Many divorced people count themselves lucky for not having had kids with their former spouse. I’m amongst that group, but I can tell you, not having kids didn’t save me from years of bad married life.
Why did I stick around? That’s always the first question I get when I mention my bad married years, and it is, of course, the best question. If I was so unhappy, why didn’t I just leave?
I wish I had a better reason for it. It’d be nice to say there were still good times (there weren’t) or that we still loved each other on some level (we didn’t). The truth is, I was a bit of a coward, and I was also worried about the house.
To understand, you have to know what that house meant to me. I’d spent more than a decade saving up for it on my own when I meant my now ex-wife. She had enough in savings to let us put down a big down payment on the house of my dreams. I want to emphasize that it was at the house of my dreams because that is important for later.
I’d wanted a house just like the one we bought since I was a little kid. A neighbor of mine had an old Victorian that I used to ride by and wish I lived in. I love older houses that have been restored. There’s something magical about them that is lost with newer homes. My wife didn’t much care, if she were being honest (which I’m not sure she would be if she told this story). She knew it was something I wanted, and she wanted a place to settle down, so I got to make the choices.
Now, I put in most of the money, most of the time and work (I’d saved for a decade, and she’d gotten her money when her grandfather died), and it was my dream home, so you would think that I could count on keeping the house. You would think wrong, though, because whenever things would get heated, she would threaten to make sure she kept the house in a divorce. This was her big threat. I’m not sure, looking back, why she wanted to threaten that. She wanted out of the marriage as much as I did, so it doesn’t make a lot of sense for her to force us to stay together, but that’s how it was.
Eventually, it all became too much, and I decided it was worth losing even my dream house to break things up and start over. I wish I’d known then that there are lawyers that specialize in dividing up property (here’s a good example of a law firm that does it), but I didn’t, and I did end up losing the house.
The funny thing is, she ended up selling the house not so long ago, and I happen to have the money in my bank to buy it back if she’ll sell it to me. I may end up getting what I wanted in the end after all. And this time, it’ll definitely be mine.
It’s time to change overtime laws. Businesses are too often abusing employees and making them work absurd hours for too little compensation.
Consider this example of a waitress. She works sixty hours a week because her boss has cut the staff to save money. This works out fine for her boss, though, because time and a half for a waitress is still just a little over three dollars an hour, all of which is eaten up in taxes. For the waitress, hour 59 is the same as hour 1: all her money comes from tips.
For those in other businesses, bosses often have to be sneakier. It is not at all uncommon across the country for bosses to demand meetings be attended but then refuse to allow employees be on the clock. In many professions, it is common for bosses to demand employees do extra work before clocking in or after clocking out. An example of this would be paperwork. Many bosses will ask employees to fill it out, but they will first clock the employee out to save on overtime.
No matter whether the wage is too low or the boss is manipulating the numbers (and it’s worth pointing out here that this latter strategy is an illegal business practice), something needs to change. There’s no reason workers should go on being compensated poorly when many businesses could, in fact, afford to pay their employees properly.
The laws have to change. Firstly, waitresses and other employees who are paid mostly in tips should have a different system for overtime. Tipped employees should get an extra one half of their average tipped hour whenever they cross forty hours. That would force employers to pay a reasonable amount and would keep them from making horrendous schedules regularly.
On the second issue, employees should be given more obvious and direct means to complain about employer practices that illegally withhold earned income. Many of these issues continue solely because the employees don’t know who to contact to complain. Other times, it’s because employees don’t even know their rights in the situation. More information (perhaps through training, perhaps through pages that are required to be posted in the business) should be offered to these employees, so they know they are being cheated and are able to immediately contact someone to look into the issue.
The idea of overtime was designed to make sure any amount of work over a reasonable full-time job would be compensated reasonably. It was also meant to be a penalty for employers who would rather rely on too few employees and save money. By making employers pay more, they were forced to instead consider simply hiring enough help and allowing their employees enough rest.
For too long, these important points have been lost on the American public. But, with low unemployment and a relatively strong economy, there’s no reason more can’t be done to ease the burden left on the shoulders of the American worker.
It is always an unfortunate fact of life that you will have to plan for after you’re gone. People want to make sure that their family can be taken care of. That what they’ve worked for in life will be able to help those they love continue on without them. And most importantly they don’t want any conflict in the planning stages of planning their estate or in the distribution of their estate upon their death. Life never goes so smoothly however, and many couples are the example of unforeseen conflicts flaring up.
The life advice column on the Newsday website is often home to disputes between couples and families. One particular issue we’ve seen commonly arising is the planning of a couple’s estate and the effect it can have on their children involved. One particular couple in question submitted their situation to the Ask Amy column on September 26, 2017. The couple had been married for 12 years, and the wife has said that she had experienced nothing but cold behavior from the husband’s sons from a previous marriage. She believes this is the case because it stems from her husband wishes to bequeath a considerable sum in his will to his son and his wife. She is opposed to this because she doesn’t feel that she shouldn’t have to leave money she contributed to their marriage to children that treated her like she didn’t exist. Apparently, after twelve years of marriage, she hasn’t been fully recognized as some sort of maternal grandmother figure in their family. She says that she contributed a large amount of her net worth into her marriage and still wishes to use her money to recognize long-standing and other relationships she has made in her life. The biggest response that Amy gave is that she should convince her husband to reason with his own son to treat his wife better. Amy also suggests seeing an estate planner to get her and her husband’s wish down on paper.
