What is a No-Fault Divorce?

The most common line attached to the end of a famous marriage is “irreconcilable differences.” We’ve all heard it, but what does it mean?

It’s important to find that out because, for so many people considering a first divorce, the exact process can be mystifying. Most people who have been divorced don’t talk much about it, so when someone finds themselves in the midst of a situation that may call for a divorce, they often don’t know how to proceed other than that they will need a lawyer.

So, to help clarify things a little, I’d like to explain what “irreconcilable differences” actually means. That term really refers to what is called a no-fault divorce. To understand what that means, it’s worth going through what a fault divorce is.

Before no-fault divorces became legal across the country, to get divorced someone in the marriage had to have a fault. That could be adultery, abuse, or neglect. That need for a fault led parties to lie or exaggerate to get out of marriages, and since courts often favored the aggrieved person with property and other assets, that meant someone who simply had “irreconcilable differences” with the other person could find themselves punished for not cooking up the best story to sell to the courts.

Now that no-fault divorces are available everywhere, they are the preferred form of divorce in cases where no abuse or serious infringements took place. That usually leads to a “fair and equitable” division of assets, which means trying to keep things equal and reasonable for both people.

The fact there is no fault doesn’t mean a divorce won’t still be acrimonious. We’ve all seen scenes in movies where both parties are trying to decide how to divide up assets. Such scenes can get pretty nasty in the movies and in real life. But the point is, an effort is made to keep things fair for everyone no matter how much the two people don’t like each other.

Divorces are complicated. Just look at the list of potential issues on this family law page. If there has been no abuse, why add another level of complexity to the whole proceedings?

That’s why no-fault divorces have become the standard across the country. In fact, some states don’t even recognize fault divorces anymore.

If you are a person preparing for a divorce, remember that “irreconcilable differences” doesn’t have to be a joke term that means you are flighty and just don’t like how someone brushes their teeth. This term is really used to cover all manner of issues, including some of those that used to be labeled in fault divorces. “Irreconcilable differences” doesn’t mean you have to share everything or share custody of your kids. Those issues can still be worked out in the divorce itself. It simply means one person (and it only has to be one) wants out of the marriage.

Essentially, it’s the easiest path forward to end a marriage, which is why it is so popular.


The benefits of planting trees and proper tree care

Fall is a little different in Texas than in most other states, and it often gets a late start. Even though the temperature is still high and people are still headed to the beaches, fall is the perfect time to begin planting trees around your home. Planting saplings in your yard can be a fun way to teach children about how useful they are to the ecosystem, but you should also consider planting some new, full grown trees as well. Although planting adult trees in your yard is fairly costly and can take a little bit more work, there are enormous benefits to doing so.

Why should you bother planting trees? According to this blog on the Huffington Post, there are economic as well as psychological benefits to planting trees on your property. Roger Ulrich, the director of the Center for Health Systems and Design at Texas’ very own A&M University, found that patients who stayed in hospital rooms with windows overlooking trees had faster recovery times than those who had windows that didn’t overlook trees or those who didn’t have a window at all. In addition, in a study by W.C. Sullivan, Ph.D., it was found that there was a correlation between the number of trees planted around urban housing developments and the level of violence the residents reported occurred in their homes. In housing developments with a lot of trees, the residents reported that they used more thoughtful reasoning when addressing their conflicts. Besides the benefits to mental health, planting trees can also help save on energy costs. The Huffington Post article cites U.S. forest service data that claims shade trees can reduce your air conditioning bill by up to 56% and that wind blocking trees can save you up to 3% on heating costs. In addition, planting nice looking trees in your yard can raise your property value. More trees can also attract local wildlife to your yard, like songbirds, rabbits, and deer.

Of course, all of the evidence for the psychological benefits of planting trees is only based on correlations, so it could easily be the case that these results are actually caused by other factors. However, it is difficult to argue with the hard economic data. Even if you live in a very temperate portion of the United States, planting more trees can combat climate change and reduce your carbon footprint. And you don’t have to figure out how to do it alone; tree specialists like the ones here can even help you determine where to place your trees for maximum value.

The world population is still rising, and deforestation and climate change are challenges our generation will have to address. If the health and economic benefits listed above do not convince you to plant some more trees on your property, maybe the prospect of ensuring many future generations of humans to come will be able to enjoy this beautiful creation of nature will.


