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Shared Debt in Divorce

Posted by on Feb 15, 2020 in Divorce | 0 comments

I recently came across a US News and World Report article about how divorcing couples handle their shared credit card debt. Most states in the US are “common law” states, meaning that people are responsible for credit card debt acquired under their name and also in joint accounts that they’re a part of. It only makes sense that you’d be responsible for your own debt, but other states do things a little differently. People in “community property states” are responsible for both their debt and their spouse’s debt, as long as that debt was acquired during the marriage. Community property states are: Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, California, and Wisconsin.

Still, the court may require someone to pay part of their spouse’s credit card debt if it was to pay for household items or other joint expenses. Essentially, all divorces are different, and the division of assets and debts can quickly become complicated. 

Debts from a creditor and debts assigned to you because of a court ruling are not under the same parameters. A credit card company doesn’t care who is paying off the debts, as long as the debts are getting paid. So, in a joint credit card account, the creditors are not going to oversee how a divorce would affect a couple’s debt payment; they’re just going to expect the money to be paid.

Getting Help

A lot of people, especially people with a lot of assets (or a lot of debts), want to make sure they’re not being ripped off during the divorce process. I think it’s safe to say that most people would rather not relinquish more money to their ex-spouse than they have to. In the same vein, most people would also rather not be in charge of more debt than they need to be. That’s why so many people hire a divorce lawyer to make sure their interests are being protected.

Because everyone goes into a divorce with different circumstances, some people may even be bankrupt at the time of the divorce. A lawyer can help with that, too. According to Manhattan Beach-area family law firm Baden v. Mansfield, bankruptcy courts may release someone from making bankruptcy payments belonging to them or their spouse. This is good news to people who could be stuck paying the price for their ex-spouse’s bad money sense. However, getting out of paying for your ex’s debts is not a guarantee, and getting an experienced divorce lawyer to help out is a necessity for some people. 

Even though a divorce lawyer is an extra expense, it’s often cheaper than losing money in a bad settlement. That said, you should always hire a lawyer that has experience and success representing people in situations similar to yours.

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Why You Need to Speak Up in Tense Work Situations

Posted by on Sep 8, 2019 in Employment Law | 0 comments

It’s pretty obvious to us when something looks a little bit suspicious. When we see something that looks a little bit off or out of place, we notice. It’s human nature to want to do the right thing and speak up when something’s not right.

That doesn’t mean everyone will appreciate our good efforts. Sometimes people will lash out when confronted with the consequences of their actions. While this is never acceptable, it is commonplace.

Retaliation in the workplace happens when a worker exercises their legal rights to speak out against shady workplace practices. Their bosses then treat the worker negatively or even fire them. Firing an employee for speaking up against injustice is never acceptable and it’s vital that you know the next steps to take in case you end up in a situation like this.

Know what’s retaliation is and is not.

Your boss is being rude to you after you file a complaint against them, is that retaliation? While it’s incredibly unprofessional and immature, it’s not retaliation. Speak to your HR department about their behavior and wait to see if it corrects itself over time.

If your boss demotes you or terminates your employment after the fact, then it is potentially retaliation. Retaliation occurs when the status of your employment is negatively impacted as a result of a worker speaking out against any form of injustice.

If you think you’re experiencing retaliation, you should still speak to a higher-up about your mistreatment and see if there’s any plausible explanation for what’s going on. If there’s not a good answer, then you should seek out a law firm with experience in litigating retaliation issues, like The Melton Law Firm, who can help with your situation.

Learn more about the different forms of retaliation.

The aforementioned retaliation occurs when someone is speaking out against performing an illegal task or reporting an illegal practice. However, that’s not the only form of retaliation there is.

Employers can be discriminatory for a variety of reasons. Although certain classes such as race and gender are protected under the law, they still face a ton of discriminatory practices in the workplace. A minority group is especially vulnerable to retaliation when they speak out against their discrimination.

