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Same-Sex Divorce Issues

Posted by on Feb 10, 2019 in Family | 0 comments

In the summer of 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided on a ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the country. This was certainly a great step forward in terms of equal opportunity for the LGBT community. With the right to get married also came the right to get divorced. Kinky Friedman, a former writer for Texas Monthly, once said “I support gay marriage. I believe they have a right to be as miserable as the rest of us.” But I wonder if same-sex couples have it worse in divorce court. I was reading about same-sex divorce on a law firm website last night. The attorneys there have helped many same-sex couples through divorce proceedings.

The reality for many same-sex couples is that they were together for as many as twenty to thirty years before they first got married. In this time, assets and financial decisions were made as if they were married, but courts would not recognize this as a decision between two married people. When two people get a divorce, the courts take into account how long the marriage lasted to determine if alimony or spousal support should be given to a low-earning or no-earning partner. For some, marriage lasted only two years but they had been together for much longer than this. Courts are unsure how to rule fairly in situations like these. The rules for this are often determined at a state level. Some states are willing to view time spent living together as time within a marriage, but this is not guaranteed. It can definitely go either way, and the outcome is high stakes when one partner was bringing in far more than the other.

A similar issue arises in cases of child guardianship. Before same-sex marriage was legal, many same-sex couples would adopt a child and put guardianship to one person. Now, when getting a divorce, the sole guardian will normally have all the rights to the child. The other partner will have no right to see the child even though they may have raised the child just as much as the other partner. Again, the situation is governed on a state-by-state basis and it is ultimately the case law of each particular state that goes on to decide these matters.

Another issue some same-sex couples are facing is an extra union to dissolve. Before same-sex marriage was legal, many couples entered domestic partnerships with one another. This union is not as legally binding as a marriage, but it makes it easier to collect assets after a partner passes away. It also helps for insurance purposes. When same-sex marriage was legalized, some states dissolved all domestic partnerships. Other states chose to keep them intact. Now, some couples are finding themselves dealing with two different state unions to litigate. This is a complex legal situation. If I found myself filing for divorce in a same-sex marriage, I would definitely reach out and hire a lawyer. I want to make sure that the court system does its job in separating assets in a fair and reasonable way. I would hate for case law and bureaucracy to get in the way of justice

Is Renters Insurance Worth It?

Posted by on Jun 27, 2018 in Insurance | 0 comments

The vast majority of homeowners elect to pay for homeowners insurance, and with good reason. Insurance protects you from unforeseeable disasters that can leave you stranded, and these policies help families rebuild. That’s why it may come as a surprise that less than 45% of renters have renters insurance. Apartment buildings and rented homes are just as likely, if not more likely, to go up in flame or experience the same unfortunate events that homeowners face. Even though it is very affordable, many people simply overlook this defensive measure.

What Renters Insurance Covers

Most insurance companies offer plans that start around $200, and these policies usually protect valuables up to $100,000. If you already have car insurance with the company, see if they offer discounts for bundling policies. Renters insurance protects policyholders from lost or damaged property, which is a huge deal. If someone breaks into your rental and steals your laptop, renters insurance should cover that. If your upstairs neighbors clog the toilet and flood your apartment, renters insurance will not only cover any lost possessions, some policies will even help you find temporary accommodations while your landlord fixes the mess. Even if your roommate forgets to turn the stove off after making dinner and burns down the house, you’ll be covered.

Depending on the policy you go with, other items can be protected that aren’t even inside your apartment. Property that is stored in a storage unit may be covered from accidental fires, flooding, and burglary. Now you can store things with peace of mind. Speaking of peace of mind, renters insurance can help you finally go on vacation without any stresses back home. You won’t have to worry if you remembered to lock the bathroom window, or if any criminals saw your Facebook post about going out of town. If you come back home and things are lost, you are covered.

Another major consideration for having renters insurance is the protection it offers from civil suits. Law firms are dedicated to bringing forth claims against irresponsible renters that didn’t take enough action to prevent a guest from suffering a personal injury. The policy likely has coverage for basic liability and medical payments in the event that someone accidentally gets hurt while staying with you. Which means you will be protected from any legal fines or medical bills.

