Cotton & Gates
Direct Attention From Attorneys Who Care
850-855-4520
Menu / Navigate

Shalimar Law Blog

2 Florida students facing felony charges over threats

Often, people post things on social media that they don't mean or intend to be a joke. However, when those posts threaten acts of violence or other criminal activity, law enforcement has to take them seriously.

Two Florida local high school students have learned that lesson the hard way. They are facing charges after threatening other students on social media.

Can you place your home in your trust if it's not paid off yet?

When many people do their estate planning, they choose to place their assets in a trust. Often, people create revocable living trusts that allow them to retain control over these assets while they're alive, but make things easier for their heirs after they are gone.

A revocable trust, as opposed to an irrevocable one, lets people make changes to it during their lives. This includes changes to beneficiaries and terms.

Is an Alimony and Maintenance Trust right for you?

Most people who receive alimony from an ex-spouse get monthly payments, usually for a specified period. However, if the paying spouse has the liquid assets available, the couple may agree to a lump-sum payment.

Getting your alimony all at once can be a good deal for recipients because they don't have to worry about what will happen if their ex loses a job, makes some bad investments or dies. They don't have to go back to court if their ex fails to pay in full or on time. Further, their alimony isn't contingent on them staying single. For spouses without children, a payment up-front can mean that they never have to deal with one another again.

Understanding the difference between DUI and BUI

Operating machinery under the influence is quite dangerous, and the courts treat such situations very seriously. Depending upon the type of vehicle an individual is operating while under the influence, it may be possible to face either DUI or BUI charges.

Some people are not aware of how different DUI and BUI charges can be. However, it is important to understand the contrasts.

Civil forfeiture: When your property can be legally taken

The idea that the police can seize your money, jewelry or car just because they merely suspect that you might be planning to commit a crime or that those assets are somehow related to crime seems like something out of a dystopian nightmare -- not something that occurs regularly in the United States.

However, that's exactly what the Department of Justice (DOJ) is encouraging. It doesn't have to permit it, because most states already have their own civil forfeiture laws that already allow the police to seize money and property that could be related to crime. However, the new regulations from the DOJ just gives them more incentive to do it.

Handling children's wishes to be with their other parent

When parents separate and their children divide their time between two homes, it's only natural for them to miss the parent they aren't with. It can be heartbreaking for a parent to hear their children cry or lash out, saying that they want to see or even live with their other parent.

It can be difficult not to take such expressions personally. However, it's essential to remain calm, listen to your children and have empathy for their emotions. Talk to them about what they're feeling when they're ready to do so.

Be careful about online communications during divorce

If you're going through or even considering a divorce, your attorney will likely advise you to refrain from posting on social media immediately. Attorneys also advise their clients to be careful what information they include in text and email communications.

These messages can be subpoenaed and used against you in your divorce. A good rule of thumb with any sort of online communication during a divorce is that if you wouldn't want the judge to see it, don't post it.

Can you sue if a loved one is harmed in a nursing home?

Last September, the Obama administration issued new rules that would cut off Medicaid and Medicare funding to nursing homes if they required residents to sign an agreement that let any disputes, including those involving negligence or abuse, to go to arbitration. By signing these agreements, people give up their rights to have their legal disputes settled in court, no matter how egregious the accused behavior -- even if it leads to death.

These new regulations never took effect because they were blocked by a federal judge. The judge, in his decision, referenced a doctrine that limited the power of the federal government to threaten to remove state government funding to encourage good behavior by private entities.

U.S. Supreme Court will hear gay wedding cake case

Although same-sex marriage is legal in the U.S., some business owners want no part of it. They claim that they shouldn't have to be involved in photographing, catering or even baking a cake for a same-sex wedding if they believe that homosexuality is a sin.

Such refusals have led to court battles between couples who say businesses are discriminating against them by not providing a service they would provide to anyone else. Now the issue is headed to the country's highest court.

Discussing financial issues is key before marriage

When couples marry, they don't just merge their emotional lives, but their financial ones as well. However, too few couple discuss their current financial situations, including debts and assets, before they marry. Perhaps even fewer discuss their views on saving and spending and their financial goals for the future.

While discussing finances may be the last thing you want to do as you're planning for your wedding, your intended's debt and credit issues could become your own if you don't properly plan. That's just one reason why a prenuptial agreement is a wise idea, even if your partner isn't a tech billionaire and you're not set to inherit millions from your parents.

Contact

Cotton & Gates, Attorneys at Law
3 Plew Avenue
Shalimar, FL 32579

Toll Free: 866-604-2660
Phone: 850-855-4520
Shalimar Law Office Map

Find Out How We Can Address Your Legal Needs

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Back to Top
Review Us