefit, the spouse or child must have been receiving benefits under the worker’s record or have been eligible to do so.

None of the aforementioned methods is a substitute for another. People who are concerned about the well-being of their children should have a will, life insurance, and certain assets in a trust. As one attorney’s personal injury video states, getting injured in an accident can cause all types of issues that you may have never thought of before.  Setting one’s financial affairs in order will help ease the burden on one’s family in the event that a serious accident or sudden illness occurs. Those looking to create a living trust, a will, or any other document that is important to end of life decisions should consult with an experienced estate lawyer.


Divorce Law

Who Gets the Diamonds? Divison of Assets

(U.S. Family Law and generally) Going through a divorce can be difficult enough emotionally, and the entire process can be exacerbated by the issues that often accompany the task of dividing assets. Because of this, many couples choose to utilize a prenuptial agreement to ensure that everyone is protected if the marriage is not successful. However, if you do not take this step, you might find yourself dealing with major arguments over specific pieces, especially expensive jewelry. Therefore, it is vital to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side to help you retain the items that mean the most to you.
How are Jewelry Items Divided?
Many women assume that they will automatically get to keep their jewelry when they go through a divorce. After all, the wedding ring was sized to fit their finger, and women typically care more about diamonds and other precious gems than men do. Because of this, it is possible that you might not take enough steps to protect yourself before all of your joint assets begin being divided.

It is important to remember that jewelry can have a very high monetary value, and this could cause your ex to request it as part of their end of the divorce settlement. In some cases, you might even find yourself having to make the difficult choice between a piece of jewelry and another item that you want to keep. Fortunately, a lawyer can help you debate your ex’s request for your jewelry, and they also have a firm understanding of how to make successful counter offers.
What about Family Heirlooms?
In a fully civilized society, it would be understood that family heirlooms should stay with the applicable party. For example, if you have been wearing a ring that has been part of your ex’s family for several generations, you should be prepared to give it back. However, many of the societal pleasantries that most people adhere to on a daily basis are thrown out the window during a contentious divorce. Therefore, you should never assume that you will simply receive all of your family heirlooms without needing to fight for them.
Because of this, it will be important to build a case based around the history of the piece and its sentimental value. After all, the other party will not have the same history with the piece, and this will make it less emotionally valuable to them. Sadly, this could end up being used against you in order to obtain other items unless you utilize a skilled lawyer to help you present your case.
In many cases, couples divide their assets in half, and this can cause complications due to the value of jewelry. In fact, if an item is not an heirloom, it might make more sense to let your ex keep it in favor of receiving a larger cash settlement. For example, if you are debating over a diamond ring, you can easily get something similar at a reduced price by shopping at an online diamond retailer such as As long as you keep this information to yourself, you might be able to end up with a new ring and some extra cash. However, if you are determined to keep all of your jewelry, you should also be prepared to give up some other items to keep the division of assets fair.
Child Custody

Death of a Parent: What Happens to the Child?

Child custody is often a tricky subject. Two parents going at it over who will have custodial rights of their child can turn out badly, and the laws that will eventually lead to a judge’s decision are rather complex. Unfortunately, when a parent dies with legal custody of their child, the complexity related to these issues becomes even more daunting. This is why all parents should fully understand what their child may face in the event of a parent’s death.

One Parent still Alive

Many individuals believe that if one parent dies, the other parent automatically has custody. Well, this is true in some cases, but definitely not in all. If the two parents are married and share custody of their children, the surviving parent would obviously retain custodial guardianship over the child. If the parents are divorced, however, the waters can get a bit more murky.

The granting of legal custody to a surviving parent isn’t automatic if the two were divorced and only one had legal custody. Now, it’s important to note that judges are usually inclined to grant custody to the surviving parent, but they’ll definitely consider a few factors before doing this.

The factors considered are similar in many states. According to divorce lawyers in Arizona, for instance, along with several other states, judges will consider the child’s wishes, any parental criminal activity, the relationship the parent has with the child and even whether or not the deceased parent stated in their will that they wanted a specific person to have custody. Regardless of what’s going on, the surviving parent, if divorced, will need to file a petition to modify custody.

Both Parents Deceased

If both parents are deceased, child custody becomes a whole other issue. As in most cases after a custodial parent’s death, a judge will grant temporary custody to someone seen as fit for raising the child. Unfortunately, if there are no surviving family members, such as grandparents, and the parents didn’t leave a will, the child could end up in foster care.

This is why it’s essential for parents to have a will stating who they’d like to care for their children in the event of their deaths. In many cases, the courts would decide upon having a child stay with other family members, but if a parent prefers to have a godparent or friend care for their child, they’ll need to have this in their will. This is also imperative if there are no other surviving family members.

In cases where both parents die and there are multiple parties seeking custody, such as a godparent and grandparents, an individual will need to file a petition for custody with the courts. This is basically the case in most situations involving the death of at least one custodial parent, and it would behoove a person to seek out a family law attorney to help in their quest for custody.

The death of a parent can be devastating for a child. Unfortunately, months following the tragedy can be just as difficult if a custodial plan wasn’t figured out before their death. Even in the presence of a will, however, child custody can be contested. According to the lawyers at, family law may often seem straightforward, but it can be extremely complicated. There is no steadfast rule of law that will determine who gets custody every time. Judges are tasked with deciding what’s best for the welfare of the child, and in reality, this is usually a good thing.