What You Need to Know About Alimony in California

What You Need to Know About Alimony in California

Jun 24

When determining alimony, the state of California takes into consideration a couple’s lifestyle during the time they were married. The spouse who earns the most money may have to accommodate the other after the divorce, and the court does not take gender into consideration. If the judge decides one spouse must give money to the other in order for the former spouse to continue living in a similar manner, then this is referred to as spousal support or alimony.

Types of Spousal Support

There are three types of alimony that the judge may deem appropriate for your situation. Temporary support is a brief form of alimony that may last until the divorce proceedings are over, but it could last longer. Spousal support is a continuous form of alimony that could last several years after the divorce. As circumstances change, the court is willing to renegotiate the terms of the alimony agreement. The judge may also decide that a one-time payment of alimony in the form of a lump-sum is the most appropriate way for the former spouse to receive support.

How to Determine the Duration of Alimony

The court takes into consideration how long a couple has been married. If the former spouses were together less than ten years, then it’s likely that the alimony order will be for less than five years. For couples that were together longer than ten years, it becomes more difficult to determine with certainty. If the former spouse cannot work full-time or they sacrificed career opportunities to raise a family, the judge may be more inclined to award more support. However, the paying spouse may be able to demand that the receiving spouse support themselves after a certain amount of time. Either way, the attorneys on both sides of the argument will have their hands full trying to prove their point.

Calculation Alimony Payments

The court uses a complicated formula to determine how much alimony should be awarded to a former spouse, and it is based roughly on 50 percent of the income of the lower earning spouse compared to 40 percent of the higher earning spouse’s income. As the final amount is determined, adjustments will be made to compensate for things like taxes and child support.

Making Adjustments

Unless both couples signed an agreement that prohibits any adjustments to the final agreement, the alimony contract can be changed. Either spouse has the right to request the agreement be modified or terminated, depending on new developments regarding the former spouse’s financial situation. If either spouse dies, then the alimony agreement will automatically be terminated. Should the receiving spouse decide to cohabit a dwelling with another romantic partner, then alimony payments may not be necessary anymore. The same is true if the receiving spouse remarries because the state of California presumes that there is less financial need than before. Alimony arrangements are complicated and complex. For more information, the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield site has a lot of information about alimony in California.

Toys R Us is facing bankruptcy…can anyone save this company?

Toys R Us is facing bankruptcy…can anyone save this company?

Sep 10

When I was a kid, I used to love to go shopping at Toys R Us, but I rarely find myself in Toys R Us anymore since I don’t have children yet. I’m looking forward to the day, however, when I can take my kids to a Toys R Us and see their faces light up at all the options they have!  That is if there is even a Toys R Us around by the time I have children. With Amazon and online shopping, Toys R Us is struggling to get back on its feet and is looking at bankruptcy contingency plans.

Forbes writes that Toys R Us is looking for investors to help them look at financing programs. The store has been struggling to increase its balance sheet for about twelve years now. They had a $6.6 billion buyout by investor groups: KKR, Bain Capital, and Vornado Realty Trust. Since their filing, Toys R us has not had a lot of consumers purchasing there. This could also be responsible for online shopping trends. Amazon Inc. carries the same toys and products that Toys R Us sells for a significantly better price. Toys R Us, over $5 million in debt, is trying to refinance and bounce back. This year, Toys’ R Us is continuing to decline. The company’s debt will be increased by $2.6 billion by 2019. The company has hired advisors to help them figure out a plan of action. This could include closing some stores that are not doing well or finding better management and marketing sales. These investors are responsible for acknowledging some international options. They plan to join a conversation that could help them secure deals with potential investors, which could take out $400 million in debt if they are successful. This could help 2018 debts they can anticipate which fall under debtor-in-possession classes. These loans help sponsor and soften the bankruptcy process. Because of the debt loads, the chance to acquire more capital would need to be secured by assets. However, because the company already has many debt agreements, this limits the company’s ability to secure new debt. One entity, the Taj entity, holds 3.6 times the leverage and could offer liens on the international assets. This could make them useful for liability management. Stakeholders of the company own about 12% of the company’s secured notes, which was devised last year from previous engagements that hope this new debt will provide a solution with international assets.

