Archive for April, 2012

How do I get child support/alimony modified?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Courts use a case called Lepis v. Lepis, and the factors contained in (called Lepis factors) in order to determine a modification in child support or alimony. Here are those factors:

In accordance with this general principle, courts have recognized “changed circumstances” that warrant modification in a variety of settings. Some of them include

(1) an increase in the cost of living.
(2) increase or decrease in the supporting spouse’s income.
(3) illness, disability or infirmity arising after the original judgment.
(4) the dependent spouse’s loss of a house or apartment.
(5) the dependent spouse’s cohabitation with another.
(6) subsequent employment by the dependent spouse.
(7) changes in federal income tax law.

Courts have consistently rejected requests for modification based on circumstances which are only temporary or which are expected but have not yet occurred. In other words, temporary unemployment isn’t going to get you a modification.

The most annoying part of these standards is that courts do not apply them uniformly. There is a lot of variation at the edges where one judge might grant you a different result than the other. In these cases, although most of the motions are filed without an attorney, a consultation with an attorney might be the best way to increase your chances for success on a motion of this sort.

Would you Post Your Credit Score on Facebook?

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

I would advise against it, but this site lets you do just that. I understand that Facebook encourages (some would say it does more than encourage you, but I digress) you to spread private information about yourself to every corner of the internet. However, this is a little like teasing your social security number, one digit at a time, so thieves can have whatever access they need to your information.

These services can be useful under the right controls as a cheap first line of defense against identity fraud and similar scams. However, broadcasting any information about your credit or personal financial status defeats the purpose of the protection the company is offering.

How Reachable Should a Lawyer Be?

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Alexi Darling: “Marky, Give Us A Call 970 4301…Or At Home Try 863 6754…Or My Cellphone At 919 763 0090…Or You Can Email Me…At Darling Alexi Newscom Dot Net…Or You Can Page Me At *answering machine beeps*

-from the musical “Rent”

I mean, I understand that clients need to know your office address. They want the office phone number, and maybe even a direct line. They want your office email address. But a home phone? A cell phone? (Nevermind a pager almost nobody wears a pager nowadays.) A home email address?

They’re called “office” phone numbers for a reason. Theoretically, there is supposed to be a dividing line there somewhere. If you have to give somebody eighteen different ways to contact you so that you’re sure they can reach you, then it’s time to rethink your communication standards, your work life balance and style, or how important this client really is.

In Soviet Russia…Lawyer Fires You?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

In Soviet Russia

Can your lawyer fire you? Some people don’t realize it, but a lawyer absolutely can fire a client. When you become a client, you usually have to sign some sort of agreement or retainer letter. It outlines the responsibilities of the lawyer to you, and of you toward your lawyer. Mostly, the requirements are that you follow the lawyer’s advice, pay the bills on time, and return phone calls and provide information the lawyers needs to do his/her job. When a client cannot do so, the lawyer can sometimes have no other choice but to file a “Motion to Be Relieved As Counsel” and, in effect, fire the client.