Modification of Court-Ordered Child Support

Divorce courts in the US generally has the final say in issues regarding the terms of the divorce decree, and are usually embodied in binding court orders. However, there are circumstances when there is a need for modification of court orders such as when major changes impact on a person’s ability to comply with those orders. One of these is when a supporting parent is no longer able to provide the amount of court-ordered child support. Child support is one of the more sensitive issues in divorce, and failure to pay child support is carries severe sanctions in the US.

Each county in Arizona has its own child support modification process, mainly differentiated by the type of forms used and the order in which they are given. A petitioner in Maricopa County, for instance, is required to file a Petition to Modify Child Support with the Superior Court. The court then issues an Order to Appear for a conference before a judicial officer at the Family Court Conference Center. If there are no challenges to the petition, the officer will then issue and sign a document recording of the stipulation regarding the modification. At this point, the concerned parties can then leave. However, if there is a dispute, an evidentiary hearing will be held at which time the officer will issue a decision regarding the petition based on the facts brought before him or her.

A lawyer, such as one of the divorce attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, would be an important person during the evidentiary hearing because it is then that any legal barriers to the modification can be brought up or broken down, depending on the desires of the client. Without experienced legal representation, it will be very hard to identify, provide and present evidence to present before the judicial officer which will bring about the desired outcome.

If you are involved in a petition for modification of court-ordered child support, it is important that you know what the legal ramifications will be. Consult with a lawyer in your appropriate county about your case to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.

The Advantages of a Fuel Card

Truckers live on fuel, and it makes infinite sense for them to carry a fuel card for a plethora of reasons. This is why full-service freight factoring companies such as TBS Factoring offer it as part of their packages.

Fuel cards are just as good as cash. Many of the better known fuel card service providers such as Comdata and FLT are accepted in major gas stations and truck stops in all parts of the US for a small transaction fee. Moreover, a fuel card is not as negotiable as cash; if you lose a fuel card, you can instantly have it cancelled. If you lose cash, that’s the end of the story.

Fuel cards usually come with rebates and discounts. Using the card to make fuel and other purchases translates to considerable savings that increase with use that just doesn’t come when using cash or credit cards. The more popular fuel cards are accepted in thousands of establishments with attractive incentives.

Fuel cards come with fuel management tools. Internet-based fuel cards provide access to real-time money-saving information such as the best truck stop and gas stations with the lowest prices. It also allows fleet owners to manage fuel use, expenses, invoicing, reports, and many accounting applications.

Fuel cards make it convenient to get money fast. Most fuel cards allow users to make a check or cash advance for a minimal fee. This can come in handy in an emergency, such as purchasing a tire or having repairs made.

Fuel cards are a good way to get factoring payments. Factoring companies with a tie-up with fuel cards can provide the option of making payments for the loads they factor into the cards for their clients. This typically translates to smaller remittance fees.

Cash may be the king of the road, but is it infinitely better (and safer) to bring around a single card than wads of cash while on the road. Whether you are a fleet manager or a truck owner-operator, you will find many reasons to prefer fuel cards in your business.

Settling a Motorcycle Accident Case

Settling an injury lawsuit or an insurance claim can be tricky because there are various factors that can affect how much the case would amount to. It is important to understand what factors could affect or at least forecast the possible outcome of the case in money figures in order for you to be able to put a value on your motorcycle accident case.

First, check the availability and the amount of insurance the defendant has. A settlement may not be successful if the defendant has very few other assets, and you may have to accept a settlement that would be equal to the insurance coverage limits of the defendant, even though it may be lower than the actual amount of damages made. Next, see how both you and the defendant put “value” to the case – this typically means having an assumption on how much the jury would award you (the plaintiff), along with the amount of compensation the defendant can possibly pay. Putting value to the case is generally affected by the extent of damages suffered by the plaintiff and how the jury would see the liability of the defendant in the accident.

Regarding the likelihood of the defendant to be liable for the accident, it is your (as the plaintiff’s) responsibility to prove, with evidence, of the defendant’s negligence that eventually caused the accident. Proving the defendant’s fault plays the key role in ensuring that the settlement or compensation granted by the court will be equal to the damages that the accident caused. Lastly, according to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, concrete costs such as medical bills and damages can be easy to put value to, less concrete ones such as emotional trauma and pain and suffering can be hard to compute. Since every motorcycle case can differ, it is greatly suggested to consult and have a motorcycle accident lawyer to guide you through the whole process. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer may have an idea on how much the plaintiff’s damages would be worth and how much settlement is acceptable and fair.

Patent Procurement in the US

The protection that a government provides to inventors and research and development companies for their creations is a major driving force in the economy. Without this protection, creators would be reluctant to publish because they have no guarantees that they will benefit exclusively from its use. Intellectual property law in the US does precisely that, albeit for a limited period only, after which the invention becomes public property.

In order to claim protection under these laws, the inventor must go through the patent procurement process. However, as explained on the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., there are some things that have to be considered prior to patent procurement, including making a patentability and freedom-to-operate search as well as the eligibility of an invention to obtain a patent. Once these are satisfied, a patent may then be applied for.

