Couples and Money – The Last Taboo

Most people grow up in families where no one talks about money. People may argue about money: He doesn’t make enough or she spends too much. However, there generally is no real education about what role money plays in relationships. Very often children become adults having no idea of how much money their parents have saved or what they earn. Talking about money is taboo and people often become adults carrying irrational attitudes, beliefs and anxieties about money or not knowing how to handle money. When they later enter a coupled relationship, these anxieties generally emerge.

ROLES

Boys are taught to earn money and serve as providers- – to be the primary breadwinners. Some theorists believe that it is through earning capacity that the husband receives a major portion of his affirmation of success in life and vindicates his existence. For men, aspects of independence, separation, and competition fostered in childhood become assets for future endeavors with corporate America. However, it is possible that these attributes possibly inhibit their emotional development. For many men, financial distress exerts a powerful influence on how they experience their marriage overall and how they interact with their wives because of the importance they place on financial competence and success.

On the other hand, girls are socialized that the earning of money is a personal choice and often view money as a reward, and/or as a haven for emotional security. For women, Money is merely a small piece in the grander scheme of relationships and a medium for purchasing goods and services. While they appear to be more confident in expressing their feelings and concerns about money to their partners, they are more deficit in terms of the competitive component of acquiring money.

So then how is the relationship affected when wives make more money than husbands? Tichenor (1999) examined marital power dynamics when wives earned more money than their husbands, when they worked in higher status occupations. She explored whether they were able to exercise more power when this occurred. She found that they were not related. She concludes that power in relationships is more related to gender than status and income. She then suggests how these couples do gender that reinforce the husband’s power.

THE EFFECT OF CHILDHOOD

Some individuals strive to acquire money in hopes to compensate for its lack in childhood, or remedy a shattered self-image and or substantiate a self-worth that is dependent ion outside validation. If an individual is frugal with earnings, hesitant to share his or her money with his or her mate, it can be a reflection of his or her upbringing. For some, their childhood families could have been deprived of resources and/or necessities. Or perhaps the mother spent too much money and the father hoarded it or visa versa. Partners may feel personally rejected, unloved, unwanted, or taken for granted when spending becomes synonymous with affection and love. It is probably true that a person who is withholding money is likely to be withholding feelings as well. At times money can be used as a means of punishment toward a partner for not fulfilling his or her affection needs.

The misuse of money in marriage can often be the result of observing manipulative power plays between parents around money issues. In turn, as an adult,the learned behavior may be used to manipulate one’s mate.

MONEY AND MARITAL SATISFACTION

Many individuals have a problem relationships with money and when they enter marriage, money matters can become a trigger for arguments.

Research appears to show that economic attainment is correlated with marital satisfaction. Satisfaction with marriage appears to increase with income and its mutual agreement regarding its distribution. This then leads to increased spousal satisfaction. It is possible that when partners are disappointed with the amount of money the couple has, they find their entire relationship less satisfying.

It is reasonable to suggest a correlation between money and power in marriage. Leiter (1991) agrees….” He who has the money has the power…he who controls the purse controls the relationship (p.79). The decision-maker position in a relationship is often determined by the individual who earns the higher income (often the male in heterosexual couples). This affects the balance of power, i.e. control over allocation of personal spending money and access to joint money. The relative income of each spouse can have consequential psychological and pragmatic consequences on a relationship.

It can be said that the ultimate test of a marriage comes when the wife is higher earner. Neither husband nor wife likes to contemplate any change in the balance of power from the traditional. In this case males may experience feelings of bitterness, embarrassment, and jealousy when their mates’ income exceeded their own.

MONEY STYLES

Mellan (1999) states, If opposites don’t attract right off the bat, they create each other eventually.” (page 1). Generally speaking, hoarders will marry spenders.

Two Spenders will fight over who is the more super of the spenders. This forces the other into the hoarder role because someone will have to set boundaries.

The Worrier and the Avoider – Avoiders don’t focus on the4 details of their money such as interest rates or if there is enough money to buy something, they just spend. A worrier will turn a mate into an avoider just to escape the avalanche of worry. And an avoider will turn a mate into a worrier. Hoarders are usually worriers and avoiders are usually the spenders.

The Planners. These are detail oriented and dreamers who are the visionaries. Others who feel that money corrupts so it’s better not to have too much. The amassers accumulate money. They are not hoarders. They invest to watch their money grow.

The longer the couple is married, the more they lock into their polarized roles. Then they argue about their differences.

Usually couples argue about what money represents. Specific times when couples fight over money: tax time, when it is time to begin a family, buying a house. Such as he wants to go on vacation and I want to save for retirement.

