The Basics of Child Custody and Child Support

A divorce is already a difficult situation. However, divorce proceedings can become even more challenging when there are children involved in the process. Divorcing parents will need to make several different decisions in regards to the well-being of their children. While some couples are able to come to an amicable agreement on their own, most will need the intervention of a mediator or a family court in order to come to a concession. Among the many decisions divorcing parents need to make is with regards to child custody and child support.

A child custody arrangement determines how each parent will be able to participate and figure in the life and caretaking of children after a marriage ends and a divorce is concluded. In most U.S. states, child custody arrangements can be classified into the following:

  • joint physical custody, where both parents are deemed custodial parents and are given equal amounts of time living with their children;
  • joint legal custody , where only one parent is granted physical custody but both are able to make parental decisions about their children’s education, health care, and other important needs;
  • and finally, sole custody, where only one of the parents is granted physical and legal custody of the children.

Determining a child support agreement is necessary for the last two scenarios where only one parent is considered the custodial parent. In these cases, the non-custodial parent is legally obligated to offer monthly financial assistance to the parent with physical custody of their children. The amount of the payment will depend on important factors that revolve around the best interest of the children involved. In particular, the court will look into the age and needs of the children involved in the custody battle, as well as the age, health, and income of each parent. A child support agreement settled by the court ensures that the custodial parent will not be able to deprive the non-custodial parent his or her right to visit and spend time with the children. On the other hand, the non-custodial parent will also be unable to escape or avoid his or her financial responsibility to their children. This is true even when the non-custodial parent is denied their rightful visitation time.

Considering this information, it’s easy to surmise that child support payments can quickly become a complicated issue. As such, it would be best to contact experienced family lawyers for more specific details that could help your own situation. As the Arenson and Maas divorce lawyers put it on their website, having qualified legal counsel on your side can be a very valuable resource during a difficult child custody proceeding.

Highway Defects – Another Common Cause of Serious Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has never ceased in creating and implementing programs and designing educational campaigns that will continuously remind drivers of the necessity of observing road safety rules to keep accidents minor and at a minimum. This is because about three-fourths of the more than five million motor vehicle accidents in the US (every year) are due to driver’s faults, like speeding, reckless driving, drunk driving, which is the number one cause of car accidents, and distracted driving, which greatly involves teenage and young adult drivers. This, somehow, points to the alarming odds that, no matter how careful one may drive, if another driver acts negligently or carelessly, then an accident may just occur.

Drivers, however, are not the only ones guilty of acts of negligence, for there are also factors or other causes of accidents that are outside of drivers’ control. These include cars with manufacturing defects or low-quality car parts and defective roads and highways. Often, these other factors present greater dangers for these may not be immediately obvious, being discovered only after having caused tragic road mishaps.

Dangerous Road Conditions

The dangerous effects of a defectively-designed highway or a poorly-maintained street is definitely more extensive than car manufacturing defects as the former directly affects more (if not all) motorists. Highway defects include not enough or weakly constructed guardrails, traffic signs blocked by trees or other fixtures, poorly lighted streets, lack of railroad crossing lights and traffic lights, wrong road signs, uneven pavement, roadway debris, potholes, and so forth.

States, municipalities and cities are the ones responsible in the construction and maintenance of roads. States, however, has immunity from any form of liability (despite injuries during an accident), which is based on the rule that, so long as they follow approved construction plans, then they are exempt from paying any claims by an accident victim.

According to the website of Abel Law, the chance of a victim in winning the court’s approval to claim for damages, therefore, depends on the ability and competence of the personal injury lawyer, on whom rests the burden to prove that the risk of accident should have been foreseen or discovered by the state.

