How Does Alimony Work?

When parents get divorced, one parent typically pays a given amount of money to the other parent each month in what is known as child support. Child support helps the parent with custody support their children, and makes sure that the child’s quality of life does not suffer as a consequence of the divorce.

A couple who did not have any children together may still have a financial agreement after the divorce that makes it so one partner has to give financial support to the other. This is alimony.

Alimony helps the partner receiving the payment maintain a comfortable quality of life while they adjust after the divorce. It is also gender-neutral, meaning either partner may be made to make the payments, regardless of gender.

Different Types of Alimony

Just as no two people are alike, no two forms of alimony are alike. I’ve outlined the key differences between a few
of the different types of alimony to help make things a bit easier to follow:

  1. Temporary alimony – these payments are made only during the divorce proceedings and end after everything is said and done.
  2. Permanent alimony – permanent alimony never ends. Well, usually. These payments will continue for the rest of the couple’s lives until one of them passes away or the receiving spouse gets married again. After that, the payments end.
  3. Modifying alimony – a changing form of payment. While most alimony stays the same for the rest of the couple’s lives, extenuating circumstances may call for an updated payment.

For example, if the spouse making payments receives a substantial cut in their salary at work, they are entitled to seek a modification on their alimony in order to keep paying a reasonable amount.

How Alimony is Received

The last thing you want during divorce proceedings is to feel stressed and out of control of your finances. Receiving alimony during this lengthy process can help give you a cushion to fall back on in case you have to miss more work to make court appointments. Even temporary alimony can help keep someone afloat during such a tumultuous time.

If you think you may be entitled to alimony after or even during your divorce, you should go through the proper channels to receive compensation. The alimony experts at the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. sympathize with your struggles. They’re well aware of how difficult it may be to pursue appropriate compensation when it comes to alimony, and because of this, they can offer personalized advice and help you create a plan to seek financial compensation.

Divorces are incredibly emotional affairs. As such, both sides might be ruled by their feelings and be more apt to make rash decisions instead of carefully considering their options.

A lawyer is an objective third-party who only wants what’s best for you. Because of their detachment from the issues, they offer a perspective that can be customized and modified to create a beneficial outcome for both parties.

The Effects of Burn Accident

I know that receiving burns or related injuries from a fire can be a brutally painful experience. However, I have never really understood the different types of burns that can be incurred from an explosion, fire, or disaster. I researched this topic and found a helpful and concise explanation at the website for The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee.

According to this Seattle attorney’s website, there are three types of burns that a person can have: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns. First-degree burns are burns that only affect the outer layer of the skin. Second-degree burns are burns that affect the outer layer of skin as well as the dermis below it. And third-degree burns affect both layers of skin as well as different glands and tissues underneath the skin.

I would not want any of these variations of burns, nor can I imagine anyone else wanting them. But surely, having third-degree burns would be the worst possibility.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee goes on to explain some of the effects (besides the obvious, pain) that can result from burn injuries. One example, limited mobility, truly made me reflect on how lucky I am to be able to move around, walk my dog, and hang out with my loved ones. I can’t believe some people have to be in pain and not be able to move the way they would like.

Another effect is disfigurement. This basically means that your body is altered in a permanent way that causes the arrangement or looks of your features to be different than normal. We should live in a society and world where you are judged on the content of your character, not your looks. Unfortunately, some people are still treated poorly or differently because of things like disfigurement. It’s not fair, but this is another horrible impact of a burn injury.

Digging deeper into that website, I found that there are options for people who have been burned or injured by others’ defective products or negligent actions. The first option, naturally, is to work with the insurance companies (both yours and the person responsible) to get compensation for your injuries. The problem, though, is that the insurance companies are incentivized to pay you as little money as possible for your injuries because they are a business focused on profit. They are not as concerned as you are, with your personal injuries.

It’s been suggested that seeking legal representation before dealing with insurance companies is probably your best bet. A lawyer will be more experienced in negotiating with insurance companies directly for a better compensation offer. And if worst comes to worst, you can work with a burn injury to press insurance companies for a much better settlement in or out of court.

