Modifying Alimony Awards in Memphis, TN

Modification of alimony depends first on the form of alimony awarded, and then on the specific facts applicable to each case. Three of the four types of alimony may be modified under certain circumstances: alimony in futuro, rehabilitative alimony, and transitional alimony.  Alimony in solido cannot be modified under any circumstances, except by the agreement of the parties. Each of these types of alimony awards may be awarded during a divorce or legal separation and can be explained by the family lawyer Memphis, TN trusts.

Modifying Alimony in Futuro or Rehabilitative Alimony

Generally, both of these forms of alimony remain in the court’s control for the duration of the award and may be increased, decreased, terminated, extended, or otherwise modified, upon a showing of substantial and material change in circumstances. A change in circumstances is “substantial” when it significantly affects either the obligor’s ability to pay or the obligee’s need for support. A change in circumstances is “material” when the change occurs since the date the alimony was ordered, and the change was not contemplated by the parties at the time of the award of alimony. When determining whether a modification of an alimony award is justified, the court must give equal weight to the need of the recipient spouse and the ability of the obligor spouse to pay.

One basis for a modification of an award of alimony in futuro may be the obligee’s cohabitation with a third party. Specifically, T.C.A. § 36-5-121(f)(2)(B) provides a rebuttable presumption in all cases involving alimony in futuro, where the alimony recipient lives with a third person, either that:

(i) The third person is contributing to the support of the alimony recipient and the alimony recipient therefore does not need the
amount of support previously awarded, and the court therefore should suspend all or part of the alimony obligation of the former
spouse; or

(ii) The third person is receiving support from the alimony recipient and the alimony recipient therefore does not need the
amount of alimony previously awarded and the court therefore should suspend all or part of the alimony obligation of the former
spouse.

However, such presumption does not automatically terminate the obligation. Rather, it requires the obligee to show a continued need for the support. As it relates to rehabilitative alimony, the court may modify the award if the recipient spouse is not able to become rehabilitated, despite reasonable efforts to do so. The court may modify the rehabilitative award, where doing so may lead to rehabilitation, such as where the recipient is not able to complete an educational program in the time allowed, due to illness, but may be able to do so with additional rehabilitative alimony. On the other hand, if rehabilitation is not feasible, the court may also order in futuro support, instead.

Modifying Transitional Alimony

Transitional alimony shall be non-modifiable unless:

(A) The parties otherwise agree in an agreement incorporated into the initial decree of divorce or legal separation, or order of
protection;

(B) The court otherwise orders in the initial decree of divorce, legal separation or order of protection; or

(C) The alimony recipient lives with a third person, in which case a rebuttable presumption is raised that:

(i) The third person is contributing to the support of the alimony recipient and the alimony recipient does not need the
amount of support previously awarded, and the court should suspend all or part of the alimony obligation of the former
spouse; or

(ii) The third person is receiving support from the alimony recipient and the alimony recipient does not need the amount of alimony previously awarded and the court should suspend all or part of the alimony obligation of the former spouse.

T.C.A. § 36-5-121(g)(2). Once a substantial and material change in circumstances has been demonstrated, a court will take into consideration the alimony factors to determine what, if any, modification should be granted.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are in need of help with alimony issues, including enforcement or modification of alimony, or have other family law related questions, and need counsel to discuss family law issues, call or schedule a consultation with our family lawyer Memphis, TN attorneys at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.  Call our office at (901) 372-5003 to ask for a consultation!

Trucking Accident near Memphis, TN Causes Severe Injuries

Over this weekend, Erica Baggett and her family were heading to Mississippi from Nashville, TN for a football game when her husband says they were T-boned by an 18-wheeler near the Mississippi-Tennessee border.  According to news reports, Ms. Baggett was rushed to Regional One Health in Memphis, TN and is still receiving treatment.  Her son and husband were also in the car at the time of the accident, and a GoFundMe has been setup to help the family with rising medical costs as a result of this horrible accident.

What to Do Following a Collision with a Commercial Truck or 18 Wheeler

More than likely, you will require immediate medical attention after a truck accident. This is because most of these collisions involve serious and possibly even life-threatening injuries. After recovering, you should call a trucking accident lawyer Memphis, TN trusts. An attorney from our firm can arrange to meet you in a hospital or at your home. We may help you to file a police report if this has not already been done. If you are the parent, child, spouse, partner, or other immediate family member to a person who was incapacitated or killed in a truck accident, we encourage you to call Wiseman Bray immediately. We can help seek recovery against the driver of the truck and his/her company for damages they may have caused, including medical expenses incurred by you.

