We’ve all been there, driving a little faster than the speed limit, and then suddenly, behind us we see those flashing lights. Whether it’s a ticket or a warning, we get the talk. We hand over the license and registration, and we hear what our speed was, what the limit is, and why we were pulled over.
After that, we’ve all had the same thought: why is the speed limit so low in this area? Perhaps some of us have taken it further: why are there speed limits at all?
That’s one of those questions that, at the moment, seems to be very insightful and reasonable, but upon the least amount of reflection, it proves to be incredibly foolish.
After all, we know that faster cars are more likely to get into wrecks. It’s intuitively true. When you drive faster, you have less time to react, and you have less control over your car. We all swear or honk at the sports car zooming through traffic, and we all know the reason is that such driving is more likely to lead to an accident.
The data backs this up. Government research finds that about 31 percent of crashes are due to speeding. In 2007, that led to over 13,000 deaths. Even when speaking less dramatically, and leaving fatal crashes aside, the cost of speeding is immense. It costs people $40 billion every year.
Speeding is such a big issue in crashing, that law firms make a point of representing people who have been the victims of accidents due to the other driver speeding.
So, while that ticket you received may seem unfair, and perhaps that particular street you were on could use a bump of 5 or so miles in the limit, the overall point the officer made was valid. Speeding is dangerous, even if we all do it. A reminder every now and again to watch the speedometer and drive at a reasonable speed is important.
After all, we don’t want to be part of those statistics listed above. We don’t want to be part of the 31%, the 13,000, and we most certainly do not want to be responsible for those statistics either.
While it’s unreasonable to expect anyone reading this to suddenly become an advocate for strictly adhering to speed limits, it’s still worthwhile to give a gentle reminder that limits are not just set to make sure cops can earn revenue for the government through tickets. The limits are set to keep everyone safe, that includes pedestrians and drivers, and it includes you, speeding in your car.
If that leads to just a few readers taking their foot off the gas, just a little mind you, and keeping speeds at least reasonable, then this article has done its job. While it may be fun and sexy to really let go and fly down the street, the consequences are simply too great to do so.
At the very least, the next time you are caught driving like that and you see the lights flashing behind you, you’ll know you deserve what you get.
Factors that can Affect a Court When Deciding about Child Custody
There are many factors that courts consider when determining divorce-related issues; states, however, differ with regard to which factors count or do not count. This is the same in determining the issue of child custody, except for the fact that all states share one guiding principle: the best interest of the child.
Though what falls within the scope of “in the best interest of the child,” may be contested, the following factors are deemed by many states as necessary:
- the amount of involvement each parent has in the child’s activities;
- the level of relationship the child has with each of his/her parents;
- a parent’s lifestyle, financial stability, and health;
- factors that can affect a child’s academic performance;
- the child’s age and gender; and/or,
- the possible physical, emotional and health risks in the environment where each parent lives.
Divorce can be a very emotional and demoralizing process. Yet, when spouses reach a point in their relationship where still living their future together becomes more of a struggle than a source of happiness and fulfillment, many consider divorce as the only sensible option. But there are many issues that need to be settled due to divorce, such as division of liabilities and assets, alimony, child support and, probably the most painful, the issue on who takes custody of the child.
According to The Maynard Law Firm, “Issues related to the custody of your children may very well be the most important aspect of your divorce. If possible, you and your partner should attempt to agree upon what specific role each of you will play in the lives of your children once the divorce is finalized. While it may be possible to work this out voluntarily, many partners end up going to court for rulings to resolve the disagreements over the custody of their children.”
This is why, when thinking of divorce and intending to have custody of your child, it may be necessary to have a child custody lawyer on your side who can proceed with compassion, yet with underlying firmness and expertise, and who is aware of the sensitivity and the complexity of the issue that need to be settled.
Self-storage, which is shorthand form for self-service storage, is one booming industry in the U.S. It is involved in the renting out of a storage space, like a room, a container, or an outdoor space or locker, to individuals or businesses on a short-term basis, usually for a month; longer-term leases are possible, though.
About 58,000 self-storage facilities were made available as the year 2009 ended. These facilities were available to all those who needed an extra space where they could keep the things that they have outgrown but cannot part with. It was also made available for existing business firms – serving a perfect safe shelter for temporarily unused office equipment or for whatever purpose the spaces were needed.
The need for self-storage space can be based on three things:
- American consumerism. Every year, especially during the holidays, everyone is simply in a rush to filling their homes with new stuff. The purchase of something new, of course, means need for space. However, with no extra room in the house, the old stuff will have to give up their spaces. Replacement does not necessarily mean throwing out the old, though; things many people are not prepared to part with. This is why the need for self-storage.
- American mobility. Extra spaces, where people can keep some of their household items safely, are in demand, especially during summer, the time when moving to a new house is at its peak. And, if the new residence cannot house all of one’s belongings, things of secondary importance are rather kept in a self-storage.
- Older houses, built with smaller closets and rooms, and the disappearance of the American attic. According to the National Association of Homebuilders, the average American house has gotten much bigger; from the average 1,660 square feet in 1973 to 2,400 square feet in 2004. Despite the increase in size, though, one important space was missing: the attic.