Types of Policies

If you are convinced that you need renters insurance, the next step is understanding the ways that policies replace your lost or damaged property. Some policies offer actual cash value for replacing the property, which means that you will receive cash for the actual value of what was lost at the time it was lost. Replacement value is a type of policy that will replace your lost items, no matter what condition they were in at the time the damage occurred. Pay close attention to this divergence, as it makes a big difference when you need to make a claim and replace your old laptop.

If a minor can legally get married, why is it so difficult for them to get a divorce?

Posted by on Sep 10, 2017 in Family | 0 comments

In the past two years, over twelve states have considered the question of allowing individuals of a certain age to get married in the United States. While some states agreed that under certain circumstances, minors could be married, many failed to ask, “what if a minor wants to get a divorce?”

TeenVogue explores this topic in their series called “Wedlocked” that looks into the history and practice of child marriage. The divorce lawyer and expert featured in the show, Nancy Berg, says the answer is no. A minor cannot file for divorce because they are not considered old enough, even though they were old enough to get married. This is because marriage is a contract, and only adults can enter and break contracts. If they need a change in their marriage contract, the child will need to seek a guardian or parent to help them with this process.

How serious it this? Well, between 2000 and 2015, almost 208,000 child marriages were sanctioned in 44 states. Berg noticed how minors are affected by forced marriages. She is currently working with the Third Justice Center to help advance legislation to end or slow down child marriage. She claims the law doesn’t allow minors to have a clear direction who marry and this makes divorce very complicated. “The law mimics the culture, so it doesn’t necessarily follow the same effect, meaning the statutes on in place will not always change the way society changes.”

The laws are outdated in particular disciplines and fields. The complicated part rests in the difference between the age girls can marry versus when they reach a legal age to be an adult. She wants to make these ages standard and legal everywhere. One reason that this is a concern is domestic violence is linked to child marriage. When a minor marries young, and there is abuse, hurdling the marriage and exiting may have created a chance to continue the abuse, but this means nothing to the courts. States are “no-fault divorce” states which say they do not see domestic violence as part of the problem with divorce. Trevicia Williams, a former child bride, tells Teen Vogue when she got married at 14, she wanted to get an annulment within the first 30 days of marriage. However, a minor cannot secure a divorce unless there is a guardian ad litem present to act on behalf of the juvenile and makes decisions in their best interests.

Divorce can be a complicated process for anyone, whether they are a minor who decided to get married or an adult who decides that they can no longer keep the contract they made with their spouse. Divorce proceedings can be highly charged with emotion and it is sometimes difficult for divorcing couples to reach an agreement on how their property will be divided, custody of children will be handled, and how the finances will be separated. An experienced divorce attorney in your area can help you decide the best course of action and can help you understand your rights. I researched divorce attorneys in Utah, and in North Texas (where I recently moved), and I found some great legal websites that discussed the ins-and-outs of divorce. I especially liked the website of this North Texas divorce lawyer, Karen Alexander. I recommend reading the information sites like hers and others if you are considering divorce.

Why Carrying Auto Liability Insurance is Required in the U.S.

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Insurance | 0 comments

As if the shock and pain of a car accident is not difficult enough, the inevitable financial stress resulting from medical expenses, property damage, and lost time at work makes the situation substantially worse. When another driver is at fault for your injuries, you should be able to count on an insurance company to provide coverage that will allow you to recover fully. However, insurance companies often give false promises of coverage, acting in act in bad faith so they can maximize their profit while providing as little coverage as legally possible. Many times, these companies will covertly employ underhanded tactics so a policyholder does not know when they are being taken advantage of. Bad faith practices by deceptive insurance companies include:

  • Failing to attend to a claim in a timely manner
  • Failing to pay a claim that it owes
  • Requiring unnecessary paperwork or unreasonable information to process your claim
  • Denying a claim without reasonable explanation
  • Lack of communication with policy holder
  • Being deceptive about the scope of coverage