When to Consult a Memphis Trucking Accident Lawyer

Every year, thousands of people are injured in truck accidents in the United States. While the cause of each of these is different, there are typically similar factors involved–usually, negligence or carelessness. When this holds true, you may be able to seek legal representation to receive monetary compensation. Examples of negligence include:

  • Failing to signal
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Lack of driver training or experience
  • Speeding
  • Load violations
  • Faulty parts
  • Tire blowout
  • Broken axle
  • Brake failure
  • Improper maintenance on the truck
  • Poor road or weather conditions

It’s possible that more than one of the aforementioned was involved in your accident; for example, poor weather conditions could have exacerbated the effects of a tire blowout from an overloaded truck. Even if the cause of the accident is not listed above, you should contact a trucking accident lawyer Memphis, TN residents regularly consult for further advice.

What to Do When You Are Contacted By the Other Party’s Insurance Company

Sometime after your accident, you may be contacted by the insurance adjusters of another party. They may be seeking information about the collision or wish to get a statement from you. They might also claim to take responsibility for what happened, and follow up with a settlement offer. As tempting as this will be, it is in your best interest to decline everything. They are not on your side, and will be trying to settle for much less than you deserve, including payment for medical bills incurred by you, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. At this point, you should seek further advice from a trucking accident lawyer Memphis, TN prefers from Wiseman Bray.

For Your Truck Accident Lawyer, Count On Wiseman Bray

When you are seeking a law firm who can offer a successful trucking accident lawyer Memphis, TN recommends, there are many to choose from, but there is only one like Wiseman Bray. For years, we have been fighting for innocent victims of truck accidents. Guided by our confidence, zealous approach, and determination to get results, we are recognized as a law firm who can offer a skilled trucking accident lawyer in Memphis, TN. To arrange a free consultation with one of our truck accident lawyers, please call 901-372-5003.

Tennessee Fraudulent Transfers to Avoid Creditors

Pursuant to the Tennessee Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, creditors can seek to set aside certain fraudulent transfers. Creditors must prove that a fraudulent transfer occurred through actual fraud or constructive fraud.

Actual Fraud

Under the actual fraud statute, a plaintiff must prove that the transfer was made “with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud” a creditor. In determining actual intent to defraud a credit, the statute lists eleven (11) factors that may be considered. Those factors are:

(1) The transfer or obligation was to an insider;
(2) The debtor retained possession or control of the property transferred after the transfer;
(3) The transfer or obligation was disclosed or concealed;
(4) Before the transfer was made or obligation was incurred, the debtor had been sued or
threatened with suit;
(5) The transfer was of substantially all the debtor’s assets;
(6) The debtor absconded;
(7) The debtor removed or concealed assets;
(8) The value of the consideration received by the debtor was reasonably equivalent to the
value of the asset transferred or the amount of the obligation incurred;
(9) The debtor was insolvent or became insolvent shortly after the transfer was made or
the obligation was incurred;
(10) The transfer occurred shortly before or shortly after a substantial debt was incurred;
and
(11) The debtor transferred the essential assets of the business to a lienor who transferred the assets to an insider of the debtor.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-3-305(b).

The “Badges of Fraud”

Since proving fraudulent intent almost always requires circumstantial evidence tough, courts also consider what have been deemed “badges of fraud” in determining whether there was intent to defraud.

1. The transferor is in a precarious financial condition.
2. The transferor knew there was or soon would be a large money judgment rendered
against the transferor.
3. Inadequate consideration was given for the transfer.
4. Secrecy or haste existed in carrying out the transfer.
5. A family or friendship relationship existed between the transferor and the transferee(s).
6. The transfer included all or substantially all of the transfer’s nonexempt property.
7. The transferor retained a life estate or other interest in the property transferred.
8. The transferor failed to produce available evidence explaining or rebutting a suspicious
transaction.
9. There is a lack of innocent purpose or use for the transfer.

