Why Go to Court when You can Settle Your Divorce Case Faster and Peacefully?

One contested divorce case took five years to settle, involved four different judges and six different divorce attorneys, and cost the husband about $400,000.00 in court fees, experts’ fees, lawyer’s fees (it was the husband who paid for everything, including the lawyer’s fee of his former wife). All these may sound horrifying; however, if compared to how hostile the court atmosphere turned, especially when the issue of spousal support came up, the above may even be considered the mild effects of this particular contested divorce case (it was actually the issue of spousal support which took the longest to settle since the wife’s lawyer kept urging her to decline her ex-spouse’s offer, which included $5,400 monthly payment until his retirement, half of everything in their million-dollar home and $50,000 cash).

Another divorce case, though, took only a few months to settle (this includes settlement of all divorce-related issues, including child custody, child support, visitation rights, alimony or spousal support, and division of properties, assets and debts). Though the spouses argued about certain things, this was brief and everything ended peacefully; this divorce procedure also was much less cheaper than the divorce case mentioned above.

In this divorce case, by the way, the only problems and difficulties the wife experienced came after the divorce case. These included changing her name in her passport, bank account and some other legal documents, and getting her ex-husband’s name removed from official papers (which required the sending of letters in triplicate to all agencies concerned).

The first case mentioned above is one example of contested divorce, which is the traditional way of ending a marital union. Contested divorce is settled in a family court, which is open to the public. Anyone can witness how spouses destroy and discredit one another through their respective lawyers, in order to win the favor of the judge who will decide on all divorce-related issues. Contested divorce can drag on for months, even for years and, there longer it takes to settle, the more expensive it becomes.

The second divorce case mentioned is an example of collaborative divorce, which is an alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples. In this procedure, divorcing couples hire their own lawyers, whose job is to assist their own clients resolve conflicts through the use of cooperative techniques instead of adversarial strategies and litigation; the spouses may also seek the help of a mediator or other neutral experts, like an accountant and/or a child custody expert who can help settle a particular issue.

At the start of the collaborative process, the spouses and their lawyers make a commitment to achieve a negotiated outcome and enter into what is called a “Participation Agreement.” If no settlement is reached, based on the agreement entered into by all those involved, each of the spouses’ lawyers will have to withdraw from the process to allow the spouses to hire new lawyers who will represent them in court (for the adversarial contested divorce process).

According to Kirker Davis, LLP, collaborative divorce is a divorce process wherein both parties try to work together to expedite the process. This works best when both individuals are willing to negotiate to avoid taking the matter to court, where the process would become more costly and time-consuming.

Besides enabling spouses reach an amicable agreement, other benefits of collaborative divorce include:

  • Making decision on how to handle post-settlement disputes;
  • Expediency of the divorce case;
  • More control over the outcome;
  • Less stress and anxiety;
  • Lesser costs compared to the traditional divorce process.

Contested Divorce

Divorce can be classified as contested and uncontested. Contested divorce occurs when the parties involved cannot agree on the divorce itself or its terms, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, division of assets and liabilities, and other legal matters.

Uncontested divorce is much easier. It means that the parties involved agree on the divorce and its terms without the need for legal professionals to distribute these assets and liabilities.

According to the website of the divorce lawyers of Kirker Davis LLP, contested divorces are often lengthy and expensive. This is because the disagreements between the parties need proper reconciliation, which often warrants legal help. It is better to be represented by a lawyer on contested divorce because of all its complexities, unlike uncontested divorce where a person may represent himself or herself and still be successful in the divorce process.

Common disagreements on contested divorce

  • Child custody: One of the most common issues involving divorce is child custody. It is a misconception that mothers always get custody of children. Courts don’t have biases against fathers. In fact, gender is not an issue in determining child custody. The main factor in the decision is the best interest of the child.
  • Child support: Divorces involving minor children have the legal issue of child support, to give sustenance to the child in terms of education, health, and other aspects relating to the child’s well-being. Like child custody, child support has the best interest of the child in mind.
  • Spousal support: A divorce can have a negative effect on the economic status of either party, especially if one of the parties is a non-earner or a low-earner. This is especially true if he or she has sacrificed a career for familial duties. For this reason, this party may be eligible to receive financial support from the other party, may it be short-term, long-term, or permanent.
  • Division of assets and liabilities: The family’s money, properties, debts, and other liabilities are divided upon divorce. These assets may include houses, retirement and pension plans, and even entire businesses. It is common sense that the parties will fight to get everything they possibly can.

The Painful Consequences of Shoulder Arthritis

There are three bones that make up the shoulder:

  • the shoulder blade or scapula;
  • the upper arm bone or the humerus; and,
  • the collarbone or the clavicle

A capsule, called the rotator cuff, which connects the upper arm bone to the shoulder blade, keeps the humeral head (also called the ball) on the glenoid (or the socket) and makes it possible for the arm to be raised and rotated. This humeral head and glenoid are what make up the shoulder joint.

Covering the ends of bones (where joints are formed) is a smooth and rubbery white tissue, called the Articular cartilage. Besides cushioning the bones of joints, this cartilage also enables the joints to move with ease and reduces the friction when bones glide over each other. Though tough and flexible, the Articular cartilage can break down or get damaged quite easily. When this happens, the result is shoulder arthritis. The symptoms of shoulder arthritis include inflammation, shoulder stiffness and decreased motion, abnormal bone formation, and pain.

