An Overview of Family Law and Child Custody in North Carolina

An Overview of Family Law and Child Custody in North Carolina

Feb 24

Family law regarding divorce in North Carolina does not require any wrongdoing on the part of either party. But according to the website of Marshall & Taylor, P.C., there are many ways for a marriage to become intolerable without either party doing any actual wrong. This is what is called a no-fault divorce, and most states subscribe to this type of divorce.

However, most no-fault divorce states do not require a period of separation as grounds; North Carolina requires a couple who want a divorce to live separately for at least one year before they can make a petition. The only other basis for a North Carolina divorce is incurable insanity. To be eligible to petition for a divorce, at least one of the spouses has to have residency of at least 6 months in North Carolina.

It is important to note that an absolute divorce can be finalized by the court even if no provisions or agreements have been made outside the dissolution of the marriage. This includes the terms of the property division, spousal support, child support, and child custody agreement. Once the divorce is final, these concerns may no longer be addressed. By default, there are no provisions for spousal support or alimony, and equitable distribution of property will apply. Any other arrangement must be presented before the court before the divorce decree is signed.

Mediation is required to negotiate the terms of the divorce, especially property division and child custody, before the case is presented in court. However, if the spouses both waive mediation or there is good cause to dispense with it such as time constraints, then it may be skipped.

A most important factor in a North Carolina divorce is the question of child custody. Without a written agreement, the court is empowered to decide which way the best interest of the child lies. This is determined by a number of factors, including the role played by each parent in raising the child, the proposed living arrangements, and the existing relationship between parent and child.

The Effects of Suffering a Serious Accident

The Effects of Suffering a Serious Accident

Feb 21

There are many consequences to a serious accident. The first thing that comes to mind is physical pain. It could be a busted leg, head trauma, burns, bruises, or damaged organs. It is very hard to think around that until medical attention is rendered. In the meantime, the spouse, family members, and friends will be stressed, worried, and traumatized until the accident victim has been stabilized.

As the victim starts the road to recovery, the next thing that becomes a primary concern is the costs involved. Aside from the hospital bill and medical expenses, a serious accident usually means loss of days, if not months or years of work that the average American can seldom afford.

The physical stress and financial worries can slowly overtake the relief of being alive, and this can eventually add tension to a marriage or other personal relationship. This is further aggravated if a spouse has to take time off to care for the injured individual. This may mean additional loss of income if it is a two-income family, which is not covered under workers’ compensation insurance of the caregiver spouse.

There are also significant effects on the victim’s life if the injuries lead to permanent disability. Even if one develops adequate coping skills to at least have a relatively normal life, it may bar the accident victim from going back to the same type of work. This can lead to a lot of anger, frustration, depression, perhaps even suicide. Certainly, a serious accident of this magnitude would be a life-changing event.

If it turns out that the accident was caused by negligence such as a drunk driver or defective equipment, this may just be the last straw to break the camel’s back. This is the reason why it is important to hold the responsible party legally accountable. Suing for compensation does not just serve a practical purpose; it is punitive. It sends the message that such conduct is wrong, and will not be tolerated. With the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer, that message should come out loud and clear.

The Importance of Choosing a Reliable Plastic Surgeon

The Importance of Choosing a Reliable Plastic Surgeon

Feb 17

The Internet has posed a challenge for the discernment of the public. Because it is so easy to advertise online and make unsubstantiated claims, the consumer is often overwhelmed with the choices confronting them and confused about what to believe. The maxim “don’t believe everything you read” is truer today with the advent of the Internet than at any other time.

But while it is confusing, the Internet also provides the consumer with the opportunity to see what is out there. Small firms and big firms are at last on a level playing field when it comes to advertising, and the only advantage that the best ones (no matter what size of the pocketbook) have is that of reliability.

Consumers today are sophisticated; they know that just as businesses can make any claim they want, they can also post reviews and feedback about their experiences with these companies that will guide other consumers in their choices. This is an important freedom because it helps consumers avoid being victimized by bogus or unscrupulous businesses. It also helps consumers narrow down choices for reliable companies.