The company has hired advisors to help them figure out a plan of action. This could include closing some stores that are not doing well or finding better management and marketing sales. These investors are responsible for acknowledging some international options. They plan to join a conversation that could help them secure deals with potential investors, which could take out $400 million in debt if they are successful. This could help 2018 debts they can anticipate which fall under debtor-in-possession classes. These loans help sponsor and soften the bankruptcy process. Because of the debt loads, the chance to acquire more capital would need to be secured by assets. However, because the company already has many debt agreements, this limits the company’s ability to secure new debt. One entity holds 3.6 times the leverage and could offer liens on the international assets. This could make them useful for liability management. Stakeholders of the company own about 12% of the company’s secured notes, which was devised last year from previous engagements that hope this new debt will provide a solution with international assets.

Toys R Us is still fighting to be in the toy industry and compete with others such as Amazon and Walmart. I don’t think Toys R Us will be around by 2030 at this rate, if not sooner. The trend has shifted toward online shopping and iPhones, and iPhone apps/games are replacing the toys that Millenials loved and enjoyed. I would like to learn more about the investor’s plans into Toys R Us and their belief in the store’s vision and industry in the future, but I am unsure if they will last much longer at this pace. It just goes to show that in tough times, individuals and companies alike must consider bankruptcy, and corporate bankruptcy tends to be far different than personal bankruptcy, based on some of the research I did look up local bankruptcy lawyers near me. I did find a few great websites like this one here, and I learned quite a bit about the bankruptcy process!

A Brand New Bright Smile through Painless Dentistry

A Brand New Bright Smile through Painless Dentistry

Jun 10

Pain and discomfort are the two major factors that have kept so many individuals from visiting or keeping their appointment with dentists. Thus, despite all efforts to increase patient comfort, dental treatment is one necessary health care, but which many often avoid.

Well, there is great news for all those who need or want to undergo dental treatment nowadays: Painless Dentistry!

An absolutely safe procedure, painless dentistry, also called sedation dentistry, is a kind of dental treatment where a patient is calmed (through the use of mild forms of sedation) before performing a dental procedure.  To help relieve patient anxiety, the area that needs to be treated it numbed so that the patient will not feel the work of the dentist and hygienists. The procedure would have been completed by the time the sedation wears off.  There are varying levels of sedation in painless dentistry:

  • Minimal Sedation. Though the patient is awake, he/she will feel calm.
  • Moderate Sedation. The patient may be awake, but not fully aware.
  • Deep Sedation. The patient is slightly conscious.
  • General Anesthesia. The patient is completely unconscious

Sedation dentistry has actually been practiced by dentists for many years; new techniques, however, has expanded its application, allowing it to be used even for simple treatments, like teeth cleaning. The calming and numbing effects of sedation have also proven an effective antidote even for people who cannot bear the thought of being in the dentist’s chair.

Administering sedation may be done through the following means:

  • Inhaled – this is done through the use of a breathing mask.
  • Oral – a pill that comes in a variety of strengths is given to a patient. This will make a patient feel groggy so that he/she would be asleep during the procedure.
  • IV – IV sedation is administered through an IV drip and it takes effect almost immediately. The dentist can continually monitor and adjust the dosage if necessary.

Sedation is typically used with a topical anesthetic, to numb the area that needs to be treated. When these two are used, dentistry can become totally painless.

According to Babylon Dental Care, in sedating a patient, Nitrous oxide (also referred to as “sweet air”) may be used. The American Association of Moderate Sedation Nurses (AAMSN), however, makes the reminder that though sedation is extremely safe, it should only be administered by qualified providers, like Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), anesthesiologists, other physicians, dentists, and oral surgeons; trained Registered Nurses may also assist in the administration of (conscious) sedation.

Sedation dentistry is for patients who are very fearful or anxious of getting dental work completed. Conscious sedation allows them to fall asleep during treatment the dentist performs the treatment(s). A board certified anesthesiologist is available to administer IV sedation. When they wake up, they can enjoy a brand new smile!


Ending a Marriage without being too Argumentative

Ending a Marriage without being too Argumentative

Apr 01

Marriage counselors and divorce lawyers know that the process of divorce is complex, demoralizing, emotional and, often, extremely frustrating, especially when it is settled in court. Contested divorce, which is the traditional way of ending a marital union, is divorce settled in a family court, wherein all decisions regarding divorce-related issues (child custody and visitation rights, child support, alimony or spousal support, and division of property, assets and debts) are made by a family court judge since the divorcing spouses refuse to agree or cannot reach an agreement on these issues.