GENDER DIFFERENCES

Rob Becker in his play, Defending the Caveman, portrays men and hunters and women as gatherers. Men will go out and buy a shirt and wear it until it dies. Only then will they go out and kill another shirt. Women on the other hand gather…They will buy a present for their mother’s birthday and then another gift for their nephew. In addition, men tend to see the world as hierarchical and competitive. In this view, there is a winner and a loser…whereas women see the world as collaborative and democratic and thus can be needy and vulnerable. These differences can lead to problems between the genders regarding decisions concerning money. Men will buy a car and women will say, Why didn’t you consult me? I thought we were partners. He will say, you aren’t my mother. I don’t have to ask your permission. Men are socialized into believing that they are good with money while women are socialized in believing that they are not. Confidence levels differ between the genders. Men believe they are good with money whereas women do not even though they both are rated as having the same knowledge about money. When men make money in the stock market they credit themselves as being good investors. When they lose money, they blame their advisors. When women make money in the stock market they credit their advisors and when they lose money they blame themselves.

In relationships men want to merge the money yet maintain the decision making around spending it. Women want to keep at least some of the money separate. Men are trained to believe that money equal power. Power and control are not compatible with intimacy. Relationships that are successful are when partners are willing to show each other their vulnerabilities.

Straight can be seen as a symbol of value, control, security, status, success, independence, trust, guilt, indifference, envy, desire, comfort, authority, power, and freedom. It is an essential ingredient in the survival of individuals in the market economy. Strong and serious pressures and placed on relationships by the economic system of the United States.

Money is so vital a constituent in the social interaction process. It functions as a means to communicate the values of each individual to his or her significant other. Money often carries a connotation that is synonymous with love. Giving to one another in the form of gifts is commonly perceived as a symbol of affection, or metaphor for love. Personal relationships with money affects all other relationships. Money influences humans in that it can serve to make people happy or miserable, bring people closer or create distance, make us altruistic or selfish.

MONEY AS METAPHOR

The present author believes that metaphors might be a useful way to move out of the couple’s verbalized content andinto the process of the relationship.

In many couple relationships, money is more taboo than sex. Couples are more likely to discuss their prior sex lives than their history of money. Discussions of money generally are not topics for discussion in first marriages although are becoming increasingly more important in second marriages. Many therapists believe that beliefs and expectations about money should be topics of discussion before marriage. Couples may decide whether they want to spend the rest of their lives together based on financial attitudes and aspirations. Marriage is an economic union as well as a social union. America society stipulates that people should marry for love and not money. Money generally means something different to each spouse. A couple’s economic planning and activities before marriage generally affect the financial partnership they form after marriage.

Money can’t buy happiness.
Money is the root of all evil.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
Money makes the world go ’round.
Save your pennies for a rainy day.
Mo’ Money.
A fool and his money are soon parted.
You can’t take it with you.
Render unto Caesar…
A penny for your thoughts.
Money can’t buy me love.Money used as competition in a marriage.

Money used as equivalent for love and often serves as a payment or substitute for attention and affection. Relatives suing each other over wills divorces. Hard to know whether people stay attached for love or money.

In many relationships money is highly regulated. In the corporate world there are elaborate contracts protecting individuals’ money. No such regulation of money occurs within the family, primarily because we view the family as a trusting warm loving place. Risk futures on the idea that blood is thicker than water. Just bringing up money brings an ugliness into the discussion that smacks of mistrust and lack of good feeling. We know about the injustices that occur frequently in divorce. Very little is known how money is shared, divided or used in families and with what circumstances. Explicit and implicit rules about money. Historically there have been clear guidelines and rules, i.e. dowries, bride prices, primogeniture, the transfer of property from one generation to another. These arrangements were not left to chance or to the judgment of individual families because in these cases, the structure of society was tied to the way people dealt with money.

In the days of old the economic basis of marriage was made explicit…now it has been replaced by romantic love.

The middle class appears to be more affected by this than the upper class who have more clearly defined ways of protecting vested interests and maintaining status and position, not spoiling children, giving them too much when young, spend only the interest not touch the principal so can be handed down. Aside from state laws that regulate divorce and wills, there is very little intrusion into how families handle money. Principal of children should be given equal amounts regardless of needs. Maybe there was a need to regulate usage of money because there really wasn’t much at stake. There is also an ethos of autonomy and when money is earned by individual achievement there is a lack of wanting to impose social or group norms and rules on it.

Now however, there is the post war boom and money being passed down to baby boomers in terms of accumulated money from houses and stocks etc. So that for the first time in the middle class there will be a substantial amount of money transferred to children through inheritance.