The stakes are high with burn injuries being so intensely negative. If you are a burn victim, I’d make sure that you know what type of burn(s) you have from a medical professional and then discussing its cause(s), context, and more with a lawyer. You can always take the initial insurance offer, but you probably deserve more for all of the pain and potential disfigurement you face!

Sitting on Mineral Rights Can Be a Bad Investment

If you’ve got land with significant gas, oil, or other mineral rights, you may think your best financial option is to just sit tight. You may just want to keep the land as an insurance policy against future financial difficulties. You may also think that you’re likely to get a better deal somewhere down the line when prices are sure to go up.

The truth is, though, that you may very well be limiting your ability to protect yourself financially by refusing to sell now.

To begin with, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a better price tomorrow than you get today. At the same time, by leaving so much investment in your land, you limit your ability to get the liquidity required to truly diversify your investments in a way that will protect you in the case of financial difficulties.

Where does that leave you, then?

It leaves you in a position where you probably need to sell in the near-term instead of the long-term, but you also want to get the most for your land possible so you have the most income to invest in the best and wisest ways.

To get the most for your land, you’ll probably want to work with a mineral rights broker. The Mineral Auction points out several very compelling reasons for this, including:

  • You’ll get the best evaluation before going to sale: Without the help of a broker, you may not get a fair evaluation, meaning you’re leaving money on the table and exposing yourself because of your lack of personal expertise.
  • You’ll get more investors looking at your land: There’s only so much you can do on your own to attract investors. You may have to deal with just the first company that approaches you for your land rights. You’re obviously more likely to get a better deal when you have multiple parties trying to get your land. A mineral rights broker has the ability to bring in more offers to drive the price up.
  • You’ll get a guide through the whole process: Selling mineral rights isn’t necessarily very straightforward. There’s more preparation involved than you might think, and missing out on that early work may cost you a better deal. Working with a mineral rights broker can keep that process on track so that when the right offer comes in, you’re ready.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to handle your mineral rights on your own, or waiting for the market to meet your valuation, but you should recognize that you are taking a risk in doing that. Your land can be a great investment, or it can prove a poor one, just like anything else.

As always, the best security is in diversification, and to diversify, you’ll probably need to sell. And to sell, you will probably need a mineral rights broker. It’s really that simple. But the choice, of course, is yours.

Why I don’t assume people are guilty

I’ll always have sympathy for those accused of crimes until they’re proven guilty, even when they look guilty as sin from the outside. I know that isn’t a popular attitude these days. With the Harvey Weinstein story out there, it is probably very cathartic to assume he’s guilty and to cheer on everything that happens to him, but I have personal experience that makes me hold back.

When I was a kid in the ‘70s (not a kid, but I was in my early 20s, you’ll have to forgive me, everyone seems like a kid to me nowadays), I was charged with drug possession and nearly went to prison.

This was early on in the drug war years, and the police were searching anyone with long hair, just assuming that was reasonable enough proof they were smoking something.

I, actually, was not smoking something. Though I did have long hair and listened to all the right music, I didn’t go in for the drug scene. My father was an alcoholic, and that scared me away from anything that might give me a cloudy head or lead me down a bad road. I played it straight. I didn’t judge people for doing otherwise (still don’t), but it wasn’t for me.

That didn’t stop the police from assuming I was hiding something. One such officer harassed me in a park. He searched my pockets and whatnot, and when he didn’t find anything, he went looking around for anything on the ground. Unluckily for me, someone had actually thrown the butt of a joint in the grass. It was cold, clearly hadn’t been smoked in a week, but that was enough for the officer.

Off I went to the jail. I was fingerprinted, booked, and everything. Once the story was out, once I was released and had a court date, I don’t know how many people shook their heads at me, absolutely certain that I was guilty. And not just that I was guilty but that it wasn’t a misunderstanding or a one-time thing. Many people, including many close friends and some family, assumed I must be some kind of junky.