Other than a family court judge deciding on all issues, contested divorce is also open to the public, thus, all those present in the courtroom witness how each spouse, through their respective lawyers, discredit and destroy one another, often in order to win the judge’s favor. This type of divorce can also drag on for months, even up to a couple of years, and the longer it takes to settle everything the more expensive it becomes.

Avoiding all the unpleasant effects associated with contested divorce is the most probable reason why many divorcing couples in the U.S. now choose alternative processes, one of which is mediated divorce or mediation, a private and out-of-court legal procedure wherein divorcing couples are given the chance to settle by themselves all divorce-related issues in a friendly way. If there is one thing that mediated divorce promotes, it is preserving the respect between the spouses, which is necessary in recognizing each other’s rights and interests, and vital in living out their parental roles (for though they may end being a couple, their being parents to their child/children, if they have any, does not end).

As explained in the website of the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, “mediated divorce is among the least contentious and time-consuming processes through which a couple may legally dissolve their marriage. In a mediated divorce, partners utilize the services of an objective mediator to resolve any outstanding disagreements through an amicable and collaborative process. This divorce process can truly be beneficial to any couple who have moderate disagreements concerning the conditions of their divorce.”

Mediated divorce offers the following benefits:

  • It allows the spouses to maintain a good relationship with each other. This will lead to faster and easier resolution of future problems;
  • It enables the spouses to resolve all issues peacefully and within a much shorter period;
  • It is less expensive compared to a contested divorce; and,
  • It helps the spouses communicate better with each other, thus making them understand more each other’s interests.

While the presence of mediated divorce lawyers (for each spouse) is not really necessary, a spouse seeking the assistance of one who is highly qualified can be more beneficial because a lawyer can help his/her client understand more the laws of contested divorce, what he/she can bargain for, how to bargain for these interests and which terms (from the other) party may be accepted, rejected or subjected to negotiation.

Common Scams In Overtime Pay

Common Scams In Overtime Pay

Oct 16

An employee who renders overtime work is entitled to be compensated for such. The Fair Labor Standards Act provides rules that employers must follow when paying their employees. This law defines what an overtime pay is, when employees must be paid an overtime rate, and who is eligible for overtime pay. Overtime pay lawyers will tell you that some employers use deceptive and illegal tactics to avoid paying overtime pay. Here are some examples of the common scams used by employers:

1. Misclassification

Employers often change the classification of employees from non-exempt to exempt to avoid paying overtime wages. They often give them titles such as “manager” or “supervisor” and claim that such positions is exempt from overtime pay.

2. “Off the Clock”

IN addition, employers often demand that their employees work “off the clock” after rendering 40 hours of work in a week so are exempted from paying overtime pay. Likewise, they refuse to pay their employees for legally mandated breaks or force workers to clock out when they eat at their stations and go on a working break.

3. Miscalculating Workweek

By definition, a workweek consists of 7 consecutive days, regardless of which day is the start of the week. Some employers calculate the average hours worked over a number of weeks to avoid paying overtime.

4. Pre-approval

Another tactic employers use to avoid paying overtime wage is to require employees to seek prior approval for overtime before they are paid.

5. On-Call Work, Meetings, and Take Home Work

Employers do not consider on-call work, work-related meetings, or take home work as overtime hours and hence will not pay their employees overtime pay when engaging in these kinds of work.

These are just some of the common practices that employers utilize to avoid paying overtime wage. If you had been denied your overtime pay, you have the right to sue your employer.

Motorcycling: Made Unsafe by Negligent or Careless Drivers

Motorcycling: Made Unsafe by Negligent or Careless Drivers

Jul 04

Motorcycling: Made Unsafe by Negligent or Careless Drivers

There were 8.4 million private and commercial motorcycles registered in the U.S. in 2014. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, a motorcycle is any two- or three-wheel powered vehicle which can be used off-road, on-road or for dual-purpose (both on – and off-road). Only those that are used on-road and for dual-purpose, though, are required to comply with federal and state certification standards as well as be registered before these can be allowed on public roadways (motorized bicycles, and mopeds or light scooters, which are light powered two-wheel vehicles with engines smaller than 50cc, are usually allowed to run on public roadways without registration).

Compared to cars, motorcycles are unquestionably much more economical in terms of fuel cost. Riders can also easily weave through traffic by lane splitting (though this is not illegal, it should be done safely and in a prudent manner). The continuous increase of motorcycles on the road only shows how famous this vehicle has become and is still becoming. Besides more and more people going to work or running errands using a motorbike, the presence of recreational riders on roads and highways during weekends has also become very noticeable. One consequence of the increase of motorcycles, however, is the growth in the number of riders getting involved in accidents.