Types of Personal Bankruptcy

Reduction in income, loss of job, divorce, medical expenses due to injury or illness which can cause you days of absence from work, aside from the possibility of you not having insurance coverage, can all result to failure (on your part) to settle your monthly financial obligations like payment of utility bills, mortgage, car loan, personal loans to friends and family, credit card bills, and so forth. Problems, however, do not end here for, before you realize it, your debts would have increased to an amount that would be impossible to settle, considering your financial situation. This will soon be followed by phone calls, emails, text messages and even notices of lawsuits – tactics used by creditors and collecting firms to force you to pay your debts.

If you can no longer meet your obligations to your creditors and lenders, know that you have the ability to free yourself from all or a part of your debts – this is stipulated under the U.S. Constitution. This ability is made possible by filing for bankruptcy, one of the legal means introduced by the government through which individuals and business firms can free themselves from overwhelming debts for a chance at regaining control over their finance. The Bankruptcy Law or Bankruptcy Code was made into law by the U.S. Congress in 1978; it contains various chapters, each designed to address individuals’ and businesses’ specific financial situations.

By the end of 2015, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts said that 844,495 cases of bankruptcy were filed in the U.S. Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the chapter most commonly filed, there were 535,047 cases; Chapter 13 had 301,705 case; and, Chapter 11 had 7,241 cases filed under it.

Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code are the specific chapters that you may choose if you need to file for personal bankruptcy. Chapter 7, specifically, allows you to have all or part of your debts discharged, after you repay some of the debts using your liquid assets.

Liquid assets, which are considered as non-exempt assets, are assets that can quickly be converted into cash, such as savings and checking accounts. Besides these, there may also be a need for you to surrender some of your non-exempt properties, like a second house or a vacation house, some jewelry, another car, etc., to a court-appointed trustee who will take charge in the selling of your surrendered properties and in paying your non-dischargeable debts to your creditors.

To be able to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, however, you will first have to pass a means test. This test is designed to make sure that your income does not exceed the limit set under this chapter. Failing the means test may disqualify you from filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, but not for bankruptcy under Chapter 13.

Chapter 13 allows you to design a three-year, or five-year (if allowed by the courts) payment proposal during which time you can settle you debts. This is to make debt payments more affordable for you. Many individuals decide to file under Chapter 13 instead of under chapter 7 because under the latter, they will not be required to surrender any of their assets or properties. If they are operating a business, they will also be allowed to continue operations, a benefit not included under Chapter 7. Chapter 13, however, requires that the amount of your secured debt does not exceed $922,975 and your unsecured debt, not more than $307,675.

Personal bankruptcy protection can be a powerful tool in preventing creditor harassment, repossession and foreclosure, and other challenges that serious debt problems can cause.


Stress and Depression

Stress is a regular part of life that every individual has experienced at one point or another, whether it is a negative or positive experience causing it. Regardless of whether you are starting a new job or dealing with a break up, stress is a normal reaction to certain situations. However, many people can find themselves unable to deal with stress in a healthy and positive way, leading to more serious problems such as depression. Despite the public stigma surrounding depression, approximately 7% of all adults suffer from depression, according to The Solace Center, which many times can be brought on by chronic stress.

Stress can be triggered by all things from getting a promotion to the death of a loved one. However, it becomes chronic stress when after the situation has passed or become more bearable, high levels of stress remains. Stress can lead to a more negative mood overall and seclusion from loved ones and friends, all of which can trigger depression. Stress can also disrupt an individual’s normal day-to-day routine or make activities less enjoyable. When an individual deals with high levels of stress, not only can they be affected, but their relationships can begin to suffer as well. All of these situations can make an individual more susceptible to depression as a result of stress.

Treatment for stress-related depression can be hard for individuals to seek, as many believe that frequent stress is just a part of life. However, when these feelings of stress last and begin to affect you everyday life and mood, you may be experiencing depression. Seeking treatment for depression, which may include therapy and medication, can help individuals take control of not only their stress, but their lives as well.


Why is it Always a Miss?

So, that was your last round of ammunition, and you didn’t even manage to hit the paper! Not hitting your target even after many attempts can be so discouraging. To help you regain your confidence, here are the possible reasons why you are constantly missing your target, and the things you can do about it.