Now, for those too young to remember, the political climate was quite bad back then, in some ways better than now but in others much worse. There was an assumption that anyone in the counterculture was worthless and deserved any punishment they got.

But that sort of assumption, that attitude, is exactly what makes me pause before condemning people now. I think Harvey Weinstein is probably guilty, but I can’t be sure yet. I was lucky enough to find a good criminal lawyer. I am sure Mr. Weinstein will have the best anyone can pay for. I don’t really worry about him.

I do worry about the small time guys who get caught up in things they aren’t responsible for, though, just like me. I’m sure my situation happens every day still to this day. I hope people are more understanding. I also hope criminal lawyers are cheaper than they used to be. People need the chance to prove they’re innocent.

Hundreds of People Continue to Suffer Unduly Because of Reckless Drivers

Before becoming a licensed driver, a person applying for a license is first required by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to undergo formal driving lessons and go through written and actual driving tests to ensure that he/she has learned and developed proper road behavior. This is because driving is a privilege, not a right; therefore, no one can or should drive as if he or she owns the road. Simply put, public roads and highways should be no place for anyone who would fit the description of “reckless driver”.

A reckless driver, as defined under the laws of the United States, is a person who willfully and wantonly disregards the safety of persons and properties. The following are considered reckless driving behavior in the U.S.:

  • Overtaking an ambulance or a stopped school bus that is loading or unloading passengers;
  • Failing to use signal light when turning, slowing down, or stopping;
  • Driving above the speed limit in parking areas and public roads;
  • Maneuvering improperly;
  • Overtaking another vehicle on a one lane road or overtaking two vehicles simultaneously on a highway by driving in the lane of on-coming traffic or on the shoulder;
  • Drowsing off while driving, driving the opposite direction on a one-way street, and parking in a highway;
  • Passing a car where the view of oncoming traffic is obstructed, like on a curve or on the crest of a hill;
  • Running a red light or a stop sign; and,
  • Driving a vehicle that has defective parts, like faulty brakes or worn out tires.

Reckless driving is a serious traffic violation because it is a threat to people’s lives and properties. Though considered a misdemeanor, a charge can be raised to Class A misdemeanor (which means jail sentence of up to 12 months and/or a $5,000 fine) or felony if it causes injuries or death. In some states, reckless drivers can also have their driver’s license suspended or revoked. If the violation, however,  is committed in Federal territories, such as the George Washington Parkway, the Pentagon area, the Quantico area, in military bases, or in Northern Virginia Federal government facilities, then offenders are sure to suffer heavier penalties.

No one can be more aware of the dangers of reckless driving and the severity of injuries resulting from road accidents caused by reckless drivers than personal injury lawyers. Boston accident attorneys of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, specifically, say that thousands of people suffer unduly because of reckless drivers, and are left with both injuries and high medical costs as a result. In the worst of cases, families may lose loved ones because of the irresponsible choices of reckless drivers.

Dealing with the consequences of a car accident caused by reckless driving can be difficult, but for many injury victims, it may be possible to recover compensation for the damages they may have suffered.

Driving recklessly is a choice and, though, accidents are never intended, drivers who choose to be reckless should understand that they put lives on the line the moment they start not to care about the safety of others – this is just one major driving mistake that they should not be allowed to get away with.


Child Custody: It’s all about Ensuring the Best Interest of the Child

Child Custody: It’s all about Ensuring the Best Interest of the Child

Child custody, which is intended to ensure that the best interests of the child are prioritized even after divorce, is a critical divorce-related issue. Its mandate is that the child’s future should never be compromised. Thus, whoever the court assigns as the custodial parent becomes responsible with regard to the child’s education, medical care and other growth needs.

