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Inaccurate breath tests and low-carb diets

Before issuing a DUI, law enforcement in Virginia generally first consider the suspect's behavior during the traffic stop. Police may look for such signs as smelling like alcohol and performing poorly on a field sobriety test. However, it is possible that a person who is on a low-carb diet might have breath test results that falsely register a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

A Texas attorney successfully argued this point for his client, who was in ketosis, and got DUI charges dismissed. He says that the portable tests carried by most law enforcement officer, which use fuel cells, read isopropyl and ethanol alcohol the same way. The former may be produced in the breath of people who are in ketosis, which is caused by a low-carb diet. It can also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. A 2006 study examined the case of a man who was unable to start a vehicle with an ignition interlock device that used fuel cell technology despite not being drunk. He was also on a low-carb diet.

How financial disparities may lead to a divorce

Financial disputes are one of the problems that can most commonly lead Virginia couples to end their marriage. This disputes can be exacerbated when one partner makes significantly more. However, according to one study, this is particularly true when the higher-earning partner is the wife, rather than the husband. These couples were 33 percent more likely to divorce, and there are a number of factors that could contribute to the situation.

Some husbands say that their wives can be overbearing about financial decision-making, especially if they are the sole or major breadwinners. These types of disputes can emerge frequently in couples with widely disparate incomes, but men may be less willing to accept an unequal role in financial decisions for the family. However, not all of the issues were related to inequality in the relationship. Even when financial decisions were made equitably by the couple, with both partners having a valued voice in the discussion, these couples seemed to have a higher likelihood of divorcing.

How many points against your license is too many?

Traffic violations have serious consequences. Unsafe driving poses a danger to everyone on the road and surrounding property. These are the consequences that some don’t think will happen to them. People also don’t realize the impact numerous traffic violations in a short time can have on your driving record.

Virginia uses a points-based system for assessing driving records. Racking up 18 points in one year or 24 points in two years can lead to a 90-day suspension of their license. Many people would have a hard time getting to work, the grocery store or taking their kids to soccer practice without their license.

What to know about retirement after a divorce

Divorce can have a significant impact on Virginia couples For instance, it may be necessary to divide property, decide who gets the kids and determine if either side gets alimony. When going through the process of creating a divorce settlement, it is important for each side to determine how it could impact their retirement. If an individual has an IRA, 401(k) or a pension, it might be divided in a settlement.

This could be true even if the account was only in one person's name. In the event that a 401(k) or other qualified plan is to be split in a divorce decree, it will need to be divided through a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). Ideally, the QDRO will be crafted by someone who has experience dealing with the nuances that may come with it.

Joint custody more likely than in the past

How the legal system handles divorce and child custody has changed significantly over the past several decades, and parents in Virginia are more likely to share custody than was once the case. In the past, custody was often awarded to mothers on the assumption that they were the best caretakers for children. Mothers still get sole custody more than fathers do, but there is a shift toward more visitation time for fathers and more shared custody.

This is true even when the parents were never married. While married fathers with more assets are more likely to seek custody, courts tend to treat divorced and unmarried fathers in the same way. Fathers who have fewer assets are more likely to be successful at obtaining custody or visitation rights than they used to be.

What to do with the family home after a divorce settlement

As a couple in Virginia goes through the divorce process, one of the more challenging issues they face could be what to do with the family home. This is because the family home is likely one of the largest assets the couple has. Some form of compromise will need to be reached. In a lot of cases, one spouse gets control of the home during the settlement agreement.

Just because a person is awarded the home does not necessarily mean that they are in the best position. They have a lot of difficult decisions to make. For example, will they allow their now ex-spouse and children to live in the home? Another consideration is how the mortgage will be paid.

How divorce can affect tax filings

When parents in Virginia make the decision to divorce, they may be very concerned about how the separation will affect their children and the parenting relationship. Exes often think about co-parenting strategies, custody/visitation schedules and how to stay close to their children. However, they may forget to consider how divorce could affect their tax returns.

A child can be claimed as a dependent on only one tax return each year. When a married couple files taxes jointly, there is no concern. After a divorce, however, each parent will file their taxes as a single person. This means that only one parent can claim each child as a dependent. The advantages to claiming a child include access to the Child Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. With the changes in tax law inaugurated by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, these kinds of credits are more important than ever to achieve tax savings.

Divorce can have long-term financial impacts

When Virginia couples gets divorced, they may need to consider how it will impact their retirement. There are many different types of retirement accounts that may have to be split even if they are in one spouse's name only. For example, an IRA can be considered marital property, and the same can be true for a pension or other retirement plan such as a 401(k).

If a person has a qualified retirement plan such as a 401(k), it must be split under the terms of a qualified domestic relations order. The QDRO should be drafted by someone who has experience creating them as even minor mistakes can cause frustration in the future. Another item to consider after getting divorced is how it may impact a person's Social Security benefit.

How to handle a DUI stop

Let’s face it: No one has much sympathy for a driver caught behind the wheel while drunk. But just because you’ve been pulled over doesn’t mean you have to immediately plead guilty to DUI. There are steps you can take.

The first step is to remember that, even if you haven’t been arrested, everything you say and do could be used against you in court. The police officer will write a report about the incident that will include everything the officer remembers that you said or did. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what you can say or do when pulled over.

Getting a divorce

Married couples in Virginia who want to get a divorce should understand that it can be an emotionally trying process for all the people involved, and the two divorcing parties may feel as if they are at war with one another. However, getting a divorce through a collaborative process can help the two parties work together to obtain a solution and may mitigate some of the emotional damage that can occur with ending a marriage.

Divorcing couples should take some time to examine the history of their marriage to learn how to prevent their divorce from becoming a battlefield. They should recall how decision-making and the handling of conflicts were handled. Issues such as arguments becoming combative and demeaning fights or certain topics that caused disagreements can be the same issues that may cause complications during divorce negotiations.

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