On the issue of child custody in a divorce proceeding, one of the most important questions is, “Who will have custody of the child?” After naming the custodial parent, the other parent will necessarily be given visitation rights, unless there is evidence that will show and prove that he/she is an unfit parent.

Legal experts agree that it is very important that a child has a strong relationship with both parents. Thus, courts typically award custodial rights to that parent who would very likely be able to cultivate such relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. There are other relevant factors that courts consider when deciding on the matter of custody but, regardless of what these are, these should be in line with the most important factor: the best interest of the child.

There are times, however, when the chosen custodial parent (or sometimes the parent given visitation rights) is not able to live up to the court’s expectations, failing in his/her obligations to fully recognize and respect the other parent’s rights and personhood. The specific details through which failures are committed are numerous and varied. Generally speaking, all these are considered as visitation and custody interference issues and all call for the same thing: a modification in the original decision pronounced by the court. These interference issues include:

  • Frustration of the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. These are instances wherein a custodial parent, for whatever reasons, eventually resorts to means that will alienate the child/children from the other parent. The most common of these means is denial of visitation rights.
  • Estrangement of the child’s affections for the non-custodial parent. A child’s relationship with his/her non-custodial parent can be severed through false accusations and/or damaging comments by the custodial parent. Unknown to the custodial parent, however, is that this/her ill-talks about his/her former partner also negatively affect the child’s emotional and mental health.
  • Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). PAS occurs when the custodial parent consciously and systematically brainwashes the children, resulting to the children eventually disfavoring the other parent. Since most family courts consider as vital the existence of a strong relationship between a child and his/her parents, courts, therefore, believe that the ill behavior displayed by a custodial parent warrants a change in custody.
  • Change of Residence. Despite the stipulation (in the divorce decree) that a custodial parent will have to inform the non-custodial parent of any plans of him/her and the children moving to another city or state, many custodial parents ignore this requirement and relocate to a distant location secretly. This stipulation is inserted in the divorce decree to give the noncustodial parent the chance to argue against such plans. As this move can affect a child’s relationship with the other parent, many courts believe that it establishes a significant change in circumstances which justifies a change in custody.

Other reasons that may warrant a change in custody include:

  • Material and Substantial Changes. These include a custodial parent’s remarriage, inability to provide the required care due to a medical condition, commission of a crime, and criminal conviction.
  • Child’s Preference. Children, who have reached the age of 12, are usually interviewed by a judge in his/her chamber or private office. A change in custody (as well as in visitation rights) may be made if a child asks for it, but on the condition that the court is convinced that such change will be in his/her best interest.
  • Relinquishment of Custody. There are instances when a change in a court’s original decision on custody may be made. One instance is if a custodial parent voluntarily gives up care and custody of the child. The change, however, will only be ruled as temporary if the reason of the custodial parent is due to military deployment or duty.
  • Unfavorable Environment. If the environment where a custodial parent lives can endanger his/her child’s physical health or significantly harm the child’s emotional growth, then the other parent can request the court to alter its original decision.

In their website, Raleigh child custody lawyers attest how reaching a child custody agreement that both spouses will agree on can be very difficult. Because of the importance a child custody agreement has on both the lives of the children and the parents, this is frequently the most contentious issue that arises during a divorce proceeding. However, determining what type of custody you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse (whether Sole Custody, Joint Custody or Primary/Secondary Physical Custody) will have is critical to successfully completing the divorce process. Due to this, it is best that you and your children find a supportive and knowledgeable lawyer who will help you get the outcome which you believe is suitable for your family.


read more

DUI Charges in South Carolina

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very serious offense, because it puts not only you in danger, but also the others around you. South Carolina takes this seriously, and you may suffer the consequences depending on the gravity of your case.

It is a difficult situation to be in, because it can greatly affect your future, like your employment opportunities. For this reason, it is important to get the help of legal professionals, like the Columbia DUI defense lawyers at Truslow & Truslow.

But what exactly are the different types of DUI charges? You should at least know them so you would have an idea what you are dealing with.

1st Offense DUI Charge

It is important to note that your blood alcohol concentration, also known as BAC, is a very important factor in determining the consequences of your case. In your first offense, if your BAC is 0.08% or above, you are required to pay $400 to $1,000 as fine, go to jail for 48 hours to 90 days, and suspend your license for 6 months.

2nd Offense DUI Charge

For your second offense, you must pay $2,100 to $6,500 as fine, go to jail for 5 days to 3 years, and suspend you license for 2 years, depending again on your BAC, starting from 0.08%.

3rd Offense DUI Charge

A third offense requires a fine of $3,800 to $10,000, jail time of 60 days to 5 years, and license suspension of 2 years. License suspension can go up to 4 years if the third offense has been done within five years since the first offense.

