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Newton NJ Personal Injury and Family Law Blog

Why joint custody might be the best arrangement

When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may wonder what kind of custody arrangement would best suit their children. Research shows that in the absence of serious problems such as abuse, the best solution for children is joint custody.

Parents might be concerned that joint custody will not work for them if they are experiencing a lot of conflict. However, research shows that joint custody arrangements may actually lead to less conflict between parents even when the joint custody is not the parents' decision but is mandated. Furthermore, when children build bonds with both parents, this can help insulate them from conflict between the parents.

The benefits of ADAS-based features

With Tesla testing its Autopilot program and tech suppliers like Harman International creating prototypes for futuristic cars, fully autonomous driving seems to be just around the corner. However, these developments will take years to be refined and made available to the public. In the meantime, several new safety features are already saving lives. Drivers in New Jersey may want to know more about assisted driving technologies in particular.

These technologies are also known as advanced driver assistance systems. Collision-avoidance systems, which include features like lane departure warnings, blind spot alerts and rear-end collision avoidance, have become highly developed. Some features even alert drivers to adverse road conditions.

Decide living arrangements early in divorce process

New Jersey couples deciding to separate or end a marriage must make important decisions about their living arrangements during and after the divorce. Each individual must balance individual desires with the logistical and financial reality of their situation in order to reach an informed decision. Unfortunately, the timing of these decisions coincides with some of the most emotionally challenging periods of the divorce process.

In an ideal situation, one party would maintain possession of the marital home at the end of a marriage. If children are involved, familiar residential surroundings can be a source of comfort and stability during turbulent times. Adult neighbors can provide child care and comfort as newly single parents adjust. A complicating factor can be financing if either parent is unable to assume the mortgage with just one income, so thinking of this early enough in the process to get pre-qualified can inform negotiating strategies. Other financial factors to consider are budgets for home maintenance and other necessary expenses such as lawn care and insurance.

Harley-Davidson announces recall of 251,000 motorcycles

New Jersey residents who own Harley-Davidson motorcycles may soon be receiving recall notices. The Wisconsin-based company has announced that it is voluntarily recalling more than 250,000 motorcycles manufactured between 2008 and 2011 to fix a problem with the anti-lock braking systems. Harley-Davidson says that it will cost approximately $29.4 million to address the issue, which affects the CVO Road Glide and V-Rod models. Almost 175,000 of the motorcycles covered by the recall were sold to customers in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating issues with the anti-lock braking systems of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in July 2016 after receiving 43 complaints. The problem is caused by a module that can corrode and cause brakes to fail without warning, and it has been linked to three accidents and two injuries. Most riders say that the corroded modules caused them to lose either their front or rear brakes, but one motorcycle owner says that the problem caused total brake failure.

For EMS workers, fatigue may be an issue

Fatigue, both physical and mental, is a major risk for emergency medical service workers in New Jersey and across the nation. It can lead to accidents as well as poor decisions when providing patient care. This is why the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the National Association of State EMS Officials have come together to create guidelines protecting EMS workers.

Researchers analyzed over 38,000 pieces of literature showing the effects of fatigue on EMS workers. For example, recent studies found that half of all EMS workers get less than six hours of sleep a day. More than half report that the quality of their sleep is poor and that they do not feel adequately rested between shifts.

Actor Jesse Williams to pay over $50,000 a month to ex-wife

The dramas portrayed on the hit television show "Grey's Anatomy" captivate viewers in New Jersey and around the country, but the divorce of one of the show's stars, Jesse Williams, has switched attention to his real life. A court has approved a petition from his ex-wife to raise his monthly spousal and child support payments from $33,242 to $50,695 per month.

Court documents also specify that he must pay his ex-wife half of his residual income from the show for his work performed between September 2012 and April 2017. The court order imposes on him another $50,000 obligation to reimburse her for legal fees.

NHTSA wants to stop drugged driving

The opioid crisis and increased legalization of marijuana have led to increased concern over drugged driving in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. That's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is trying to combat the issue. As part of its effort, the agency is hosting a summit that starts on March 15.

The goal is to bring together law enforcement professionals, policy experts and elected officials at the state and federal level. While together, these and other parties will work to create standards relating to collecting data and determining if a driver is impaired by drugs. The summit will also attempt to assess the overall risk of drugged driving and how laws can be enforced.

A parenting plan can help to resolve conflicts

For New Jersey parents who are going through a divorce, dealing with matters related to their children can be some of the most emotional and challenging aspects. The best interests of the children should be paramount for both parties, even when it is extremely difficult for the divorcing spouses to see eye-to-eye on other matters. Absent a context of abuse, it is critical for children's emotional development to retain their close relationship with both of their parents.

Divorcing parents who are focused on their children can work together or in mediation to develop a parenting plan. A few tips can help to build this relationship into one that supports the children well. In the first place, it can help to consider each other as a partner in the most important investment in their lives. This highlights the relationship with the children as the primary one between the parents.

Keep timelines in mind after a car crash

Car accidents happen all too frequently to New Jersey drivers; keeping safe behind the wheel is a major priority every time one sets out to drive. However, when a driver does experience a collision, whether due to a drunk driver, distracted driver or other roadway situation, he or she may be concerned about next steps even while handling medical emergencies and the immediate problems with their vehicles. There are some timelines for drivers to keep in mind for reporting their accidents to car insurance and following up with any necessary legal actions.

The first priority after a collision is immediate medical care to assess the situation and provide treatment. After the emergency has passed, however, it can be time to act to report the accident and follow up to seek compensation. It is very important to report the accident to insurance, even when it is not the person reporting the crash's fault. In fact, that can be when it is most important to report a crash. Insurance companies often maintain hotlines open 24 hours a day for claims.

First responders may discourage reporting of domestic violence

A recent study focused on emergency medical personnel indicates that a large percentage of first responders believe victims are at least partially responsible for incidents of domestic violence. Reporting published in the Journal of Legal and Forensic Medicine confirms that medical workers are not immune to widely believed myths concerning domestic violence. Since emergency personnel are often the first contact for victims, their skepticism could have a chilling effect on the reporting of crimes.

The findings are the result of a joint project between researchers specializing in mental health and social work from Florida State University and Canada's University of Windsor. Immediately after a domestic violence training session, 403 emergency medical professionals anonymously responded to a series of questions regarding domestic violence and assault. One-third of respondents were either neutral or agreed with a statement indicating that domestic violence is a normal reaction to stress.

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