This study explores the relation between love and money and how often there are negative consequences when they can’t be disentangled. It is further difficult because of the compound problem of separating financial decisions from emotional ones.

As both Shakespeare and Marx have noted, an ugly man with money can buy himself a beautiful woman and therefore not suffer the consequences of being ugly. For intents and purposes, he is not ugly- money gives him a different face. Money, being the ultimate measure of value, winds up creating reality.

Money often becomes the ultimate measure of worth and the primary determinant of identity. Money is a primary source of power in relationships. Without it we are dependent/ Having money enables us to control other people, or to be rid of them and it allows others to be free of us. Money can be an adhesive- – gluing marriages together that otherwise would not have lasted. When you don’t have enough money to get a divorce or to free yourself of your partner, you have to make the best of things. How many nightmarish stories of “live-in divorces” do we hear where couples have lived together in exceedingly estranged circumstances because they did not want to share the family “money.”

Putting your money where your mouth is.
Dollar wise and penny foolish.
Spending money like a drunken sailor.

When market researchers investigate our spending habits, expenditures they are not only assessing the relationship between income and expenditures….they are seeking the connection between self image and what people will spend their money on. We don’t just own our possessions; they own us.

In wills, the way people disperse money can even control. Money is used to control children, punish estranged spouses, measure a person’s true feelings, buy freedom from relationships, or stop a partner from leaving.

Lionel Trilling described how money can take over, invading spaces it wasn’t supposed to reach. “Money is both real and not real, like a spook. We invented money ad we use it, yet we cannot either understand its laws or control its actions. It has a life of its own which it properly should not have; Karl Marx speaks with a kind of horror of its indecent power to reproduce, as if he says love were working in its body.

For those of you who are interested in couples and their relationship to money, please take the following survey. If you are interested, you will be provided with results if you wish. The entire survey is completely anonymous and all answers are confidential.

Abstractly Represented Money: Introducing Metamoney

In his pocket, Joe has an old leather wallet. It contains enough banknotes to buy him a brand new wallet of a better model he saw in a magazine. This buying power is exclusive to him, who alone can use those bills to buy something. Likewise, if he transfers them to another person, then instead of him, only this other person will own their buying power.

However, although Joe’s transferring away his banknotes can always transfer along their control, it could never transfer along their whole property, which is not only his. The bills, as possibly distinct from their purchasing power, do not belong to him alone. For example, he has no right to create or destroy them: they are public. What belongs to either him or whoever else controls any such notes is rather their buying power, which hence is privately owned.

Indeed, by always just privately owning his banknotes, Joe could sell them independently of their purchasing power, which they could not represent. However, selling them in this way would prevent him at least temporarily from using the same bills to buy anything. Then, by recognizing their lost purchasing power as a monetary value, for keeping which they must remain its representations, one can conclude:

All monetary value must be private.
All its representations must be public, or unsellable.

Still, if not Joe, then who else can sell, buy, create, or destroy his or any equivalent banknotes? This question should be negligible if what he owns is their monetary value rather than the bills themselves. However, since the purchasing power of each bill can change once people sell, buy, create, or destroy other such bills, the same question becomes critical. Indeed, part of its answer is that now commercial banks create most of the money supply by selling it, in a process called fractional-reserve banking.

Commercial Banking

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago,[1] this is how fractional-reserve banking originated:

Then, bankers discovered that they could make loans merely by giving their promises to pay, or bank notes, to borrowers. In this way, banks began to create money.

Bankers also needed, however — and still need — to keep, at any given time, enough money to provide for expected withdrawals: “Enough metallic money had to be kept on hand, of course, to redeem whatever volume of notes was presented for payment.”

Hence the name “fractional-reserve banking”: commercial banks must hold a fraction of all deposit money as reserves — which legally (since 1971) need no longer be “metallic money” but only a public debt — to meet withdrawal expectations: “Under current regulations, the reserve requirement against most transaction accounts is 10 percent.”

In a fractional-reserve banking system, on which most of today’s international economy relies, commercial banks create money by loaning it, hence as a private debt.

Transaction deposits are the modern counterpart of bank notes. It was a small step from printing notes to making book entries crediting deposits of borrowers, which the borrowers in turn could “spend” by writing checks, thereby “printing” their own money.