4th Offense DUI Charge

A fourth DUI offense is considered a felony, and you may pay a fine of up to $25,000, jail time of 1 to 7 years, and a permanent driver’s license revocation.


read more

Having any sort of criminal offense on your record can be a difficult challenge to overcome. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done what you can to follow through with all the legal penalties that come with your offense. It’s likely that you will continue to see some form of prejudice that could hinder your ability to become a helpful and productive member of your community. This is why the process of expunction is an integral part of criminal law.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never actually received a conviction, and were only charged or arrested for a particular offense. All of these will stay on your record and can be accessed by potential employers and the like, hindering your ability to seek out better opportunities. The process of expunction allows you to wipe the slate clean—that is, having your records cleared of any particular event that falls within the criteria set by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

Individuals who are interested in petitioning for expunction in Texas should take note of the different conditions for eligibility. In general, the law awards expungement to those that were charged but never convicted of criminal offenses. Individuals that were wrongfully convicted are also eligible for expunction. For those that have been convicted of a crime, qualifying for expunction largely depends on the particular details of your case. Overall, however, it is made available for juvenile offenders and those convicted only of misdemeanors.

There are many more complicated details that go into determining whether a petitioner could have their records expunged. To help you with this process, it would be best to approach a qualified criminal law attorney to receive proper advice and counseling. Contact a Dallas record clearing attorney or a qualified lawyer working in your area of residence to find out more about expunction.


read more

In May of 2015, an accident involving a crane occurred somewhere in Midtown Manhattan. The accident was specifically about a crane accidentally dropping the heating and air-conditioning unit which it was supposed to lift to the roof of an office tower. The equipment, which was several tons in weight, fell from about 30 stories down to the ground, scraping the building as it fell and causing glass, metal and concrete to rain down to ground, causing minor injuries to two construction workers and five passersby.

In November of the same year, another accident, this time involving a small crane, known as a knuckle boom, occurred. While lifting materials to the second or third floor of a building using the crane on his truck, Trevor, a construction safety coordinator, went to check a mechanical malfunction with the crane. The crane, however, suddenly caused its boom to collapse; the boom fell on him and pinned him on his truck’s flatbed. Trevor died in the accident.

Cranes are a common presence on construction sites due to the very important part that these play in the construction of various types of structures, including lifting of heavy equipment on top of buildings. Though totally important, their substantial size and complexity render them sources of risks against the safety of all those inside or near a construction site. If a crane is if not properly assembled, operated or maintained, or if the load it carries is not properly secured, then it can possibly cause an accident which can result to serious injuries or death.

Though workers who sustain job-related injuries can apply for financial benefits with their state-run Workers’ Compensation Insurance program, they can otherwise waive their claim on this benefit and pursue legal action against their employer instead. Help from a highly-qualified construction lawyer or personal injury lawyer, who can explain to them the pros and cons of applying for benefits or filing a civil lawsuit and help them evaluate what action would be best for them to take.

According to Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, the devastating amounts of injuries and damage associated with construction site accidents, especially with a crane collapse accident, make it is imperative for individuals adversely affected to seek legal help as soon as possible.


read more

Due to its versatility, strength and fire resistant properties, asbestos mineral became a staple of many products today including plastic products. When mixed with asbestos, plastic products are reinforced and withstand excessive heat. However, the mineral is highly linked to mesothelioma, a cancer that affects some of the linings in the body cavity.

Asbestos was first used in synthetic polymer-based plastics in early 1900s when Leo Hendrik Baekeland was looking for a way to insulate electrical wirings used in motors and generators. Plastic material is widely used in many products mainly because it is light, versatile, durable, and it may come in many colors. Electrical products like wires, electrical switches, casings, and terminal boards contain asbestos. In the automobile industry, plastic vehicle parts like steering wheel and buttons contain asbestos. Some plastic components of telephones are also believed to contain asbestos.

Studies later revealed that products containing asbestos are toxic and can cause respiratory illnesses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1980s, restricted the use of asbestos in plastic products. People are at risk of mesothelioma cancer when they accidentally inhale or ingest tiny dust of asbestos. The asbestos mixed in plastic products may get into the air due to wear and tear in everyday use. Asbestos particles may become airborne if plastic products breaks. Though other companies refrained from using asbestos in their products, many plastic products containing asbestos are still manufactured today. Workers who used to work in plastic manufacturing facilities are at risk of asbestos exposure, according to the Williams Kherkher webpage. Asbestos may easily contaminate the air inside factories during drilling or grinding operations.

Factory workers may no longer continue their job if they developed mesothelioma. While experts are still studying how to cure mesothelioma cancer, patients who have this condition may undergo surgeries and therapies similar to cancer patients. The aim of the treatments that are often expensive is to prevent the disease from spreading and to improve the patient’s condition.


read more