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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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Can slip and fall in the workplace be prevented?

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Slip and Fall | 0 comments

Based on the data released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slip and fall never fails to make it in the list of the leading causes of death in U.S. construction sites every single year. This means that employers, employees, and other stakeholders still have a long way to go in completely eliminating slip and fall death in the construction industry. But, is it really possible to avoid slip and fall accidents in the workplace? A very simple answer is yes. However, doing so requires not just a simple yes. It requires your commitment to do these right things:

Hire right

According to WorkSTEPS, pre-hire tests could be important in the construction industry, as it may help employers select workers who are adept in meeting the demands set by the industry. And employers don’t have to worry about discrimination laws. Functional capacity assessments are specifically designed not to be discriminatory, which means assessments such as these will only have to evaluate areas that are directly related with how applicants will perform their jobs.

Plan right

Employers and employees should work hand in hand in planning to eliminate slip and fall risks in the workplace. Supervisors, for instance, should find ways on how to ensure that the job will be done safely. Employers and contractors, on the hand, should plan ahead what safety equipment to buy or rent to reduce slip and fall risks.

Equip right

According to the lawyers at Hach and Rose, workers should be equipped with fall protection equipment (FPEs) to keep slip and fall accidents in the workplace at bay. And FPEs should be heavily dependent on the project, too. For instance, a roofing endeavor would require a personal fall arrest system to keep construction workers safe.

Train right

Finally, employers and contractors should take initiative in increasing awareness about the potential dangers that may result in slip and fall accidents, and how to eliminate or reduce them. This can be done through regular safety training. Workers should also learn about the proper set up and use of safety equipment to avoid construction falls.

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When Airbags Fail

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Airbags | 0 comments

Recently, Japanese airbag maker Takata has been compelled by different authorities around the world to recall and fix its airbags that may explode when triggered, spraying front seat occupants with shards of plastics and metals at a speed so high that it can be fatal. To date, several deaths have been recorded in association with the issue, and several hundreds more have been injured. More and more people that have been harmed by the airbag are now filing for legal action against the manufacturer to seek compensation from the damages they have incurred.

Supposedly, airbags are triggered when there is a sudden decrease of acceleration, which happens when the car hits another car or a hard, immovable object (a wall, or a tree). When the airbag detects sudden deceleration, it would trigger the propellants contained inside the envelope, creating a very fast chemical reaction that generates gas. This gas inflates the airbag, providing front occupants ‘cushion’ during hard collisions.

However, Takata’s airbags are equipped with a new component that instead of inflating the bag, it causes the bag to explode, making the occupants more prone to cuts, lacerations, bruises, and blindness. According to personal injury lawyers from Rhinelander, (visit their website to learn more), some severe instances of Takata airbag explosions even resulted in deaths.

Airbags are always expected to inflate properly in times of troubles. But, as a car owner, you should also be aware that there are occasions wherein airbags do not deploy. Here are some of them:

During angular collisions – If you have been side-swept or rear hit by a car, your front airbags are less likely to deploy. However, newer cars are now equipped with side airbags, which deploy during side collisions.

During a fender bender – A slight car crash might not be enough to deploy airbags.

When you hit a moving object – Your airbags are least likely to deploy when you hit a moving object, such as animals, a pole, or worst, a pedestrian.

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Understanding the different causes of male breast enlargement

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Male Breast Enlargement | 0 comments

Male breast enlargement, scientifically known as gynecomastia, typically affects men during their years of puberty. In rare cases, however, adult men can also develop this condition. Enlarged breasts among male may cause body image issues, and may ultimately result in low self esteem and depression. In most cases, gynecomastia is treated either with medications or surgery, which means a person with this condition may also have to deal with added medical costs and possible treatment side-effects.

There are many different causes of male breast enlargement. For those who have developed this condition at an older age, lower testosterone level could be the culprit. Lower testosterone production could be a result of andropause, a phase comparable to menopause among women.

Apart from low testosterone levels, certain medications could also result in gynecomastia. According to www.williamskherkher.com/practice-areas/defective-pharmaceuticals/risperdal/, the use of anti-psychotic drug Risperdal has been associated with several cases of male breast enlargement. In fact, the website of lawyers from Williams Kherkher says that there have been waves of Risperdal users who took legal action against its manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, due to its failure to warn about the drug’s gynecomastia risk.

Men can also have enlarged breast tissues during their puberty if there is an imbalance between female sex hormones (estrogens) and male sex hormones (androgens). Adolescent males who suffer from gynecomastia might be producing more estrogens than androgens. If this is the cause of a person’s breast enlargement, the condition is considered self-limiting and may go away after a certain period of time.

Male breast enlargement is usually accompanied by tenderness. In severe cases, however, milk discharge (galactorrhea) may also be present. To treat gynecomastia, your doctor might require you to undergo treatment to manage the underlying cause of breast enlargement. Low testosterone level-induced gynecomastia, for instance, might be treated with testosterone supplements. Liposuction, or the removal of breast fat, may also be recommended to reduce the breast size. Ultimately, removal of swollen breast tissue (mastectomy) might be performed to treat gynecomastia.

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Chapter 7 bankruptcy: What’s in it for me?

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Bankruptcy | 0 comments

For those whose financial status is in great disarray, one way to get back on track is through filing for bankruptcy. But no matter how practical, achievable, and logical filing for a bankruptcy is to most circumstances, many are still reluctant in taking this step due to one thing: stigma. Many people still tend to think that someone who filed for bankruptcy was someone who has been irresponsible with his finances. Although this could be true to some, most people are wedged in financial trouble due to many different reasons that they cannot control: sickness, lay-offs, death in the family, divorce.

Depending on your circumstances, there are different types of bankruptcy that can meet your specific needs. For those with no stable income or whose income is below the average, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy would be the best option to get out of debt. With Chapter 7 bankruptcy, an applicant might be able to discharge or “wipe out” certain types of debts, usually the unsecured ones (debts that creditors don’t have a lien on).

According to the website of Raleigh Chapter 7 bankruptcy lawyers at the Bradford Law Offices, PLLC, credit card charges are the most common type of unsecured debt that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy may take care of. Personal loans from family and friends, medical bills, and utility bills are also usually discharged. Penalties arising from auto accidents may also be wiped off, unless it was a result of DUI. In some cases, dishonored checks are also discharged, as long as it is not related to fraud.

One limitation of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, is that it cannot protect you from secured debts, or debts with lien. So, filing for Chapter 7 usually will not prevent creditors from repossessing your home, your car, or any of your property used to secure a loan. Also, debts acquired after filing may not be covered by Chapter 7 filing, even if they are unsecured.

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