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Tips for talking to your children about divorce

Divorce is a common occurrence in today's society, and it frequently affects families with children of all ages. There are several effective and age-appropriate ways to address divorce when it comes to talking with children.

One of the most important factors to keep in mind when facing a divorce with kids is that clear and open communication is essential. No matter your child's age, there are techniques you can employ to make your best effort to help your children minimize any feelings of fear and guilt they may have surrounding the divorce.

Examining eyewitness accounts in criminal cases

Facing criminal charges can be incredibly stressful and frightening. People in this situation can be worried about fines and going to jail, losing their job and their families. In the midst of all this, it can be very difficult to get an accurate picture of the situation and your legal options.

In this vulnerable position, a person can easily be misled about their case. For example, a police officer or someone else might claim that there are eyewitnesses who place you at the scene of a serious crime. You might therefore assume that your best option is to plead guilty. However, this could be a big mistake.

How constructive possession may affect a drug case

Say a law enforcement pulls a driver over for a traffic infraction, such as speeding. During the traffic stop, the officer develops a reasonable suspicion there may be drugs involved in the situation. An inspection uncovers a baggy of an illegal substance.

Does this mean the driver will end up with a conviction for drug possession? It depends.

What are common requests for child custody modification?

When you divorce and a child custody agreement is put in place, the terms may seem reasonable enough. In fact, once everyone settles into a routine, the agreement may appear to be largely workable. However, changes happen in life that could affect your child custody arrangements. Will the court approve your request for modification?

You believe your child is in danger

What happens to property in an Iowa divorce

Property division can be a major area of contention for divorcing couples. It can help to understand the basic approach the court will take when making decisions. However, each case is different, and unique circumstances can lead to an atypical determination.

Of course, couples may address property division outside of litigation. A prenuptial agreement can determine a plan for specific assets. Couples may also use mediation and other alternative dispute resolution strategies to come to an agreement. In most cases, the court will grant approval, but the law does not require them to do so.

Mistakes to avoid when filing for a divorce

Divorce is a difficult subject, and no one can go through it perfectly. Iowans who have gone through a divorce know all too well that it's easy to make mistakes throughout the process.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid if you are going through a divorce:

Hearsay - What Is It Really? | hearsay

Before I went to law school, I used to think that hearsay meant the same thing as rumors. You know when people say something like "don't listen that talk, that's just a bunch of hearsay." But, as I soon learned in school, hearsay is one of the more complicated and confusing (even to attorneys) issues in the world of litigation.

For anyone wanting to see the Iowa Rules on hearsay for themselves (or needing to cure their insomnia) they can find the Rules on hearsay here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/CourtRulesChapter/01-31-2017.5.pdf but be warned, this is just scratching the surface. The case law on hearsay is long and varied. Keep in mind though that the purpose of this blog post is to try and explain hearsay for the everyday person, and not the practicing lawyer.

By definition, hearsay is any out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. The "statement" can be oral, written, or even non-verbal conduct (in some situations). So, three quick examples of hearsay would be: (oral) a witness testifies that he overheard the defendant talking about the drug deal he just made; (written) a contractor showing various purchase agreements and receipts; (non-verbal conduct) a child therapist testifies to her young client's interactions with a therapy doll. True enough, all three are hearsay, but all three may still be admissible under one of the 30-plus hearsay exceptions that Iowa recognizes (but I'll save that for another post).

"Offered to prove the matter asserted" is not as complicated as it sounds. It refers to the assertion being made in the alleged hearsay statement. So, if you want to show the effect that the statement had on the listener, and that effect is relevant to the case, than it may not be hearsay at all. For instance, if there is a slip and fall at a convenience and a witness overheard two employees talking a few minutes earlier about a coffee spill, that conversation may not be hearsay at all. It can be offered not to prove that there was coffee, but to prove that the employees were on notice that there was coffee.

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