From 2010 to 2012, fatal motorcycle accidents were 4,502, 4,612; and, 4,957, respectively, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcycle riders are always vulnerable to serious or fatal injuries both in single and multiple vehicle crashes; this is due to the lack of protection which should be their cushion from the force created during impact.

In single vehicle crashes only the motorcycle is involved. Examples of this include a motorcycle crashing into a solid fixture, such as a concrete support structure, a lamp post, or a telephone pole or booth, or crashing on the pavement probably due to uneven road surface, potholes, or slippery road (because of ice, sand or oil). Multiple vehicle accidents, on the other hand, involve other vehicles, such as a car.

Some easily assume that single motorcycle accidents could only be the fault of the rider, who may be riding too fast, especially when entering a corner. This is not always the case, however, as has been proven in many occasions, wherein a motorcycle accident happened because of someone else’s act of negligence. This is also true in multiple vehicle accidents, wherein drivers of other vehicles are usually the ones at fault.

A study by the NHTSA shows the causes of multiple motorcycle accidents to include drivers committing errors which result to accidents, drivers denying motorcyclists their right of way, drivers behind the wheel even when drunk, or drivers failing or not bothering to check for possible approaching motorcycles before making a turn or when entering an intersection.

According to the law firm Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., a motorcyclist is susceptible to a number of serious injuries after an accident, some of which can require expensive medical attention and cause debilitating and long-lasting health conditions. The financial damages resulting from injuries sustained in an accident should not be the responsibility of the motorcyclist, especially if the one at fault in an accident was the driver of the other vehicle. A civil lawsuit against the at fault driver can help the injured motorcyclist seek the compensation he or she may need.

Motorcycle Means Danger

Motorcycle Means Danger

Mar 15

Despite the lack of bodily protection, motorcycles riders are obligated by state and federal laws to follow the same traffic safety rules like all other drivers. A motorcycle, which may refer to any two-wheel or three-wheel powered vehicle, should first comply with state and federal certification standards and be licensed or registered for it to be operated on public roads.

Many studies, both from governmental and private organizations, as well as from the US and around the world, say that motorcycles are dangerous. Compared to cars, motorcycles are lighter, smaller, easily affected by road hazards, less stable, less visible, require more riding skills, and encourage speeding. But if motorcycles are really much riskier to ride and more dangerous than other types of vehicles, then why, besides ensuring fuel economy, do many people prefer these (and their number only seems to increase year after year)? Believe it or not, it is because of the already mentioned simple and crazy reason: it’s dangerous. Add more wheels to a motorcycle and surely people will stop buying and riding it. But as long as motorcycles remain to be designed the way these are now, then these will continue to be loved, resulting to many more purchases, rides, and, sad to say, injuries and deaths.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that, in accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle, motorcycle riders are up to 40 times more likely to get injured or die than the driver of the other vehicle. From 2011 to 2012, the number of motorcycle riders who got injured in accidents was 81,000 and 93,000, respectively; death rate was 4,630 in 2011 and 4,957 in 2012. About 58% of these injuries and deaths were due to multiple-vehicle crashes, or crashes which involved another vehicle.

Multiple-vehicle crashes are usually results of: a vehicle crossing the centerline and hitting the motorcycle head-on; a motorcycle rider overspeeding; lack of alertness due to distracted driving, a more common fault among drivers of another vehicle; impaired driving, which can be the fault of both driver and rider (drunk riders, however, face greater danger because intoxication will definitely affect their alertness and balance); failure of drivers to check for possible oncoming motorcycles before making a turn or changing lanes; and failure of drivers to respect motorcyclists’ right of way.

In its website, the Abel Law Firm makes clear that drivers who injure or kill a motorcycle rider in an accident that is a result of their act of recklessness or negligence can be held legally liable for their actions. Determining liability, however, can be difficult as the accused liable party can argue that the rider was partly at fault in the accident.

Cyber Crimes

Cyber Crimes

Oct 09

The computer and the use of the Internet have provided such great benefits to the world today and have greatly helped in advancing our lives. However, with such high-tech and powerful tool, many people have also taken advantage of the internet for their own personal gain. In order to help, protect, and ensure the safety of everyone using their computers and the internet, computer crime laws have been passed and implemented in and around the United States. These laws are enforced to cover a wide variety of conducts that may damage or intervene with normal computer operations.