If a plaintiff is able to prove the existence of one or more of those factors or one of the “badges of fraud”, a presumption of fraud arises. Once that presumption has arisen, the burden shifts to the debtor to prove that there was no fraudulent intent in the transfer of an asset. Typically, debtors present evidence that one or more of the factors or “badges of fraud” is not applicable to rebut this presumption.

Constructive Fraud

If a creditor cannot show actual intent to defraud him or her, a credit may still show that a transfer still amounted to constructive fraud. To prove a constructive fraudulent transfer, a creditor has to prove that: (1) The creditor’s claim arose before the transfer; (2) the debtor was not paid a reasonable value for what was transferred; and, (3) the debtor was insolvent at the time of the transfer or became insolvent because of the transfer.

The Act addresses insolvency and states that a debtor is insolvent if either “the sum of the debtor’s
debts is greater than all of the debtor’s assets, at a fair valuation” or the debtor “is generally not paying
such debtor’s debts as they become due.” Thus, a debtor need not intend to fraudulently transfer an asset to avoid a creditor, if the debtor would otherwise be insolvent but for the transfer.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are creditor seeking to avoid the fraudulent transfer of a debtor, please call Wiseman Bray PLLC today at 901-372-5003. We’ve helped other creditors like you collect judgment, and we can help YOU recover your damages.  Call us today.

 

Child Support Lawyer Memphis, TN

Parents are eligible to receive child support payments from another parent as a result of divorce. Parents can also make a request for child support in a paternity action in juvenile court. Unfortunately, many parents go through the child support process without understanding how payments are calculated.

How is Child Support Calculated?

In the state of Tennessee, guidelines are in place that help to calculate how much child support must be paid. Deviations from the guidelines may occur if the Court finds that it is in the best interests of the children.

The Tennessee guidelines require that the combined monthly gross income of both parents first be determined. This means that it is necessary to add up income from all sources from both parents. The gross income is then used to determine how much basic support the child or children will receive. This basic support amount is affected by the number of children the parents have and the number of days of parenting time with each child.

Credits are also given for other supported children, medical expenses, day care, and health insurance coverage.Once the appropriate amount of basic support is determined, each parent becomes responsible for a percentage of that support amount equal to the share of the combined family income he or she earns.

Child Support Enforcement

Child support orders in Tennessee are generally enforced by garnishing the wages of the parent who is required to pay. Wage garnishment means that when a child support order is issued, money is taken directly from the paycheck of the parent who is obligated to pay.

When this method of enforcement is not sufficient to ensure that a parent pays, there are other enforcement methods used by child support services or by the court. The court, for instance, may hold the delinquent parent in contempt. The delinquent parent may be reported to the credit bureau; may have his or her driver’s or professional license taken away; may have liens placed on property or have tax returns seized; and may sometimes face criminal charges.

Modifying Support Orders

In some cases a substantial change in circumstances will occur that will result in a need for modification of child support. At such time, parents may request that the court or child support services review the order to determine if modification is appropriate.

Tennessee has outlined rules for when modification is appropriate and specifies that modification will be granted if there is a “significant variance.”  Essentially, this means that unless there should be a 15 percent difference between the current support order and the new proposed child support modified order. As such, the new amount of support must be 15% more or less than the old amount of child support.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are in need of help with child support issues, or have other family law related questions, and need counsel to discuss family law issues, call or schedule a consultation with our family lawyer Memphis, TN attorneys at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.  Call our office at (901) 372-5003 to ask for a consultation!

Alimony Awards in Divorce: Family Law Memphis, TN

Alimony family law Memphis, TN attorneys can help you understand the types of alimony. Alimony is financial support paid by one ex-spouse to the other after the marriage has legally ended. Alimony is also referred to as spousal support. Further, parties may seek alimony during a divorce or separate maintenance claim. However, this post will focus on alimony awarded in divorce. A party’s need, and the other party’s ability to pay, are used to determine an award of alimony.

