Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tax Implications Important to Consider in a West Virginia Divorce

Jun 2014

When dividing marital property in a divorce, many couples tend to consider the value of the property without thinking about the tax implications. This can be a big mistake, as some assets have tax advantages that others do not enjoy. When considering what assets need to be liquidated as part of the divorce, couples should consider the tax consequences of their decision.

Tax bills can take a big bite out of a divorce settlement, and you need to have a careful plan for minimizing adverse tax consequences and protecting your assets. Divorce lawyers in West Virginia at the Recht Law Offices can help you throughout the process of your divorce.

Tax Implications to Consider in Your Divorce

A recent article on CNBC touched upon some of the tax issues that couples need to think about when they end their marriage.

One of the mistakes that CNBC indicated some divorcing couples make is liquidating a 401(K). Not only will you lose a big portion of the value of the retirement account when you liquidate a 401(K) but you may also end up with a huge surprise tax bill that you did not count on at the end of the year. If you don’t have the cash to cover it, your financial problems could quickly snowball.

Rather than liquidating a 401(K), it is best to keep the money in the retirement account, even if a share of the proceeds is divided among the spouses. With this and other retirement accounts, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QRDO) could be issued so the money can be divided at the time the couple is able to access the retirement account in their later years without being hit with huge tax penalties.

Asset liquidation is one of the biggest areas where tax issues are raised, and couples should avoid not just liquidating retirement accounts but also selling assets that will result in huge capital gains if they don’t have the cash to pay those taxes. Before any asset is sold, you need to determine the value and the tax consequences associated with the transaction.

Another area where it is important to consider tax implications is when dividing up property. For example, there are capital gains exclusions that can allow an individual to shield up to $250,000 in gains from the sale of a home and that can allow a married couple to shield up to $500,000 in capital gains. If the profits on the sale of the home would exceed $500,000, it may be advisable for the home to be sold as a part of the divorce before the exclusion is cut in half by the end of the marriage.

Further, if one spouse keeps the home and the other spouse receives stock that is equal to the value of the house, the spouse that got the home may get the better end of the deal because he or she could sell and exclude the gains while the spouse who got the stock won’t get the same tax benefit.

These are just some of the complicated issues that can be raised by divorce. An experienced attorney should always be consulted for help.

Contact a West Virginia divorce attorney at the Recht Law Offices.  Call 1-800-487-8546 today for a free consultation or visit

Is it Legal to Tape Your Spouse During a West Virginia Divorce?

May 2014

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald  Sterling is defending racist comments that he made on tape, claiming that he acted out of jealousy and was baited into making the comments. His girlfriend secretly recorded him making the offensive statements, which have gotten him into a significant amount of trouble with the press as well as with the NBA and other team owners. According to CNN, it is not clear exactly how the tapes ended up being released to the public and Sterling does not believe that his girlfriend was trying to blackmail him through the release of the tapes. Sterling’s girlfriend is also being sued by the man’s estranged wife to try to recover $2 million in gifts that Sterling gave to her.

The Sterling situation illustrates the risks of private conversations becoming public. These are risks that you can face whenever you are in the process of divorce or when you are not getting along with your spouse. Things that you say could potentially be taped and could be used against you in a variety of different ways during the process of your divorce.  Divorce lawyers in West Virginia should be consulted as soon as you determine that you will be separating from your spouse so you can get advice on what to do, and not to do, in order to protect your rights.

Taping Your Spouse During a West Virginia Divorce

In the state of California where the controversial Sterling tapes were made, his girlfriend likely acted illegally when she recorded their conversation. This is because California is one of 12 states  where both parties must consent if a conversation is to be recorded. The act of secretly recording phone calls or other conversations without the consent of both parties can result in felony wiretapping charges.

West Virginia, on the other hand, is one of 38 states where only one party must consent to being recorded. This means that if one of the two estranged spouses agrees to have the conversation recorded either in person or via phone, you are likely not violating the law.

Statements made on a tape could then be used against you to harm your interests. Anything that sounds threatening or that suggests verbal or physical abuse, for example, could be used to secure a restraining order and could potentially impact who gets custody of the children.

Because a taped conversation could be used against you, it is essential that you always act as if anything you say will be shared with the judge. Never be baited into saying something that you would not want to have taped and be sure that you understand the types of statements that could get you into trouble and have an adverse impact on the outcome of your divorce.

