Marriage Counseling 101

Sep 26

Did you know that around 40% of marriages end in divorce? Of course, nobody who is getting married thinks that they could be part of this statistic, but after the honeymoon phase wears off, they very well could be. All married couples experience problems in their relationships, no matter how in love they are. It’s up to the couple to decide how they’re going to deal with them.

Luckily, there are people who make it their business to help couples through their struggling marriages. That’s right! I’m talking about marriage counselors. Many couples are biased against marriage counseling, but it can prove to be very effective if they’re willing to give it a chance.

Countless studies show that couples who go through marriage counseling stand a better chance of staying together than those who don’t. However, studies also show that in order for the marriage to survive, couples have to be willing to take control of their own behaviors and use what they learn during counseling. Just going to a counselor is not a magic fix-all.

Here are some things marriage counselors can help a couple with, according to Austin-based marriage counselor Kathleen Snyder:

  • Lack of Communication
  • Conflict and Resentment
  • Drifting Apart
  • Affair Recovery
  • Differences in Parenting Style
  • Obstacles to Sexual Intimacy
  • Balancing Work and Family

Any number of these issues can escalate into marriage-ending problems. Any relationship, regardless of whether it’s a marriage, can be tricky to navigate. People at different stages of their marriage go through different problems. For instance, couples in established marriages may find their relationship growing stale. Nobody wants to stay in a passionless marriage, which can lead to other problems, such as resentment or even infidelity. Couples in new marriages may find that they didn’t know each other as well as they thought they did. That can be a tough pill to swallow, especially since the couple will likely still be excited about other aspects of the marriage.

Of course, one of the main obstacles keeping people away from marriage counseling is that they don’t want to admit that they have problems in the first place. That’s step #1. If a couple can agree that they need help enough to talk to a counselor, they’ve already taken an important step to repairing the relationship. Next, people have to be willing to change. Problems in a marriage are hardly ever caused by just one spouse. Often, both partners will complicate small issues until they’re too interwoven to be blamed on just one person. 

Couples have to understand that fixing a troubled marriage is a process that takes time. Studies show that the more counseling sessions a couple attends, the more likely they are to stay together. If you’re in a troubled marriage, you might want to consider marriage counseling. Making the investment now can save you both a lot of heartbreak later on. 

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An Overreaction or a Mixed-Up Doctor?

Jun 08

When you have a funny feeling that something’s not quite right with your body, your second step is usually to go to the doctor. I say the second step because most of us tend to do a quick search on the internet to find out if we have some rare, terminal condition. Of course, we realize that that’s probably not the case, and that’s when we make the trip to the doctor.

After taking your height and weight, the doctor asks about your family history. They’ll then run a battery of tests and scans on you. If you think it’s something as simple as strep throat or the flu, they’ll probably take your temperature and then swab the inside of your mouth. This is so they can take a culture and see what bacteria may be lurking in there. After, you’ll probably get sent home with prescription for antibiotics and a doctor’s note to take the day off and rest.

Sometimes our issues don’t have that clear of a solution. Certain symptoms are indicative of a larger problem, but present themselves as only being minor inconveniences. A lot of doctors can chalk headaches up to stress, caffeine withdrawal, or even a sinus infection.

They can send their patients home with little-to-no advice, and then the patient is forced to fend for themselves. This is an increasingly common problem with women’s healthcare. Severe cramps or other issues regarding menstruation get written off as the woman being “overdramatic,” and their doctor tells them to take ibuprofen and use a heating pad.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (or PCOS) and endometriosis are two different issues regarding the female reproductive system that often get overlooked.

When patients aren’t listened to, their health only deteriorates. Many choose to stop seeking care for fear that they’ll be ignored again. Hopefully, they’ll keep looking for a doctor who will actually take the time to sit down and listen to them.

Any doctor worth their salt won’t stop searching for answers until they find the solution. Sadly, this often comes at the patient’s expense. In the time it took them to find a decent doctor, the issue that was plaguing them will have had time to get that much worse.