The law firm Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht explains, “Child custody and support cases can arise for a number of reasons and situations. Separations, divorce, parental deaths, parental incompetence, and a variety of other situations can give rise to child custody hearings. These are never easy, regardless of the different reasons for a custody hearing. Such cases are particularly important as they deal with the future of a child, and all parties involved should seek to find a custody solution that is in the best interest of a child, both short- and long-term. This becomes difficult, however, when multiple parties each believe they can provide the best environment for the child, and in such cases, legal action is necessary to ensure the child is put with the parent or guardian that will provide the best care. Given the gravity of such a decision, it is imperative to have an experienced and dedicated team to guide you through the often frightening experience of undergoing a custody battle.”

While there may be different types of child custody, courts, if they can, assigns both parents as custodians to ensure their continuous participation in their child’s life.

Child custody can be:

  • Legal custody – this type of custody grants the custodial parent the right to decide about what is good for their child, such as where the child should study and what church he/she should go to are a couple of these things. Some courts usually award legal custody to both parents. If this will be the case, then the custodial parent will have no right to withhold the responsibility and right of the other parent to decide for their child.
  • Sole custody – if one parent is deemed unfit by the judge to continue caring for his/her child, usually due to drug dependency, alcoholism, mental incapacity, child abuse or unsuitable new partner, or unsuitable living environment, then sole custody will most probably the court’s option.
  • Physical custody – this type allows the custodial parent to be in the same house with his/her children. If the parents happen to live near one another, then joint physical custody may be decided by the court instead; this decision will also allow both parents to continue spending almost equal time with their child.
  • Joint custody –this type of custody allows both parents to have joint and joint legal custody over their child.
  • Split Custody – Though an uncommon type of custody, this, however, refers to situations where siblings may be split between two parents.

Custody decisions are not always final and may be appealed for a number of reasons, particularly if the person granted with custody later proves unfit or drastic changes occur in the child or parent’s life.

Keep Yourself Safe on the Road or be Sorry

About 112,000 of motorcycle crashes were reported to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2012. 4,957 of these crashes were fatal, while 93,000 caused serious injuries.

Studies show that majority of motorcycle accidents and crashes involve riders who never received formal riding education. Rather than learning how to properly ride a motorbike in a riding school, these riders believed that learning from friends or kin was enough. Motorcycling, however, is not just learning how to balance or how to maneuver a motorbike through traffic; the top priority is learning how to ride it safely. Thus, with many riders not learning how to ride properly and with the number of motorcycles continuously increasing, it will not be a surprise if the number of crashes will increase too.

Of the types of motorcycle accidents, single vehicle accidents are the most common. Causes of these types of accidents include riding while impaired by alcohol, riding too fast even during poor weather conditions, and failure to brake and maneuver properly, especially while rounding a corner. Due to these causes, it is not uncommon for motorcyclists to lose their balance and crash into road fixtures and get thrown off from their bikes.

Multiple-vehicle crashes are less common, though these result to more serious injuries and fatalities. Multiple-vehicle crashes involve another vehicle, such as a car. The worst kind of multiple-vehicle crashes is head-on collision, which often occurs in undivided highways, especially rural highways, where drivers and riders tend to drive/ride at fast speeds, and wherein one vehicle (either the motorbike or the other vehicle) happens to travel on the wrong side of the road.

Most multiple-vehicle crashes occur because many motor vehicle drivers fail or refuse to notice approaching motorcyclists or because many drivers deny motorcyclists their right of way. Despite actual crashes that verify these situations, many drivers continue to blame motorcycle riders, saying that they often careen in and out of traffic, putting their own lives at risk.

The NNHTSA affirms through crash studies that in multiple-vehicle crashes motorcycle riders are more susceptible to injuries or death due to the absence of whatever may protect them from the force of impact during collision. Injuries resulting from motorcycle accidents can actually be enough to permanently alter victims’ lives besides causing them emotional and physical trauma. Nothing can be more painful, however, if it turns out that the accident occurred simply because the one at fault acted recklessly or negligently.

A serious accident is naturally followed by many questions and concerns, especially if it caused injury. Thus, like any other personal injury law firm, it helps victims cope with the sudden and numerous changes in their lives after suffering an injury, by providing them with the necessary legal representation that will help them seek compensation from the liable party. The consequences of a car accident may extend well beyond damage to a vehicle and may include extensive medical bills, missed work income, and long-term or permanent bodily harm. This is why, if you get involved in an accident, getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer may be of utmost importance.