Improper handling

Before you consider bringing your rifle back to its manufacturer, check first if you are firing the gun the way it should be fired. Improper handling is one of the most common causes of a target miss. However, if you believe you’re a pro and are confident enough with your marksmanship skills, try using different ammo. If you get better results, chances are the problem is not you.

Inaccurate scopes and sights

Some gun stores conduct and local gun clubs conduct sight testing to check if your sight is aligned properly. If not, have it realigned or replaced.

Dirty barrel

As you use your ammo more often, copper fouling may start to accumulate in the inside lining of your barrel, which may affect the accuracy of your rifle and may result in a miss. This is because the inside lining of your barrel has helical grooves that keeps the bullet stable as it moves into a projectile. If these groves are marred with copper, then accuracy might be compromised. You can prevent this by simply cleaning your barrel on a regular basis.

Too much recoil

Too much felt recoil can affect how you handle your ammo and may result in a miss. Recoil is the gun’s automatic backward reaction as the bullet fires forward. According to the website of Suppressed Weapon Systems, certain types of barrels are designed to reduce recoil, which helps a lot in improving precision.

Incompatible bullets

Not all bullets are the same. Certain ammunition work efficiently with certain guns, while some others don’t. You can prevent missing your targets by knowing which ammunition works best for your gun.


Texas Honors Boston Strangler—wait, what?

Quite a few websites ascribe ridiculous laws in Houston, Texas that do not exist at all. However, it is true that at one point, legislators in Texas considered giving honor to Albert de Salvo, more commonly known as the Boston Strangler. The Texas House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by Waco Rep. Tom Moore, Jr. in 1971 that aimed to commend de Salvo for his “activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.”

The Boston Strangler murdered thirteen single women living in Boston between June 14, 1962, and January 4, 1964. They had been sexually assaulted in their own homes before being strangled with their own clothing. They were anywhere between the ages of 19 and 85.

Criminal investigators were doing their best to find the perpetrator but it was slow going. It was not until Albert de Salvo, charged in the fall of 1964 with the rape of several women in different areas of Massachusetts and known as the “Green Man” or the “Measuring Man,” confessed to the crimes that there was a break in the case. There were inconsistencies in his confession, however, so to this day there are doubts about whether he was the Boston Strangler or not. He probably figured in for a penny, in for a pound. At any rate, he was definitely guilty of the rapes.

None of this explains why Moore would sponsor a bill to honor him, until you remember that even politicians have a sense of humor. He knew that his co-representatives regularly passed resolutions without giving them a good once-over, and he sponsored the resolution as a prank. When it passed unanimously, Moore pulled the plug on the joke, explaining what he had done. He thus earned a place in Texas legislative history and the ire of his fellow representatives. Luckily, Houston and the rest of Texas don’t in truth appreciate or celebrate these kinds of crimes.


What Goes Around Comes Around…to the Source

The only PCB producer in North America is feeling the heat from decades of improper disposal management. Thousands of individuals have filed personal injury lawsuits, claiming that PCBs were the direct cause of their health problems.

PCBs are polychlorinated biphenyls, a group of synthetic organic compounds of chlorine and benzene. It is a product that is resistant to heat and degradation, making it the ideal coolant or insulator in many electrical and electronic products. Its main use is to keep transformers and capacitors cool and electrical components insulated. The problem is it is a persistent organic pollutant. It gets into the air, the soil, and the water, and it does not easily degrade. It has been widely used everywhere, and because it was not properly disposed of, it is now an unwanted part of the ecology.

Monsanto Company was the sole producer of PBCs in North America. PCB production was in its Anniston facility from 1935 to 1971, and in Sauget from the late 1960s to 1977. Records show that the company routinely dumped production wastes into nearby rivers, such as Snow Creek in Anniston. Residents in and around the plants had no idea that they were being regularly exposed to a carcinogenic agent until years later when people who developed certain cancers and persistent skin problems were found to have large amounts of PCBs in their systems.

Monsanto and other companies have attempted to settle these complaints without admitting to any wrongdoing. However, settling personal injury lawsuits is just one part of the equation. The bigger question is who is going to clean up the mess?

According to the article found at, Monsanto and its associates are liable for damages caused by PCBs in San Diego Bay. The claim pointed out that they were the only producers of PCB in the country and that “[d]espite growing evidence of PCBs infiltration of every level of the global ecology, Monsanto remained steadfast in its production of Aroclors and other PCBs.” The City of San Diego is suing the company for cleanup costs, loss of natural resources, and punitive damages.


