Posts made in July, 2015

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Student Loans

Sometimes student loans can be a necessary evil. Problems arise when your starting income is not enough for you to be able to make your payments. AFiling for chapter 13 bankruptcy can help you to manage and pay back your student loans by creating an affordable payment plan.

Unfortunately student loans are difficult to discharge by filing for bankruptcy so it is unlikely that your debt will be forgiven with chapter 13. What this does for you instead is give you control and a means to manage your debt while paying it back. The very first thing that happens when you file is automatic stay. This means that nearly every creditor, including student loan lenders, are ordered to stop their collection processes and quit harassing you. The next step is the payment plan.

Your repayment plan is customized based on your income. Your expenses for housing, transportation, food, and other miscellaneous expenses are subtracted from your income to give your disposable income. So, if you make $3,000 a month and all of your expenses cost $2,500, then you have a disposable income of $500. With chapter 13 bankruptcy, your monthly payments are essentially your disposable income, so in this example you would pay around $500. This amount is distributed to all of the collectors for your debt, whether it is student loans, credit cards, or medical bills. The saving grace is that you will only be paying how much you can afford.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy can last up to five years. Your loans may not be paid off completely by the end of your payment plan, but hopefully by then you will be in a better position to afford regular loan payments. Bankruptcy can be scary and confusing, but if done properly can give you control over your debts and peace of mind from collectors.

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Hostile Work Environments

Hostile work environments can be detrimental to one’s self-esteem and lead to the employee suffering mentally or physically and being forced to resign from their position. Situations of a hostile work environment arise when the supervisor, manager, or other employer does not act in the prevention of the hostility. According to The Melton Law Firm website, there are specific areas in which hostile work environments can be categorized.

Age: Older employees often suffer from hostility based on their age. In these situations the victim must be over the age of forty, the harassment they are experiencing must be based on their age, and the employer must have not prevented the harassment in any way.

Gender: Unfortunately gender discrimination is still common in the workplace. A hostile work environment based on gender differences must include derogatory remarks or gestures made over time and/or persistent preference by the employer for one gender in regards to job advancement.

Race: Slurs, jokes, comments, and any other offensive conduct based on race can contribute to a hostile work environment. Unfortunately, employers occasionally participate in these types of offenses.

National Origin: National Origin offenses can be similar to racial offenses. Offenses can include, but are not limited to, offensive references, denial of advancement based on origin, and termination based on origin.

Disability: The victim in this type of hostility must be protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act, have documented disabilities, and must be considered as disabled by their employer. Hostility can be wide and varied but can include offensive gestures, jokes, and references.

Unfortunately if these types of situations persist, an employee may feel the need to resign from their position. If this happens they may be able to seek compensation that covers loss in income either in the past or for the future, the costs associated with their suffering, as well as the legal costs.

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Possible Children’s Car Seat Defects

Car seats are meant to keep your children safe in the event of an accident while in the car. However, according to the website of LaMarca Law Group, P.C., defects, malfunctions, and poor designs are often the cause of injury to children in the event of a crash.

Poor design can lead to injury or even death of the young passenger. Children must always be seated in a straight, upright position to be safe. If a car seat allows the child to recline in any sort, then it should not be used. The seats also must be made of durable, shock resistant plastic. If it breaks with regular use and is undetected or breaks in the event of a crash then it will be unable to properly restrain the child and prevent harm. Poor deign often leads to misuse as well. There can be many straps and buckles that need to go in specific locations, but if they are not labeled well then it can be difficult to use the seat properly.

There are common weak points with the most frequently used designs as well. A three-point harness provides little support in the pelvic area, which can lead to ejection. A t-shield style buckle isn’t much better. Neck forces can be up to forty times higher in these restraints, and the large, rigid buckle can come up and hit the child in the throat, causing injury. Even the placement of the central clip can be critical. If it is placed too low or high, the child can be ejected even if the harness is used properly.

Injury or death of a child due to a defect in a child’s car seat is not only emotionally taxing and physically taxing but financially as well. The website of Detroit personal injury lawyers at Ravid & Associates, P.C. states that if death or injury to a child occurs due to a defect in their car seat, then the manufacturers are responsible. Consult with an attorney or lawyer in your area that specializes in auto accidents and defects to learn more about your legal options.

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5 Ways to get Kids to Brush

From the very moment those little pearly whites push through your baby’s gums they need dutiful care and maintenance to ensure they stick around for a long time. Establishing dental care as early as possible can prevent problems in the future. Daily brushing is key, but kids don’t always want to take the time and often don’t see the point in brushing. Here are five easy tricks to help get your kiddo brushing daily.

Start early. Establishing a routine early on is insanely important. They’re not going to like it at first-it is boring and there’s no point in their minds. But if they have been brushing their teeth every morning and night for as long as they remember, then to their little mind there just isn’t another way. If it has always been happening then it will keep happening.

Monkey see monkey do. Let them see you brushing your teeth and (hopefully) enjoying it. Kids mimic their parents all the time. If they know you have fun brushing your teeth then they will want to have fun too.

Give them the power. Let them pick their own tooth brush and tooth paste (the children’s kind, of course). They don’t have a lot of power and control in their lives, so when you let them make their own decisions they feel better for it. Around age two, you can even let them start brushing more independently. They will be more likely to want to do it if it is on their own terms.

Make it a game. Kids love to play, and they love a good contest. Try playing music for two minutes and see if they can brush properly until the music stops. You could make it a contest by seeing who can make the most bubbles-this makes it fun but the bubbles also let you know they are brushing well.

Give them a reason. ‘But why?’ is often the first thing kids always want to know, so make sure they know why they should brush their teeth. Let them know how serious it is that the evil plaque bugs are drilling down in their teeth and want to ruin their pretty smile. Of course, the only way to kill the nasty bugs is with your Brush Master (toothbrush) and trusty Bug Destroyer (tooth paste).

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Factors that Determine Sole or Joint Child Custody

Divorce is a complicated and stressful process for all involved, but none more so than the children. They struggle with the knowledge that their parents will no longer be together, and face the drastic change of having to live with only one. According to the website of Arenson Law Group, PC there are many things that are considered when determining the custody of children in divorce cases and it is important to know about all of the factors that go into the decision.

Joint custody is when both parents share equal or near equal parts in the lives of the children. This arrangement is becoming increasingly common but requires immense cooperation between the parents to maintain. When joint custody is awarded, one parent receives ‘physical’ custody of the child or children. This means that this parent will be with whom the children live and will be their primary provider. ‘Legal’ custody is shared between the parents, which means that they both have say in the happenings and decisions in the lives of the children.

Which parent receives physical custody is determined by a judge who must take into consideration many factors including but not limited to: the mental/physical health of the parents, the continuation of a stable home environment, school and community changes, and the wishes of the children if they are old enough. The primary caretaker of the children, or the one who most often was cared for the children daily, does have some priority but is not always awarded physical custody.

Sole custody is when one parent has complete custody of the children while the other has no rights to visitation or any say in the decisions made in regards to the children. The website of the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. states that this is only awarded when one of the parents is deemed unfit. An unfit parent is one who has a history of drug or alcohol dependency, has been charged with child abuse or neglect, or has a new partner who is deemed unfit.

Custody battles can quickly get confusing and cause conflicts between the parents. The children’s futures are at stake, especially if neither parent is fit to care for them.

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