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Rockville Legal Blog

Child custody problems can become serious in a flash

Child custody and visitation issues will be a prominent part of any divorce for parents. Usually the parents can figure out custody and visitation before it goes to court. The parents agree that joint custody is what's best and they work on it from there. However, there are some cases where the relationship between the parents is very contentious, or there could even be abuse involved. In these cases, joint custody isn't possible, and there can be some very anxious and tenuous custody arrangements that follow.

What is important to realize when these disputes arise is that Pennsylvania law treats a child's best interests as paramount. A judge will not be concerned or worried about your interests or your ex-spouse's interests -- they will only worry about the child. This is mostly a good thing, with the only downside being that you never know how a judge will rule.

Discussing paternity, a complex family law topic

An issue that can often be ignored in the general conversation about family law and divorce cases is the concept of paternity. Paternity, on its surface, is a simple concept: someone is deemed the father of a child. But legally speaking, there can be some complicated situations with paternity, and when a divorce is involved, there can often be contentious issues at hand.

To begin, paternity is often established voluntarily and there is usually no dispute about who the father of a child is. When there can be a question about paternity is when the facts of the case cannot be corroborated or proven. In these cases, a DNA text will be utilized to establish who the father of the child is. These tests are highly accurate.

The many reasons why business litigation is tricky

Litigation has become an accepted part of our world. Some may argue that we are an overly-litigious society, but the merits of that argument aren't the point. People are susceptible to lawsuits when they act negligently or run afoul of the law. When other people get injured due to their recklessness; when they fail to obey family law arrangements and orders; or when they fail to take care of their premises; then there is always the possibility of a lawsuit.

For as much risk as there is for an individual in this litigious atmosphere, it is equally risky, or even riskier, for businesses to run afoul of the law. Even if you toss out the context of "running afoul of the law," there are many different legal areas that businesses need to watch out for. Consider some of the following:

After your divorce, be prepared for modifications

When a couple files for divorce, there will be a lot of work that needs to be done. Both spouses need to agree on a bevy of issues, and any that they can't agree on will go to a judge. Once finalized, the divorce agreement will rule over their post-divorce lives. Both spouses at that point may breathe a sigh of relief and think "well at least I don't have to think about or deal with that again."

However, this isn't the right way to think about your finalized divorce agreement, nor your divorce in general. There will be life events that transpire in the months and years that follow that will require both you and your spouse to either come to the negotiating table or to court.

So many critical issues in play during a divorce

There are so many different issues that could be at play in any given divorce, that it is hard to predict exactly how any individual divorce case will proceed. The only thing you can know is that there are myriad variables and numerous different ways that they could play out. For this reason, and it is one of many reasons, it is imperative for the divorcing spouses to consult with an attorney. Without one, they put themselves at great risk.

Consider any of the following:

Viacom and Charter end contract dispute after reaching agreement

Charter and Viacom have reached an agreement to end their dispute over TV cable channels that are provided by Viacom to Charter's customers. The agreement comes just a few days after their current deal expired on Oct. 15. Unfortunately there is not much information about the details in the new agreement in our source article, but this is a big deal for many customers who have Viacom. In addition, it is a big deal -- literally and figuratively -- for the companies involved too.

Viacom had released a statement earlier in the week saying that they had made good faith efforts to renegotiate the contract with Charter, but that those attempts were unsuccessful. Whether that was a successful bit of public relations work or not, the lesson here for companies is clear: contract disputes can create PR nightmares for you.

On military divorce and the need for legal help

Imagine a typical divorce. In fact, forget that we even said "typical" because no two divorces will be the same. Just imagine a divorce. If you were to go by stereotypes, you are probably imaging a couple with children, and the two spouses are angry with each other. They can't go on like this, so they decide to file for divorce. They have to deal with child custody, child support, property division, estates, marital assets, and numerous other issues.

Now imagine this exact same scenario, but make one of the spouses, or both of the spouses, members of the military. Suddenly, that already complex divorce just got a whole lot more complicated.

Equifax breach leads to class-action lawsuit for business owners

The Equifax breach has been an ongoing and developing story over the last couple of weeks. This breach leaked the information of hundreds of millions of people, possibly leaving their credit scores vulnerable to identity theft. The breach could affect many people for years to come, and some of those people are business owners. That's why a class action lawsuit was filed today on behalf of 28 million business owners in the United States against Equifax.

When you consider the risks of running a business, near the top is the ability for business owners to secure new lines of credit so that they can fund their business and expand their operations, however that may be. With the credit scores and personal information of hundreds of millions of people out there, those lines of credit could be very difficult to secure now if a business owner's score is corrupted or misappropriated by an identity thief.

Dealing with custody or visitation interference

Raising a child is difficult enough on its own, but if you and your spouse decide to file for divorce, the task of raising your child becomes much more difficult. Depending on the custody arrangement, you or your spouse may have sole legal custody or physical custody -- or both. But in many cases, the two splitting spouses will share custody in a joint custody arrangement. In these cases, there is a lot of post-divorce communication and scheduling that needs to be done to ensure that your child is properly taken care of and it make sure that you and your spouse are receiving the appropriate input and time with your child.

Interference with the arrangement and other disagreements are likely to creep up over time after you and your spouse divorce and agree to a custody arrangement. So how should deal with these issues appropriately?

RadioShack bankruptcy complicated by lawsuit against Sprint

You don't see many RadioShack stores anymore, and there's a reason for that. A couple of years ago, the company filed for bankruptcy, and they filed for bankruptcy again (a Chapter 11 filing) in March. As part of that filing, they teamed up with Sprint to ensure the company's future, but it came with a cost. The physical space that RadioShack had amassed over the years had to be shared with Sprint.

This agreement was tied into the reorganization plan RadioShack was working on in their Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A judge has given preliminary approval to the plan, but it has been complicated by a lawsuit from some of RadioShack's unsecured creditors. They have filed suit against Sprint, alleging that the company hasn't provided the support it is contractually obligated to provide to RadioShack. They have requested damages to the tune of $500 million. This lawsuit is also in the reorganization plan for the bankruptcy filing, as RadioShack claims the damages of the lawsuit will be used as a primary source of recovery for the creditors.

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