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Posts by Fabiola

Factors That May Influence Child Custody Decisions

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Child Custody, Divorce | 0 comments

Divorce is a legal nightmare. You have to navigate through laws concerning alimony, division of assets, and division of liabilities. But it gets worse if there are children involved, because you have additional laws to navigate through, such as those relating to child custody and child support.

A child custody lawsuit is always the most emotional in the family court. This is because either parent wants to get custody. Whether the child goes to the mother or father, it doesn’t change the fact that there will be major changes in their lives.

But how is child custody decided? There are certain factors that need to be considered.

Earning Capacity

There may be a lot of factors that may influence child custody, but they boil down on the same core idea – it is for the best interest of the child. To determine best interest, each parent’s ability to provide for the child is considered, and this generally means each parent’s financial stability to give the child food, shelter, education, healthcare, and security.

Medical Condition

The physical and mental conditioning of each parent is also considered, because these things can negatively affect the child. Those with physical and mental conditions, such as illnesses and anger management issues, may have a harder time fulfilling parental obligations and may even hurt the child in the long run, so they are less likely to get custody.

Relationship with Child

It is not always about money and health. Sometimes, it is about who is closer to the child and who is doing more for the child, such as on the following domestic aspects:

  • Bonding with the child, like participating in recreational activities
  • Handling the hygiene needs of the child, like giving him a bath and changing his diaper
  • Handling the medical needs of the child, like taking him to the dentist and doctor
  • Handling the nutritional needs of the child, like preparing him meals and packing him lunches for school

Child’s Choice

A child, especially one that is already rational enough, may have a voice regarding custody. However, his choice does not top the other entries in this list, because the best interest of the child is still the absolute criteria for child custody. But in the right conditions, the child’s choice is definitely considered in the decision process in child custody.

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage can be a Financial Safety Net in Accidents Caused by Uninsured/Under-insured Drivers

Posted by on Mar 1, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Drivers and car owners are required to show proof that they have auto liability insurance whenever they register their car and renew their driver’s license; besides these, carrying auto insurance will also save them from having their license and driving privileges suspended, and from being issued a traffic ticket for violation of the insurance law which exists in all U.S. state. However, if they get involved in a car accident which is the fault of another driver who happens to be uninsured, then they end up facing financial problems because the auto insurance coverage that they carry is not for their own sake (unless they reside in a “no-fault” state), but for the sake of the person/s they hurt in an accident.

The results of car accidents often include medical treatment and hospitalization, lost wages due to absence from work, and pain and suffering. To cover these cost and losses, a victim is legally allowed to claim compensation from the at-fault driver (this compensation is supposed to be paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider). However, if the liable driver is uninsured, then the victim has no other choice but to file a civil lawsuit against him/her for the purpose of seeking compensation (unless the at-fault driver makes an out-of-court settlement). Meanwhile, as the court case or settlement progresses, payment for all expenses resulting from the accident will have to come from the victim’s own pocket first.

With more than 29 million drivers who freely drive on US roads and highways without carrying insurance, however, filing a civil lawsuit against at-fault drivers is a common incidence. So many drivers who comply with the insurance law are being made to suffer more because of other’s non-compliance with this same law. However, instead of solving the issue by punishing only the guilty and making them pay for the damages they have caused, aside from making sure that they purchase insurance coverage, the solution is passed back to law abiding citizens – by requiring them to get additional insurance coverage, namely, the Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage.

Uninsured motorist coverage is designed to pay for all economic losses and damages suffered by victims of accidents that are blamable on uninsured drivers; this coverage can serves as a financial safety net in accidents involving stolen vehicles or hit-and-run accidents. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is designed to supplement any insufficiency in the policy limit of the driver at fault. A policy may be insufficient to cover all damages if it amounts only to the minimum liability coverage required by a state.

The law firm Mazin & Associates, PC, says that a car accident can most likely result to a grave injury, permanent disability or death for drivers and their passengers, bystanders, motorcyclists, and cyclists. Often, however, despite the obvious harm suffered by victims, at-fault drivers and even auto insurance firms finds ways that will save them from paying victims the amount they are legally allowed to claim. Battling against at-fault drivers and auto insurance firms is the last thing injured victims should be concerned with. It would be wise for victims to let seasoned personal injury lawyers handle this legal battle for them.

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Making sense of child support: What is it? Under what circumstances/why does someone pay it? Common misconceptions?