All U.S. states require drivers to have the capability of compensating anyone they might injure in a motor vehicle accident due to their fault. This financial responsibility may be shown by:

  • Carrying auto liability insurance, which is the requirement in 48 states;
  • Paying the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the required uninsured motor vehicle fee if they decide to register their vehicle as uninsured (paying this fee in lieu of purchasing an automobile liability insurance policy, obtaining a self-insurance certification, depositing money or securities, or securing a surety bond is a practice allowed in the state of Virginia; in the event of an accident, the at-fault driver would be held personally liable in compensating the person that he/she has injured); or,
  • Depositing securities or money with the state treasurer or filing an SR-22 (these are alternatives to purchasing an auto insurance policy, a practice allowed in the state of New Hampshire).

The purpose of financial responsibility, or liability coverage, is for at-fault drivers to be able to compensate an accident victim for the bodily injuries that he/she has been made to suffer and for all other costs or losses resulting from his/her injuries.

Carrying auto liability insurance is required in all states except in New Hampshire. The type of insurance coverage that drivers need to carry depends on the “liability” system recognized in the state where they reside. In states where the “fault” system is recognized (also called “at-fault” or “tort liability” system), the tort insurance coverage is what drivers will need to purchase.

Under the “fault” system, accident victims can claim compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company; the victim may also decide to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Compensation that a victim is legally entitled to receive should cover cost of medical treatment, loss of income, pain and suffering, and damage to property.

In “no-fault” states, accident victims can recover financial losses from their own insurance providers, regardless of whose fault the accident is. Two major advantages this system has over the “fault” system is that, one, the victim will no longer have to file a lawsuit just to seek compensation (from the at-fault driver) and, two, seeking compensation will no longer be a problem for: victims of hit-and-run; those whose are hit by a driver in a stolen vehicle; or those who are hit by a driver who is either uninsured or underinsured.

 

 

 

Common Defects in Childcare Products and Toys

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Product Defects | 0 comments

Common Defects in Childcare Products and Toys

As the adult, you should be the one who makes sure that your child is not at risk of dangerous childcare products and toys, but sometimes avoiding these things is difficult, especially if the designers, manufacturers, and distributors of the product are negligent.

According to the website of the Benton Law Firm, those who have children who have been injured because of somebody else’s fault may have legal options. They may get compensation from the damages that they have sustained from the negligence of the parties mentioned earlier.

Age-inappropriate products

Childcare products and toys should have labels on them indicating the age group they are for. The labels should factor in the possibilities with these products. Will the child be able to use this product without supervision? Does it have any dangerous parts? Many age-inappropriate products have the following traits:

  • Dangerous materials, like harmful chemicals and combustible parts
  • Harmful parts, like fans, motors, and sharp and pointy edges
  • Overly sexual or violent content
  • Small objects or detachable parts that can cause choking

Choking hazards

Children can be too curious and reckless that they may put anything in their mouths, and that includes childcare products and toys. Designers and manufacturers should take this into consideration before even creating a product. Choking hazards may come in many forms, such as:

  • Detachable parts
  • Objects that are too easy to break
  • Objects that are too small
  • Parts that can easily be broken off
  • Parts that are too small

Lead paint poisoning

Childcare products and toys are regulated by standards, enforced by the federal government, state, or the industry itself. Excessive use of harmful materials, such as lead, may make designers and manufacturers liable for the damage that an exposed child may sustain. The worst damages include comatose and death. The following are just some of the instances where the child can get enough lead:

  • Eating or chewing chips of lead paint from products
  • Getting exposed to products with lead on its paint or plastic
  • Putting the said products in their mouths

Get the Best Car Insurance Policy that Fits Your Budget

Posted by on Aug 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Car accident victims should never worry about getting compensated for whatever losses and damages they would suffer as the financial responsibility law is enough guarantee that the driver at-fault in the accident has the financial capability to pay them. This is the major reason why all U.S. states have financial responsibility laws which require drivers to demonstrate their capability in compensating those who they injure and whose property they damage in an accident wherein they are at fault.