For example, once a commercial bank receives a new deposit of $10,000.00, 10% of this new deposit becomes the bank’s reserves for loaning up to $9,000.00 (the 90% in excess of reserves), with interest yet without withdrawing the loaned money from the source account. Likewise, if that maximum loan of $9,000.00 does occur and the borrower deposits it into another account, whether in the same bank or not, then again 10% of it becomes the latter bank’s reserves for loaning now up to $8,100.00 (the 90% now in excess reserves). As always, the bank charges interest on the loaned money despite not withdrawing it from the source account. This process could proceed indefinitely, adding $90,000.00 to the money supply, valuable only as their borrowers’ resulting debt: after countless loans of recursive 90% fractions from the original deposit of $10,000.00, that same deposit would have eventually become the 10% reserves for itself as a total of $100,000.00.[2]

Thus through stage after stage of expansion, “money” can grow to a total of 10 times the new reserves supplied to the banking system, as the new deposits created by loans at each stage are added to those created at all earlier stages and those supplied by the initial reserve-creating action.

Yet how can credit alone create new money? How can a debt retroactively create its owed money? Something else must be happening here, in addition to mere loans. What is it? What else happens in the whole process of commercial banking? First, there is a deposit. Then, there is a loan of up to a fraction (of 90%) of this deposit, at interest yet which the bank never withdraws from the source account. Finally, the borrower can credit that loan to another account, in the same or any other bank. Suddenly, the trillion-dollar question emerges: are these two accounts sharing the same value?

Regarding deposit money the answer is yes: the loan can still belong to the balance of the source account, consequently being that same deposit money.
Regarding account balances the answer is no: the loan can also belong to the balance of the target account, consequently being additional deposit money.

However, if the partial balances of both accounts must represent the same deposit money, then how can they duplicate it?

Privately Public Money

Distinguishing the letter “a” from its verbal sound would prevent this visual representation of that word. Likewise, distinguishing a banknote from its exchange value as money would prevent this concrete representation of that value.

The resulting indiscrimination between a representing entity and what it represents must happen to all representations of something dependent on them by something independent from them. Indeed, the letter “a” does not depend on its dependent word, or a banknote on its dependent trade value as money. Likewise, bank accounts do not depend on their dependent balance, nor precious metals on their dependent buying power. Anything that depends on being represented by something independent from representing it becomes indistinguishable from that representing entity.

Additionally, only by being concrete can objects remain independent from what they represent, which they always do. Hence, each alphabet letter, banknote, precious metal, bank account, or other self-independent representation, even if just imagined, must be concretely objective. While conversely, because money depends on its own representation, all its concrete representations must remain indistinguishable from their monetary value, despite this value and those representations being always respectively private and public.

So letting money concretely represent its own exchange value is inherently problematic: the resulting indistinction between this concrete money and that privately owned value must privatize its otherwise public representation of the same value. Consequently, all such purely objective representations of money will require an impossibly privatized control of their still necessarily public, unsellable selves, whether by their private owners publicly selling, buying, creating, or destroying them.

Even so, Joe still privately controls the exchange value of his always public banknotes. Indeed, people have long expressed that value concretely, with not only banknotes but also countless other objects, including precious metals and bank accounts. Yet how could they do it? How did they solve the ownership conflict inherent in any such privately public representations of money? How could each concrete representation of money be both private and public? The solution was to delegate its privatized ownership to a public monetary authority.

People had no other choice: any privatized ownership of a still necessarily public entity can only consist in the privatizing delegation of its public ownership. Then, all resulting delegates will constitute one same body administering or governing this public entity: the state or government, part of which must privately control any object that concretely represents money.

However, the private and public ownerships of one same thing are still mutually exclusive. Hence, the public authority that results from privately controlling all concrete representations of money must rather be private. Eventually, this conflict will segregate all administration of money by governments into a privatized part of their public selves: a central bank. Indeed, any privatized power could only remain public as long as just part of it became private. So the same governments will become private by delegating all their control over money to that private part of themselves, which conversely will remain public just by belonging to them.

Finally, regardless of government structure, concrete objects can only represent money by remaining privately public, hence while still privately owned by the public part of governments, even if also by their central banks. For which to be possible, any government already privatized into its own central bank must create this always privately public money by borrowing it from that bank. Then, this government not only buys the created money from its privatized inner self, as which it reciprocally sells it to its public whole, but also destroys that money by paying it back to its lender bank, if ever. While conversely, that central bank becomes the original creditor of all this privately created, publicly loaned money, of which it must create ever more to enable paying its interest. As thus, with the resulting inflation and recursive interest payments, the same bank owns an ever-increasing fraction of the exchange value of all its issued money.

Still, even in the absence of any central bank, once commercial banks create money by loaning it to people who then use that money to buy public debt, or even just pay taxes, governments already borrow their money from the banking system, despite indirectly. Then, the partial privatization of those governments only lacks a formal, institutional expression.

