Research Shows Rise in “Gray Divorce”

As baby boomers age, they are initiating yet another social trend–a rise in divorce rates. According to a recent study from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) that polled 1,600 lawyers, 61 percent noted an increase in divorce cases with parties in the over-50 age group.

Lawyers call a divorce after 50 a “gray divorce.” High profile gray divorces have occasionally made headlines in the past five years, including the split of Al and Tipper Gore and Mel Gibson and Robyn Moore, but the actual statistics are startling: a report from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University found that in the United States, the rate of divorce among “adults ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2009.” According to that study, more than 600,000 people ages 50 and older got a divorce in 2009.

Researchers and lawyers have not linked the sharp rise in divorce rates to any factors in particular. However, both studies showed that wives were initiating gray divorces at higher rates than their husbands. Alton Abramowitz, president of the AAML, said the change must be attributed to a combination of factors, including longer life spans and ease of obtaining a divorce.

“Some people find a younger partner,” Abramowitz said. “Some people find their interests have diverged. Each case is different.”

Divorce can be an emotionally and financially taxing procedure, says the website of the Marshall & Taylor Family Law and Divorce firm. For those who are looking to end an unsatisfying marriage, seeking the advice of an experienced attorney can protect your interests and help the divorce proceed quickly. A legal professional may be able to help you in matters of divorce, child custody or visitation rights, alimony, and division of assets. 

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Austin Police Crack Down on Drunk Driving

driver is drunk, needs helpAustin police officers were met with great success last weekend, tallying 99 alcohol-related arrests in an attempt to cut down on drunk driving over the holiday weekend. July 4 through July 7 marked a “no-refusal” period, in which police officers took blood samples from drivers who refused a breath test.

The no-refusal weekend, which targeted motorists and boaters, nabbed 13 people Wednesday night, 33 people on Thursday night, 32 on Friday night, and 21 on Saturday night. Austin police said more than 60 percent of the arrests needed a blood sample.

No-refusal crackdowns have been successful in the past; in May, 94 people were arrested over Memorial Day weekend, and 50 people received DWI charges during June’s Republic of Texas Biker Rally. The initiative requires judges on standby that work with the police department to obtain search warrants that require arrested drivers to give a blood test.

The July 4 holiday is typically the most dangerous period on the road for drivers across the United States–on average, more than 130 people have died on Independence Day over the past six years. Most of those accidents are alcohol-related, or the result of distracted driving. Last year in Austin, police recorded almost 200 accidents and 110 DWI arrests. Senior Police Officer Veneza Bremner said APD’s goal is to have “no crashes, no injuries, no deaths related to persons driving while intoxicated.” There were no DWI deaths during this year’s celebrations.

According to the website of Ian Inglis Attorney at Law, drivers arrested for DWI face a long and difficult process that includes driver’s license suspension and community service. Being charged with a DWI is serious. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI, make sure to get an experienced attorney to guide you through your case.

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The Unforeseen Real Dangers of BUI

Besides drunk-driving, another major cause of accident that continues to claim the lives of hundreds of individuals is BUI, that is, boating under the influence. In fact, the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division’s official website, has an online article, which says that: BUI is just as deadly as drunk-driving; drinking will impair a boat operator faster than a car driver; and, 1/3 of all recreational boating accidents are due to alcohol impairment. Because of the dangers brought about by BUI, those who violate US laws regarding it will suffer jail terms, huge fines and revocation of operator privileges.

The federal BUI law enforced by the United States Coast Guard is applicable to all types of boats, including the largest ships, rowboats and canoes; it even includes foreign vessels sailing through U.S. territories and U.S. ships on the high seas.

Drinking alcohol or liquor, while on sea, can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment, much faster than when alcohol is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where the boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling over board have been common cause-of-death reports.

The over-all various threatening effects of alcohol when it is consumed while on sea include:

  • Deterioration of judgment and cognitive abilities, rendering wise assessment of situations, processing of information and making good choices, much harder
  • Impairment in physical control, resulting to failure to make timely reactions to dangers, lack of coordination and problem in balance
  • Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception, difficulty in identifying colors, especially green and red
  • Failure to pull self out of the cold water, causing hypothermia and death

Operating any vessel while under the influence of a dangerous drug or alcohol can result in class A misdemeanor charges which can require an individual to pay a $5,000 (or maybe less) civil penalty to the U.S. government.

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Workers’ Compensation

When an employee is hurt or injured while on the job (whether on site or while on the road) and are not able to return to work for a definite amount of time, then can avail of worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation is an insurance policy where the employer is required to pay, or has insurance to pay, an injured employee’s medical expenses and lost wages due to an accident that occurred while on the job. It is hailed as the oldest insurance program in the United States.

Worker’s compensation aims to help injured workers (both economically and physically) to get back to work in order for them not to harm the company’s productivity. When a worker accepts the worker’s compensation given by the company, he or she has waived their right to sue for the injury, thus making worker’s compensation a fair trade in protecting both the workers and employers during such times.

