Child custody is always a sensitive issue in a divorce. Often, the judge will award physical custody to one parent and visitation rights to the other based on circumstances that will serve the best interest of the child. In general, however, divorce law provides ample opportunity for the child to have significant contact with both parents as much as possible to foster a healthier parent-child relationship.

However, California courts typically allow the parent who has sole custody of child to relocate outside the state unless the non-custodial parent can show that the move will cause considerable harm to the child. Exactly what constitutes harm to a child will depend on the circumstances, but the non-custodial parent has the burden of proof.

But if the parents have joint custody of the child, the burden of proof shifts to the parent who plans to move away if the staying parent objects to the move. The parent who is relocating must show that it is in the best interests of the child to do so.

The judge will determine the wisdom of allowing the custodial arrangement to be modified to accommodate relocation based on the actual time spent by the child with the staying parent rather than the parenting plan made at the time of the divorce. Each case is unique and requires careful study and consideration before the judge can make ruling.

Each state has its own take on how to handle move-away issues. A Manhattan Beach divorce lawyer can prepare and present a case for or against relocation in California that can significantly influence the final decision of the judge. It is essential that the lawyer who handles such a case is experienced in dealing with move-away custody issues in California to obtain the desired results, always in the best interests of the child.

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The human body is a delicate balance of systems, and this includes hormones. Under ideal circumstances, the naturally-occurring hormones are in perfect sync, and everything is just dandy. However, many factors can upset the hormonal balance including stress, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, and age. When the effects of this hormone imbalance significantly impacts on the quality of life, it is desirable to restore the balance.

In some instances, it can be easily done by removing or minimizing the cause of stress, having regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, or any combination of these. There is little that can be done with aging, but with a healthy lifestyle the hormone effects of aging is usually manageable without therapy. However, there are conditions such as low testosterone (Low-T) in men which results in low sexual drive, diminished sexual interest, and erectile dysfunction that is much more than a result of aging.  One method for restoring hormonal balance in men suffering from Low-T is through hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

While HRT can do the job, there are side effects. These are especially enhanced when conditions such as Low-T is misdiagnosed; some men naturally produce testosterone in lower levels as they age, but this does not necessarily the medical condition known as Low-T. Low-T topical medication manufacturers, however, aggressively market their products, implying that the normal slow down of testosterone production is a medical problem and that it can be easily and safely fixed. They neglect to warn about the medical dangers of the misuse of the product with patients that don’t actually have Low-T, such as increasing the risk of stroke and heart disease. Low-T lawyers will properly investigate drug makers that propagate this misrepresentation and failure to warn for product liability.

Physicians may also face medical malpractice lawsuits for failing to properly diagnose Low-T. There are practices that encourage the use of Low-T preparations even when it is unwarranted because it is profitable to do so. This is a breach of a health professional’s duty of care to a patient. As pointed out on the website of medical malpractice law firm Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, this negligence can have disastrous consequences for the patient.

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Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program aimed at providing financial assistance to qualified adults who are unable to work because of long-term (more than 12 months) disability. To be eligible for these benefits and apply online, the applicant:

  • Is 18 years old up
  • Has not been receiving SSDI benefits
  • Has not been denied SSDI in the previous two months

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recommends that the applicant have the following information on hand to complete the online application:

  • Personal Information i.e. marriage/divorce details
  • Medical records and contact information of hospitals, doctors and other treatment facilities
  • Employment history and information, including a Social Security Statement and information on filed or received workers’ compensation or similar benefits, if any

There is also an online application for qualified children, but it requires a completed application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) as well, which cannot be done online.

Online applications are undoubtedly much more convenient than filling up a physical form to the nearest state or field office of the SSA. However, there is no guarantee that an online application will be approved any more than an onsite one. Illinois has an approval rate of 30% for initial applications, and filing an appeal for denied claims is a long, complicated, and tedious process.

Applicants should make every effort to make a successful application on the first try, and this can be accomplished with the help of a Social Security disability lawyer. They know how the system works and what documentation is crucial to get approval. This will save a lot of time and effort in the long run which makes it worth the additional expense. In addition, Social Security disability lawyers can advise an applicant on how to maximize their benefits under the law, so the applicant may be better off overall. In the event that the application is denied, the lawyer will be able to guide you through the appeals process as well.

Some information for this post was researched on

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Families of deceased cruise ship passengers of a downed ship may find that they are on shaky legal ground due to jurisdictional issues and a boilerplate waiver.

The sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in 2012 resulted in 32 deaths and numerous injuries, and the Italian owners agreed to pay a hefty fine to square with the Italian government and avoid criminal charges. This does not mean that they are immune to private lawsuits that may be brought by individuals. However, because the ship is not registered in the US, its crew and owners may not be subject to the same laws that govern US-registered vessels.

There are US and international laws that cover all cruise ships such as the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act and the International Safety Management Code, but there are significant holes that foreign-registered ships can wiggle through to avoid criminal and civil charges. In this case, though, the captain who abandoned ship before anyone else and whose negligence caused the disaster is not so lucky. He is currently facing charges in Italian court. Five other ship employees had already pled guilty to manslaughter and negligence for less than 3 years in prison.

With regards to the ship owners’ liability to their passengers and crew, Costa Crociere SpA offered settlements that some had accepted. Those that were dissatisfied by the terms of the settlement got together to file class action suits against the company in Florida, but the defendants are maintaining that any civil action must be filed in Italy, as stipulated in the contracts signed by the passengers. As of the latest updates, the cases are still pending.

In the wake of this disaster, there have been initiatives to improve the legal remedies open to passengers in foreign-registered cruise ships but it is slow going. In the meantime, passengers who sustain serious injuries while on a cruise will have to rely of the expertise and knowledge of cruise ship injury lawyers that specialize in navigating this slippery slope.

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A recent flurry of interest into whiplash injuries in the UK has thrown that little-understood condition into sharp relief. The UK government is cracking down on fraudulent insurance claims of whiplash injuries, which have repercussions for those with real problems. Whiplash, or the more medically correct term cervical acceleration deceleration (CAD), is an injury to the neck resulting from trauma caused by the body being subjected to sudden acceleration deceleration i.e. car accidents. Motor vehicle accidents are not the only causes of whiplash, but it is frequent consequence of rear-end and side collisions. The problem is, many victims (40%) are not even aware that they suffer from it, or discover it late in the day. By then, it may be more difficult to prove causation. It is estimated that about 120,000 people suffer from car accident-related whiplash injuries every year.

The symptoms of whiplash appear to be minor such as pain in the neck, back and shoulders that most people dismiss. However, there are serious repercussions if it is not properly treated, including but not limited to cognitive impairment and whiplash syndrome. As explained on the website of the Sampson Law Firm, the immediate and long-term consequences of serious injuries in car accidents can be devastating, but most people fail to appreciate how serious whiplash can be. Personal injury lawyers can probably recount how clients who suffered from whiplash injury continue to feel the effects years after the accident, impacting on their overall quality of life that can be hard to quantify.

While car accident victims in the UK may be inhibited by the general skepticism of their lawmakers, Americans labor under no such stigma. Victims of car accidents that exhibit whiplash injury symptoms should not hesitate to make a claim for compensation from their insurance companies or, in the case of third-party negligence, file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties.

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