This means that treatment will be more costly than it should have been, and sometimes the best doctor isn’t covered by the patient’s insurance policy. Chapman Injury Lawyers know how hard it is for a patient to cover their bills when their original doctor has failed to diagnose them properly. If you feel like your doctor wasn’t doing all that they could to help keep you safe, get in contact with an attorney that will listen to you and hold the doctor accountable for their malpractice.

A doctor’s poor oversight shouldn’t cost you your health or financial wellbeing. Just because your doctor has failed you doesn’t mean a lawyer will too. Fight for your own right to healthcare; not only will you be helping yourself, but you’ll also be protecting the next potential victim from a bad doctor.

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How Amphetamines Work

Feb 22

Cases of ADHD have skyrocketed in this country since the 1980s. It seems like ADHD medication is rampant, and it becomes more and more prevalent every year. I’ve heard of some kids as young as thirteen or fourteen being prescribed Adderall for their ADHD. Giving these kids stimulant drugs is strange to me. I was talking to my son who’s visiting home again after his first semester of college, and it sounds like ADHD drugs are being distributed around for recreational purposes quite a bit. My son doesn’t do them, but he says he can get them if he wanted. That’s weird to think about since they’re such intense medications. Some can have effects that last more than 8 hours. Others can lead to serious dependence issues and withdrawal symptoms. I started thinking, can you get in legal trouble for distributing these drugs around? I took to the internet and I found some insightful information on the Powderly Law Firm website. The lawyers at this firm handle cases specifically related to amphetamines.

ADHD drugs like Adderall, Ritalin, and Vyvanse are all types of amphetamines. They are meant to increase focus and productivity. They work by releasing dopamine into the brain. You would think that for someone with ADHD, extra dopamine might inhibit their work, as dopamine is a happy reward chemical. But the extra dose of dopamine actually helps those with ADHD to calm down and focus, as they’re not constantly wanting dopamine and getting distracted. When adults with ADHD use these drugs correctly, it can be a great thing. They can get more work done, and be more productive during business hours. The trouble is that these drugs can also be abused. Many young adults and college students specifically will abuse these drugs in order to get a leg up in school or in their careers. They will take the drug in order to study longer, work harder, and get better grades. The problem is that their drug use isn’t being supervised by a medical professional. When this happens, young adults can end up becoming dependent very quickly. They might also develop heart issues. Some college kids actually combine these drugs with alcohol, which is incredibly hard on your heart. This is because the amphetamines naturally raise your heart rate while alcohol naturally lowers it. The contradiction in substances causes your heart to undergo a lot of stress to beat normally.

Because of all the health risks associated with these drugs, it is illegal to use them without a prescription. It is also illegal to sell them or even possess them without a doctor’s approval. Being caught with these drugs can result in felony-level drug charges. If you or a loved one finds themselves in legal trouble because of amphetamine possession, I would highly recommend hiring a lawyer. A lawyer may be able to reduce your charge and set up a deal that can eventually get the charge removed from your criminal history.

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Important Services for Busy Lifestyles

Jul 20

As technology continues to change the way society operates, you may have found yourself stretched for time. The busy lifestyles that modern US citizens endure may be exciting, but it can also be challenging to keep track of everything. Some people manage to work long hours, have a social life, find time to exercise, and still watch their favorite shows on Netflix, but at what cost? Life can be more than a little hectic when there are so many places to go, things to do, and people to see. Luckily, there are services out there that promise to make life easier. Here are some important services for people who are always active:

Grocery Store Pickups

The most recent trend to hit supermarkets around the country is grocery stores offering curbside pickup. All you have to do is go online and add the items you want to the shopping cart. You will be given a scheduled time to pick up your groceries, and an employee will expertly navigate he store to gather your items. Once it’s ready, all you have to do is pull up and wait for them to load the groceries into your vehicle. The best part is most places do not raise the price of their groceries, but simply add a $5 fee for the service. How much is your time worth?

