Law & Daily Life - The FindLaw Life, Family and Workplace Law Blog

January 2018 Archives

How the Gig Economy Is Impacting Child Support

Each state has its own formula to determine what amount of child support the noncustodial parent will pay. But, even when an amount is determined, it's not always easy actually getting child support payments. Sometimes the parent may feel that the money is going to his or her ex-spouse and not actually to the child. Other times, a parent may have a new family and feel that he or she can't afford to make child support payments and support the new family.

Regardless of the reason, a parent is obligated to pay child support, and if he or she doesn't pay, there are ways to force payment. However, forcing someone to pay child support has become increasingly difficult with the new gig economy, where people are working in temporary positions as independent contractors.

Are Curfew Laws Legal?

We all remember being young and having a curfew set by our parents. You'd be out having fun with your friends and then your curfew would be approaching, so you'd have to cut your fun short and go home. While you may have thought your experience with curfews would end once you moved out of your parents' house, there are still curfew laws that everyone must abide by. In fact, there are a variety of curfew laws, including juvenile curfew laws, emergency curfew laws, and business curfew laws.

Sure, we'd all love to have an experienced tax lawyer look over our financial situation before we file our taxes. But let's be honest, most of us just end up furiously clicking through a TurboTax or H&R Block website just to make the April deadline.

But how much money are we losing by doing our own taxes? And when is it worth it to hire a tax attorney?

Are There Legal Alternatives to Divorce?

Divorce can be difficult, both legally and emotionally, which is why you may wonder if there's a legal alternative to divorce. Although there is the option of a legal separation, which outlines the rights and duties of a couple who is still married, divorce is the only way to legally end a marriage. There are, however, alternatives on how to divorce. These alternatives include mediation, collaborative divorce, and traditional divorce.

Outside of buying a house, or a boat, or a houseboat perhaps, buying a car is one of the biggest financial investments we'll make. So it goes without saying that you should take the car buying process seriously and therefore you'll probably have a lot of questions you'll want answered before you finalize the deal.

So here are three of the biggest legal questions about buying a car, from our archives:

Can I Sue the Court?

There are some classic threats you hear regarding legal arguments. "You're getting sued!" "I'll see you in court!" "I'm taking my case all the way to the Supreme Court!" But what if your beef is with a judge or the court itself? Can you take the court to court?

While courts and judges generally enjoy immunity from civil lawsuits, there may still be ways to hold them accountable for certain actions. Here's what you need to know about suing the court.

Most of us work hard at our jobs, trying to get things done and make a positive impression on our bosses and colleagues. Many of us even work right through meals, skipping lunch to be more productive.

Part of that motivation comes from knowing that we could be fired for not doing our work. But can you also get fired for not taking a break from work?

What Is Prior Restraint?

If Michael Wolff'sTrump tell-all book, Fire and Fury, reminds you of Shakespeare, it's probably the bard's take on life from Macbeth: "it is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing." The same might be true of the bluster around the book, with Trump's lawyers (as usual) sending a threatening cease and desist letter, and publishers responding in kind.

Trump clearly didn't want the book to be published (or maybe he has a stake in the book and is boosting sales by tweeting about it), but does the president or the courts have the power to ban a book before it comes out?

Over the past six months, the U.S government has been split on transgender military service, with the president tweeting a ban, transgender service members suing over the tweets, the Secretary of Defense defying the president's order, and ultimately a federal court blocking the order.

All that political and legal back-and-forth looks to be over -- starting January 1 of this year, transgender people are now allowed to enlist in the military. And, according to the Department of Justice, the Trump administration won't continue to challenge transgender military service in court.

After an infamously busy 2017 on the immigration front, the Trump administration apparently has more in store for 2018. "This president won in part on taking a tough stand against illegal immigrants just coming over the border," Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway told Fox News. "People want to know that our borders are secure, and this president has a 70-point immigration plan."

That's a lot of points. So what further reforms could President Trump have planned for 2018? Here are some possibilities:

It's one thing to check in to an unkempt hotel room, finding hair and dirt on the sheets. It's another to be forced to clean the room yourself, because there's no staff around to answer complaints about the condition of the room, or to fix the broken air conditioner or shower in the bathroom. And it's quite another to be charged $350 for calling the overnight number trying to get something fixed, and then threatened with a libel lawsuit by the hotel's lawyer/owner after leaving a negative review online.

That's why the Indiana Attorney General's office stepped in and filed a lawsuit against the Abbey Inn in Nashville, Indiana, charging it with violating the state's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act.

The tax overhaul recently passed by Congress has a lot of changes in store for 2018, but one in particular may have a big effect on people's 2017 tax returns. The new tax bill will cap what federal taxpayers are allowed to deduct for state and local taxes at $10,000, sending some forward-thinking homeowners to their municipal tax offices in an attempt to prepay their 2018 property taxes in 2017 in order to maximize their deduction.

But will it work?