The tough part about handling all of this is knowing when to speak out, and feeling like you actually have a voice. When an employer retaliates against us, we often fear our job security. They may give us a tremendous amount of work that cannot be completed in the given timeframe, and when we fail to do the work, they may terminate us for alleged incompetence.

If you feel like speaking to your boss would cause more problems than it would solve, it may be time to take legal action. An employer has the ability to threaten someone’s employment status if they feel like they themselves are in danger. These are dangerous waters to tread, and it’s vital that you do what needs to be done so that you remain in a safe and pleasant working environment.

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Stop and Smell the Flowers

Posted by on May 29, 2019 in Gardening | 0 comments

I am incredibly interested in gardening, horticulture, and all things green! When Kermit the Frog proclaimed, “it’s not easy being green,” he definitely did not think of how much people like me love green plants and green leaves.

I love gardening because it is physical labor that is as hard as you want it to be; there is no inherent requirement to toil away for hundreds of hours. Simply putting a potted plant into some soil is just as worthy of a gardening project as completely renovating your yard.

But gardening is not without its difficulties. In fact, another reason I love to test out my green thumb is because of the challenges that gardening can present. Some issues that arise in someone’s garden include over or underwatering, fertilization, invasive species, and more.

In this post, I will discuss these issues and more. In addition, I offer common solutions advised to solve the problems:

Invasive Species

Turns out, you are not the only organism that wants to eat the fruits or vegetables you may be growing in your garden. Small, pesky, invasive species can infiltrate your garden and flowerbeds in the span of a few days. Once in your property, the species will snack away on your beautiful homegrown fruits!

And invasive species can infest even in gardens growing inedible (for human consumption) vegetation. Leaves and grasses are a favorite meal of theirs, too, apparently. But you are not stuck with these nuisances forever.

Pesticides are an aggressive step to take to combat the pest, but they are almost always successful in killing off invasive pests. Another option is to undergo a soil transplant, in which you unpack the soil in your flower bed or garden that is full of the invasive bugs, and you re-plant the vegetation in new soil.

This procedure is extensive and labor-intensive, so talking with professional lawn maintenance services like Midwest Lawn may be your best bet in tackling a project of this magnitude.

Watering Your Garden

Watering your garden the proper, appropriate amount is a crucial step to any growth or vegetation in your garden or yard. Unless you have a cactus or another plant that can subsist on a shockingly small amount of water, it is likely you will need some sort of accountability system to remember to feed your plants their most important nutrient: H20.

However, effective gardening is not as simple as watering your property as much as you see fit. Certain plants and vegetations require certain levels of watering. You need to consult the Internet or a horticulturist in your area to understand the local climate’s effects on watering, humidity, shade, and more.

A prevailing theme in this discussion is the need to rely on qualified professionals. While I mentioned that the beauty of gardening is that it is a self-sufficient hobby and that it is only as intensive as you want it to be, the only hang-up or obstacle is this need to rely on others’ niche knowledge. But if you truly want to excel and cultivate a garden as best as it can be, this is only a minor issue.

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Moving Out of State: What You Need to Know About Your Custody

Posted by on Oct 21, 2018 in Family Law | 0 comments

People move in this country, all the time. Sometimes, it’s for a better job. Sometimes, it’s to be close to family. Sometimes, it’s just because you need to start over somewhere. That’s perfectly understandable, and everyone has the right to do it, but when you have the responsibility to support and raise a child after a divorce, it makes the move a lot more difficult.

That isn’t to say you shouldn’t move. Far from it. Instead, what it means is you need to have a decent idea of what your custody and other arrangements will look like once you are sharing a child across state borders.

To begin with, it’s worth explaining why this is an issue. As BB Law Group PLLC explain, different states have different laws governing things like custody and child support, which means you might find that your agreement with your former spouse may look different once you’re settled in a different state.

Obviously, these issues have to be resolved. Plenty of families live in different states, and there has to be a mechanism to resolve the problem. That mechanism is the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. These establish a process by which disputes that involve custody across different states can be resolved. However, to handle the process properly, you’ll probably need to get a lawyer.

