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Domestic violence is more common than you think

Domestic violence is one potential reason to file for a divorce, though the reality is that many people stay in these relationships. This really makes domestic violence more common than a lot of people realize. It may be happening to you or someone you know, even if it's not obvious from the outside.

For instance, did you know that the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence studied it and discovered that every minute about 20 people suffer from physical abuse? And that is just in the United States, and it just counts abuse coming from an intimate partner.

Pennsylvania bus driver accused of drunk driving with children

According to reports out of Pennsylvania, a bus driver was allegedly drunk behind the wheel, even though she had more than two dozen kids on the school bus at the time. She has now been arrested and is facing some very serious charges.

The woman, who is 44 years old, was driving for the Northampton Area School District. On Friday, March 1, police say that she started driving her bus rather erratically. She eventually wound up at a gas station. The kids were still on the bus. The driver went up to an employee at the gas station, handed them the keys and then abandoned the children on foot.

Items that aren't allowed in a prenup

You signed a prenuptial agreement back when you got married. Now you and your spouse are talking about divorce, and you want to look over the document again. For one thing, you want to check what you agreed to, but you also wonder if some of the provisions in it won't actually hold up.

To help you spot things that may not stand, here are a few examples of issues that prenups cannot address:

  • The prenup cannot get either one of you out of child support obligations.
  • The prenup cannot force you to do anything that breaks the law, and it cannot allow your spouse to break the law.
  • The prenup cannot waive or take away your child custody rights. As with child support, the court is going to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child.
  • The prenup cannot deviate too far from strictly financial issues. It is essentially a way to divide or protect assets, and things that are merely personal in nature may not hold up.
  • In many cases, the prenup cannot incentivize a divorce. It is just supposed to help make the process easier, not push you and your spouse toward divorce. If you could do this, it would be possible for one partner to use the prenup with the express purpose of taking advantage of the other -- for instance, convincing someone who is in love to give up the rights to all of their personal property from before the marriage.

How confident is that eyewitness?

Eyewitness testimony is something of a paradox in the legal system. While it often inspires the trust of the jury, the reality is that it is often wrong. Many people who wind up behind bars when they never broke the law are only there because an eyewitness picked them out of a lineup or otherwise identified them. In some cases, DNA evidence later clears them of the charges, but this does not happen for everyone.

What can we do to reduce the number of wrongful convictions based on inaccurate witness statements? According to some legal experts, we need to consider how confident people appear when they first make an identification in a case.

How different expectations can lead to divorce

Divorce is often caused by subtle things that one partner does not even realize are breaking the relationship apart. It's not always something obvious like domestic violence or an affair or substance abuse.

For instance, when two people have very different expectations for the marriage, that can leave one of them feeling neglected. Perhaps one partner thinks that it is the other person's job to financially support them. That person has no idea that the other spouse does not want to work. When the couple runs into issues with employment and budgeting, whose fault is it? Money problems cause a lot of stress in marriages, and they can come from the fact that both people did not view money the same way from the very beginning.

Follow these tips when telling your children about your divorce

Deciding to press forward with a divorce is one of the most difficult decisions you'll ever make. Not only does it impact you, but it will change your children's lives in many ways as well.

It's important to take the right approach when telling your children about your divorce. Here are five tips to follow:

  • Don't jump the gun: Don't tell your children you're divorcing until you're absolutely sure. If you discuss this too soon, you could clue your children into your marital problems, which is never a good thing.
  • Get on the same page as the other parent: This allows you to remain united, despite your divorce, while giving your children the feeling that everything will be OK.
  • Be open and honest: You want to protect your children, but this isn't a time to lie. Be open and honest with your feelings and thoughts on the future.
  • Prepare to answer questions: Regardless of age, your children are sure to have questions about your divorce and the impact on their lives. Prepare for every question imaginable, as your children deserve answers.
  • Talk about change: Don't hide from the fact that things will change for you and your children. Talk about this upfront, but make it clear that you'll do whatever you can to help maintain stability in their life.

What are the penalties for drunk driving in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, lawmakers have set the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit at .02 for anyone under 21 and .08 for anyone that age or over. Those who exceed these run the risk of being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). There are significant consequences to being arrested and charged with drunk driving in the state depending on which of the three tiers your offense falls under.

Pennsylvania Code § 3802(a) 1&2 refers to anyone who engages in unsafe driving or who tests as having a .08 to .10 BAC as a tier-one offender. Under Pennsylvania Code § 3804(a)(1-3), a first- or second-time offender is likely to be charged with an ungraded misdemeanor offense; however, someone with three or more tier-one violations will face a second class one.

4 tips to prepare for asking for a divorce

The thought alone of asking your spouse for a divorce is probably enough to make your palms sweat and your head ache. Even if you're sure that it's time to move on from your marriage, asking for a divorce is a complicated process that will have a far-reaching impact.

Here are four tips you can follow as you prepare to ask your spouse for a divorce:

  • Prepare yourself: From what you want to say to how you'll react during the discussion, you need to prepare for anything and everything that could happen.
  • Choose the right time and place: Don't make the mistake of having this conversation the first chance you get, as this could add more stress to an already difficult situation.
  • Don't change your mind: Your spouse may be opposed to a divorce and ask you to reconsider. If you're set on moving forward, don't change your mind. Be gentle with your spouse, but don't give in.
  • Don't let too many details get in the way: This conversation is simply to tell your spouse that you want a divorce. It's not the right time to talk about the details, such as who will get physical custody of the children or who will keep the family home.

Pennsylvania’s new Clean Slate law

There are many ways a criminal conviction can have impacts on a person long into the future. One is through the mark being convicted of a crime puts on one’s record. Such a mark can have impacts on a person’s employment options and a range of other aspects of his or her life.

A new Pennsylvania law aims to cut down on how long this mark can severely interfere with a person’s future. It is called the Clean Slate law. It aims to give a clean slate to individuals convicted of certain lower-level crimes long in the past.

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Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall
209 East Beaver Avenue
State College, PA 16801

Phone: 814-308-0422
Fax: 814-308-8552
State College Criminal Defense Attorney Office