Things to Consider when Selecting a Medical Spa

Because of the rising demand and popularity of medical spas, or medi-spas, there have been many who have taken advantage and set up their businesses even though they do not have proper licenses and training to perform such treatments and procedures. In order to ensure that you are going to a good and licensed medical spa, the website of Dr. Shib offers these tips to consider:

  • Make sure that the medical spa is owned and operated by a licensed by a medical doctor who oversees the treatments and procedures or even performs them himself/herself. Although state regulations vary, it is generally required to have doctors oversee the procedures being performed in the medical spa. This does not mean, however, that they are always on the premises.
  • Know who is going to perform the treatment or procedure on you. Check their licenses and see if they are properly trained to perform the treatment or procedure, and see if they have been performing long enough. A lot of state permit treatments or procedures without a need for licenses, and these can result in complications or injuries – such as burns in laser hair removal procedures – therefore it should be important to find someone who properly knows how to perform the treatments or procedures.
  • Check to see if they are using the latest equipment. Because technology is always advancing changing, you have to make sure that what they are offering you are the latest and state-of-the-art equipment that would guarantee less-painful method with safer results.
  • Determine home many treatments you really need to see results. There are different responses for treatments of procedures depending on each person, so it may be difficult to really determine how many sessions are necessary, however, consulting with your therapist about general information – effects of the treatment, the usual number of treatments needed, and the necessary steps to maintain the results.

Many doctors lend their names to medical spas in order to give more credence to the medical spa, although they may also aim to sell more services to their patients. Although you have been recommended a treatment, you still have to judge if you really need the treatment or not. Talk with your doctor or therapist regarding any question that bothers you about the treatment or procedure, and make sure to conduct your own research to determine if it really is the best choice for you.

What is an SR-22?

First off, let us be clear about one thing: there is no such thing as SR-22 insurance. Standard car insurance refers to a policy agreement between an insurance company and the insured that when it becomes necessary, the insurance policy will pay for damages to or caused by the insured as covered under the policy. Minimum coverage amounts for specific types of insurance, typically liability, are required by law to operate a vehicle, and it is renewable every year.

On the other hand, an SR-22 is a certificate issued by an accredited insurance company to the appropriate government agency guaranteeing that a particular individual under special circumstances has the necessary insurance coverage for the prescribed time period. It is formally known as a certificate of financial responsibility. As such, it is not an insurance policy.

However, because it is a financial guarantee and issued by an insurance company, it is understandable why some people consider it as a form of car insurance, and why insurance companies cater to this belief. It eliminates the need for a long explanation, but it may be important for some people to understand what the SR-22 actually is.

The SR-22 is required in most states for some people under special circumstances as mentioned on the website of Insure on the Spot. These include but not limited to driving without insurance, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive number of moving violations, and involvement in a car accident when the individual is found to be at fault. In many cases, these drivers have their licenses suspended or revoked, or have difficulty in getting insurance coverage. In order to address these issues, some states require an SR-22 to either lift the suspension or revocation of a license to drive, or for an individual to legally drive in the state.

An SR-22 must be maintained over an effective period between 3 to 5 years, depending on what is appropriate for the circumstances. In this it is again distinct from standard car insurance, which one can cancel at any time without effect on their license (unless they operate a vehicle without getting alternate insurance coverage). If a person required an SR-22 avoids any incidents within the effective period, an SR-22 may no longer need to be renewed and the individual can acquire regular, and much less expensive, car insurance.

Treating Depression more Effectively with Citalopram

For the past twenty years, a certain class of anti-depressant drugs has been the most common content of doctors’ prescriptions both within and outside the US. This class of medication is known as Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs, and all specific drugs under it are highly reputed due to their effectiveness and safety.

SSRIs are said to increase the amount of serotonin or neurotransmitters, a chemical that is produced by the brain and which attaches themselves to other brain nerve receptors, altering a patient’s mood in the process.

SSRIs were specifically developed to treat major depressive disorder; however, these are also commonly prescribed to treat cases of anxiety disorders, including obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, chronic pain, social anxiety disorder, eating disorders and, sometimes, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Besides blocking the “reuptake” or re-absorption of serotonin in the brain, SSRIs also do not affect other neurotransmitters, thus, the term “selective.” This selectivity is one of the therapeutic advantages of SSRIs over other antidepressant.

One specific type or SSRI medication is the generic drug Citalopram (with brand name Celexa). This oral antidepressant drug works by preventing neurotransmitters from being reabsorbed into the brain (after the brain has manufactured and released them), resulting to more of these chemical to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells.