Central Banking

So bank accounts must be as indistinguishable from their deposited money as any such concrete representations are indistinguishable from the money they represent. Hence two deposits in different accounts being always different money, even if one is just a loan of money from the other: when depositing money borrowed from one account into another, people must duplicate that money, by mistaking it for both accounts.

Additionally, since all money created by commercial banks remains as just balance fractions borrowed from their client accounts, that money must be worth only as credit, or as the corresponding debt principal. This way, except for money neither in reserves nor loans — and possibly not even in bank accounts, thus not being excess reserves — but not from loans, bank loans are the only money supply left for paying their own interest. Consequently, such an interest-paying, self-indebted money supply must grow at least at its own interest rate less any other money also excluded from bank reserves: eventually, whether as loans or not, the total money supply must increase exponentially.

However, who does then create all needed new money? Before central banks, governments would have done it. Later, each new central bank has created ever-increasing amounts of that money on behalf of its government. Indeed, since the source account of any bank loan could have been the target account of other such loans, from which it would be then indistinguishable, banks can always replace that source account by debt instruments, including some representing a public debt. So by becoming central banks, they can create new account money in exchange for promises from their governments of paying it back with interest, essentially the same way they replicate part of that money in exchange for promises from their commercial clients of paying it back with interest. However, paying the additional interest on this new money, now created as a public debt will demand still more money. Then, the same banks will — as they always did — create ever more money from new public debt for paying interest on both private and old public such self-indebted money. This way, all new money created as a private or public, interest-paying debt must recursively amplify any lack of itself initially solved by central banks creating still more of it.

The result is an exponential growth both of the money supply and the debt it represents, then a proportional, ever larger transfer of exchange value to the banks through inflation and interest payments, respectively, which must collide with social-resource limits. Constructively delaying this collision depends on a corresponding increase in the social production of wealth, which must rather collide with natural-resource limits.

Are there any alternatives to such an unsustainable economic system?

Abstractly Represented Money

Unlike the symbol for a verbal sound, its audible self cannot become indistinguishable from what it means. For example, the sound of the word “everything” cannot already be everything and still mean it. Unlike its visual representation, that sound is not recognizable independently of meaning something else, from which it hence must always be distinguishable.

Still, verbal sounds are not the only meaningful entities always necessarily distinguishable from their meaning. There are also public representations of a privately known entity. For example, the number three could represent a single, just possible number to every person while representing the actual number five only to Joe.

Then, people could publicize a number (like five) as referencing another, private one (like three) without ever publicizing this private (the five-like) number as conversely referencing that public (the three-like) one. Public-key cryptography does precisely that: it uses two numbers or keys of which, although either number means the other, only the private key can reveal its corresponding public key. This way:

Any content encrypted using the public key can only be decrypted by someone who also knows the private key.
Any content signed using the private key can still be authenticated by someone who only knows the public key.

Using public-key cryptography, people can finally avoid privatizing their public representations of money, by representing any exchange value as a private key then representing this private key, or metarepresenting its represented value as the corresponding public key. For example, the Bitcoin decentralized network uses public-key cryptography to build signature chains, each link of which represents a balance transfer, or transaction. In Bitcoin, transferring the balance of one public key to another consists in combining the target key with the transfer that resulted in that balance, then signing this combination with the source private key. After which, any holder of the source public key can authenticate this new transfer as originating from whoever could sign it — necessarily by holding the source private key.

Then, money becomes a privately-signed yet public transaction chain despite never becoming itself public. For the first time in history, representing an exchange value (as a private key) does not require privatizing its publicly representing object (the corresponding public key). With such a metarepresented money, or metamoney, a public abstraction (a public key) can represent an exchange value (that of a private key) without ever becoming itself private — which makes its privatized control by any public authority not only unnecessary, but also impossible.

Indeed, publicly expropriating money, whether by selling, buying, creating, or destroying it, requires privately controlling its publicly representing object, which then must be concrete. On the contrary, abstractly representing that money prevents all privately public authorities from having any control of its representing object, then from necessarily expropriating an increasing fraction of its exchange value. While conversely, to avoid this privately public, hence increasingly expropriating control, each object representing money must be abstract — like a public key.

Finally, to be centralized — in a government or central bank — a public monetary authority must privately control what represents money, which then must be a concrete object. While conversely, to control an abstract representation of that money, this public authority must become decentralized — in a metamonetary system, like Bitcoin.

Copyright Infringement in the Digital World

Downloading files from the internet is not a crime, but if you download files for free which you usually have to pay for, then there’s a problem. The piracy issue occurs when the copyright owners do not get the amount that they are due.

