Who should Pay Alimony?

Mar 31

Some divorces do not totally sever the responsibility of one spouse over the other for there is what is termed as alimony or spousal support, wherein one spouse will need to provide financial support to the other to ascertain that the dependent spouse will not live a financially-troublesome life. This is the primary purpose of alimony which state courts always see to. Courts observe the policy of making sure that the spouses and the children are able to continue to enjoy the standard of living they enjoyed before the divorce. Thus, if one spouse gave up all chances for professional and economic growth for the sake of his/her partner and their family, then the more financially able spouse will be required by the court to provide him/her with financial support upon divorce.

Women, traditionally, were the recipients of alimony since it was them who were often required (by societal standards) to cease work and care for the home after marriage. Providing for her and for the rest of the family was, of course, the duty of the husband – the man of the house.

Life’s circumstances, however, have greatly changed. Today, more men than women are without work, making them contribute more time to child-care and in the performance of household chores, while more and more workplaces are being populated by single women and mothers.

The earning capacity of both men and women has changed too with many women now able to earn even much more than their partner in life. Due to these significant changes in economic situation and opportunities, the recipient of alimony can now also be a former husband.

Alimony is a court-mandated monetary payment that one spouse should make to his/her former partner; it is also known under the names spousal support or spousal maintenance. When making decisions on the issue of alimony, courts usually consider the following factors:

  • earning capability of both spouses;
  • age and health of the spouses;
  • earned and potential income, and assets of both spouses; and,
  • length of marriage.

There are different types of alimony or forms of payment recognized in the United States:

  • Temporary alimony or alimony pendente lite: this type of alimony is awarded to one spouses even while the divorce case is still pending;
  • rehabilitative: this type of alimony serves as a re-education or re-training support that will help one spouse find a good-paying job and, so, become self-sufficient;
  • permanent: this court-ordered regular payment (usually monthly) is to enable the recipient spouse to continue to enjoy the standard of living that he/she enjoyed before the divorce. This ends, however, when the recipient spouse remarries or dies, or if the court modifies its order.
  • lump sum: if the spouse supposed to provide spousal support has been deemed as totally irresponsible in ensuring the monthly payment to his/her former partner, then the court may order this single lump sum alimony payment instead.

Failure to pay spousal support can merit the contempt of court. The punishment accompanying this failure can include fines, imprisonment, wage garnishment, liens on property and seizure of earnings, such as earnings from tax refund.

As explained in the website of the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, “When it comes to alimony, there are a number of different legal issues that often need to be addressed. For these and other concerns relating to alimony arrangements, it is often best to have an experienced legal representative on your side, ensuring your interests and needs are represented and heard.

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A Case of Spousal Rape

Jan 02

Spousal rape or marital rape is any form of unwanted or non-consensual sexual intercourse or penetration forced by an individual upon his/her spouse or ex-spouse (penetration, which is completed through the use of force, threat of force or if the spouse lacks the ability to refuse, may be vaginal, anal, or oral). Spousal rape cases involve individuals who are legally married to each other, are cohabiting with one another, divorced or separated. Regardless of the type of relationship, spousal rape, which is a serious and current form of violence against women, is a serious crime

Until 1979, Americans held the belief that no man could ever be held guilty of raping his wife. This belief is rooted on the English common law, a source of various traditional laws in the U.S., which says that once a woman enters into marital union, it will imply a permanent consent that could never be retracted.

A spousal rape conviction after 1979, however, totally changed America’s view regarding rape being committed against a spouse. The conviction was based on a case wherein a wife accused her husband of invasion and sexual abuse while they were in the middle of a divorce. The importance of this conviction rested on the fact that the merits of the decision was not exclusively confined in case, but rather served as a precedence to so many other spousal rape cases and convictions from the 1980s to the 1990s. Due to these early convictions, state criminal codes’ definition of rape today no longer excludes spouses as victims. Besides this, refusing intimate time with one’s husband is also no longer a valid ground for divorce and spousal rape is now declared illegal in every state in the U.S.

Married individuals, who engage in unlawful sexual penetration, can be charged with spousal rape because it is alleged that the defendant was armed with a weapon, caused serious bodily harm, or the couple had been separated and at least one partner has filed for either divorce or separate maintenance. A charge of spousal rape can be elevated to aggravated sexual assault if the defendant was particularly vile, cruel, or otherwise inhumane.

Spousal rape is usually prosecuted as a Class C felony, while aggravated spousal rape is considered a Class B felony. Most states penalize marital rape with fines that can cost up to more than $50,000 and a prison term that can last for several years, or for life, without parole.