A good example would be finding a reliable cosmetic surgeon. Cosmetic surgery has become much more accessible in the last 10 years, partly because more surgeons can now advertise their services online. Increased competition and better technology has also driven down costs, which is good for patients. Unfortunately, it has also encouraged the proliferation of uncertified and unqualified doctors offering low-priced services to the detriment of their patients. The results can be horrific, and it is very difficult to recover from a botched operation. Victims of these unethical practitioners can and do file medical malpractice lawsuits, but the damage is done.

This is why it is crucial to do extensive research before choosing someone to do plastic surgery. Choosing a reliable plastic surgeon all boils down to qualifications and the easiest way to check this is to check for board certification as well as accreditation with the relevant professional associations. You can also check for reviews and feedback by past and present patients, maybe even engaging in a chat. After all, the proof of the pudding is in the looking.

Baseball and the BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals Process

Baseball and the BP Oil Spill Claim Appeals Process

Feb 15

British Petroleum (BP) has been in hot water since its Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 people outright, effectively closing down the Gulf of Mexico coastal cities to tourism, and devastating the region’s environment. It has cost the oil giant billions in clean up operations as well as for fines imposed by the federal and state governments for a variety of violations. It will cost it even more in individual and business loss claims.

But BP has an ace up its sleeve.

Under the settlement agreement it had reached with the legal representatives of thousands of business owners, BP will pay claimants who are part of the class action suit based on a prescribed computation. However, BP reserved the right to challenge any individual claim over $25,000. So far, BP has denied 75% of these claims, and has actually attempted to scrap the entire agreement, arguing that with regard to the eligibility of claims, the terms of the agreement were being improperly interpreted. The courts denied the petition, and approved claim payouts may not be resumed.

Of course, this does not really help a plaintiff whose claim has already been denied. Fortunately, the agreement also includes provisions for appeals, but there are several stages with strict deadlines that an appellant cannot afford to miss.

The most important part of an oil spill claim appeal is the submission of the final proposals, what is referred to as Baseball Arbitration rules, culled from the way baseball contracts are made. The rules allow both the appellant and BP to submit a proposal for what both sides believe is fair recompense based on the circumstances. The appeals board, made up of lawyers chosen by the court, will choose one or the other, or recycle the claim back to the Settlement program.

If the appellant misses a deadline at any point in the process, but especially final proposals, he or she could end up with nothing even if the claim is legitimate. An experienced BP oil spill claims appeal lawyer knows the rules, and will make sure that does not happen. This is why it is important for an appellant to retain one from the get go.

Pros and Cons of Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Pros and Cons of Dangerous Pharmaceuticals

Feb 11

Most drugs are typically a delicate balance of benefits and risks. They are efficacious in treating the condition they are designed for, and at the same time because they are so powerful, they often have side-effects, some serious enough to be life-threatening. In many instances, the comparative benefit of the drug barely outweighs the potential injury to the patient while in some cases the risks are just too great. And then there are those drugs that are most dangerous when because used for unapproved conditions. NuvaRing and Risperdal are examples of these last two types of dangerous pharmaceuticals.

NuvaRing is a slow-release contraceptive device made of flexible ethylene-vinyl acetate polymer that contains ethinyl estradiol and etonogesrel. It is designed to physically inhibit sperm from penetrating and chemically suppress ovulation. NuvaRing is manufactured Merck and Co.

Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug manufactured and marketed by Johnson & Johnson division Janssen Pharmaceuticals. It is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism in both adults and children.

Both Merck and Janssen are facing numerous product liability lawsuits because the manufacturers were found to have been negligent, although for different reasons. NuvaRing plaintiffs allege that Merck failed to carry out adequate clinical trials for the product, which was later found to encourage dangerous levels of blood clotting in its users. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, a law firm based in Texas, this oversight caused grave injury to many women. The rationale behind every Risperdal lawsuit was that Janssen used misleading marketing strategies that encouraged the off-label use of the antipsychotic drug. These include cases involving the treatment of the elderly with dementia and conduct disorders.

Both products are effective in doing what they are supposed to do. However, because of the negligence of their manufacturers, they have caused preventable harm. If you have suffered an injury because dangerous pharmaceuticals, you may have an actionable case. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to find out more about the drug which caused you harm.