Posted by on Jun 29, 2016 in Divorce | 0 comments

Once child custody has been arranged, the judge may determine whether or not one of the parents needs to provide financial support to the primary custodial parent. According to the website of Houston law firm Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, child support is a fixed figure determined by the courts that one party must pay to the other on a set schedule (usually monthly). Child support agreements are legally binding, and repeated failure on the part of the provider to pay on time is a felony.

Child support depends on a variety of factors, namely the income and benefits of the primary custodial parent and his or her demonstrated financial need. When the court decides the cost of supporting a child, they can then determine the financial fitness of each parent to pay their share of the cost. Essentially, if one parent is lacking, the other will pick up the slack.

There are many common misconceptions of child support and the reality of how it is paid, used, and nullified. Here are some of the hard facts:

Custody arrangements don’t play a large part in determining child support. No matter how long or how often a parent sees their child(ren), he or she is still responsible for half of the cost of raising said child.
The child support provider has no legal right to know how their money is used. Child support can be used on things directly related to the child–such as food, clothing, and haircuts–or expenses for the child(ren)’s home–such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc.

Because outstanding child support payments are considered a debt, they can affect credit score ratings. Child support, even more so than credit card debt, must be paid in full at the frequency determined by the court. Besides being a criminal offence, missing child support payments also affects how reliable a parent can appear to financial institution.

However, this particular debt cannot be escaped by filing bankruptcy. Unlike other forms of debt, child support debts cannot be swept under the rug by filing for bankruptcy. Child support is considered a priority debt by the court and, in accordance with Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cannot be eliminated.

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PPO vs. HMO: What to choose in the workplace

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016 in PPO vs. HMO | 0 comments

Since before, the old adage health is wealth has been the mantra of many workplaces across the U.S. For them, a healthy workplace means a healthy business, and taking care of their employees’ health means taking care of their bottom line. Today, there are many options that employers and employees may choose in order to secure their precious health. Among them are HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations).

PPOs and HMOs are both managed care plans, which means the organization contracts medical professionals and health facilities to cover for their policy holders at a much lower cost. The first thing to know in choosing the best PPO or HMO is to check first its credibility. In some cases, PPOs and HMOs deprive doctors and other medical service providers of the pay they are entitled. According to Texas Prompt Pay Act, this practice is considered illegal, and doctors and health care providers have the right to take legal action to seek compensation.

Health Maintenance Organizations

When you are enrolled in a HMO, you will be assigned a primary care physician (PCP) who will manage and coordinate all your health needs. Whenever you need to consult with a specialist or undergo certain treatments, the approval of your PCP is needed first. Also, you will less likely be covered if you will render services outside your network. However, unlike PPOs, HMOs usually have lower monthly premiums. You can also expect cheaper out-of-pocket costs in HMOs.

Preferred Provider Organizations

Individuals enrolled in PPOs should deal with higher monthly premiums and higher, more frequent out-of-pocket medical services. These are in exchange of PPO’s flexibility when it comes to getting the services you need. For one, you will not be required to have a PCP, and a referral is not needed for you to see a specialist. Unlike HMOs, PPOs allow you to render services that are out of your network.

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When do you need to consider marriage counselling?

Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 in Marriage Counselling | 0 comments

For some, divorce could probably be the healthiest and most practical way out of a marriage. But others still want to hold on to what they’ve got in order to save their relationship. According to Kathleen Snyder, counseling helps couples bridge the gap that made their relationship bitter, and recover whatever is lost in their relationship through positive and open communication. Marriage counselling has also been very helpful in these situations:

When the only thing that holds their relationship are the kids, or their friends/families

When couples feel that they no longer connect with each other romantically, that they are just roommates occupying the same house and nothing more, and that their relationship becomes more of an obligation to their children and the society, then they should consider seeking help from a professional. Austin marriage counselor Kathleen Snyder says on her website that children and society should never be the sole reason why a couple stays together. Rather, they should primarily stay together because of a relationship that’s healthy, positive, and founded in love.

When they no longer understand each other

Lack of communication could be the number one relationship buster, especially between married couples. If couples fail to communicate with each other in a manner that’s empathetic and considerate, they might forget how to compromise. With the help of a professional, they would be reminded that relationship works only if couples learn how to give and take.

When both of you are seriously considering divorce

While divorce could be good for some couples, this option could take a hard hit on some. For instance, deciding to live separately could harm either or both couples financially. The legal intricacies associated with divorce could also be an added stress for couples who are already undergoing an emotionally hard time. Finally, divorcing couples with kids should also agree with a child custody arrangement that would not profoundly impact their kids.

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