According to the law firm Horst Law, simply being accused of a crime can change a person’s life. The penalties of a conviction can haunt him/her for years even after he/she has served his/her sentence and may affect what kinds of jobs he/she will be able to obtain and even where he/she will be allowed to live. However, it’s important to remember that an accusation is just that: an accusation. A person charged still has a real chance to defend his/her rights and protect his/her future from the challenges that would come with a conviction, such as jail time, fines, or having to register as a sex offender.

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What Does it Mean to Have Your Criminal Record Expunged?

Oct 18

Rehabilitating one’s reputation after being charged of a crime can prove to be a challenging experience. Even after you’ve served all your legal penalties and obligations, it’s unlikely that your community will feel comfortable with your criminal record. Separating yourself from these preconceived notions can be difficult, considering how much it can affect your ability to start over and seek out better opportunities for yourself. Fortunately, in such situations, Texan law provides an option to have your records cleared.

The legal process of getting one’s criminal record cleared of certain events is referred to as expunction or expungement. To put it simply, filing for expunction basically means petitioning to have a criminal charge or, barring certain circumstances, conviction cleared from your records. The process of expunction is delineated in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. It requires filing your petition to a district court where the arresting offense is said to have taken place. With the court’s approval, record of your criminal charge or conviction will no longer be available to the general public, saving you from any prejudice you might face from future employers and the like.

Not everyone will be eligible to have an item from their criminal records cleared or expunged. Generally, expunction is an option saved for individuals that were arrested, charged, but never convicted of a crime. Individuals convicted of a Class C, fine-only misdemeanor also qualify for expunction. Other individuals that may qualify for expunction depending on the specific details of their case include those wrongfully convicted of a crime, those acquitted of a crime, those that received pardoned convictions, and certain juvenile offenders.

Dallas record clearing attorneys of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter emphasize the immeasurable benefits of having a clean criminal record, so you should take every necessary step to ensure that you aren’t forever living in the shadow of your past. To ensure that your expunction petition is a success, it would be best to contact criminal law experts for their legal counsel.

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Know When It is Time to Acquire Legal Representation During an Insurance Claim

Aug 09

Modern time bears witness to how people around the world have made cars today’s most common form of transportation. Here in the U.S., cars and trucks on roads and highways are estimated at 253 million; about 16.1 million of these were purchased only last year (2015).

The continuous increase in the number of cars and truck on U.S. roads may be a good sign – a signification of a growing economy. Sad to say, however, this increase may also hint that the number of automobile crashes will remain to exceed five million every year, injuring at least two million drivers, car passengers, and pedestrians, and killing more than 30,000.

Every time an accident occurs, a victim’s immediate concerns include cost of treatment, days off from work which result to loss of wages, and property damage among others. It would be natural acquire legal representation for a victim to be preoccupied with thoughts about the possible sources of money until he/she is able to get back on his/her feet. These sources may include Workers’ Compensation benefits (but only if he/she was injured during the performance of his/her job), and/or SS benefits (but only if the injury renders the victim unable to do any job, the injury is expected to last at least 12 months, or if it results to a type of disability that is found in the SS Blue Book or SS Listing of Impairments). But the real immediate source of financial benefit after a car accident is the at-fault driver’s or the victim’s car insurance provider.

Despite the importance of insurance benefits to accident victims, the law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP has seen how many insurance companies are slow to pay out or refuse to pay altogether on valid insurance claims following a car accident. Due to this, it may become necessary for the victim to acquire legal representation, especially if :

  • Valid claims are denied;
  • If a claims adjuster pressures the victim to accept a quick settlement that is unfair;
  • If compensation for accident-related medical costs do not fully cover expenses; or,
  • If the statute of limitation of the state (where the accident occurred) will prevent the victim from challenging
  • the settlement claim.
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Get the Financial Benefit You Deserve in the Event of Construction Accidents

Mar 29

The need to keep up with the demands of progress requires workers, especially those in construction sites, to accomplish more in much lesser time. The faster the work and the taller the buildings, however, the more dangerous it is for construction workers.

Hard work, often times for longer periods, the heavy machineries, tools and equipment, the presence of hazardous materials, and working from great heights, are what continuously threatens the health and safety of construction workers.

In 2013, the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 796 fatal accidents in construction sites, with the top four causes (also known in the construction industry as the “Fatal Four”) of these accidents being slips, trips, and falls, getting struck by a heavy or moving object, electrocution, and being caught between objects.

Falls, specifically, account for 40 % of all construction site injuries and deaths. Falls are usually results of poorly maintained or assembled scaffolding and work platforms, weak ladders, improper use of ladders, elevated surfaces, uneven floors, lack or absence of signs to warn about ramps and/or excavations, overhanging steel bars, unprotected sides and edges, lack of training on observance, lax implementation of safety measures, lack of protective gear and/or equipment for workers, and so forth.