This law is ruled by statues of each state.  Each state has their own specific laws about worker’s compensation, although the key elements are the same. Statutes for worker’s compensation required employers to obtain state-funded or private insurance (or even to self-insure) to guarantee that workers will receive benefits.

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A Simplified Divorce is Faster and Costs Less…But It’s Not for Everyone

It is a common misconception that divorce is always contentious. Many people whose marriages did not work out get a divorce but remain friends afterwards. In some cases, they even decide to remarry! It is perfectly possible for a couple to get a simplified divorce which is fast, inexpensive and mutually agreeable. In fact, a simplified divorce in Texas dispenses with the services of a divorce lawyer, and the forms have been made available so that the couple can fill them out on their own.

However, there are very specific circumstances under which the simplified divorce is the ideal solution. The couple must be mutually agreeable to the divorce, have no children, and no property together.  If there is no property to divide, then there should be no problem. The same applies to child custody and support issues. But if there are, it is a different case. If any one of these conditions is not met, attempting to file for a simplified divorce is an exercise in futility, and the couple will end up re-filing for a regular divorce.

The issue of property division, in particular, requires extensive documentation of what the couple has earned or acquired during the marriage, including retirement and pension benefits. This is a complex proceeding at best, and it can become impossible to figure out without a lawyer. If there is a child or children to consider, a simplified divorce form is simply not the way to go. An article on the website of Woodlands-based law firm BB Law Group PLLC points out that while filing a simplified divorce does not require a lawyer, it is important that one understands beforehand the legal consequences of committing to such an agreement.

There is a lot to be said for a simplified divorce, not the least of which are the low costs associated with it. But one must always consider the legal consequences of the dissolution of marital ties to avoid problems later on.

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What is Tax Law?

For most people, tax law is a complicated matter. Although not everyone is comfortable discussing about it, tax law plays a vital role in government and national economy. It is the legislation which organizes how the government collects money from businesses and its citizens. To ensure that everyone get’s taxed in a fair and equal manner these laws are necessary, since these taxes are also used by the government as revenues. Tax laws cover a vast number of areas such as disputes, exemptions, or other situations which calls for legal actions or procedures.

There are two main classes of taxes: the direct taxes (where in general terms, are the taxes that are assessed against the income, personal property, and land or real properties and are paid directly to the government), and the indirect taxes (assessed against items of consumptions, namely services or products, and is collected by a go-between, such as a merchant or seller). It is the law which sets up the government’s authority on how to collect money by way of a certain agency.

Disputes between the IRS (Internal Revenue Service, accountable for the collecting of taxes as well as the implementation and information of the Internal Revenue Code) and the taxpayers are often heard on a special trial court on the US Tax Court. Although the base in at Washington DC, there are about 19 appointed judges that travel to different designated cities to administer over tax dispute trials.

Tax disputes, appeals, exemptions, and other circumstances can come up and bother any person or business establishment, therefore having a tax lawyer is important since tax laws are intricate and complex for the common man. Because failing to comply with the laws is considered a criminal offence, any issues that can come up may have serious damage to the person or business establishment, thus the need for a reliable and recognized tax lawyer can be invaluable.

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Charge Your Electronic Device as far as 30 Feet Away with a Wireless Power Charger

Physicist Hatem Zeine’s new technology-mature company Ossia is proud to introduce its flagship product Cota, a wireless power charger that can charge power-drained electronic device, such as a cell phone, from 30 feet away.

Cota’s capability to acquire signals, even through or around walls, eliminates the need to establish a line-of-sight. Zeine demonstrated Cot’a’s capability on September 9, 2013, in San Francisco during the Techcrunch Disrupt convention; this he did by charging an iPhone 5 remotely and successfully.

According to Zeine, commercialized editions of the wireless power charger would be out in the market very soon. Besides the fact that his product would be the ideal and safest device in facilities, such as gas and oil refineries, where sparks caused by wired power connections are obviously dangerous, Zeine also believes that with Cota, devices will never have to be plugged in again as these will be rendered “charged” all the time.

The price of Cota is set at $100 each when it becomes available in the market. Though initially close to a large tower PC in size, it will eventually be made smaller once Zeine starts using custom parts.

LG’s Nexus 4 is another example of a wireless power charger, however, it requires a base where the device to be charged has to be placed on top of. What makes Cota totally different from it is the product’s capability to transmit power through the air; it makes use of the same frequencies as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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French Photographer Captures Images of Parisian Swimming Pools

French photographer Franck Bohbot has chosen a striking, yet commonplace subject for his most recent series of photographs: swimming pools. In particular, empty pools. Through Bohbot’s lens we catch a glimpse of the impressive architecture of indoor pools that goes unnoticed when they are filled to the brim with splashing children and lap swimmers.

