Law Offices of James Flexer May/June 2017

3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN HIRING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY By LewisWilliams

Filing for divorce can be an intensely personal and emotional process. Finding the right attorney to represent you in your divorce case can be a daunting task. How can you find someone who will represent you well and be the right fit for you?

attorney have open right now? How long has the attorney been practicing in your county’s court? How well does the attorney know the judge? If your case has special circumstances, like you cannot locate your spouse or you own a business together, has the attorney handled cases like yours before? 3) You want someone who is going to be honest with you and not just tell you what you want to hear. No one has a perfect case. Ask your potential attorney, “What do you like about my case? What do you dislike about it?” Keep in mind, almost no one gets everything they want in a divorce. Property division has to be equitable. Equitable means fair, but does not necessarily mean equal. For example, when dividing property, if the court finds that one individual contributed more, that individual may be awarded a different proportion of the property. If an attorney tells you, “You’re going to get everything,” that’s a red flag. Many attorneys offer a free consultation or have information on their website. Don’t feel obligated to go with the first person you talk to, and don’t be afraid to contact multiple attorneys until you find one that is the right fit for you and your case.

1) Look for an attorney who is well-respected in the legal community, both by other attorneys and the judges in your county. Ask other attorneys for a recommendation. I would recommend going to a domestic docket in Davidson County Circuit Court (or Chancery Court in other surrounding counties). In Davidson County, these dockets are held every Friday, and it’s a great way to observe how other attorneys do in court. Watch how well the attorneys know the facts of the case, whether or not they’re prepared and on time, and what their demeanor is like in court. 2) Find someone who is experienced. This should be a question you ask when doing your research. You don’t want your divorce case to be the very first one your attorney handles. How long has the attorney been practicing? How many divorce cases does the

IRS DEBT AND CHAPTER 7 I OWE THE IRS. CAN TAXES BE DISCHARGED IN CHAP ER 7 BANKRUPTCY?

By Lori Lott Szathmary

Whether your IRS debt will be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy depends upon when that tax debt was incurred. Taxes come due the following April after the year that they were incurred. For example, a 2016 tax debt comes due in April,

2017. If the tax came due in the last three years, then the tax becomes priority debt and is not dischargeable by the bankruptcy. Please note that if you obtained an extension or if you did not file your taxes timely, then this three-year rule may not apply. In addition, if the government does an audit and assesses taxes within 240 days of you filing for bankruptcy, this will mean it is non-dischargeable as well. You also cannot discharge a federal tax lien or a tax debt that was incurred through fraud or willful tax evasion.

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