Citalopram was primarily developed to treat depression; some doctors, however also prescribe it for off-label use (not among those approved by the US Food and Drug Administration) for  treatment of panic disorder, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder and premenstrual dysphoric syndrome or PMDD. Citalopram has also been known to be an effective treatment for patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Citalopram should never be used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin or any other medication that affect bleedings as this may increase the risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding. Complications may also result if taken by pregnant women of nursing mothers.

Some of those who take the drug may experience any of the following side-effects: sexual dysfunction; dry mouth; nausea; headache; vomiting, drowsiness; excessive sweating; tremor and inability to sleep. Stopping the intake of Citalopram, though, may, to some, result to withdrawal reactions, like dizziness, tiredness, irritability, tingling sensations, and vivid dreams.

Types of Fat Transfer

Although fat transfer (also known as fat grafting) surgeries have been around for decades, lately, new science technologies have made them more effective.

Doctors will remove fat from unwanted areas on the patient, such as the thighs, stomach or arms, and inject them into more desired areas. Unlike other types of fillers, fat transfer allows for a completely natural treatment. Furthermore, fat transfers may be permanent when done correctly, whereas other dermal fillers may only last about a year.

The fat can be relocated into the buttocks, breasts, or face and hands for an anti-aging effect.

Fat injected into the face can often correct deep wrinkles and give the face a more youthful, fuller look. Many patients choose to group a face or brow lift with a fat transfer procedure in order to give the face a more overall youthful appearance.

Buttocks augmentation, also known as a “Brazilian butt lift” can be achieved to reshape the rear and give it a firmer, fuller shape. Fat is often taken from areas around the rear, such as the hips or the tops of the thighs to further accentuate the rear.

Fat transfer can even be used as a more natural alternative to the traditional “boob job”. For this procedure, like the others, liposuction is used to gather large amounts of fat needed to enlarge the breasts. It is then injected back into the chest. The results are often “softer” and more natural-looking than other types of breast augmentation.

Surgical Technology: Progressive or Regressive?

The introduction of the da Vinci robotic surgical system marked a new frontier in medical innovation. Da Vinci procedures are meant to be “minimally invasive,” granting the patient access to greater precision than surgeons could provide. Despite these claims, some surgeons worry that increased technology isn’t necessarily beneficial to the patient. According to Dr. Martin Makary in an interview with CNN, the surgeon is better able to discern nuances in tissue by contacting tissue directly. If a surgeon relies solely on a robot, he or she will not be able to make these sensitive detections.

Da Vinci robots are used to perform an array of surgical procedures. Robots are used for surgeries dealing with delicate tissue in hopes that the healing process will be smoother because of the robot’s precision. Many women are offered robotic hysterectomies as well as other gynecologic and urologic procedures. Prostate cancer surgeries are popularly performed with da Vinci robotic technology. Da Vinci robots are also widely used for throat, neck, and back surgeries.

Surgeons performing these specific robotic procedures require extensive supervised training in order to successfully use the da Vinci machines. Some reports show, however, that surgeons learning to manage the technology only go through three supervised surgeries on an animal or a cadaver before operating on actual patients. This calls attention to the lack of oversight when it comes to regulating the practice of robotic surgery. The implications of under-training surgeons are daunting.

Many researchers believe that complications stemming from robotic surgery are underreported to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or not reported in a timely manner. A review of reported incidents shows that reports were usually sent to the FDA after 30 days, though one report was filed almost 3 years after the surgical complication. Of 245 serious reported injuries related to the da Vinci robot, 71 injuries resulted in patient fatality.

Teaching Teens not to Speed

Car accidents are a huge cause of many personal injury lawsuits. Severity of these accidents can lead to expensive settlements, which is why it is important to know and avoid dangerous driving habits that can cause such devastating accidents. Speeding is the third leading contributor to fatal car crashes, and it is the least tackled problem today.