Why Use a Self Storage Unit?

Did you know that some comic books from the 1890s to the 1930s, if proven to be authentic and in decent condition, can be valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars – or even millions of dollars, as is the case of Action Comics 1. This comic book of thirteen pages, first published in 1938, featuring Superman and Lois Lane was the most expensive auctioned off comic book as of 2013, amounting to $2.89 million.

Not all your worldly belongings can be measured in monetary value. Sometimes, there are just some keepsakes that mean the world without costing it, such as heirlooms that may date generations back. There are some people who own another vehicle or maybe even a boat or a large RV and simply do not have the space to stock such luxury within their homes but do not have the space to store it. Perhaps they are in between homes. These situations are pretty common in the United States, as of the most recent years, and that is why there has been a demand for self-storage facilities.

These facilities have different kinds of units that are suited, depending on the need of the person renting it. It can be air-conditioned or not, it can be rather spacious or perhaps you don’t have that much stuff to store. Everyone’s situation is different, which is why it is important that you research what kind of storage it is that you will require. Some units are even climate controlled, so as to better protect your belongings from the uncontrollable natural elements. They operate as a kind of warehouse where you can stock your things for a certain period of time. They are also affordable and some facilities may even offer a payment plan that allows you to pay monthly or for a longer lease of time.


Breaking the Bankruptcy Cliché

Let’s assume you’re trying to find the possible situation to be free from your debts. Just about everyone will be faced with overwhelming debt at some point in their lives. This could stem from an accident that demands medical expenses, or maybe student loans; mortgages on houses are also a definite origin of overwhelming debt. For every person who is experiencing financial difficulties, there are always different options and paths to take. If you are, however, in debt that leaves you very stressed to the point of panic and sleeplessness, there is an option for you that might help ease your worries – it’s called filing for bankruptcy.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s crazy talk!” And there is no blaming for you; there has been a significant amount of stigma against the term. Most people think bankruptcy is hitting rock bottom into poverty and utter defeat. This is simply not the case at all and is a common misconception.

A Waco bankruptcy lawyer can tell you that filing for bankruptcy could even save your credit score and give you that fresh slate you’ve been wishing for. As a matter of fact, some of the best bankruptcy lawyers, paralegals, and any other sort of law practitioner who specializes in bankruptcy law have been on the other side of the bench too! These are the lawyers you will want to represent you in a case like this as it is further comfort and reassurance that you are being represented by people who don’t only understand just the law but also understand what it is like to be in your shoes.

Bankruptcy can only mean that you’re dealing with hard financial times and that’s okay – most Americans will end up facing these same problems, under different circumstances, just the same. There are different solutions for every case. Want to find out if filing for bankruptcy can help your case or hinder it? Well, you can consult with a legal expert and have them look into your individual case in order to find out what best route to take!


The Importance of Reliable Witness Testimony

In car accidents, it is important to establish fault and negligence in order to have legal right for an injury or insurance claim. One thing that can help validate a claim after a car accident is testimonies that witnesses can provide. These testimonies can help provide support for the claim as well as provide insight on how the accident occurred. There are many ways a witness’ testimony can help a plaintiff, and here are some of them:

  • In an event of a car accident, witness testimonies can provide support for the plaintiff’s claims of innocence. In states where the plaintiff’s compensation award may be lowered or forfeited, if it was proved that they have contributed to the accident, witness testimonies can prove the innocence of the plaintiff and validate their claim.
  • Witness testimonies can provide the claims of injury that the plaintiff presents in court. Through the information given by the witnesses, the judge or jury can determine if the injuries that the plaintiff reports is due to the accident or not. Furthermore, they may validate the extent of the injury and through the actions and attitude of the plaintiff following the accident.
  • In the event that the plaintiff has contributed to the accident or was actually the one who caused the accident, then witnesses can verify how the accident occurred and how much fault the plaintiff contributed. Witnesses recounting the accident can verify whether the plaintiff may have contributed or is at-fault for the accident.
  • Just as with discrediting an injured party’s claim of innocence, witness testimonies can also discredit claims of injury. Witness can verify the claimant’s truthfulness regarding their injuries, whether it is really caused by the accident, or if the injury is really severe or not.

It is important to take into consideration the witness’ trustworthiness and demeanor, since it can greatly affect the outcome of the case.