Bohbot took his photographs in Paris, where indoor swimming pools are more architecturally magnificent than the cinderblock construction of a typical neighborhood pool. Each photograph in the collection is shot from one angle, capturing the cathedral-like ceilings of the pools and the vast emptiness that extends into the distance. The pools, diffused with a soft glow and “empty of human presence”, are utterly alien at first sight.

According to Bohbot, who calls his compositional style “cinema, more than cold architecture photography,” there is nothing wrong with capturing the occasional human in one of his shots (if you look closely, you can find a few swimmers and a worker cleaning the pool). In fact, the inclusion of a human makes the isolation palpable and adds to the sense of quiet reverence present in the collection.
A few hours after the photographs were taken, hordes of swimmers rushed in and upset the tranquil scene with shouts, splashing, and constant movement. But with this collection, Bohbot has eternalized the stark, chlorinated emptiness of the swimming pool.

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Domestic Violence and its Effects to Both Victims and Abusers

Domestic violence is recognized as a significant social problem by both governmental and non-governmental groups in the US, which greatly affects women and children. In fact, more than four million women, aged between 15 and 44, are said to suffer from this painful experience every year.

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control reports that the ones most prone to these non-fatal physical abuses are young and low-income women, usually with ages between 20 and 25. In the hope to stop this useless violence, the Violence Against Women Act was passed into law through the combined efforts of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (or Legal Momentum), the Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women and other anti-domestic abuse organizations.

Domestic abusers resort to physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and even economic abuse to achieve their purpose, which is to have control over their chosen victims. They also employ tactics that will either easily or eventually weaken their victims, like continuous humiliation, threats or intimidation.

Despite the enactment of various laws on violence against women, the number of battered women only seems to increase and become more violent, as many are still abused by their lovers, husbands or ex-husbands. With their intimate partner being reported as the aggressor, authorities sometimes take longer time to respond as compared to strangers being reported as assailants.

The website of family violence lawyer Ian Inglis mentions how a domestic abuse charge can affect and ruin one’s life and future, as domestic violence is considered a serious crime in the US. And though oftentimes hard to prove, if found guilty of domestic abuse, then the perpetrator can suffer stiff penalties besides getting his or her professional and personal reputation damaged.

Domestic violence affects not only the physical, but also emotional and psychological well-being. It is unacceptable act of violence despite any situation. If you are a victim of domestic violence, make sure that you get help immediately.

Criminal defense lawyers understand the consequences of a criminal charge. More than this, though, lawyers know how painful it is to suffer domestic abuse, which affects not only the physical but the over-all well-being of the affected victim. With the help of a highly-determined lawyer, you can stop domestic abuse and get the help you need to overcome the trauma caused by your suffering. The help you need may actually be just a phone call away.

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Alimony: Payment until Death?

Alimony is a payment, ordered by a divorce court, which must be paid to a former spouse after divorce. This centuries-old practice is somehow rooted from the idea that upon marriage, a woman would remain dependent on her husband until death. Thus, through alimony, financial support is provided for whoever was financially-dependent during marriage, usually the wife. Despite differences in alimony laws between states, means or types of payment are generally the same:

  • Lump sum, a large, fixed payment made in one installment, which ends upon the death of the recipient spouse; this payment may not be terminated (except upon the death of the recipient) or modified even upon remarriage or future changes in circumstances. Lump sum alimony is resorted to only when consented to or in extraordinary cases, such as when the spouse supposed to provide the support is totally unreliable.
  • Permanent alimony, which is a continuous, regular payment without a fixed end date; it goes on so long as the recipient has not died or remarried and as long as the payer is alive. Permanent alimony is actually intended to enable the recipient spouse to maintain his/her standard of living which he/she enjoyed during the marriage.
  • Temporary or rehabilitative alimony is support awarded to whoever between the spouses has a lesser earning; this support, however, ends when the recipient lands a job or becomes self-sufficient.

The gender-equality movement during the 70s paved the way for the acceptance of husbands, rather than wives, as recipients of alimony. Laws were made clearer too that anyone who would fail to pay alimony obligations, allowing these to go into arrears despite the capability to pay, can end up in contempt of court and serve time in jail.

Reforms are being introduced, however, on alimony laws in various states, putting the recipients of the payment on the losing end, especially those who have truly sacrificed their own educational and employment opportunities by giving all of their time and labor to the family, in order to allow their spouses’ careers to peak. After turning away from what could have been a promising future when still younger, many, today, will surely find that re-entering the workforce is much tougher than they think.

The website of Marshall & Taylor Law Firm, P.C., specifically mentions the necessity of alimony for those having a condition which prevents them from earning a substantial pay. Thus, cutting the amount of alimony or shortening the period during which it ought to be paid, will result to much difficulties for those who truly need them.

Filing a claim for alimony and deciding what type of payment to file for may not be too simple, though. Having a legal professional to help you pursue your case would be the wisest decision, if you are thinking of filing for alimony; just make sure you hire the one armed with knowledge and seasoned through experience.

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