Month: May 2013

Virginia may reform its sex crime laws

Some laws are crystal clear, while others are riddled with nuance and exceptions. When it comes to laws involving intimacy, most crimes are fairly obvious. Adults may legally engage in consensual sexual encounters, provided that both parties are of sound mind and are not related closely by blood. Generally, sex crimes all exist in scenarios that do not meet those specific criteria. However, it is possible that even certain consensual encounters between adults will now be considered criminal in Virginia.

Many educators, legislators and judges are concerned about the increasing number of sexual relationships forming between Virginia’s teachers and students. As a result, the State Crime Commission is even going so far as to study the potential implementation of laws that would prohibit consensual sexual relationships between teachers and students who are aged 18 or older.

The logic behind this proposal is that the power dynamic between educators and students, even if they are no longer minors, makes their sexual relationships inherently unequal. This inequality may potentially breed corrupt teaching practices and cause the students to be taken advantage of.

The Commission will likely weigh this issue over the course of the next several months before making any recommendations to lawmakers. It will hopefully consider not only the best ways to protect students but also the general predictability and consistency of the state’s criminal legal code. When you start to narrow the ability of adults to make their own decisions about who they may and may not be intimate with, you restrict freedom of choice and diminish the concept of personal accountability. Moving in this direction should not be a decision considered lightly.

Source: NBC12.com, “Commission to study toughening child sex laws,” Brent Solomon, May 8, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Why relaxation is critical during the divorce process

An increasing number of medical studies indicate that managing stress is essential for personal health and wellbeing. However, studies related more specific life events also confirm this general advice. For instance, failing to manage stress effectively when going through a divorce can impact the process in a myriad of ways.

For example, if your stress level is overwhelming you, you are likely to sleep less, experience poor health and be generally less able to focus on the process itself. You may then become more irritable and prone to rash decision-making. Months of negotiations can be undone in a single moment of rash behavior. Therefore, it is critical that you prioritize relaxation during the divorce process, as a failure to do so could leave you with an unfair settlement or undesirable custody order.

If you are already deeply stressed, it can be difficult to imagine relaxing. However, engaging in a few simple activities can dramatically lower your stress level temporarily. Choosing to prioritize whichever of these activities works for you over a period of time will help to bring your stress level down overall.

Consider getting fresh air every day that you possibly can. Taking a walk, reading a book on a restaurant patio or going for a bike ride are all great ways to change your scenery and breathe a little easier. Also, make time for your hobbies. Whether you woodwork, knit, paint or garden, this is not a period in your life where you can emotionally afford to neglect your hobbies, even if you can only spare ten minutes a day.

In general, it is important to take excellent care of yourself during your divorce process and to remain as relaxed as humanly possible. This may seem like challenging advice, but the outcome of your divorce settlement or custody process may depend on you taking it seriously.

Source: Huffington Post, “Divorce Advice: 15 Ways To Relax During A Split, According To Readers,” Apr. 30, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.