Deciding on Child Custody

Child custody is one of the most important things that need consideration when a married couple that has children goes through a divorce. While there are certain differences in state laws regarding the granting of child custody, most are generally the same or similar. Many states and courts will attempt to grant joint custody; however, in certain situations, this is not possible, leading to one parent or even another relative, such as a grandparent or uncle, having custody.

The child’s best interest – one of the most important factors that courts consider, custody is often given to the person who can provide the best mental and physical care for the child, which includes providing proper and healthy living conditions for the child., if the parents can reach an agreement on visitation, custody, and child support, then this issue will not need to be taken to court and can be resolved in a more efficient manner. However, as both a complex and contentious issue, many people seek legal support in order to better understand the process and agreements, not to mention protect their interests. In this situation, a child custody issue may be taken to court, where the following will likely be considered:

  • Child’s preference – it may vary from state to state, but courts sometimes take into consideration the child’s preference after they are of a certain age. However, age may not always be the only basis, as maturity of the child is also considered.
  • Change of address – if the custodial parent changes residence (such as moving to another state), it may hinder the visitation rights of the other parent. The noncustodial parent can then legally apply for guardianship of the child.
  • Parent’s agreements – parent’s agreements can have a huge impact on how child custody shall be granted. Provided it does not go against the best interest of the child, these agreements can have a say on how visitation, child support, and even change of custody.

Child custody decisions can be one of the most emotional parts of having a divorce. However, it is an issue that must be settled. Thus, understanding how courts will make this decision, should your custody agreement need to be taken to court, is important to successfully completing the process. An attorney’s knowledge on these matters can help you demonstrate what you need to in order to achieve the outcome you’re hoping for.

Debts That Stay With You After Chapter 7

Due to the rampant financial difficulties that have occurred in recent years, filing for bankruptcy protection has become increasingly commonplace. It is has truly become a refuge for many of those who find their debt burden overwhelming and are in danger of losing everything they have worked years to obtain. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in particular has significantly increased. Known alternatively as liquidation bankruptcy, success in filing provides the beleaguered debtor with a chance to start fresh with the elimination of many, if not the majority, of their debts. It should be noted that failure to properly follow the rules of bankruptcy procedure can lead to a denial of discharge.

But while Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option for many, it is not a panacea for all ills. For one thing, there are some debts that are generally nondischargeable. This means that there are debts you have that will not be wiped out even if you successfully file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. You will still need to pay for these debts, although a few of them can be discharged at the court’s discretion, and your creditors can still sue for payment.

If you are considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy and the bulk of your outstanding obligations are considered nondischargeable, you may need to pursue an alternate method of debt relief. Below are some debts that will always be nondischargeable under the Bankruptcy Code:

  • Student loans
  • Personal injury claims due to DUI
  • Tax-sheltered retirement plan payments
  • Fines and penalties imposed by government agencies
  • Alimony and child support
  • Legal fees for child custody and support disputes
  • Criminal restitution and court fines
  • Debts not included in the petition for bankruptcy

There are also otherwise dischargeable debts that may be denied discharge by the court under certain circumstances. These include purchases of luxury items in excess of $600 on a single credit card bought within 90 days of the bankruptcy filing and cash advances in excess of $875 incurred within 70 days of filing for bankruptcy.

It is important to know which debts will not be wiped out if Chapter 7 bankruptcy is being considered. Even if there is no other option, forewarned is forearmed.

Preventing Crane Accidents

Crane accidents in a construction site can be among the most devastating cause of injuries and fatalities for construction workers. Prevention of crane accident is, therefore, one of the most important elements of safety training in any construction site. However, when accidents do happen, injured workers and their families may need to pursue the assistance of a construction accident lawyer to fight for the compensation they need.

