Attorney David L. Zerbe
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Lawrenceburg Legal Issues Blog

Getting through Valentine's Day after your marriage ends

You're coming up on the first Valentine's Day since you and your spouse split up -- or maybe the first one since your divorce became final. Sure, you can say that it's just a made-up holiday designed to benefit florists, candy makers, greeting card companies, jewelers and expensive restaurants.

But it's unavoidable. You can't run in to the drug store to get a box of aspirin without being inundated with aisle after aisle of pink and red decorations -- or turn on your TV without seeing images of loving couples celebrating with a new trinket or even a new car.

Why you shouldn't take shoplifting charges lightly

Over the holidays, your child, who was home from college, used some very poor judgment and took a piece of jewelry or a pair of shoes from a store. Maybe you were caught leaving a store with something in your bag that you had intended to pay for but forgot about.

Most people consider these crimes or alleged crimes "shoplifting." However, Indiana law considers them theft, and they fall under the state's theft statutes.

What should both parents have in their homes for their kids?

If you and your spouse are separating or divorcing and sharing custody of your children, it's essential to make their transitions between homes as easy and stress-free as possible. Whether you're splitting custody 50-50 or one of you will be a "weekends and holidays" parent, children should feel they belong in both parents' homes.

Many co-parenting experts agree that children shouldn't have to bring a suitcase as they move between homes. It can make them feel like they're just visiting the parent they're with the least -- or that they can't really call either home their own. That's why it's best to have some items that belong to your children in both homes.

What should you do if your co-parent won't stop criticizing you?

You've committed to never saying anything negative about your co-parent to or in front of your children. You expect them to do the same.

Then you hear from your kids that their mom or dad criticized or belittled you. You let it go. Maybe they were having a bad day. Perhaps the criticism was warranted, even if it wasn't appropriate in front of your children. Maybe your kids misunderstood or exaggerated.

Did a few drinks lead to a public intoxication charge?

Going out with friends may be something you look forward to every weekend or something that only happens a few times a month. No matter how often, you enjoy getting together, catching up and having a few drinks. Though you never intend to go overboard with your alcohol consumption, it is possible to have a few too many when the good times are rolling.

Of course, a few too many can quickly land you and others in serious predicaments. Even if you do not get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, the chance still exists that your alcohol consumption could land you in trouble with the law, especially if someone accuses you of public intoxication.

Why your breath alcohol test reading may not be accurate

Many people believe that if they're stopped for suspicion of drunk driving and their breath alcohol test shows a blood alcohol level of .08% or over, there's little, if anything, they can do to fight an OWI/DUI charge. That's not necessarily true.

There are numerous alcohol breath testing tools on the market for police departments and other law enforcement agencies to choose from. However, like any device that relies on technology and human beings to work, none of them guarantee accurate results every time.

Understanding bribery and extortion

There has been a lot of talk about quid pro quos, bribery and extortion in the news lately. The latter two terms are the ones that people (government and public officials as well as others) are more likely to find themselves hearing in court. Let's take a look at those.

What is bribery?

Are you using your kids as messengers without realizing it?

You've been reading books, magazine articles and blogs about healthy co-parenting during and after divorce. You know that parents should never use kids as messengers to relay information or requests to and from one another.

However, this is a habit that many parents slip into without realizing it. They may think that their "messages" are harmless. However, using the kids to relay any information to your co-parent can create stress for the kids. Let's look at some examples of seemingly innocent ways you and/or your co-parent may be using your kids as messengers.

Why your college student needs some 'estate planning' documents

Your daughter has started college. She spends her first winter break at her roommate's family's home in Vermont and suffers a concussion on the ski slopes. As you try to talk to the doctor treating her, you learn that since she's 18, you have no right to any medical information about her without her consent, which she can't give since she's heavily sedated.

It doesn't matter that she's on your insurance policy or that you paid for that ski vacation. As one attorney says, "Once a child turns 18, the child is legally a stranger to you."

Accusations of tax fraud could land you in hot water

When a person fails to report all of his or her income or intentionally fails to pay taxes, it could land him or her in hot water. The Internal Revenue Service takes instances of tax evasion and fraud seriously, and if convicted, you could be facing penalties that may impact the rest of your life. You would be wise to take an investigation for, or formal charges of, tax fraud seriously.

Tax law is complicated, and it's not always simple for the average person to know what he or she should include or not include on a tax return. However, there is a distinct difference between knowingly underpaying or underreporting, and committing an accidental error. If you are in trouble because of issues related to your taxes, you may want to learn more about what tax fraud means and how you can build a strong defense

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Attorney David L. Zerbe

The Zerbe Firm
15 West Center Street
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

Phone: 812-270-9999
Phone: 812-537-0001
Fax: 812-537-5889
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