With the assistance of a lawyer, you’ll be able to work through all the same kinds of issues with your kids that you would have within the same state. That includes:

  • Custody disputes
  • Child support payments
  • Child visitation
  • Alimony

However, it’s also recommended that you try to iron out these issues as much as possible before you leave. If there are potential issues, try to work with your former spouse either in person or through a lawyer to find a solution that works. If you need to use the court system, try to use it while you’re in the same state, since that simplifies things significantly.

Once you’re out of state, though, it is good to know that there are resources and means to make adjustments when they need to be made.

If, for instance, your new job doesn’t pan out but you decide to stay where you have relocated, then you may need to make adjustments to child support. That new job, if you keep it, may also mean that you have certain periods that are better for visits and the old times just won’t work anymore (not to mention, the distance will probably require certain accommodations).

In an ideal world, these problems can be worked out first with a former spouse and then simply acknowledged and agreed to by the courts, but even if that doesn’t happen, you don’t have to give up time with your kids or miss out on child support. Everything can be amended; you just have to go through a more complicated process.

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FEMA, Hotels, and Hurricanes

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Natural Disasters | 0 comments

It’s been a couple months since Hurricane Harvey uprooted my family from Houston, destroyed virtually everything we own, while FEMA temporarily relocated us to Austin.

We were ecstatic when FEMA presented us with free hotel and food vouchers. However, once we read the fine print, our family realized that these food vouchers are only good for breakfast. So, because our family because we are missing work and do not get paid if we do not work, our family wakes up ten minutes before breakfast opens and tries subtly stuff as much food as we possibly can into our pockets, at least enough to last until the next day’s breakfast.

I did not expect for the government to be pay for a room at the Ritz with three gourmet meals a day, but they could at least help us out with lunch.

Also, because we are of family of three with a moody teenage child. We are only allotted one hotel room, which makes sense because there are lots of other, larger sized families in need of an extra room. However, with my family being stuck in a cramped room all day, we are getting very sick of each other very fast.

I guess this is one of those ‘be careful what you wish for’ moments because, as soon as I thought this, we all, the other families and mine, received automated phone calls from FEMA that said that, unless we had a specific type of insurance, we could no longer receive these free government vouchers to stay in these hotels and get free breakfast anymore. There was no notice at all that this was going to happen, let alone that it was even in the realm of possibilities that this could, or even might, happen.

While our family is able to still benefit from these government vouchers, many other families, some that we have really gotten to know well, are unfortunately not.

We did have switch hotels though because, for some unknown and crazy reason, our hotel was no longer on the list of FEMA approved hotels. We were left to call to find our own hotel, which would not have been so bad, except every other family was calling to try and get a new hotel room at the exact same time as us. Also, families, without certain insurance, were calling FEMA to try and get FEMA to change their mind about giving them hotel and/or food vouchers.

At least, we finally got a hotel. It was across town,but at least we got one. And, we did not have a lot of stuff to carry because most of it got flooded back in Houston. That’s me trying to look on the positive side in all of this chaotic mess. For more than our financial troubles, I’ll be looking into suing those responsible for our situation by hiring a reservoir claims attorney based in Houston for emotional problems as well. Enough is enough!

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The Enormous Responsibility of Property Owners

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Slip and fall accident is one of the top causes of serious injuries in the US. Based on information from the National Safety Council (NSC) Injury Facts, more than 8 million victims of this type of accident are registered every year.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), some of the most serious effects of a slip and fall accident are fracture to the hip, torn muscle and ligament, knee injury and broken bones (wrist and/or elbow). People at least 55 years old are the ones most prone to slip and fall accidents and though this may appear as simple accident to many, it is enough to alter an elderly victim’s life, making him/her incapable of further enjoying years filled with worthwhile and fun activities.