Wrongful Death vs Survival Action : What’s The Difference?

Wrongful Death vs Survival Action : What’s The Difference?

When a person dies unexpectedly, the first thing that the surviving family members will do is recover potential loss. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the family of the deceased is forced to cope with the death and cope with the loss. In such instances, there are two possible actions that they will do and that is file a wrongful death claim and a survival action case. But what is the difference between the two? Let us take a look.

Wrongful Death

Wrongful death compensates the family of the deceased for their losses. In this type of claim, the lost wages is recoverable and usually includes lost wages that can be recovered by the family members as well as the emotional toll of the sudden death of their loved one.

The damages will go directly to the family members and need not pass through the deceased’s estate. In wrongful death, there are restrictions as to which relative can claim the damages. In some states, it is limited to the spouse or minor children. In other states, the adult children and dependent grandchildren can claim.

Aside from that, there are states that allows family members to recover for grief while in others it is only limited to lost support and guidance.

Survival Action

With survival action, the damage goes to the estate and not directly to the family members. It will then be divided among the family members according to the will of the deceased. If there is no will, the division will be pursuant to the law. In addition, the family members cannot recover for their personal losses.

Depending on what state they are located, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death and survival action case. In some states, while both actions can be pursued, surviving family members cannot recover for both claims.



How is a Truck Accident different from a Car Accident?

This is a subject matter that still escapes the understanding of some people. Why would there need to be a distinction between the two if the two are still vehicles on the road and cause an accident? In some respects, the questioning is valid since (when you think about it simplistically and without all the details), a truck is still just another vehicle – much like any other car. Unfortunately, the truth of life resists simplicity.

Looking at an eighteen wheeler truck, it is easy to distinguish that it simply has greater magnitude than that of a car. If a vehicle, on average, can weigh only around 5,000 pounds (for a large vehicle), an eighteen wheeler truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds without a permit. And even then, some trucks even carry dangerous or potentially extremely flammable material and so if they were ever to get in an accident, the consequences would likely be exponentially higher than that of a car accident.

According to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, this is why there are federal laws that aim to protect everyone on the road from potential truck accidents. For example, a truck driver is only allowed to drive for 14 hours on the road because it is almost as dangerous for a driver to be fatigued behind the wheel as if they were drunk. A truck driver must also be professionally trained and experienced in handling such a large vehicle because the proportions and dimensions are simply incomparable to that of an ordinary consumer vehicle.

The potential for devastation between the two is what makes the difference between a truck accident from a car accident.

Types of Product Defects

When we buy a product at a local store or online, we rarely expect that the product will put us in harm’s way. Unfortunately, this is all too often the case and product defects occur. Whether it is a brand of cheese or an automobile, product defects can lead to severe injuries and, in the worst cases, death. According to the website of West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers, three types of product defects can occur, putting consumers at risk.

The first kind of product defect is known as a design defect. These defects take place when there is an inherent problem in the product’s design, regardless of how well it was manufactured. An example of this defect would be a heating pad that electrocutes an individual due to an error in the design of the electrical wiring throughout.

A second type of defect is a manufacturing defect. This means that an error occurred when making the product, even if there is no error in the design of the product. For example, a batch of cookies that contains a toxic substance present in the factory they were made at would be considered a manufacturing error.

Lastly, a product can also have a marketing defect. Essentially, this means that the company behind the product failed to provide adequate security or safety warnings. This would include a medicine that does not warn of all adverse side effects associated with it.

Any of these product defects can lead to severe dangers for an innocent and unsuspecting consumer. Often, it is necessary to take action against companies for any of these types of defects. The last thing on an individual’s mind when making a purchase decision should be whether a product is safe. When companies violate the inherent trust we have when buying a product from them, the consequences may become devastating far too often.