In its website, the law firm Williams Kherkher explains that shoulder replacement surgery is a popular corrective solution for those suffering from extreme joint pain or a limited range of shoulder motion. This surgery involves the removal of damaged parts of the shoulder, replacing them with an artificial device, known as prosthesis. Though artificial, this implant is designed to offer relief by reducing or removing pain and restoring shoulder strength, function and motion. These are the expected results of a shoulder replacement surgery unless something else than what should be happens, like implanting in patients a faulty replacement device. The result of this would be increased pain, additional costly medical expenses and probably the necessity for a corrective surgery plus the removal of the implanted device.

Surgical failure due to the use of faulty replacement devices is the latest issue in the area of extremities and biologics industry. After only a year in their merger, Wright Medical Technology, Inc. and Tornier, Inc. are already being accused of manufacturing a defective shoulder replacement device that causes additional injuries in patients, including significant bone loss, instability, weakness, one and tissue damage, metal poisoning and unexplained pain. Due to these different kinds of harm patients have been made to suffer, they may see the necessity of fighting for damages from the manufacturers.

Sleep Apnea, a Sleep Disorder that is Causing Strings of Truck Accidents

On the night of January 27, 2014, Douglas Balder, an Illinois State Trooper, parked his patrol car along the rightmost lane of the Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway to assist a Chicago-bound big rig which had stalled out in the same side of the tollway. Also providing were a bright yellow Tollway assistance vehicle and a heavy-duty tow truck.

As the red and blue lights of Balder’s squad car strobed into the frozen night, the Tollway truck’s amber hazard lights and large blinking arrow flashed visibly up to about 10 miles; flares were also sputtered on the pavement.

Renato Velasquez, who drove a flatbed big rig that was loaded with three massive rolls of steel, however, neither saw the flashing bright lights nor the flares. Failing to change lanes, he rammed into all parked vehicles at 63 miles per hour, bursting the patrol car’s gas tank, injuring the driver of the stalled big rig and instantly killing the driver of the Tollway vehicle. A court discovered during the investigation into the case that Velasquez, the driver of the rig that rammed into all parked vehicles, was falling asleep moments before the accident.

Accidents involving big rigs have been occurring with startling regularity, especially those wherein drivers have fallen asleep. From April to July of 2015 alone, 21 individuals died in a string of four big rig accidents, all due to drivers nodding off. Authorities believe that wrecks due to fatigue are significantly undercounted, there being no blood test or roadside exam that will determine drowsiness; drivers also would not openly admit that they falling asleep, thus, the accident.

Besides drivers being pushed past their limits, being made to drive for longer hours, the law has also made it hard to screen drivers for sleep apnea, a sleep disorder. Employers, on their part, have also failed to ensure that their drivers and those that they hire do not have this disorder (basically to make sure that they have enough drivers, experienced or not, to complete all job orders).

An article in a website called Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, says that tucking companies are expected to follow a number of state and federally mandated regulations in the hiring of truck drivers. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for these companies to be negligent in their hiring practice. Knowing this, there is good reason, therefore, for victims of big rig accidents to take legal action against the trucking company, especially if they believe the truck driver, who caused the accident, should never have had the opportunity to be behind the wheel.

Mastering The Perfect Dog Walk

Walking your dog is a great way to have some exercise for both you and your pet canine. It is not only the perfect time to bond with your pet dog but also to have some outdoor fun. According to the website of Walk! ATX, walking your dog should be done with enthusiasm and filled with love. But sometimes walking your dog can become a frustrating experience especially if you do not know how to properly walk your dog.

Walking your dog is not only beneficial to your pet but also to you. It will help keep them mentally stable. By nature, dogs are walkers/travelers so it is not enough that you have a large backyard or to take your dog to the park. As Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer puts it, “To your dog, your backyard is like a large fish bowl where they are trapped. Fish swim, birds fly and dogs walk. Having a dog should not be about only fulfilling our human needs, we owe it to out dogs to give what THEY instinctively need. “

Here are some tips on how to become a master in walking your dog.

1. Walk in front of the dog

The most important thing when walking your dog is to reinforce their minds that you are the leader of the pack– the alpha. When going out of the house, you should be the first one out and not the other way around. During the walk, your pet canine should either be beside or behind you during the walk. Letting the dog walk in front of you can result to behavioral problems in the dog. They can become hyperactive, neurotic, or obsessive-compulsive.

2. Train your dog to walk on one side

Your pet dog must be trained to walk on one side of you. You would not enjoy the experience if your dog will constantly weave back and forth or run around in circles. You could end up tripping or injuring yourself or your dog. If they keep circling around, show them what you want by doing these steps:

  • Use a short leash so you can keep your pet on your side and also to have control. Attach the leash to the top of the neck of your pet so you can easily guide, communicate, and correct them. Make sure that it is not short enough that you will be dragging them.
  • Make him get the idea of walking beside you. Offer them treats for staying by your side. Increase the distance between treats until they get used to walking beside you even without treats.

3. Maintain your posture

Maintain a good pace. Keep your shoulders back and your head held high. Your pet can easily feel any tension or lack of confidence on your part. Walk with pride like a strong leader. Your pet can sense it and will respond accordingly.

4. Keep off the grass

According to the ASPCA Poison Center, lawns and gardens can be bad for your canine friends. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can bring problems to your pets. Plant such as tulips and daffodils can contribute to the landscape but certainly not to your pet dog.

5. Bring some extras

If you are planning to go on a long walk, make sure to bring along some extras such as water, treats, and toys. Water can help alleviate whatever thirst your dog is feeling especially during the warm season.

Also, you can bring along some goodies and treats. Walking your dog is also a great opportunity to practice and perfect some tricks. Lastly, carry some extra poop bag especially if you are going on a long walk.

Walking your dog can be a fun experience as long as you know the proper way to do it. With these tips, hopefully you can become a master of walking your canine friend.