Dog Walking Service

We love our dogs like our children, and it’s important that your dog gets plenty of exercise. However, sometimes our work schedules get in the way. Instead of keeping your dog locked inside for hours at a time, you can hire a service like this to come to your house and take your dog for a walk. The employees go through rigorous background checks and owners get real-time updates on their phone as to when the service arrives, where they go on the walk, and when they return your dog back home.

House Cleaning

A clean house instills good feelings and a sense of relaxation for homeowners. As busy as you are, you don’t want to come home to a dirty house that needs attention. Instead, you can hire a maid to come in once every other week for relatively cheap. They won’t pick up and organize your mess, but they will dust, vacuum, and change bed sheets. Of course, if you don’t feel comfortable with people being inside your home while you are away, you can always buy a robot that cleans for you.


Until driverless cars become the standard, try using rideshare apps to save precious time performing other tasks instead of focusing on the road. Plus, you won’t have to get stressed about driving in traffic ever again. You can read that book you’ve always wanted to finish, respond to emails in the backseat, or work on the powerpoint presentation you need to deliver next week. These services are cheap and easy to find, and they’re becoming more popular everyday.

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What is a prenuptial agreement?

Oct 01

Whenever I hear the word “prenup”, I automatically think about the song Gold Digger by Kanye West. The lyrics go, “If you ain’t no punk holla ‘We Want Prenup.’ ‘We want prenup!’” But what is a prenuptial agreement and who are they really for?

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealth, explains Andrea Berkowitz, a New York attorney at Stutman Stutman & Lichtenstein, LLP. In fact, prenuptial agreements can actually work for both parties, especially as couples marry later in life and have more assets.

While the conversation about signing a prenuptial agreement before marriage may be nerve-wracking and seemingly hurtful, Berkowitz explains that a prenuptial agreement can be an opportunity for the partner who is not considered the “monied spouse.” How is this possible? While one partner may have more assets and wealth than the other, the “non-monied spouse” still may have separate concerns about financial security. The prenuptial agreement can help protect the rights of the “non-monied spouse” too. Berkowitz even goes on to recommend that all couples have a clear contract before marriage.

The major concern with divorce is that one spouse may exit the workforce after children are born and have a difficult time rejoining the workforce after time away. While exiting the workforce may be a planned event for some, it becomes a necessity for others when one spouse has to care for the children and cannot work at the same time. Rather than promising re-entry into the workforce, a prenuptial agreement provides for the spouse who stays at home with the children in the event that marriage does not work out. A prenuptial agreement can ensure that the partner outside of the workforce receives a set percentage of their former spouse’s income.

The terms of a prenuptial agreement help guarantee financial support in the event of a divorce. Signing a prenuptial agreement can give both parties more freedom and security during a marriage, and help mitigate the issues of divorce if it occurs in the future.

According to the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield, prenuptial agreements can help with the “division of assets, visitation rights to children, custody of children”, and alimony. However, the lawyers at the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield explain that each prenuptial agreement is unique to the couple’s situation. By discussing the division of assets, visitation rights to children, custody of children, and alimony upfront, couples can avoid lengthy and costly divorce settlements.

Prenuptial agreements can also include “lifestyle clauses,” according to attorney Lois Liberman. Lieberman explains that some agreements include stipulations about where a child is to be raised even in the event of a divorce. She continues by explaining that “Prenups are contracts that are supposed to be utilized during death or divorce.” Some lifestyle clauses are more wild, penalizing a partner for cursing or a changing physical appearance. While it is difficult to enforce these rules during a marriage, they often can be used to penalize someone in the event of a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the wealthy; they can be used by a variety of couples to secure their respective financial futures. While some of the lifestyle clauses are a bit ridiculous, prenuptial agreements help couples divide assets, delineate visitation rights and custody of children, and deal with alimony upfront.

