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Is Snooping on Your Spouse Legal?

Technology makes it increasingly easy for a husband or wife to snoop around their loved one's digital accounts. But, tracking your spouse's digital and physical movements may be crossing a line. Reading a spouse's e-mail may seem innocent enough, but it CAN land you in some trouble. In fact, one Michigan man faced a harsh price for some digital spying: felony charges. He found out that his wife was cheating on him by reading some of her e-mails. He was charged with unauthorized access of a computer. Whether or not a crime was committed is unclear. The law as it applies to this...

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Is Snooping on Your Spouse Legal?

Technology makes it increasingly easy for a husband or wife to snoop around their loved one's digital accounts. But, tracking your spouse's digital and physical movements may be crossing a line. Reading a spouse's e-mail may seem innocent enough, but it CAN land you in some trouble. In fact, one Michigan man faced a harsh price for some digital spying: felony charges. He found out that his wife was cheating on him by reading some of her e-mails. He was charged with unauthorized access of a computer. Whether or not a crime was committed is unclear. The law as it applies to this...

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Does Adultery Affect a Divorce Case?

A spouse's adultery, once discovered, can lead to arguments, resentment, and even divorce. But do courts look less favorably upon an adulterer in a divorce case? Generally, no -- thanks to the concept of "no-fault" divorce, now available in all 50 states. In a "no-fault" divorce, either spouse can seek a divorce for any reason, and it doesn't matter who's at fault. The most common ground is “irreconcilable differences”, or simply the fact that “you do not get along.” But some states still allow the option to pursue a "fault" divorce, in which adultery may play a role. California is NOT one...

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How to Hire a Divorce Attorney

So your marriage is ending. The last question you probably want to tackle is how to hire a divorce attorney. But inevitably, you may need to find someone to handle your case. First figure out if you want to hire a lawyer. If you have a complicated divorce, or if you think there will be contested issues you may want to consider getting an attorney. But just know that there are drawbacks. Getting an attorney might make the process more emotional or antagonistic. Now that you've decided that you want an attorney, there are several considerations you should think about. Choose someone with...

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10 Worst States to Get a Divorce

You want a divorce? And you want it now?. Unfortunately, that's probably not going to happen. Below is a list of the worst states for divorce. Yes, the worst. They include waiting periods of up to 540 days, and boast price tags for court filing fees that come close to $400. Divorcing in one of these states will only prolong your misery. But hey, consider some of the below-mentioned perks as well. 1. Vermont. 450 days--enough said. 2. Rhode Island. Divorcing couples need to wait 510 days, but they can get a fault divorce for "wickedness." 3. South Carolina. This state boasts a 450-day waiting...

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Which Spouse Gets to Claim Child as Dependent?

Most Americans know that you can claim a dependent and get a tax exemption. But when you're divorced, does the tax exemption still apply? This question can become tricky especially in cases where both parents have legal rights with regards to the children. After all, the child can only be claimed once. Both ex-spouses cannot claim the child as their dependent on their tax returns. In many situations, the custodial parent -- the one the child lives with -- will be the one who is able to claim the exemption. But who qualifies as the custodial parent? The custodial parent is the one...

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Must a Landlord Provide Heat?

It's pretty cold outside, which means it's time to turn on the heat. But alas, it doesn't work. You've asked your landlord to fix it, but he hasn't. What do you do? Must landlords provide heat? They don't have to pay for it, but they must usually provide a way for you to heat the unit. Tenants are generally entitled to heat under the implied warranty of habitability -- an unwritten promise that requires residential landlords to maintain the premises. And when the warranty doesn't apply, local law probably does. Most local housing and rental codes direct landlords to provide heat. The rules vary...

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3 Reasons to Get a Separation Instead of Divorce

Sometimes a marriage just doesn't work out, or you need some time apart from your partner. So when is it a good idea to pursue a legal separation instead of a divorce? In a legal separation, you and your spouse are still married, but living apart. Some states require this before you can file for divorce; other states allow for a separation but don't require it, while a few states don't recognize legal separations at all. You should check with a qualified attorney in your state. If your state recognizes legal separations, there are a few scenarios in which you may want...

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Divorcing Couples Use Smart Phones as Legal Weapons

Think your smart phone is off limits during a divorce? Think again. That phone is a treasure trove of potentially damning evidence, and your soon-to-be ex may be entitled to see it. The use of smart phones during divorce and custody proceedings is becoming more and more common, according to a new survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Ninety-two percent of respondents report seeing an increase in the use of such evidence in the past 3 years.  That includes text messages, e-mails, call and search histories, and GPS data. Smart phones and divorce are a natural couple -- phone evidence...

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Ferret Owners Face Jail and/or Fine Under CA Law

Ferrets- They’re legal in 48 states, but currently outlawed in California and Hawaii. Some California residents want that to change. A group of ferret fans is looking to challenge the state’s 80-year-old ferret ban, and is in search of a state legislator who will sponsor a repeal. If the bid is unsuccessful, ferret ownership will continue to carry up to a six month jail term and a $1,000 fine. And California’s ferrets will remain hidden underground like the weasels they are. The California Department of Fish and Game points to the state’s unique species as a reason to enforce the ferret ban. When...

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