Although most motorists feel endangered when driving next to a speeding vehicle, survey says majority of these motorists still tend to over-speed while driving. Many reasons are given as to why this behavior exists, and even though these reasons are not always true or valid, speeding almost always ends up being overlooked. Accidents due to speeding is not only isolated to highways and freeways; there are a significant number of accidents occurring in local streets, in roads with speed limits 50 mph or less.

Teens and young males are often the most likely victims of these speeding accidents. Based on the NHTSA report, 39 percent of male drivers involved in speed-related car crashes are aged 15-20 years old. This is an alarming report – teens believe that having a driver’s license proves they are ready for the responsibility of driving. However, their driver’s license also exposes them to inevitable risks and dangers. To help prevent the risks of having your child get into a speed-related accident, here are some things that you can do:

  1. Emphasize the importance of being in control of the car.
  2. Stay involved. Talk to your children about the risks and dangers of speeding.
  3. Make sure that you teach them the proper speed management regarding several driving conditions.
  4. Provide a list of driving rules, ensuring that “following the speed limit” is included and followed otherwise driving privileges are taken.
  5. Be a good leader and show your children that you follow the laws on speed limits.

Constant communication and being a good role model to your children is the best way to implant proper safe-driving behaviors. Preventing an accident is the only way to avoid any injuries that can occur. If you have instilled safe driving to your children and they have been injured due to another person’s negligence or recklessness, then it would be easier for personal injury attorneys to fight for your right for compensation since you are not the one at fault.

Quiet Storm Season Leaves Meteorologists Wary

A year after the widespread destruction of superstorm Sandy, 2013’s hurricane season has been off to a quiet and uneventful start. So far, with half of the season elapsed, not a single hurricane-force storm has damaged the Atlantic coast.

However, forecasters are warning Americans that this point in the season may just be the calm before the storm; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) still predicts an active and potentially devastating period to close out the year.

A typical storm season consists of 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three other major storms. This year’s forecast still predicts anywhere from 13 to 19 named storms and three to five major, potentially damaging hurricanes.

Early in 2013, meteorologists predicted an active season based on weather patterns ranging from abnormally warm Atlantic waters to rare wind patterns and heavy rainfall in West Africa. According to NOAA officials stationed in Maryland, the storm predictions fit in with the current 40 year cycle of hurricane activity.

Forecasters are continuing to be wary of all storms, even those that may not be classified as major hurricanes with wind speeds of over 111 miles per hour. Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast last year, was not technically labeled a major storm, but it killed 147 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Texas Law on Wrongful Death Cases

There are many possible scenarios for a wrongful death case. It can be due to medical malpractice, product defect, premises liability, vehicular accident, work-related injuries, and so on. The key element that would make a death wrongful would be if there was a breach in the duty of care by the defendant or the defendant’s representative that caused the death of the individual.

Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code addresses the subject of wrongful death in Title 4 Chapter 71 Sub-chapter A. It defines when a case of wrongful death can be filed against a defendant, specifically if the injury that caused an individual’s death was due to neglect, carelessness, lack of skill or other wrongful act. This liability includes persons who owns, charters, controls or hires premises or commercial vehicles that transport passengers and goods which caused injuries to an individual which led to death. However, in the case of an unborn child who dies, liability cannot be ascribed to the mother or the attending physician, other healthcare professional or dispenser of drugs if death was the intended result provided consent was given.

A wrongful death action to recover damages can only be filed by the spouse, children and parents of the deceased within three months after death. If no action is filed, the executor of the deceased may do so unless specifically barred by the spouse, children or parents of the deceased. Exemplary as well as actual damages may be claimed in a wrongful death case and the appropriate awards will be determined by a jury. The death of the defendant while a wrongful death case is in progress does not nullify the action. Damages can still be assessed and brought against the estate of the deceased defendant.

Recovered damages for wrongful death cannot be garnished for payment of debts of the deceased. The proceeds of a wrongful death action will be divided among those entitled to recover in a manner to also be determined by the jury.
If you are interested in bringing an action of wrongful death in Texas, it pays to know some basic facts about this particular type of civil tort. However, you will need to travel a long and complex road so it would be best to retain the services of a wrongful death attorney practicing in the area to ensure that you get what you deserve.

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