Tennessee’s Alimony Factors

Courts consider the following factors:

  1. The relative earning capacity, obligations, needs, and financial resources of each party;
  2. The relative education and training of each party;
  3. The ability and opportunity of each party to secure such education and training;
  4. The necessity of a party to secure further education and training to improve such party’s earning capacity to a reasonable level;
  5. The duration of the marriage;
  6. The age and mental condition of each party;
  7. The physical condition of each party, including, but not limited to, physical disability or incapacity due to a chronic, debilitating disease;
  8. The extent to which it would be undesirable for a party to seek employment outside the home because such party will be custodian of a minor child of the marriage;
  9. The separate assets of each party, both real and personal, tangible and intangible;
  10. The marital property division;
  11. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage;
  12. The extent to which each party has made such tangible and intangible contributions to the marriage as monetary and homemaker contributions, and tangible and intangible contributions by a party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party;
  13. The relative fault of the parties (who is more to blame) in cases where the court, in its discretion, deems it appropriate to do so; and
  14. Such other factors, including the tax consequences to each party, as are necessary to consider the equities between the parties.

Types of Alimony

Temporary alimony can be granted while the divorce is in progress, to help until the divorce is final. When the divorce becomes final, there may or may not be an order for alimony after the divorce. If alimony after the divorce is awarded, that amount could be higher or lower than the temporary amount. In addition to the monthly amount, the type of alimony is very important. There are four types of alimony in Tennessee: alimony periodic alimony, transitional alimony, rehabilitative alimony, and lump-sum alimony. The type also dictates the circumstances that the alimony obligation may terminate or be modified.

 


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are considering filing for divorce, or have other family law related questions, and need counsel to discuss family law issues, call or schedule a consultation with our family lawyer Memphis, TN attorneys at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.  Call our office at (901) 372-5003 to ask for a consultation!

Mental Health Records in Custody Proceedings

During custody proceedings, including divorce, Tennessee courts have a duty to protect the best interests of children. Courts must also respect patient privacy and encourage individuals to seek treatment. When one parent alleges that another parent has mental health issues, Courts balance the interests of the children and the privacy of parents. The Tennessee Court of Appeals addressed these concerns in the case of Culbertson v. Culbertson, 455 S.W.3d 107 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2014).

The Culbertson allegations.

The mother alleged that she should be named as the primary residential parent. The mother alleged that the father had a history of mental health issues, including depression. In response to the allegations, the father denied that he was incapable of caring for the minor children. He also agreed to submit to a mental health evaluation by a licensed psychologist. Pursuant to Tennessee law, a party can agree to a Rule 35 health evaluation.

The psychologist concluded that the father did not represent a threat of harm to his minor children. He also agreed that father should be permitted to have regular parenting time with his minor children. Not satisfied, the mother requested that the father submit to a second evaluation. Additionally, she also asked for all of his mental health records from each and every mental health professional.

The mother argued that it was necessary to have all of father’s records to challenge the findings from the first evaluation. She also argued it was necessary to demonstrate father’s mental health status to the court. Father argued that Tennessee protects the confidential records of individuals pursuant to a psychologist-patient privilege. As such, mother could not access the records.

After this, father and mother submitted to a joint evaluation by a second psychologist. During this second evaluation, the father permitted the psychologist to discuss the case with prior mental health practitioners. Ultimately, the second psychologist agreed with the conclusions of the first evaluation. Specifically, father did not represent a threat of harm to his minor children. The second evaluation concluded that father should enjoy regular time with his children. After this, mother requested all of father’s personal, confidential mental health records again.

The Court’s conclusions.

Ultimately, the Court of Appeals mostly agreed with father. Specifically, the Court of Appeals concluded that it is vital to protect the psychologist-patient privilege in Tennessee. The rationale of the Court was that individuals should be open and honest with their mental health professionals. Further, the Court reasoned that if the mother gained access to father’s records, mental health treatment would be discouraged.

The Court further reasoned that there was no need for mother to gain access because two psychologists had evaluated father. They both agreed that he did not represent a threat of harm to his minor children. As such, the submission to a Rule 35 evaluation struck a balance between the best interests of the minor children and father’s privacy. As such, if you are concerned that your spouse or a parent of your children may represent a threat of harm to your child or children, contact a family lawyer Memphis, TN trusts.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are considering filing for divorce, or have other family law related questions, and need counsel to discuss family law issues, call or schedule a consultation with our family lawyer Memphis, TN attorneys at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.  Call our office at (901) 372-5003 to ask for a consultation!

Contact a Family Lawyer Memphis, TN if Life Insurance is Changed During Divorce Proceedings

Family Lawyer Memphis, TN

Tennessee Injunctions upon Filing Divorce.