Piracy is the illegal copying and selling of copyrighted materials, but the common misconception is that people don’t think it matters because no one gets hurt. In reality, the evolution of piracy from burning CDs and DVDs to digital copying has affected the global economy. Pirating a physical copy or streaming illegally affects the livelihood of artists too.

Pirated copies are not always great

Most of the time, illegal copies do not have the same quality as the legal content. A pirated movie may have been recorded on a camcorder at the back of a cinema, so the quality is poor. Its content may be grainy or black and white at some parts. Copies downloaded from the internet on the other hand may suddenly stop at some parts and the sound quality can be very quiet and muffled.

Easy digital access

Downloading directly from the computer has become popular among internet users primarily because of the ease of access. Even with the number of sites that offer legal downloads, there are still file-sharing networks that offer free access to copyrighted materials. And it’s sad that many are active in some form of piracy, either through streaming, downloading, or the old school style of buying counterfeit DVDs.

In any case, piracy costs the entertainment industry. It is stealing from the businesses involved in the art. People must remember that nothing is free. Pirate sites make money through subscription costs or advertising when a consumer streams illegal content. The operators of these sites earn from sharing copyrighted materials that they do not own and have no permission to distribute.

How to minimize the problem?

Having internet service providers get on board in helping fight piracy and detect copyright infringements has always been a struggle. It would require content holders to educate people and private entities to be responsible, make them understand the importance of copyright, and encourage them to support different ways to consume content legally like going to the cinema or subscribing to Netflix and other video-on-demand sites.

Piracy may not be easy to kill but it can be reduced. Besides, with all the latest technology coming out, we only need to keep up. Also, there are entities that help fight piracy with the use of software to detect copyright infringements.

Posted in Law

Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Posted in Law

Three Categories of Family Law Documents

This branch of the law covers all legal matters that pertain to a family. This can include marriages, divorces, prenuptial agreements, adoption, civil unions, property settlement, child custody and visitation and more. To become an attorney that deals with family law you have to first get your bachelor’s degree, attend law school and then pass the bar but if you plan to specialize in family law there are many different specialties to choose from, including adoption, neglect, abuse, divorce, paternity, custody and visitation, paternity, and more.

Marital unions

Under this category marital unions include civil and traditional marriage unions. It rarely includes formal pleadings. The reason is that this area of the progress of family life is less contentious. This means that not many couples at this stage are filing actions against each other. Some of the documents include:

  • Name change forms
  • Certificates of marriage
  • Prenuptial or premarital agreements

These documents may be called by other names in different jurisdictions but they all cover the same area. Some jurisdictions may also enable other types of actions under the category of martial unions but the general concepts as to what is handled by these forms, agreements, and certificates are common in all jurisdictions.

Marital termination

This category is where you will find most of the documents. These documents deal with marital terminations and include divorce, separation, and annulment. One of the parties will initiate a court action to sue for relief. These particular documents will mirror the types of pleadings that are filed. In addition to asking for termination of the marriage the documents can also include replies to the court action filed and any counterclaims. Some of the more common documents can include motions to restrain a spouse from deleting the marital assets, temporary alimony, and court costs. This category of family law documents include all the attachments and forms that are used to establish the marital estate as part of the proof that will be needed to reach an amicable and fair divorce settlement.

Parent-child relations

In this category are the actions that will do the following:

  • Appoint a legal guardian
  • Establish paternity
  • Deal with the issues of support, custody, and visitation
  • Removing a child from a home for cause

The petitions can also include motions to modify an order for child support, and motions for contempt for failure for either party to comply with any prior court orders.

As you can see there are many different documents that a family law attorney has to deal with so that is why many specialize in one particular area although some may practice in more than one area. To be sure which specialty volunteer to work for a family law firm.

Posted in Law

The Do’s and Don’t of Workplace Injury Claims

When an employee is injured while on the clock, they have the option of accepting workers’ compensation benefits through their job. These benefits are meant to help cover the cost of the damages and losses incurred as a result of the accident. This may include lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, prolonged therapy, and more. If you were recently injured at work, it is in your best interest to learn what you can about workplace accidents and injury claims so that you may make the right decisions regarding your physical and financial recovery.

If you have not been injured at work, it is still wise to learn these tips so that you are prepared if it ever happens to you or someone you love. Continue reading to learn what you should and should not do in the case that you are injured at work and considering workers’ compensation.

Here’s What You Should Not Do:

Do not hide your injury or fail to report it.

Do not decline medical attention. This can be harmful to you both physically and in terms of filing a claim.

Do not let the company’s case manager into your hospital examination room while you are with the doctor if you do not want them in there.