Many houses, especially in the temperate states, like California, Florida and Texas (the three states that also happen to have the most self-storage facilities), were designed as ranches or bungalows with neither a basement nor an attic where old stuff can be kept. But ranches or bungalows are not the only houses having space problems for even modern houses now lack an attic as builders have shifted to using trusses, which are cheaper, compared to rafter-based roof frames.
The self-storage industry says that in every ten U.S. households, one is renting a self-storage unit. Not all self-storage facilities are the same, however. Self storage Austin 78727, for instance, offer climate controlled storage units and drive-up units, to make sure your belongings are kept well and protected, no matter what the temperature is; these are also accessible anytime you need to have any of your belongings.
A sudden major change in one’s financial situation due probably to loss of job or the need to pay child and/or spousal support can be financially crippling, especially if you are paying a mortgage, credit card bills and others bills on top of monthly utility charges. This is a very common scenario involving thousands of American wage earners, who end up being faced with overwhelming debts.
A debt crisis is a major stress and, unless you find an acceptable way of rising up from surmounting debts, this crisis will continually haunt you through phone calls at home at the most inconvenient hour of the day or at the office demanding to speak with you to ask you to pay your debts, emails and text messages, and letters from collection or law firms warning you of the possible lawsuit you can be faced with if you do not start paying immediately.
It usually takes about three successive months of non-payment before an account is tagged as bad debt and the debtor given negative credit. But with the debt crisis at hand, having negative credit would most probably be the least worry the debtor will have. The major concern is how to settle all debts and get back on good financial track again.
There are actually a variety of legal options that individuals and businesses have, which will help them get out of debt and regain control over their finances. One of these legal means is Bankruptcy, a legal declaration (either by an individual or by a business firm) of the inability to further pay debts that have worsened to an unmanageable amount. There are two major types of bankruptcy: liquidation and reorganization.
Chapter 7, one of the chapters in the bankruptcy law, which is a liquidation bankruptcy and the most commonly filed bankruptcy chapter, requires you (the debtor) to surrender all of your “non-exempt” properties for liquidation. If you run a business, this you will have to stop operations as its assets will have to be sold. A court-appointed trustee, who takes charge of the liquidation process, will pay all your creditors with the amount earned from the sold properties. Despite the probable small amount they may receive, the creditors have no option but to accept; they should also abide by the court’s decision to have your remaining balance forgiven and no longer be collected, lest they suffer severe penalties under federal law.
The debts that need to be paid in chapter 7 are only those that are categorized as non-dischargeable debts. Debts that can be discharged, like past utility bills, personal loan from family, friends, or employer, medical bills, and, most especially, credit card charges, are automatically discharged by the court with order to the creditor to cease any form of collection from you.
As explained in the website of the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a good option for an individual debtor as well as for a business entity. Individuals can benefit from Chapter 7’s discharge clause: in certain cases, a debtor can discharge his debts, remove the responsibility for these outstanding amounts, and emerge from the process with a clean slate. However, this chapter can be a complex legal procedure. Besides the need for you to evaluate properly, with the help of a competent bankruptcy lawyer, if this is the chapter that will best work for your particular case, or if there is even a need to file for bankruptcy altogether, you will also need to take a means test. This test will determine if you salary falls within the limit set under Chapter 7. The wisest move a debtor could make, in connection with filing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, is to do it only with the help of a lawyer highly-competent in the bankruptcy law.
Not all states have uniform divorce practices and divorce laws. While there are states that recognize no-fault divorce, a practice wherein citing a reasonable ground for divorce is no longer necessary, so that so long as one spouse files a petition for divorce, a family court should grant such petition. Currently, 17 states adhere to this “no-fault” position; these states are California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.
In the other 33 states, though these originally only recognized the fault system for divorce, these now also allow petitioners to file for divorce on no-fault grounds. Some of basic laws for filing divorce, like in Texas and other states, include:
a) No Fault. This is now available to couples whose marriage has become insupportable due to irreconcilable differences, discord or conflict of personalities. This means that the marriage is not working anymore and reconciliation can no longer be expected.
b) Fault. “Fault’ divorce necessitates a specific, acceptable ground upon which a divorce is being sought. Any of the following is an acceptable ground for divorce:
- Cruelty by one spouse
- Act of adultery
- Conviction of felony of one spouse
- Abandonment for at least one year
- Living apart for at least three years without cohabitation
- Confinement of one spouse in a mental hospital.
According to the law firm Kirker Davis, LLP, during the process of ending a marriage, both spouses typically undergo tremendous emotional strain. The legal process involved in either divorce or annulment is complex and includes a wide spectrum of issues, including distribution of property, child custody, spousal and child support. Divorce can have profound consequences with the potential for long-lasting effects on a person’s finances and property. This is one legal issue that is worth settling peacefully and amicably and outside the court – a kind of settlement that will work for both spouses and which can be accomplished through the help of a highly-competent divorce lawyer, whose interest is to help the spouses get through this most painful and emotional time in their lives.