Ask a family lawyer Memphis, TN about Tennessee law, which requires these injunctions. At the time a spouse files a complaint for divorce in Memphis,  TN, a set of automatic injunctions go into place.   They prevent either of the parties from taking certain actions. The parties are prevented from making changes to life insurance policies, hiding or disposing of assets, relocating with minor children, and harassing one another. These injunctions remain in place until the divorce is final or dismissed.

Unfortunately, all too often, some parties fail to abide by these rules.  A party may, in violation of the Court’s order, change life insurance beneficiaries or dispose of an asset. There are a number of remedies the other party can seek through a family lawyer Memphis, TN in order to rectify these issues.  For example, the other party may be cited for contempt of court. These issues can have large implications for assets and life insurance policies. However, a party may die before a violation is remedied.

Remedying Violations After Death.

Fortunately, the Tennessee Supreme Court took up this very issue for the first time in Coleman v. Olson. In this case, a wife filed a complaint for divorce against her husband. She then immediately served the complaint on him, and the injunctions went into effect. Unfortunately the wife became seriously ill a week after filing for divorce. While in the hospital she changed the beneficiary from her current husband to her mother. This change violated those injunctions. Soon thereafter, the wife died, and the life insurance company paid her mother all of the proceeds.

The Court could have directed that the husband be renamed as beneficiary, if the wife was not dead. However, upon a party’s death, divorce proceedings abate, and the remaining spouse becomes a widower, not a divorcee. As such, the statutory injunctions expire at the time of a party’s death.  This leaves the Court stuck since it does not have any way to enforce the injunctions or remedy the violation. Thus, presumably the husband would have been left without a remedy.

An Equitable Solution.

The Tennessee Supreme Court concluded that trial courts continue to have the equitable power to resolve such a violation. This remains true even though the divorce proceedings end at the time of the other parties’ death. The Court is empowered to consider an equitable result. The Court may use its discretion to award the life insurance proceeds among the widower and the other potential beneficiary.

In this case, the Court would therefore have the jurisdiction to decide how the proceeds should be divided between the husband and the wife’s mother. It may be equitable for all, a portion, or none of the proceeds to go to the husband. Tennessee trials courts have the discretion to fix a violation based on the circumstances. If the Court concludes that it is more equitable for the widower to receive all of the proceeds, then it may do so. Ask a family lawyer Memphis, TN trusts regarding an equitable remedy for these situations.


Wiseman Bray Attorneys

If you are considering filing for divorce, or have other family law related questions, and need counsel to discuss family law issues, call or schedule a consultation with our family lawyer Memphis, TN attorneys at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.  Call our office at (901) 372-5003 to ask for a consultation!

Article by Lang Wiseman Published on Law360.com — Insurance Bad Faith and Punitive Damages

Bad Faith

Insurance Bad Faith

Law360.com recently published an article by Lang Wiseman regarding Tennessee law on insurance bad faith and punitive damages.  The title of the article is “Are Punitive Damages Available in Tennessee Insurance Cases?

Following is an excerpt from the introduction of article:

“In recent years, state and federal court rulings in Tennessee have been inconsistent about whether punitive damages are available to a policyholder in an insurance coverage case.  This inconsistency arises out of differing interpretations of Tennessee’s “bad faith statute” in light of the Tennessee General Assembly’s passage of Tennessee Code Annotated § 56–8–113.”

For more information, please use the search tool on our website to locate and review additional articles and posts on business and insurance related matters, including FAQs.

_____________________________

Wiseman

Lang Wiseman

Lang Wiseman is the founding member of Wiseman Bray PLLC, and is a commercial litigator that Memphis, Tennessee knows and trusts when it comes to business and insurance matters. Lang is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School after graduating as the top graduate in the College of Business at the University of Tennessee where he was a scholarship basketball player for the Vols.  Lang concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and is an AV-rated lawyer annually recognized by his peers as one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Tennessee.  Among other civic endeavors, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Tennessee, the Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments, and the Vice-Chair of the Advisory Commission to the Tennessee Supreme Court on Rules and Practice of Procedure.