Due to the so many risks construction workers are exposed to every day, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (or OSH Act) was passed into law by the US Congress in 1970. The Act aims to:

  • Ensure all working men and women of safe and healthful working conditions
  • Assist and encourage the States in their efforts in ensuring safe and healthful working conditions
  • Provide for information, education, research and training in the area of occupational safety and health
  • Authorize enforcement of the standards developed under the Act. Enforcement of these standards has been delegated by OSH Act to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which was created in 1971.

OSHA maintains that a large number of fall accidents in construction sites are preventable if only employers and workers would observe proper safety standards, such as the use of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS). However, because of the negligence of so many people in the construction business, cases of accidents resulting to injuries and deaths only increase every year.

‘Falls from any height,” as explained by the law firm Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, “can result in serious injuries including broken bones, internal injury, and head trauma. Injuries from falls are not always obvious and often require extensive testing and medical expertise to understand and treat. Sometimes, the full extent of an injury from a fall is not immediately apparent. Falls can result in serious and permanent injuries and disabilities with life-changing consequences.”

Workers should understand that, in the event of injurious accidents, they can file a claim with their state’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance office. Worker’s Compensation is a state-mandated insurance program which provides financial benefits to workers who sustain job-related injuries or who develop an illness due to poor working conditions. This program is designed to cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, rehabilitation, disability and death.

Many times, however, despite the obvious injury or illness, workers’ claims are disapproved, if not by the injured workers’ employers, then by the insurance providers. While insurance firms would, as much as possible, try to avoid making compensation payments (the lesser the claims, the higher profit these firms will have), many employers behave just the same way since more claims means higher premiums that they will have to pay. Yet, despite trying to avoid so much the filing of claims by injured workers, these employers continue to fail in their duty of ensuring their workers a safe and healthy environment.

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Making a pitch for your metal roofing

Oct 28

Today, many contractors are harnessing the power of technology to make everything seamless. According to the website of FollowUp Power CRM software could help contractors track their bids and sales for their busiest products. But although tracking everything about your bestsellers should be the main point of your business, you need to find ways on how to package your less marketable products to make it appealing for your potential customers. This way, you are maximizing not just your chart-topper products, but also those that are being quite left behind.

One of the most hard-to-sell products in the roofing industry is metal roofing. According to Statefarm, there are certain things about metal roofs that tend to shy away people from installing it on their homes. As a roof expert, one thing you can do to help your customers see how a metal roof can benefit them by breaking their misconceptions about it.

Metal roofs are more prone to lightning strikes

This is a big no! Scientifically, lightning strikes the highest object in a specific area. Trees, antennas, communication towers, and electric poles are more likely to be hit by a lightning first than a metal roof. However, if ever a lightning should strike a metal roof, its full metal body would be able to disperse the current across the structure, making everything below it safe, including you.

Metal roofs are too loud

Although making a metal roof entirely sound proof is a completely impossible project, there are many different ways on how to minimize its noise into a level that it is almost inaudible. For instance, installing a solid sheathing and felt can help reduce metal roof noise. Choosing standing seam metal roofs over corrugated metal roofs may also reduce noise-producing vibration.

Metal roofs are more prone to rusting

This is a complete no. Nowadays, metal roofs are coated with substances, such as zinc, aluminum, or a combination of both, to protect from rusts. Also, metal roofs are coated with paint to add an extra layer of protection against corrosion.

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What is Xarelto and What Are Its Side Effects?

Jun 25

Xarelto, which is also known as rivaroxaban (its most active ingredient), is a popular anticoagulant drug that is usually taken orally, if possible. It is more commonly used by patients who had just undergone knee or hip replacement surgery, as a preventative measure against deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this drug back in 2011; its sales worldwide currently amount to around $1 billion.

There has, however, been significant evidence coming from numerous studies and complaints that have linked the consumption of Xarelto with possibly life threatening side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging. Situations like this demand legal representation and recompense for the victims for the medical procedures required for recovery as well as lost wages and compensation for the trauma experienced after the event.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher, patients who had taken Xarelto in West Virginia have claimed that the manufacturers of the anticoagulant – Bayer and Janssen – had intentionally concealed knowledge of these side effects, despite knowing their consequences. This is supported by the information provided through a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Charleston when a woman filed a legal lawsuit against the drug, saying that taking Xarelto was the cause of her gastrointestinal bleeding and that the manufacturers were aware of the increased chances of this happening but offered no warning to its possible patients.

Several other sources have claimed that there are no treatments against the side effects of Xarelto, in contrast to other anticoagulants that have a protocol should side effects take place, and are continuously fighting for their right to receive due justice.