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The Causes of Dog Bites

Jun 08

Dogs are common pets. But there is one disadvantage of having too many dogs in the neighborhood – the risk of dog biting accidents increases. It is good news that, according to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have been hurt in animal attacks such as dog biting have legal options, such as trying to get compensation for the damages.
It is reassuring that the legalities are on the side of victims, but why do dog bites happen anyway? They happen mainly because of three primary reasons. One, the dog has been provoked. Two, the victim has been reckless. Three, the dog owner or the property owner has been negligent. If you are filing a lawsuit, it is much easier to win if your case involves the third reason, especially if you did not do anything wrong.
Usually, this negligence of dog owners and property owners come in the following forms:

  • Failing to supervise the dog
  • Failing to tether the dog
  • Failing to ensure that the dog is tethered in a durable object
  • Failing to choose a tethering spot that is inaccessible to others

The first and second reason often go together. You can do reckless things that can provoke the dog. Of course, it is still possible that the dog owner or the property owner are held accountable, but you should not be going around and provoking dogs in the first place either.
Below are some of the things that dogs may find provoking, and they may respond by biting:

  • Intentionally or unintentionally hurting the dog, such as stepping on its tail
  • Running or other intense activities around the dog, as they may trigger hunting instincts
  • Trying to get its possessions, like food and puppies
  • Trying to get its master’s possessions, such as those in burglary instances

To avoid dog biting accidents, it is also important to know the physical signs that a dog is about to bite, such as the following:

  • Deep growl
  • Raised fur
  • Showing of teeth
  • Showing of the white of the eyes
  • Stiff body

In short, all parties should be responsible to avoid dog bites. Dog owners and property owners should make sure that their dogs are not going to attack, or at least not be able to reach their possible victim when they try to attack. Possible victims should also not try to provoke the dog and stay away, especially if the dog involved doesn’t know them.

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You may be Eligible to Receive SSI Benefit

Mar 01

The Social Security retirement benefit, disability benefit and death benefit are given by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to its insured members. These are individuals or employees who have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and who have earned the number of credits required by the SSA (these credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes which are identified as “FICA,” that is, Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Payment is automatically deducted in employees’ monthly take home pay).

Disability benefits are paid to members (who have sustained total, permanent disability) through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. SSDI, which the SSA introduced in 1956, is one of the two largest programs of the U.S. Federal government (the other is the Supplemental Security Income or SSI, which was created by the SSA in 1974).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), specifically, is designed to provide cash benefits to:

  • Disabled adults with limited income and resources;
  • Disabled children who are below 18 years old and who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who may be without disabilities, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR).

SSI benefit is also meant to help provide for its recipients’ basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter (under the SSI program, some legal aliens are also considered eligible to receive the cash benefits).

The word “disabled,” as defined for SSI purposes, means physical or mental impairment, (including emotional or learning problem) that:

  • Has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months
  • Results in severe functional limitations (in the case of children) or in the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (in the case of adults); and
  • Can be expected to result in the disabled person’s death.
    The words “income” and “resources,” on the other hand refer to:

Income: this refers to money earned from work; money received from Social Security benefits, Workers Compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, unemployment benefits, friends or relatives; and free food or shelter.

Resources: things a person owns, such as: cash; bank accounts, U.S. savings bonds; land; vehicles; personal property; life insurance; stocks, and whatever can be converted to cash and used for food or shelter.

For this reason, the Social Security Administration provides income support through various programs to Americans with disabilities who struggle to make ends meet. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is one such program that has played a substantial role in helping disabled children, adults, and their families across the country.

SSI benefits are available to those living on low incomes, who are aged, blind, or suffer from a disability, with sometimes increased benefits for families to help provide a level of support that more accurately matches their needs.”

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Can A Pedestrian Be Held Liable In A Car Accident?

Oct 23

When it boils down to a pedestrian vs a car in an accident, the usual assumption is that it is the driver of the vehicle who was at-fault. The usual notion is that the automobile should have yielded to the pedestrian’s “right of way.” According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicles kill more than 4,000 people every year and injure over 70,000 pedestrians.