A slip and fall accident can occur in any dangerous property, that is, where there are trip hazards that are not noticeable, exposed wires, uncovered metal or wooden pegs, unnecessary clutter, no warning signs, especially on wet surfaces, uneven floors or walkway, moss-filled floors, inadequate lighting along walkways, unstable surfaces, no railings or guardrails, exposed wires, slippery flooring, and so forth. It can happen in hospitals, inside a church, inside a mall or a restaurant, beside a pool, in the office – practically, anywhere, where the owner of a premise is negligent or careless enough as to allow accident-causing elements to remain in his/her area of responsibility.

Sadly, many lack concern in cleaning their own mess, and still many more do not have the initiative to clean their premise – to make sure that everything is safe. This is because it is all too common for property owners to allow unsafe conditions to exist on their premises. In these situations, visitors or tenants may suffer serious injuries, from spinal and brain injuries to amputations to permanent disabilities. And, in the most tragic of circumstances, a person may be the victim of a wrongful death as a result of unsafe premises.

If they do not want to tidy up things for others’ sake, then, at least, they should get rid of any hazard for their own safety. Always, people who are hurt by someone else are those who totally trust that a place, whether public or private, is safe from danger.

Injuries resulting from a slip and fall accident are called personal injuries. Under the law, the person or party liable for such accident is always the property owner. Thus, owners should be aware that after an accident because of their negligence, a claim lawsuit is sure to follow.

On the responsibility of property owners, Oklahoma personal injury lawyers at the Abel Law Firm, say, “Whether a piece of property is a business venture or a private residence, its owners have a duty towards their guests. They are expected to notice and repair any unreasonable dangers their grounds may pose to visitors. If they fail to do so, they can be held accountable for any injuries that people suffer. This responsibility for guests’ safety is legally known as premises liability. Thus, if you have suffered an injury while visiting a negligently maintained home or business, you could be legally entitled to compensation for your related losses.”

Property owners have an enormous responsibility to maintain their premises in such a way that those who visit or live on the property are not unnecessarily put at risk of suffering serious injuries. However, it is all too common for property owners to allow unsafe conditions to exist on their premises. In these situations, visitors or tenants may suffer serious injuries, from spinal and brain injuries to amputations to permanent disabilities. And, in the most tragic of circumstances, a person may be the victim of a wrongful death as a result of unsafe premises.

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Save Your Loved Ones from Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Elder Issues | 0 comments

Based on records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in February 2015, the number of nursing home facilities in the U.S. was 15,700. Nursing home facilities, also called skilled nursing facilities, are places where people, who can no longer be given the necessary care at home, but who do not really need to be in a hospital are brought by their loved ones. These people, or nursing home residents, include: elders, usually 65 years old; individuals who, because of an illness (such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s), require extra care and assistance; and, those needing rehabilitation therapies. CDC records also show that the present number of residents in nursing homes total to 1.4 million.

Due to the frequency of nursing home abuses (as reported over the news), many families are rather opting for assisted living, visiting home health services or caregiving (which will allow older adults to stay at home), especially if the need is custodial care rather than skilled medical attention.

The most common forms of abuses nursing home residents experience are physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and, the most degrading and wicked of all, sexual abuse. This last type of abusive conduct is committed in various ways, including showing of pornographic materials, forced nudity, fondling, forcing another resident to kiss or touch the victim and, worst of all, forced penetrative acts.

Despite the gravity of the offense, sexual abuse is the least reported type of abuse due to the humiliation the victim feels. Rather than reveal the abuses that he/she is being made to suffer, a victim, instead, becomes withdrawn, silent, sensitive to touch, evasive of eye contact and low-esteemed. Many sexually abused victims also sustain laceration and/or other wounds which they refuse to explain the cause of.

As explained in the website of the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, sexual abuse in nursing homes has real consequences for its victims. They begin to feel unsafe around other people and must live with the terror of knowing the abuse could happen again. Unwelcome or non-consensual sexual activity should have no place in nursing homes. Thus, if a family member even has the least feeling of suspicion that his/her loved one may be experiencing sexual abuse, an attorney may be able to help prove it and hold the responsible party accountable.

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