Do not let the workers’ compensation insurance carrier take too long to approve or deny your injury claim. There are state laws that mandate when they must respond. It is usually within 30 days after the claim is officially filed.

Do not believe your employer if they tell you there is a “minimum period” of employment that you must retain in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to benefits immediately, no matter your length of employment.

Do not miss or reschedule any appointments that are made by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Missing too many appointments can revoke your right to certain benefits.

When you return to work, do not let your employer place you into a line of duty that violates your work restrictions.

Here’s What You SHOULD Do:

Report your injury immediately, whether you think you need medical care or not.

Demand that a written accident report is made on the spot and be sure to get a copy for yourself.

Immediately seek or accept medical attention.

Retain all paperwork and documentation of your accident, injuries, and medical care. Keep track of all the written restrictions and instructions given to you by your doctor.

If your employer makes any retaliations or threats in regards to your claim, contact the Department of Labor immediately and report the harassment.

If you are unsatisfied with your medical treatment or diagnosis, ask for a second opinion.

If you are denied certain benefits due to a “pre-existing condition”, be sure to protest with the help of a licensed personal injury lawyer.

Posted in Law

Vehicle Tracking Laws

Real-time vehicle GPS Trackers have different laws that vary from state to state. Each state has a different law, so it is important to check with a lawyer to make sure that placement of the GPS won’t have any legal issues.

General laws

  • It is generally legal to use a GPS Tracker if you or the organization own the vehicle that is being tracked, or if you are the owner of the asset.
  • It is also usually legal if you are tracking your child that is under the age of 18.
  • Usually, it is legal to track a car or asset for legal repossession in the event of a loan or default.
  • It is usually illegal to use a tracking device if you are not the owner of the vehicle or if you are tracking a boyfriend or girlfriend in their own car.

Laws in the state of Florida

The state of Florida has tracking laws that can be different from other states.

Florida established a new statute that makes it illegal for somebody to place a tracking device unless you are the owner of the vehicle.

The exception to this law is a parent who is the sole guardian of a child, or if both parents consent to place a tracking device to monitor their child.

Another exception to this law is a person with a disability. This can include an Alzheimer’s patient or somebody suffering from dementia.

Using a GPS Tracker illegally in Florida is a second-degree misdemeanor. This can lead to an excessive fine or up to six months of jail time.

It is very important to verify your state laws prior to placing the tracking device. Each state has unique laws so even though it may be completely legal in one state, it can potentially lead to jail time in another state.

The general rule of thumb is that if the vehicle is in completely in your name, you should be permitted to place a GPS Tracking device to monitor the vehicle. However, if you are placing the GPS Tracker on somebody else vehicle, it is most likely illegal and can result in a fine or possibly even jail time.

Again, these laws are state specific so it is very important to consult a lawyer prior to purchasing a tracking device. The laws are also constantly changing in every specific state in the U.S., and it is important to check your state laws before purchasing and activating any GPS Tracker.

Posted in Law

What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

Posted in Law

Things to Know About Domestic Violence Laws in the US

In every household there comes a time that an intense verbal argument occurs for a number of reasons: jealousy, financial problems, sibling rivalry, etc. However, sometimes people may physically assault a family member because they cannot control their anger, want to assert control or may have been verbally provoked. In so doing, the aggressor has committed Domestic Violence.

Whenever such serious matters occur, you may think of seeking outside help either by calling the police or by consulting an attorney. It is preferable to discuss the issue with an experienced legal professional first, since you may have trouble handling the legal ramifications that may ensue following the crime’s disclosure.

The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the most important legal aspects of Domestic Abuse, in a simplified and accessible way and to provide a starting point for more specialized study.

1. What is Domestic Violence?

Any person who physically abused a family or household member has committed the crime of Domestic Violence. Domestic assault is a distinctive and more serious case than Assault and Battery -which involves strangers- and is treated accordingly.

2. Domestic assault can be difficult to prove.

The easiest way to identify an abused victim is by looking for signs of assault on the body (scratches, bruises, etc.). In the absence of such evidence, eye witness’s testimonies are valuable, but are not always available. What adds complexity when evidence is inconclusive, is that it can be hard to prove the crime or ascertain who the instigator was (both parties can claim to have been abused or acting in self-defense and the aggressor could deny the charge).

3. The severity of the assault, the victim and the aggressor’s medical history and potential addictions are taken into account for the sentence.

Simply put, an aggressor who slapped his spouse will be punished more leniently, than one who punched and kicked her. If a child was abused the law is more severe. A person with addictions (a drug-user or an alcoholic), or mental disorders may also be required to undertake therapy.