It is important also to remember that the consent of at least one party is always required before a conversation is recorded, so you should not tape your spouse’s conversation with other people. This includes conversation that your spouse may have with your children.

Contact a West Virginia divorce attorney at the Recht Law Offices.  Call 1-800-487-8546 today for a consultation if you are separated or ending your marriage.

Debt Harassment Becomes Big Concern As More Americans Are in Default

Oct 2013

Despite a so-called economic recovery in the United States since the Great Recession, many people continue to face serious financial struggles. The poverty rates stayed stagnant in 2012 for the second year in a row, with 15 percent of Americans – or 24.6 million people – continuing to live below the poverty line. This is 2.5 percentage points higher than 2007 and a full nine percent more families are living in poverty than when income peaked in 1999. For minorities, the economic situation is even worse, with NBC News reporting that 27.2 percent of blacks and 25.6 percent of Hispanics were living in poverty. For almost everyone, though, income is either falling or staying the same, with full-time working women earning a median income of $37,791 and full-time working men earning a median income of $49,398 as of 2012.

With these economic indicators, it should come as no surprise that recent data shows more Americans are defaulting on their debt. For anyone who has ever been in debt, it also comes as no surprise that the number of debt collectors and the aggressiveness of the debt collector’s efforts is also increasing as more Americans struggle to pay bills. The law, however, protects those in debt from certain actions on the part of debt collectors. Debt harassment lawyers in West Virginia can help those who are being treated unfairly by collectors.

Debt Collectors May Engage in Illegal or Dishonest Tactics

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act provides many protections to debtors including limiting when debt collectors can call; giving debtors the right to demand proof of the debt; and prohibiting debt collectors from using aggressive scare tactics like threatening a lawsuit that would never be filed. Yet, despite these protections, MSN reports that 164,361 complaints of debt collector abuse were made to the Federal Trade Commission in 2011 alone, many reporting abusive and harassing phone calls.

Unfortunately, many more families are likely now experiencing these abusive practices due to higher default rates. Yahoo indicates that the overall default rate for all types of credit reached 1.35 percent in July 2013, increasing .01 percent from a 1.34 percent June default rate. Default rates for all different types of debt were increased, with 1.03 percent of auto loans in default in July as compared to just one percent in June. For first mortgages, the default rate increased from 1.23 percent to 1.25 percent during the same time period. Bank cards were the debt with the biggest increase in defaults, however, as 3.22 percent of debtors were in default in bank cards in July.

When a debtor defaults, the creditor will typically try to collect payments with its in-house collection practices first. If the creditor is not able to get money and if the debt isn’t secured, then the credit company may sell the debt for pennies-on-the-dollar to any collection agency that can buy it. The collection agency may fail to live up to consumer protections, leaving debtors who are being harassed with little recourse but to consult an attorney to stop the abusive behavior.

A debt harassment lawyer in West Virginia can help if you are being harassed. Call Recht Law Office today at 1-800-HURTLINE for a free case consultation.

Teenage drivers in WV, PA and OH put people in danger in summer

Accidents happen fast. One second, you’re safely driving down the road. The next, you’re injured in an accident caused by the other driver. Accidents can happen anytime for any reason. But certain times of the year are more dangerous than others, especially when a teenager’s behind the wheel in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, more deadly auto accidents involving teenage drivers happen than any other time of year nationwide, according to a recent auto accident study by AAA.

What would you do if you were injured in an accident caused by a teenage driver? You need a strong West Virginia auto accident lawyer on your side. You need Recht Law Offices. Serving clients in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, Recht Law Offices has a well-earned reputation as a no-nonsense West Virginia auto accident attorney. We thoroughly examine the details of every accident case on behalf of our clients. We then use that information to build a rock-solid case with one goal in mind: to get our clients the money they rightfully deserve.

Don’t leave your future to chance. Put your trust in a West Virginia car accident attorney who puts people first. Contact Recht Law Offices. We mean business.

The number of fatal accidents caused by teenage drivers is startling. In 2008, fatal crashes involving drivers 15 to 20 years old killed 242 people in Pennsylvania, according to official government statistics. Similar figures are equally astounding for other states served by our law firm. In Ohio, 211 people were killed. In West Virginia, 48 people.

Serious accidents demand serious attention. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a teenage driver, you deserve justice. Take action. Contact Recht Law Offices today. Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to fighting for victims of auto accidents. Dedicated, determined, driven to succeed – Recht Law Offices. We’re on your side