Calculation Of Spousal Support, What You Need To Know

While your divorce case is going on, if your spouse earns more than you, you may also ask the Judge to award you temporary financial support, which your spouse will pay to you until the divorce becomes finalized. This type of support is called “temporary” or “pendente lite” maintenance.

Even if your spouse earns more than you, the Judge will not order your spouse to pay temporary maintenance if they would not be able to support themselves while making payments.

If you are seeking temporary maintenance and child support, the amount you receive in temporary maintenance gets subtracted from your spouse’s income and added to your income before child support is calculated. 

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Burden Of Proof And What it Means.

Whenever a party brings an allegation in any type of case, that party must prove those allegations. The standard or burden of proof varies depending on the type of case involved. In civil cases, for example, the burden of proof is usually preponderance of the evidence. This standard requires the plaintiff to prove that the allegations in the complaint are more likely true than not. Many commentators have described it as the plaintiff ’s burden to tip the scales of proof in the plaintiff ’s direction. Others have attempted to quantify it by saying that if the plaintiff can establish the facts to 51%, then the plaintiff has satisfied preponderance of the evidence. There are different burdens of proof in different types of actions. For instance, in criminal cases, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If preponderance of the evidence is considered to be a slight tipping of the scale in the plaintiff’s favor, proof beyond a reasonable doubt would require the government to swing the scale entirely to its side. Although preponderance of the evidence is the most com- monly seen burden of proof, there are situations in which a civil litigant might have to prove his or her case by clear and convincing evidence. The standard of “clear and convincing evidence” is higher than preponderance of the evidence and less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It falls somewhere between these two burdens. Clear and convincing evidence requires the fact finder to determine with substantial certainty that the party’s allegations are true. 

How Does Civil Law Differ from Other Areas of Law?

There are dozens of other branches of law. Administrative law deals with the rules and regula- tions that govern governmental agencies. Admiralty law governs the law of the sea. Bankruptcy law is concerned with discharging debts through court proceedings. Criminal law focuses on punishing lawbreakers. Domestic law involves divorces, alimony, and child custody issues. Civil law is different than these other areas of law in several important respects. For instance, civil cases differ from the previously mentioned types of cases in all of the following ways: 

What Is Civil Law?

Civil law refers to the large body of cases brought by individuals against other individuals. When a person sues someone for defamation or a corporation seeks to enforce an employment contract against an employee, these are both civil cases. What makes civil litigation so interesting is that there are an almost infinite variety of cases that fall under the general heading of civil law. Unlike criminal law or other specialized areas, legal professionals who work in civil litigation must be prepared for a wide assortment of cases. Fortunately, the rules that govern civil cases are uniform and relatively straightforward, even if they do apply to a myriad of case types.

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

What is a retainer agreement?

A retainer agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and your attorney. Pursuant to a retainer agreement, you engage an individual lawyer (or the partners and associates of a law firm) to perform certain services for you and agree to pay for these services. Upon signing the agreement, you are required to pay the retainer, an agreed upon amount which is prepayment to the lawyer for services to be rendered and expenses to be incurred on your behalf. The Rules of the Court require that a retainer agreement state the following:

1.Names and addresses of the parties entering into the agreement;

2.Nature of the services to be rendered;

3.Amount of the advance retainer, if any, and what it is intended to cover;

Are my conversations with my lawyer confidential?

The attorney/client privilege requires your lawyer to treat everything discussed between you and your lawyer as confidential. However, the privilege may be waived if you choose to discuss confidential information with a third party present or if you send a fax or e-mail message to a fax machine or computer that is not used exclusively by the attorney and the attorney’s staff. Be aware of the pitfalls, as well as the benefits, of technology. Also, beware of holding confidential conversations in settings in which your conversations may be easily overheard.

For information on serving legal papers visit www.undisputedlegal.com.  Open Monday – Friday 8am-8pm.  “When you want it done right the first time” contact undisputedlegal.com

What steps can I take to minimize my legal expenses?

Minimizing expenses requires an understanding of how lawyers charge for their services. The overwhelming majority of lawyers charge for their time at an hourly rate. They keep daily records of time spent on each of their clients. Typically these records are divided into minimum billing intervals. Every time your lawyer answers a phone call from you, a member of your family (with your permission), or your spouse’s lawyer, works on documents or correspondence relating to your case, participates in negotiations on your behalf, prepares for trial, or appears in court, the time so spent will be charged to you at this hourly rate. When you save your lawyer time, you save yourself money. Here are some steps you can take to minimize your legal costs:

1. Be organized. Your lawyer will need an accurate picture of your financial situation. Try to assemble a complete collection of relevant documentation and organize it in a coherent way. Important documentation includes personal and business federal and state income tax returns, bank statements, mortgages, loan statements, stock option plans, brokerage accounts, employee withholding statements (W-2’s), 1099 forms, pay stubs, and pension and other retirement statements. Other important documents include financial statements prepared in connection with loan applications, closing documents relating to the purchase and sale of a home, deeds, title certificates, registration statements for vehicles and boats, insurance policies and premium statements, and documentation of loans and gifts from family members and others. Your lawyer will also require information regarding trusts, inheritances, collectibles and collections, frequent flyer accounts and reward programs, rights in intellectual property such as copyrights, patents and trademarks and the fruits of the creative process, such as publishing a novel.