There are a number of cyber crimes that can be committed using a computer. One of the most common cyber crimes is computer hacking, where a person uses a computer to “break-into” another computer in order to damage or disrupt that computers’ system, functions, or network. Computer hacking is also widely used to get private information from another person, and usually exploited maliciously.  Unauthorized access can also be considered hacking, because these actions are used to get information, intercept information and even changing resources without the owners’ consent.

The effects of cybercrime are widespread and varied. Many people are even committing them without knowing they are doing it. This may have dire consequences on their life, as the penalties for cybercrimes are harsh and severe. Internet cybercrimes are covered under the California Penal Code §502, which values the “protection of the integrity of all types and forms of lawfully created computers, computer systems, and computer data is vital to the protection of the privacy of individuals as well as to the well-being of financial institutions, business concerns, governmental agencies, and others within this state that lawfully utilize those computers, computer systems, and data.

In order to protect your rights as an individual when you think you have been accused of a cyber attack, immediately contacting a lawyer would be the best course of action. Legal representation during such situation is vital in making sure your rights and interests are vindicated. Not everyone accused of a crime are guilty, therefore your rights should be maintained thoroughly. Furthermore, internet cybercrime laws are fairly new, and since not everyone is familiar with it, many of the accused do not fully understand the charges they are facing and will not be able to defend themselves properly. A lawyer will be the one who will guide and represent them through the whole process in order to reduce charges and even have them dropped completely.

Florida is a Hotbed for Tourism. Does that Increase Crime Rates?

Florida is a Hotbed for Tourism. Does that Increase Crime Rates?

May 14

Florida is certainly enjoying a significant increase in the number of tourists that flow in all year-round. Florida, together with California and Hawaii, is the preferred vacation spot of choice for local and international tourists. Because people come to sunny Florida to party, it is perhaps inevitable that there will be a concomitant rise in crime.

The state has experienced an ever-increasing tourist trade for the fourth year running. An estimated 97 million people visited Florida in 2014, a whopping 9.3% rise from 2013. In particular, Lee County experienced the highest increase in the influx of visitors, recording 12% more tourists in 2014 than the year before. Okaloosa County, where you will find the famous Fort Walton Beach, is also a favored haunt for Spring Break. This is good for the state’s economy, as tourists spend billions to enjoy the weather. With that many people spending that much money in the state, something has to give.

At the very least, many out-of-state visitors are experiencing the consequences of imbibing too freely and then going for a joy ride. Being from out-of-state does not offer any protection from arrest for drunk driving, as a Fort Walton Beach criminal defense lawyer will point out.

This can be a big problem, especially for young people intent on enjoying their spring break in the tradition of all spring breakers. They are far away from home and family, and all that is familiar. People arrested outside their own state may not be familiar with Florida’s laws.

If you are an out-of-state visitor facing drunk driving charges, there is no need to panic. It is not the end of the world if you keep your head. The best thing you can do is to contact a Florida criminal defense lawyer with experience in handling cases for out-of-state visitors. They will know how to help you out.

What Does Car Insurance Cover in Chicago?

What Does Car Insurance Cover in Chicago?

May 13

All states (except for New Hampshire) require drivers to have the minimum car insurance coverage as established by state law. This will vary, but in Illinois you need liability coverage ($20,000 for injury or death of one person; $40,000 for injury or death of two or more persons in an accident), and property damage ($15,000). The minimum required is not usually enough. Higher coverage is always recommended as these amounts will not be enough anything other than minor injuries and property damage.

Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® stresses the importance of understanding that liability coverage is only for personal injury. It does not cover property damage. In addition, personal car insurance for liability coverage follows the insured under limited circumstances. There is no standard for this. For example, if you have liability insurance and you are driving your own car, then you will be covered. However, if you are not driving your own car and you get into an accident, your claim may be denied as excluded from coverage. Be sure to understand the terms and conditions set down in your policy.

On the other hand, collision and comprehensive insurance “follows” the car. This type of car insurance covers damage and theft of the insured vehicle even if during the relevant instance the driver was not the registered owner of the vehicle. However, some policies may still have stipulations about the persons authorized to operate the vehicle. In most cases, family members are automatically authorized. The insurer will rarely cover claims in which the driver was operating the vehicle without the permission of the registered owner.

Car insurance can be complicated. It is important to take the time to ask your insurance agent to clarify what is and what is not covered under your policy. It can save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.