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Warrenton Law Blog

Changing a child support order

After divorcing, Virginian residents will likely have some sort of child support order in place, allowing both parents to continue financially supporting their child together. However, financial situations are not unchanging. If a parent needs to request an adjustment, they should understand the steps that must be taken.

FindLaw discusses the situations in which a support order may need to be modified, as well as the steps that must be taken to modify it. In some cases, if both parents agree that a change needs to be made, they can have their request approved by a child support agency. The agency will then forward the request to the court after both parties sign off on it, at which point the court will approve or deny it. Sometimes, if parents cannot agree on a change, the court may take a more active role.

What should you do if you’re pulled over?

If you see police lights in your rearview mirror, you can expect your stomach to drop and your hands to sweat. This is a nerve-racking experience, even if you've been in this position in the past.

Knowing what to do when pulled over by police can help you prevent trouble, while protecting your legal rights. Here are five steps to take:

  • Immediately pull over: Even if the officer isn't coming after you, it's important to pull to the side of the road once you see police lights. If you continue to drive, the officer may get the impression that you're trying to escape.
  • Roll down your window: As the officer approaches your vehicle, stay where you are and roll down your window so you can communicate. Keep your hands on the wheel and follow instructions.
  • Provide the officer with the requested documents: This typically includes license, registration and proof of insurance. Knowing in advance where these documents are located will speed up the process.
  • Don't lie: It's okay to say that you don't know what you did wrong, but don't concoct a story about why you broke the law. Most officers have heard every story under the sun, so lying will only make things worse.
  • Ask questions: Don't hesitate to ask questions to clarify the charges and understand your legal rights. As long as you remain respectful, it's okay to ask any questions that are on your mind.

Estate planning for millennials

It is all too easy for someone who is still in their twenties or even in their thirties to put off creating a will, a trust or outlining other important matters. Generally speaking, estate planning has been thought of as something only needed by someone much older. However, the reality is that estate planning is very important for people of all generations.

As explained by Think Advisor, our current culture and societal challenges with mass shootings and other things show that death can happen to anyone, anytime. Some younger millennials may not think that they have enough assets to worry about making a will for but an estate plan can address a great many other topics that are likely pertinent to them.

How can whiplash from a crash impact your life?

Virginian residents who get involved in car crashes may suffer from whiplash. Though this is often considered one of the milder injuries a person can get from a crash, it can actually impact your health for a long time to come, especially if you don't get speedy treatment.

Whiplash is much more than a sore neck or headache. It can affect your mental state and many parts of your physical capabilities and health. Mayo Clinic examines the different physical and mental impact whiplash has on a victim. More severe and lesser-known physical symptoms include:

  • Numbness in the limbs
  • A loss of sensation, burning, or tingling
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears

Can your spouse take your business in the divorce?

Divorce is sometimes a messy business, especially when it actually involves a business. Many business owners have ended their marriages and seen the divorce end the business along with it. In part, this is due to the way that the law classifies businesses, counting them as property that a couple may own jointly.

If you own a business and also face an imminent divorce, you may have some difficult choices ahead. Without a strong divorce strategy, you may end up dissolving the business or divesting your ownership to pay your ex-spouse their share of ownership. Keeping a business together through a divorce is possible, but rarely easy. Don't wait to begin building your divorce strategy, for your own sake and for the sake of those who depend on the business you own.

Understanding how distractions lead to crashes

Virginian residents should know everything they can about distracted driving behaviors before they hit the roads. While some actions are well-known for being dangerous, such as texting and driving or driving under the influence, others are less discussed and may even be considered acceptable.

The Federal Communications Commission takes a look at one of the current most deadly distractions: texting while driving. Though texting in specific is called out, this can also extend to checking emails, websites, surfing social media, or anything else in which a handheld electronic device takes one's attention away from the road. Texting is considered particularly dangerous because it falls into all three categories of distraction: mental, physical, and visual.

Adverse possession and why you must address boundary disputes

Having a casual understanding of where your property begins and ends is relatively normal. It is common for property owners to use natural landmarks as the way to recall boundaries for their property. They may not have had a survey done since they purchased the property. In the case of inherited family land, this could mean generations have passed.

Unfortunately, the tactic of using landmarks for boundary markers is prone to errors, and mistakes in human memory can lead to long-standing neighborly conflicts. Perhaps one neighbor believes the boundary falls just north of a particular tree, while the other neighbor believes it falls on the south side, which means the tree is on his property.

Protect workers from falls

Many Virginia workers may think that only elderly employees fall down while performing their job. People of any age may fall if they are around unsafe conditions, though. Because of this, it is important for workers to know how falls occur and what they can do to prevent them.

Many situations might cause an employee to fall in his or her workplace. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that workers can fall if they climb a ladder which is not properly positioned. Clutter on office floors can also cause falls, as well as spills which are not cleaned up. Additionally, people may fall if they are working in high places without guard rails. Some employees may think they are only in danger of falling if they work in environments like construction sites. However, falls can occur in any work environment.

What should you look for in a health care agent?

A health care agent in Virginia can go by many different names: proxy, surrogate or attorney-in-fact. Whatever the appellation, however, the purpose of a health care agent is to uphold your wishes for the medical treatment you want to receive in the event of your incapacitation, as well as to make decisions for you should circumstances arise for which your living will does not provide specific instructions. According to FindLaw, you should consider certain factors carefully when selecting your health care agent.

You should avoid naming a doctor, nurse or hospital as your health care agent. Though it may seem to make sense to you, it places the medical professional in a difficult position by creating a potential conflict of interest, and the law may not allow for it for this reason. This can cause problems if you have a close family member whom you would like to serve as your agent who happens to be a doctor. Even if he or she is not your treating physician, it is better to avoid any potential legal entanglements by choosing someone else as your health care agent. 

What is the difference between moving and non-moving violations?

As an experienced driver in Virginia, you are probably reasonably well versed in the laws of the road and make a conscientious effort to follow them at all times. Therefore, you probably know that you can receive a traffic ticket for both non-moving and moving violations. However, you may not know what exactly each entails, particularly non-moving violations, which include more than what the name suggests on its own.

According to FindLaw, non-moving violations primarily pertain to matters related to parking. If you leave your car in a no-parking zone, next to a fire hydrant or in an emergency lane, your vehicle is in violation of traffic laws even though it is not in motion. If you park in a space reserved for handicapped individuals and do not have the proper permits, that is another example of a non-moving violation. Yet another non-moving violation for which you could receive a ticket is having your car parked in front of an expired meter, whether you left it too long or failed to pay the fee in the first place.

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