Across America, a blood-alcohol level of .08 is the legal limit to drink and drive. In the news lately, the National Transportation Safety Board wants to lower that number to .05 - depending on your size that could be as few as one or two beers in one hour.
By Marshall W. Orsini, attorney at Carr & Wright, PLC
By Marshall W. Orsini, attorney at Carr & Wright, PLC
Determining child support is an unavoidable part of the divorce and custody process in Iowa. For clients, child support can be a concern and a cause of stress. How child support is determined, however, is not a mystery.
At it's simplest, child support is calculated using the parties' income, but it also takes into account other things, such as day care expenses and insurance premiums. The actual amount of your child support is most directly affected by the visitation schedule (for example, a parent with shared physical care will pay a much lower child support amount then if he does not have shared care).
Unlike many other custody issues, child support boils down to math, based on the amount of income each party makes. And that is where the true fight often lies - proving what the party's real income is. It is not always as simple as checking tax records or pay stubs.
The forms you need to file in a child support matter are often overwhelming to go it alone. And if you ignore the paperwork that you have received, you will more than likely be ordered to pay child support based upon the income that the opposing attorney has stated that you earn. If the other party is represented by an attorney, you should consider getting legal advice from a local attorney, such as one of the great family law attorneys at Carr & Wright.
So, you want to expunge your criminal record?
In the past, you could only have your Iowa adult criminal charge expunged if it was for some alcohol-related convictions (of course not including OWIs), or if your case was resolved via a deferred judgment. But now, thanks to a law passed last year, you can have your criminal record expunged for any crime...sort of.
Iowa Code Section 901C.1 now allows people to apply for the expungement of dismissed or acquitted charges. If you were charged with a crime, and it was later dismissed or if you were found "not guilty", you can finally expunge it from your record! This may not go as far as some people want, but it is still a very good thing. Think about it: in the court of public opinion, just being charged with a crime can have very negative implications.
Currently, criminal records show just about every charge that has ever been filed against a person, whether or not that charge actually led to a conviction. Although it may also show "dismissed" or "not guilty," the person seeing that record can't help but wonder what it was that happened. Do you want potential employers seeing that you were charged with a theft some years ago? Or your girlfriend to see that you were charged with possession of a controlled substance? Do you think they will care that the charge was dismissed without a conviction?
There are, of course, certain requirements that have to be met in order to expunge your criminal record, and the process may be too complicated to tackle alone. If you want to expunge your criminal record, or have need to speak to a criminal defense attorney for any reason, please contact the law office of Carr & Wright and ask to speak to one of our fine attorneys. We will be happy to schedule a free consultation.
The purpose of this article is to explain the basics of the divorce process in Iowa. Of course, if you ever have any questions about divorce, child custody and support, or other family law issues, please call Carr & Wright and ask to speak to one of our attorneys. Divorce (or "dissolution of marriage") is a very serious matter with long reaching legal implications. That is why we recommend speaking to an experienced family law attorney, such as one of the fine attorneys in our office.
The first step is the actual filing for divorce, and the person filing the petition for divorce will forever be referred to as the "Petitioner". His/her spouse will become the "Respondent." Getting the petition right is crucial, because in the Petition you ask the court to grant you certain things in the divorce - such as custody, child support, property division, and alimony, as well as asking the other party to share in the court costs and attorney fees. You must also show that the Court has jurisdiction to decide those matters. This can be a complicated matter, especially if children are involved, so it is important to bring a lot of information with you when you first meet with your attorney.
One big complaint we often hear is that it takes a long time to finalize a divorce, especially when child custody is being determined. This is true, but one way to get a temporary order is to ask the Court for a hearing on temporary matters. Through this process, you are able to get a court hearing on matters such as custody, support, alimony, etc. much earlier than waiting to settle your divorce or going to trial.
Assuming the Respondent has filed his/her Answer, the case proceeds to sharing information and discovery. Now, the Court requires the parties to exchange some information without Discovery, such as financial information and affidavits, but in most cases, Discovery is essential.