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Complexities of Personal Injury Cases

Mar 22

There may be a lot of things that you may not know about personal injury. After all, a lot of the cases that people tend to know come from blog posts or quick ninety second beats on a news program. Maybe there’s a bit of initial outrage or maybe some contented sighing, thanking whoever you want to thank that it isn’t you. But that’s the thing – a lot of people never think it can happen to them until it does. And when it does, they are often completely in the dark about what to do next.

Did you know that, in a recent study, 25% of adults in Massachusetts alone have been victims of medical malpractice but only half of that percentage has actually done something about it? It has been noted by experts in the field of medical malpractice and personal injury in general that incidents like this happen more often than people could hope – and every one out of three medical malpractice cases are fatal. These are not the only complications that can surround a case.

For example, if the personal injury case that surrounds you is one involving a motor vehicle – then there is the investigation that must then take forward. To whom does the fault rest? Was it due to another driver due to drug or alcohol influence, or simple reckless behavior or actual malicious intent? Was it because of an eighteen wheeler truck – as truck accidents involve a lot more limitations and rules than your average car accident? Was the rollover accident due to some fault in the manufacturing?

The complexities do not stop there as personal injury cases often resist simplicity. Birth injuries, nursing home abuse, construction site accidents – all of these things are filed under this branch of the law and it does not stop there. That is why it is so important that, should you or someone you know find themselves in a situation involving personal injury, the affected party contact professional, legal assistance immediately.

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Risperdal: From Inner Demons to Deadly Diseases

Feb 18

Living with a mental condition can be one of the most demanding tasks anyone would have to face. When people talk of inner demons, this is often metaphorical, whereas these demons have actual, proper forms and can even mentally paralyze sufferers of medical conditions. Schizophrenia is one such mental disorder that allows for this to happen, making the person with symptoms of this disease as delusional and often not capable of doling out ordinary day to day activities or even just simply take care of themselves.

This is why it is incredibly important for manufacturers to ensure that medicine that is allocated for people with this disease is as safe from harmful side effects as possible. The website of Williams Kherkher says that there are some cases of people who have taken Risperdal, a drug popularly known to treat patients with symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or autism, who have shown incredibly tragic side effects.

Some young adolescent males who have taken the drug have reportedly developed gynecomastia, then suddenly bearing the biological appearance of a woman due to the imbalanced estrogen levels. People who suffer from mental disorders have a fragile enough mental state that such a physical chance could topple their balance with stability and further damage their state of mind. Not to mention that there are also other life-threatening diseases that have been linked with consumption of this drug, such as: cardiac arrest, diabetes, bone loss, pituitary tumors, et cetera.

In cases such as this, it is best left to specialized professionals who have sufficient knowledge with pharmaceutical medicines, the procedures involved in order to treat the given side effects, as well as the victim’s medical records in order to be able to justly represent the victim in a court of all – given all of that as well as expert knowledge of this branch of the law. As the victim of a defective drug, the only thing you need worry about following such a scarring event is try to recover and heal as best possible while allowing legal experts to fight for the justice and compensation that is rightfully due you for this great breach of trust done upon your person.

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Mechanical Defects and Motorcycle Accidents

Jan 10

There are many instances where the cause of serious motorcycle accidents baffles the casual onlooker. The weather is fine, the road smooth, there are no dangerous obstructions or blockages, and no other vehicle involved. In such cases, mechanical defect may have been the culprit.

When a car breaks down due to a mechanical defect, in many cases the driver simply suffers a ton of inconvenience and lets loose a lot of curses before calling a towing service. When a motorcycle breaks down, the only thing that is let loose is the operator.

Motorcycles are very unstable and unsafe vehicles to operate if they are even slightly defective. There are many moving parts in a motorcycle, and when even one gives way at high speeds it can lead to what car accident lawyers describe as “devastating injuries that affect a motorcyclist physically, emotionally, and financially.” A loose nut, a defective tire, or a slipped chain; one of these is all it takes for an accident to occur. When a motorcycle part is defective, the operator does not often get advanced warning which may have prevented the accident.

The mechanical defect may be due to human error, such as the incorrect installation of a part or the failure to tighten all screws. It could be a manufacturing defect, in which a part fails unexpectedly or causes other parts to fail. It could also be due to a supplier’s negligence for knowingly selling a defective part such as tires. In any of these cases, the motorcycle operator is not at fault and may justifiably bring civil action against the service company, manufacturer, supplier, or all three depending on the circumstances. On the other hand, the mechanical defect of another vehicle that causes a motorcycle accident may also be the cause. In which case, the other driver may be absolved of liability and both parties may sue the appropriate parties for compensation.

Cases involving mechanical defects are often complex and require the testimony of expert witnesses to explain it in terms a jury will understand. A mechanical defects lawyer in your area will have the resources to put together a viable personal injury case for victims of motorcycle accidents.

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