Although machine malfunction happens occasionally, when it comes to crane accidents, they can usually be avoided. There are ways in which both the employers and employees can stay safe from a crane accident. To help, here are the most common ways for preventing a crane accident:

  1. Assessing the work site – before working, everyone should be aware where the electric lines and other such factors affecting the operation of the crane are. The work site should be assessed regarding the placement and operation of the crane.
  2. Protective gear for every employee – to avoid just about any injury, safety gear should be worn at all times while inside the work site. Hard hats, gloves, proper working clothes, and many other types of safety equipment should be provided and worn in order to protect the employee from any form of injury.
  3. Constant inspections and maintenance – regular inspections and check-ups from qualified technicians help ensure that every piece of machinery is in proper working order. Neglecting maintenance and check-ups, especially in cranes, can lead to devastating accidents.
  4. Employee safety training – proper practice and awareness of safety in the workplace, especially in the construction site, lowers the chances of having accidents in the workplace. It is also important to have safety drills in order to keep employees aware of what to do when a crane accident happens.
  5. Signal personnel – when it comes to crane operation, it all comes down to teamwork. From the crane operator, the signal personnel, to the workers, everyone should work together to avoid crane accidents. This especially holds true with signal personnel, who should stay alert in warning the crane operator and the workers about potential dangers.

With simple safety precautions, crane accidents can easily be prevented. However, if you have been in a crane accident and have suffered significant injuries, you may need the help of legal representation to get the financial compensation you deserve.

In the Event of a Hurricane…..

For the vast majority of individuals, insurance policies can be difficult to understand. As a result, customers may not be able to fully understand their rights to compensation under their policy. Therefore, some insurance companies may tend to undervalue your damages in the event of a natural disaster, delay release of benefits, or deny your claim altogether in an attempt to increase their profitability.

After a destructive natural disaster, you would naturally expect your property insurance provider to help you get back on your feet by providing the full amount of compensation necessary to replace what you‘ve lost. However, in many cases, insurance companies seek to minimize the amount of claims that they must pay out by any means possible.

Thus, it is essential that you keep an inventory of your property or, after the disaster, that you collect all receipts showing disaster-related expenses, like repairs, food or hotel lodging, and photos (even of damaged property), which can justify the amount of the claim you are making. It is also advisable that you make sure that the adjuster your insurance provider sends to assess the damages you have suffered actually records all damages, including ruined carpets, walls, and other property damage.

Equally important is a record that will show the time, date, and duration of your conversation with your insurance provider’s representative, the time and date of the adjuster’s visits, as well as extent of the inspection he or she made and the questions he or she asked you regarding your lost or damaged property.

If you have suffered damages and/or lost property due to a hurricane, and you feel that your insurance company is not giving you what you believe is justly and legally yours, then you should contact any of the highly qualified hurricane claims lawyers in your area who would be willing to assist you in fighting for your rights and getting your full benefits.

Daily Habits that Equal Reckless Driving

According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., reckless driving is a serious concern because it endangers everyone in the vicinity, including the driver. Most people think of reckless driving as drunk driving or joy riding, but many people drive recklessly without even knowing it. Here are some ways you could be opening yourself up to criminal prosecution or civil litigation.

Grooming and Eating

The weekday morning rush can leave you frazzled, unkempt, or hungry. A lot of people take the opportunity during the commute to use the rear view to apply make-up, comb their hair, or eat breakfast. It is estimated that at least 25% of all drivers groom or eat while driving, and that number is probably understated. In the UK, almost 500,000 car accidents yearly can be attributed to makeup application while driving.

Talking/texting on the cell phone

This is something that has been getting a great deal of attention from both legislators and advocacy groups, mostly because it is a significant contributor to the number of car collisions worldwide. It is undeniable that taking/making a call or responding to/sending a text message occupy both your attention and your hands. Even with hands-free technology, the risk of accidents happening is still high because driving requires a lot of concentration. Even with the awareness campaigns banning cellphone use while driving, more than 50% of drivers still do it.

Adjusting the GPS/radio

Getting less attention than cell phone use but just as distracting and likely to engage your attention, vision and hands is fiddling with the radio and the GPS while driving. Most drivers consider it a matter of course and inherently harmless, but anything you do while driving which distracts you by even three seconds is enough to put you and other people in harm’s way.

You don’t have to be drunk, a teenager, or an adrenaline junkie to be guilty of reckless driving. Everyone does it, but that doesn’t make it right, and even the safest drivers can become involve in accidents due to the reckless behavior of others. In such situations, car accident attorneys are often necessary to help recover your losses through civil litigation.

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