In the US, there are two phases to patent procurement: preparation and prosecution. Preparation pertains to the drafting of the patent application itself, which is in two major parts:

  • Specification
    • Summary in non-legal language
    • Detailed description of the invention and its applications
  • Claims – defines the scope of the invention including devices, processes, and compositions

In the application process, the specification must match the claims, otherwise the application becomes invalid. An inventor may choose to file a provisional application as opposed to a full utility application to establish a priority date, but must file a full utility application within a year of the provisional application. It is usually advisable to have an intellectual property lawyer prepare the draft and file the application as well as negotiate with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), also known as prosecution.

In general, patent procurement in the US takes about three years, although the time frame varies widely depending on each case. One factor may be the backlogs in the USPTO, which can significantly delay the process.

Internet Fraud

With the convenience and easy accessibility of the internet, many people have been accused of internet crimes such as using information and private details used in this world-wide web. Among them, identity theft is a common occurrence, since many private and personal details are shared online. Identity theft is a crime where a person’s private details are stolen and used without their consent. The victim can either be alive or dead, and being a victim can carry financial issues, among others.

In general, identity theft is a crime where another person’s identity is illegally stolen in order to acquire goods or services using deceit. It is very common in today’s times because of the use of internet in daily life, since it is easy to get anyone’s information or personal details. Taking another person’s personal details does not constitute identity fraud, rather, using it to for your own benefit is. Some of the places where these cyber criminals can get personal details are:

  • Bank account left open
  • Credit cards, state loans, and loans
  • Taking over existing accounts
  • Getting important documents (such as Social Security, passports, or driver’s license)
  • Hacking

It may be hard to take action once you have been a victim of identity theft. Reporting the crime is the first step, then make sure to organize and have a record about all the conversations you have regarding the reports. Leave a paper trail, and document everything. Make sure you report the problem as soon as you have become aware of it, and give yourself a deadline regarding any updates on your personal accounts.

Being vigilant about where and to whom you are giving your personal details, particularly during online transactions, and checking your bills are just some things that you can do to protect yourself. Make sure keep important details in a safe place, and if you are throwing away documents that have important personal information, make sure that you have shredded them. Be aware that anyone can get your information and use it for their own benefit, thus look after yourself.

How a DUII Conviction can affect Child Custody

The rule of thumb in child custody decisions in the U.S. is the best interest of the child. When both parents are equally capable of providing for the child, the judge’s ruling is often based on details that would make one parent just a little more desirable as the custodial parent over the other.

Historically, the custody of very young children is awarded to the primary caregiver, usually the mother, unless there are circumstances that bring into question the fitness of the parent to serve the best interests of the child. One such circumstance that could tip the balance in child custody cases is a conviction of Driving under the Influence or DUI.

In Texas, and indeed in most other states, a DUI is a criminal offense. It is a misdemeanor if there are less than three offenses on record, and a felony if there are three or more DUI incidents. A conviction carries stiff penalties, including jail time, suspension or revocation of the driver’s license, and heavy fines. If anyone you know has been charged with driving under the influence, speak to DUI lawyer Ian Inglis from Austin, TX about your case. More importantly, a DUI conviction implies a recklessness and habit of negligence that may weigh heavily against the parent when it comes to child custody and visitation rights.

A DUI conviction does not necessarily mean that the parent should no longer have an active role in his or her child’s life. According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, children generally benefit from the involvement of both parents in their lives after a divorce. However, a criminal record is definitely on the negative side of the slate in child custody decisions. A parent faced with the possibility of a DUII conviction should make every effort to avoid it by engaging the services of an experienced DUII defense lawyer. This can make all the difference when it comes to fighting for one’s rights of child custody and visitation.

Employment Law and Wage Disputes

There are many laws that impinge on employment, ranging from fair labor practices to aspects of employment discrimination. On the whole, employment law guarantees the rights and responsibilities of both employers and employees on the federal as well as state levels. An employment lawyer would have a thorough knowledge of each and every law that may be used as a basis for a claim as well as for defense.

The most basic employment law in the US is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) enacted in 1938 which primarily deals with overtime and wage disputes. It is a federal law and is widely used as a reference for state-specific minimum wage and overtime pay laws. Since its enactment, it has been revised and added to as circumstances demanded. One of the more important additions that reflects the changing work environment is the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which basically states that employees doing the same work should be given the same pay, regardless of gender or any other distinction. In the spirit of the Equal Pay Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles claims of discriminatory practices in employment.

Wage disputes are mostly based on claims of unpaid overtime, but it may also include violations of the minimum wage law as well as disputes of Equal Pay Act violations. Pursuing cases of wage disputes is complicated primarily because of the fact that there are so many different laws that may be cited for each case. It is also difficult to put together a convincing case unless one knows the applicable laws. Employees who may have wage disputes should consult with an experienced employment lawyer rather than trying to resolve them on their own to their detriment. Employers will be more likely to settle a wage dispute out of civil court if they see that the employee has strong legal standing.