In a situation such as this invisible feeling mother-in-law, there needs to be careful planning that goes into the binding documents of their estate. The estate planning attorneys at Arenson Law Group understand that family dynamics and relationships need to be properly respected when drafting any formal estate plan. As such an intimate topic, it is important to have trust and respect between the participating parties. The last thing anyone wants is conflict, and evidence of disputes before the plan is even finalized is often a foreshadow of larger disputes in the future.
The invisible mother in law should hire an attorney instead of asking Amy. That way she can carefully plan her monetary assets and dispel them where she wants. Marriage is a bond between people, but it doesn’t have to be financial. In this case, separate estates for her and her husband seem like the best option in my opinion.
When people think about maritime law, they often do not think of our modern legal system, but often immediately jump to fanciful ideas like piracy or parlays, or other outdated notions given to us by movies and television. In fact, there are still important laws on the books that govern how legal cases are handled when something happens at sea, including the Jones Act (Maritime Injury) and the Death on the High Seas Act, which helps determine liability and compensation for families who have lost a loved one in an offshore accident.
Recent, high-profile accidents like the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico have reminded the public that accidents happen off the U.S. coast, far away from the standard jurisdictions that govern our daily lives. So, it only makes sense that there must be specific laws that apply when something takes place far, far away from shore. The Death On The High Seas act was first passed in 1920 and allows for the families of a person who was killed due to negligent or reckless actions or unseaworthiness of a vessel to pursue compensation under maritime law. The act was updated in the year 2000 to include the loss of life in aircraft crashes or mishaps. Maritime law applies to accidents that occur more than three nautical miles from U.S. shores for passengers on a vessel, and more than 12 nautical miles for workers or passengers on commercial airliners.
The most common types of accidents that are covered under the Death On the High Seas Act include explosions, sunken or overturned boats, onboard fires, mechanical errors or defects, failure to properly follow safety guidelines, failure to provide necessary medical care, or failure to properly train personnel. If a person loses his or her life due to any of the reasons above (or other reasons not listed here) their immediate family may be able to file a lawsuit against the party responsible. Immediate family members are defined as spouses, parents, children, or other dependent family members, typically.
The type of compensation a person can recover under the Death on the High Seas Act will vary depending on the specific circumstances of the accident, but usually, maritime attorneys who have experience with these type of cases (and there are several in Houston who helped handle Deepwater Horizon claims like this firm here), will help the family pursue compensation including: funeral costs, loss of companionship and future earnings, expenses related to counseling and therapy, and other financial expenses related to the death.
In the end, no one wants to lose a family member in an accident, and it is especially hard when the person is away for long periods of time while in the shipping, drilling, or fishing industries, and they lose their life far away from their loved ones. Fortunately, due to laws like the Death on the High Seas act, families have legal recourse to take if they lose a loved one due to a tragic accident on a vessel, rig, or aircraft.
In Texas, licensed gun owners are now legally allowed to openly carry handguns in public and certain private premises, provided that the handguns are inside holsters or carried in a belt. This has its own advantages and disadvantages.
One of the obvious advantages of open carry is that it can reduce crime. The mere fact that the public or private space has a person who is openly carrying a handgun is enough threat for bad guys to think twice, because of the possibility of retaliation and failure to commit the crime they want to commit. The fact that the handgun is openly carried is also an advantage, because it makes the handgun more accessible, and therefore the owner will be able to react and respond on time, in case a reaction or response is needed.
The overall advantage of having an open carry law in the state is safety.
It can also be said that the open carry law can promote the opposite of safety. Many people, especially who are not used to having deadly weapons lying around, will not feel very comfortable if some stranger in the premises has a holstered gun.
Even though open carry can reduce crime, it can also do the opposite, and this is because of abuse of accessibility of handguns and the ease of bringing them around premises.
But the danger doesn’t just involve bad guys. Even the good guys can pose as a threat to the general public, especially if they are inexperienced. There are known instances of accidental misfires. Causes of misfires may vary, but they mostly involve accidentally dropping the gun and negligently leaving live rounds in the gun’s chambers.
Another overlooked disadvantage is the confusion regarding the law. According to the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, the open carry law stipulates that handguns should be in your belt or holster at all times, unless there is a legally justifiable reason to use the weapon. Even if you have such a reason, there is a chance that the police will still arrest you in the pretense that you broke the law. In other words, this open carry law can be a legal nightmare in its own right, and sometimes, you have to think if the advantages really outweigh the disadvantages.