Proving financial responsibility may be done either by carrying auto liability insurance or by complying with any state-approved means. In the state of New Hampshire, for example, as the only state that does not mandate the carrying of auto liability insurance, it is enough for drivers to either carry an SR-22 filing or deposit securities or money with the state treasurer.

However, due to the high cost of insurance coverage, a study by the Insurance Research Council says that more than 25 million drivers continue to drive freely on US roads and highways without insurance. The study also shows that, of all states where there are uninsured drivers, the top five are California, Florida, Texas, Ohio and Tennessee.

The high cost of insurance policies is due to the types of coverage required in the state where a driver or a car owner resides. Besides Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability coverage, some states also require drivers to purchase Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM). Due to these, plus all the other reasons factored in by car insurance providers to make policies still more expensive, the average monthly premium policy holders are required to pay range from $100 to $200.

Due to the high cost of premiums, millions of drivers and car owners have learned to require the help of independent car insurance firms for all of their insurance needs. These car insurance firms provide customers with many different free online insurance quotes to help them find the best policy that will meet all their needed coverage and at a price that will fit their budget.

According to the website of Second Gear Magazine, there are some car insurance firms that provide customers with many other benefits, like 24/7 roadside assistance, multiple payment options, bilingual customer service representatives, and low monthly premiums. Their non-affiliation with any insurance firms is what enables these independent car insurance firms to protect the interests of customers rather than the interests of insurance providers.

Understanding Alzheimer’s disease

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 in Elder Issues | 0 comments

When an elderly relative has started to forget many things in his or her life, he or she might be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In the U.S. alone more than 5 million individuals whose age is 65 and above are affected by the incurable mental disorder.

Though this type of dementia may also occur to younger people, it is a serious disease that commonly affects elderly individuals. Until now, medical experts and scientists do not clearly understand how protein buildups in the brain that causes damage and how to cure it. However, this serious brain disorder has various symptoms and any family members may find out if their elderly loved one is affected. A person might have Alzheimer’s disease when he or she already forgets to do the things he or she is used to do every day. When an individual’s thinking skills has deteriorated, it may be impossible for him or her to perform basic household chores like cleaning. A person afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease cannot even take a shower, eat a meal, or even wear clothes because of forgetfulness. Other signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting names of family members, trouble of finding way home, and being temperamental. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are various factors for a person to possibly have Alzheimer’s disease. Though the best known factor for a person to have Alzheimer’s disease is through age, it may also affect individuals who have other family members already have the mental disorder.

Individuals who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are required undergo various kinds of treatments to improve their lifestyle. To lessen the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, a patient may be prescribed to take medications. There are also memory care facilities that offer therapy sessions to lessen the depression feeling of a person who have a severe Alzheimer’s disease. Patients’ condition may possibly improve when they are continuously introduced to music and arts.

Injuries from Dog Bites

Posted by on Oct 25, 2015 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Owning a pet is a luxury that numerous U.S. citizens enjoy. However, reckless proprietors and creatures that are temperamental can lead to the public to severe results. Of these, are children and another 20% of assaults are serious enough to need medical care. Thousands of the resulting harms require reconstructive surgery that is costly.

Physical damage isn’t the single trauma that puppy attacks can trigger. The average cost of a clinic visit for a dog-bite related injury is $18,200, greater than the general hospital visit. In case, you have been injured and or a beloved one have already been attacked with a puppy, call a personal injury attorney in your own state to seek the compensation you deserve.

It’s important to be careful when reaching any creature so that you can avoid injury that is physical. It is strongly recommended to spay or neuter all pets to limit hostile behaviour and properly socialize them with other creatures and folks.

Aggressive dog types, for example, pit bulls account for 86% of assaults that cause bodily injury. As stated by the site of the Hankey Law Office, the owner is required to be mindful of their dogs and know if the animal has exhibited aggressive behavior before.

Dog bite injuries may be serious enough to bring about lifelong injuries, chronic health conditions, and yet the passing of the sufferer. Daily, about 1,000 Americans need emergency treatment for dog-bite injuries and 20 -30 individuals are murdered every year from these types of injuries.