For new hire testing, make sure to contact a pre-employment testing service.

Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice

Everyone wants to look good and get rid of those love handles and spare tire. Unfortunately, it is not easy to lose those last few extra pounds even with diet and exercise, and even if you do it is not always where you want it. Sometimes, you just need a little help.

Liposuction vies with breast augmentation as the top cosmetic surgery procedure in the US. In 2012, it was almost an even split with more than 600,000 people undergoing one type of surgery or the other. It is not really surprising that so many people would opt for the surgical solution to a better body. Contrary to the rash of celebrity horror stories of botched cosmetic surgery hitting the headlines, these procedures are inherently safe and medical malpractice in cosmetic surgery is more the exception than the rule.

But like with any kind of surgical procedure, it depends on who does the deed. Although the most expensive is not always the best, you should not choose a doctor based simply on price. You need to find a doctor with a good track record of success. If you have friends or family members who have undergone a similar procedure, get their feedback on their experience. Do your homework and check out the doctors who are on your shortlist for any record of malpractice or misconduct. You want to make sure that you have a reliable professional performing your liposuction because it makes no sense to gamble with your physical well-being.

Liposuction is a good option for someone who is in good health and no more than 20% over their ideal weight. There are many new types of liposuction available today and the procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis with no need for general anesthesia, so it is as safe as can be. The costs depend on the area of the body the procedure will be performed on, but since the best clinics can accommodate the procedure in-house with just local anesthesia, the total cost is reduced.

Social Security Disability Benefits for Cerebral Palsy

The Social Security Administration recognizes cerebral palsy in adults as well as children in reviewing applications for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. In general, mild cases of cerebral palsy are disqualified, but when the condition is so severe that it impairs function significantly, SSD benefits may be made available.

Cerebral palsy is the term used to characterize neurological impairment that affect motor function, coordination, muscle tone, reflexes, and posture. It is non-progressive and has a wide range of severity. It is uncertain how the condition develops, but it is widely believed that 80% of those who have the condition are born with it, although it may manifest after birth. In the remaining cases, cerebral palsy may result from head trauma, infection or malnutrition.

Cerebral palsy is categorized as spastic, ataxic, athetoid, and mixed. About 80% of all cerebral palsy cases are of the spastic type, characterized by stiffness of certain muscle groups (hypertonic) which affect posture and balance. People affected by any type of cerebral palsy may also have secondary impairments with vision, hearing, speech and learning. So far, there are no known cures for the disorder; treatment protocols are designed to alleviate some of the symptoms to promote functionality.

The functional impairment that accompanies certain cases of cerebral palsy necessitates some type of financial support. According to the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, applying for SSD benefits would enable cerebral palsy patients and their families to live comfortable lives. For adults to qualify for SSD benefits, one of these conditions should be present:

  • Emotional instability or destructiveness, or other behavior problems
  • Inability to effectively use hands or fingers
  • IQ score of no more than 70
  • Serious impairments with vision, speech or hearing
  • Significant lack of mobililty
  • Impaired motor function of two extremities that affect dexterity, gait, or posture

Children with cerebral palsy may also qualify for SSD benefits if they have severe functional limitations that interfere with fine or gross motor movements, impaired learning abilities (IQ of 70 or less), seizure disorders, emotional disorders, or significant communication deficits.

Qualifying for SSD benefits in general is often a long and complicated process. When seeking to get financial support and assistance for severe cases of cerebral palsy, it is a good idea to engage the services of a lawyer experienced in making SSD benefit claim applications. This will ensure that all the bases are covered and facilitate approval of the claim.

Concerns for Business Owners

Business owners in general are concerned with two things outside capitalization: their labor force and their security. The labor force is often the lifeblood of any business, be it a force of one or one million. It is the employees who do the actual work, and it is important that they are qualified for what they are tasked to do. In terms of security, the business owner has to protect the assets of the business from theft, natural calamity, and other outside forces. For the former, pre-employment screening will go a long way towards finding the right person for the job, and for the latter, the appropriate insurance cover will take care of any unforeseen contingency.

Pre-employment screening should be scientific and objective, using standardized tests to identify risk factors that may impact on performance and attrition. Employees who satisfy the functional needs of the work are less likely to have problems with absenteeism and work-related injuries, both of which have a significant effect on productivity. There are companies that offer this service to forward-thinking employers who want the best possible labor force driving their business.

Business insurance represent a considerable cost for the company, but it is necessary to secure coverage in case of theft, property damage due to storms, floods and fires, and business income losses due to natural calamities or other adverse events. The savvy business owner will not stint on full insurance coverage, and will also guard against insurance bad faith when they do not get the coverage they paid for in a timely manner by engaging experienced insurance claim lawyers whenever a claim becomes necessary. They know that insurance companies will try to minimize their exposure, especially in the event of hurricanes when numerous claims may all come in at the same time.

These two concerns of business owners should be included in the business model. This will ensure that productivity is high and losses are minimized.