According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, pedestrians who get involved in a car accident can suffer from physical injuries, pay tons of medical bills, and a long term recovery. The truth of the matter is that pedestrians can also have some liability in a car accident. There are certain instances when the pedestrian will not be able to collect damages for the injuries they incurred and here they are:

  • Jaywalking or crossing in the middle of the street outside of a crosswalk
  • Crossing against the traffic signal
  • Entering a street or highway while intoxicated
  • Walking along highways, bridges, or causeways where pedestrians are strictly prohibited

But while a pedestrian is partially to blame for causing an accident, it is also likely that the driver of the vehicle can also be partially at fault for the collision. Let us say that a pedestrian was jaywalking but if the driver has been driving at a safe speed or is distracted, who will be held liable for the accident? There are different states that adopt shared fault situations.

When it comes to accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians, there are two principles that govern determination of liability. In comparative negligence, the pedestrian receives compensation from any at fault party. However, the amount of damages can be reduced by a percentage equivalent to their share of the liability. Contributory negligence, on the other hand, removes any chances of receiving damages if they were deemed partially at-fault with the accident.

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Jun 20

Despite going into a marriage with the best of intentions, sometimes divorce is inevitable and the overall best option for all parties. However, just because it’s the best option doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In the United States, grounds for divorce are separated into two main categories: contested and uncontested. Oftentimes the difference between the two is the amiability between partners and how well they can come together to dissolve their marriage and divide their assets.

Contested divorce is by far the most painful, expensive, and emotionally taxing. This occurs when the two parties cannot come to an agreement about any number of things concerning the separation of their union–this can include finances, child custody, property, etc. When this occurs, the divorce must be heard by the court and ultimately the judge decides the outcome of the division of marital assets.

According to Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, in cases like this couples have options. Mediated divorces can be extremely beneficial in order to avoid unknown or arbitrary settlements. The two parties employ the assistance, advice, and resources of a third party in order to reach an arrangement that is universally beneficial and does not favor one client over the other. Similarly, in a collaborative divorce, the two parties use their attorneys to assist them in making informed and professionally supported decisions. While these attorneys cannot further represent their clients in the court, the process of collaboration usually facilitates better communication between the two parties and allows them to approach an uncontested divorce settlement to present to the judge.

Uncontested divorces are infinitely easier due to the fact that the two parties come to court with a pre-agreed upon proposal for the separation of property, finances, and child care. In certain cases, couples are eligible for a simplified divorce, also known as a “simple divorce” or “summary divorce.” This allows couples who meet various criteria–including less than five years of marriage, an absence of children, and limited property and financial assets–to easily and inexpensively end a marriage.

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Why Give Bentonite Clay to Your Pets?

Feb 15

Pelotherapy is the term used to describe the use of clay and earth to help relieve and treat physical conditions and aid in maintaining healthy digestion. Among the many healing clays, calcium bentonite clay is one of more popular one being marketed and used by the greater public. It is widely used as treatment for a number of digestive problems, especially when all conventional options have been exhausted. Aside from detoxifying the body, calcium bentonite clays remove parasites, treat infections, and act as a great supplement to a host of health issues. It is important to always consume plenty of water, especially if bentonite clay is being consumed. According to the National Institutes for Health,  drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day may help prevent constipation.

The holistic benefits that can be gained from using calcium bentonite clay has even caught the attention of NASA, where they are researching about its use a prevention and remedy for osteoporosis for astronauts and even animals and yielding positive results. The main reason for the effectiveness of calcium bentonite clay is its compact amount of minerals that attract the positive-charged ions in the body and binds with it to make cleansing quick and simple. In order to get the best results, make sure to introduce the calcium bentonite clay to your pets in small amounts to prevent rapid detoxification that may lead to loose stools. Make sure that you consult with your veterinarian first before giving the healing clay to your pet to avoid any adverse effects to your pet’s medication or diet.

Animal owners who believe in the natural health benefits of Earth’s Natural Clay and would like to use them as supplements for their pets should understand that not all made equal; there are clays that are of lower grades and can carry unhealthy impurities that are often not under strict regulations. If it is not safe for human use and consumption, then don’t give it to your pets also. Likewise, clay should only be used and taken in a solution; avoid inhaling the clay as it may irritate your lungs.

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