4. If domestic abuse is reported, it can severely disrupt family relations.

Domestic assault is a serious criminal charge, which means that if the authorities find out about the crime, they are obligated to take legal action, whether the victim intents to or not. The state laws of Virginia dictate that the authorities can issue a no-contact (protective) order, effectively prohibiting any form of communication between the aggressor, the victim and the rest of the family.

5. First time offenders can have their case dismissed or may be judged more leniently.

The guilty party can have their sentence dismissed, if they have never committed a crime before. It is also possible that the state offers a plea bargain to the accused. If the abuser admits guilt before the case goes to court, the sentence can be more lenient.

6. The alleged abuser’s and the accuser’s personality and habits play an important role in court.

A person with a toxic and abusive personality, will have a harder time convincing the court about his innocence. On the other hand, the accuser may have an ulterior motive or may be a habitual liar. All of the above aspects come into play when the case is tried.

7. It’s advisable for both parties to avoid contact after the crime has been reported.

Whether you are the accuser or the perpetrator it is preferable to refrain from communicating between each other, as any form of contact could have a detrimental effect to your case, especially if a protective order is in effect.

Conclusion

Domestic Violence can be a complex and challenging crime to handle. Whether you decide to press charges against an abuser, or think you have been wrongfully accused, you should always consult with an experienced criminal law attorney.

Posted in Law

What Are the Most Common Forms of Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to innovations of the mind, such as inventions, scholarly and creative works, patterns and marks, names and likenesses used in trade and business. All IP is protected by the various laws in existence locally, regionally nationally, and internationally. Laws exist for patents, trademarks, copyright, service marks, trade secrets and more.

What is a Patent?

A patent is an absolute right granted for an invention, which is a product or a method that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or proposes a new specialized solution to a problem. To obtain a patent, methodological information about the invention must be revealed to the public in a patent application. The process for obtaining a patent is complex. If you are interested in obtaining a patent, you should first visit this website: The US Patent and Trademark Office. Once you have begun to understand this process and the associated laws you can apply for a patent. However, keep in mind this is a complex process and using an attorney specializing in patents would be the best avenue to use.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a legal term used to illustrate the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Creations covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, films, computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, technical drawings, and more. Copyright is not a complex IP to apply for and most people can easily complete a form and submit their work. Be sure to visit the Copyright Office online to learn everything you need to apply for a copyright, including fees, what to submit, etc: US Copyright Office.

What is a trademark?

A trademark is a sign which distinguishes between goods or services of one company from those of other companies. Trademarks are safeguarded by intellectual property rights. Trademark protection can be obtained through registration, by completing an application for registration via the trademark office and paying the required fees. The website is the same as for patents.

What is a Service Mark?

A service mark is a mark that distinguishes between services. Businesses use service marks to connect their services and differentiate them from other services in the same field. Service marks consist of letters, words, symbols, and other devices that help notify consumers about the origin or source of a particular service. Registration can be completed at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

What is a Trade Secret?

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) classifies a trade secret as: information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that produces independent economic value. These secrets are either tangible or impending, and generally are not known or easily discovered by other persons who might receive monetary value from its revelation or use; and is the focus of efforts that are logical under the conditions to preserve its secrecy. There are two basic situations in which acquiring the use of a trade secret is illegal. If a trade secret is acquired through illegal means or if through a breach of confidence then there is a legal standing for suit. Trade secrets may be obtained by lawful means such as private discovery, reverse engineering, and unintentional disclosure. The trade secret holder’s failure to take reasonable protective measures can allow this to occur. The misappropriation of trade secrets is considered a form of unfair competition. Reverse engineering is oftentimes restricted as found in computer programs.

What is Industrial Design?

An industrial design right is an intellectual property right that shields the visual design of objects that are not purely functional. An industrial design consists of the creation of a model, pattern or composition of a pattern or color, or permutation of a pattern and color in three-dimensional form containing aesthetic value. An industrial design can be a two- or three-dimensional prototype used to produce a product, industrial commodity or handicraft.

What is Trade Dress?

Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the illustration of a product or its packaging or the design of a building that signifies the origination of the product to consumers.

What is Fair Use?

Fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a partial and that changes the purpose, such as to comment upon, disparage, or lampoon a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. Fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement.

Commentary and Criticism

If you are commenting upon or criticizing a copyrighted work a book review or any valid review, fair use principles allow you to replicate some of the work to accomplish your purposes.

These are the most common forms of intellectual property. If you decide that something you have created falls under one of the categories stated in this article, then you should look into registering the work or product. Be certain that what you are registering is not the same as what someone else has already registered.

Posted in Law