Get Specific! You Must Mention “FEES” in Your Attorney Fee Provisions

business lawyer Memphis, TN

Tennessee Requirements for Attorney Fee Provisions

As the business lawyer Memphis TN  trusts when it comes to contract negotiation and drafting, one piece of simple legal advice we frequently give our small business clients is to always include attorney fee provisions in your contracts and routine business forms. Why? Because if you don’t have such a provision and you end up in litigation, you’re on the hook for your own attorney fees and legal expenses even if the breach of contract, or the resulting litigation, isn’t your fault.

It has always been the case that a contractual provision allowing for the recovery of attorney fees must be specific. However, just last month, in Nyrstar Tennessee Mines-Strawberry Plains, LLC v. Claiborne Hauling, LLC, the Tennessee Court of Appeals went further to reinforce this principle by making clear that attorney fee provisions must specifically invoke the magic words “attorney fees.”   The Court held that it is not enough simply to provide recovery of “costs,” “expenses” or even “legal expenses” – all of which the Court held was simply not specific enough to permit recovery of attorney’s fees.

 In Nyrstar, the plaintiff won at trial on its breach of contract action against the defendant and the judge awarded the plaintiff $116,073.43 in damages. After winning the case, the plaintiff then sought attorney’s fees of $106,779.50 and expenses of $2,982.12 pursuant to the attorney fee provision in the applicable contract. The specific language of the contract in Nyrstar was as follows:

The Customer must pay Nyrstar all costs and expenses incurred by Nyrstar in connection with enforcing its rights against the Customer under an Agreement including legal expenses and other costs incurred in recovering monies owed by the Customer to Nyrstar.

The trial court awarded the plaintiff its expenses, but refused to award the plaintiff its attorney’s fees, despite the contract language providing for the recovery of “legal expenses.” The trial court stated:

[t]he plaintiff Nyrstar’s language does not use the term “fees.” It uses “expenses,” which has been found to be inadequate. Merely providing for the “recovery of ‘costs and expenses’” is insufficient to reach a contractual right to recover attorney’s fees.

(Emphasis added). The Tennessee Court of Appeals upheld this decision. The Nyrstar case means that you should pull out your contracts and regular business forms, and then call us today to make sure that the language you are using in your attorney fee provisions is correct. After all, what is the point of having an attorney fee provision in your contracts and forms if it’s not going to hold up in court?

Bottom Line

Your attorney fee provision MUST specifically provide for the recovery of “attorney’s fees,” and not merely “costs” or “expenses.”

Even if a provision provides for the recovery of “legal expenses” or “costs and expenses of any suit or proceeding,” the right to recover attorney’s fees is not created because the provision does not specifically implicate “fees” as part of the recovery.

If you’d like the small business lawyer Memphis TN  trusts to review your small business contracts and routine business forms to make sure your language complies with the requirements in Tennessee for attorney fee provisions, call us today at (901) 372-5003.

Trick-or-Treating Safety Tips from Wiseman Bray

personal injury lawyer memphis tn

Halloween is such a fun time of year, especially for children.   Sadly, it is also a very dangerous night for kids.  On average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to other days of the year.  Only 18% of parents use reflective tape on their children’s Halloween costumes, and 12% of children ages 5 or younger are permitted to trick-or-treat alone!  In addition to talking with your kids about Halloween safety, here are some things you can do for a safer night:

 

  • Kids under 12 should trick-or-treat and cross streets with an adult.
  • Use reflective tape on costumes.
  • Walk on sidewalks and paths, and not in the street.
  • If there are no sidewalks, you should walk facing traffic as far to the side as possible.
  • Cross streets at corners only, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Watch for cars that are turning around or backing up.

DRIVERS: If you are driving on Halloween night, be especially vigilant!  Slow down, even more than usual, in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and often move in unpredictable ways.

HOMEOWNERS. If you are a homeowner, here are some ways you can help keep trick-or-treaters safe:

  • Keep Property Well-Lit– Kids will be cutting through all parts of your yard to find your front door, so make sure that your property is well-lit and that it is obvious which door trick-or-treaters should go to.
  • Keep Property Unobstructed– Clean up yard debris, fill gopher holes, wind up hoses, and pick up toys or other equipment left in the yard.
  • Restrain Pets– Be sure to keep your pets away from the front door and porch, where they might get excited and jump on or bite trick-or-treaters. It is best to keep your pet in another room or in the garage during trick-or-treating time.

The attorneys and staff of Wiseman Bray PLLC wish you a very Happy and Safe Halloween!

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Erin Shea, Attorney