Child Custody Battles: Understanding Your Rights and Responsibilities

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Wednesday December 13th, 2023.

Navigating the complexities of child custody battles can be an emotionally draining and legally challenging journey for parents. This guide aims to provide clarity and understanding, ensuring that you are well-informed about your rights and responsibilities during this critical time.

Knowing Your Rights

Understanding your legal rights is crucial in a custody dispute. Both parents have inherent rights to seek custody of their children. However, the court’s primary concern is the child’s best interests, which include factors like the child’s age, health, emotional ties with each parent, and the parents’ ability to provide a stable environment.

Types of Custody

It’s important to understand the different types of custody arrangements:

  1. Legal Custody: This pertains to the right to make important decisions about your child’s life, including education, health care, and religious upbringing.
  • Physical Custody: This refers to with whom the child will live. It can be sole or joint, with joint custody increasingly becoming the norm.

Responsibilities During Custody Disputes

Your conduct during a custody battle can significantly impact the outcome. It’s essential to:

  1. Stay Involved: Continue to be an active part of your child’s life. Attend school and extracurricular activities and maintain a consistent presence.
  2. Document Everything: Keep a record of all interactions and decisions related to your child. This information can be crucial in court.
  3. Avoid Confrontation: Steer clear of any actions that could negatively impact your case, such as arguing with your ex-partner in front of the child.

Seeking Legal Help

Consulting with a family law attorney is often crucial. A lawyer can guide you through the legal intricacies and help you understand the likely outcomes based on your situation.

Wickersham and Bowers: Advocating for Your Family’s Future

At Wickersham and Bowers, we understand the emotional and legal complexities of child custody battles. Our experienced family law attorneys are dedicated to guiding you through this challenging time with compassion and expertise. We strive to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your family. Contact us today to discuss your case and begin securing a stable future for your child.

Estate Taxes: How to Lessen Your Liability

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Wednesday December 13th, 2023.

Estate taxes, often termed “death taxes,” are levied on the property transferred from a deceased person to their beneficiaries. While not everyone’s estate is large enough to incur these taxes, it’s crucial to understand them, as they can significantly impact your estate’s value.

Strategies to Reduce Estate Tax Liability

1. Gifting Assets: One effective way to minimize estate taxes is through gifting. The IRS permits individuals to give a certain amount annually to any quantity of people without incurring gift tax. This not only reduces your taxable estate but also allows your beneficiaries to enjoy the assets during your lifetime.

2. Establishing Trusts: Trusts can be an excellent tool for estate planning. Certain types of trusts, like irrevocable life insurance trusts, can remove assets from your taxable estate, thus reducing the estate tax burden.

3. Charitable Donations: Donating to charity is not only altruistic but can also reduce your estate tax. Assets given to a charity are typically exempt from estate taxes, and this can significantly lower the total value of your taxable estate.

4. Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs): FLPs allow you to reduce estate taxes by transferring business interests to family members, often at a reduced tax cost.

5. Utilizing the Marital Deduction: For married couples, the unrestricted marital deduction is a potent estate planning tool. It allows you to pass an unrestricted amount of assets to your surviving spouse tax-free.

Professional Assistance is Key

Despite these strategies, estate tax planning can be complex, requiring professional guidance to navigate the legal and tax intricacies. This is where Wickersham and Bowers come into play.

Wickersham and Bowers: Your Estate Planning Partners

At Wickersham and Bowers, we specialize in providing tailored estate planning solutions that align with your unique needs. Our team of experts is well-versed in the latest tax laws and estate planning strategies. 

Take the First Step Toward Secure Estate Planning

Don’t let estate taxes diminish the value of your hard-earned assets. Contact Wickersham and Bowers today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward efficient and effective estate planning. Protect your legacy and ensure peace of mind for you and your loved ones.