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Troy Ohio Law Blog

Trading retirement for child rearing: the opioid crisis

Ohio, among many other states in the region, is currently grappling with an incredibly complex opioid crisis. As a result, a new problem has surfaced: parents' inability to raise their own children. Grandparents have since come to the rescue, trading retirement plans for child rearing. Many might assume that this part of the problem ends here, but in reality, it often makes the issue all the more complicated. 

Last March, The News-Herald reported on the increasing number of grandparent-led households, and the ways this trend crosses over multiple demographics. The report uses a 2016 study to show that some grandparents raise grandchildren with formal, legal custody while others turn to informal custody. In total, there are roughly 40,000 households in Ohio where grandparents live with their children's children. Not only does this change in traditional households affect the lives of grandparents in regard to future plans; it sends many into a state of financial uncertainty. Many grandparents have a fixed income prior to taking on grandchildren, which only suffers further with the many financial needs of children. Most face the difficult challenge of returning to work to pay for various childcare costs. 

How should you deal with a wrong-way driver?

On the roads of Ohio, one of the most dangerous situations you can find yourself in occurs when drivers come at you from the wrong direction. Wrong-way drivers can not only cause massive panic in those around them, but frequently contribute to deadly car crashes. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid being involved in these.

ABC13 News states what drivers like you should do when you're facing a wrong-way driver, with the first and foremost priority being to get off of the road. Though moving to the emergency lane is fine if you have nowhere else to go, it's suggested that you move off of the road entirely, even onto the grass if need be. After you're safely out of the way, you can then call police.

Are there ways to locate hit and run drivers?

In Ohio, whether you're in a car, on a bike, or walking, you have the chance of getting involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, some of those accidents might be hit-and-run, meaning the driver who is responsible for the crash leaves the scene before they can be held accountable. If this has happened to you, you might be wondering if there's anything you can do in order to gain financial compensation or track down the responsible driver.

FindLaw lists five things that victims of hit and run accidents should do immediately after the accident occurs. This includes taking note of any potentially identifying marks of the vehicle. Did you see the make or model? Do you remember the color? What about details that might make it stand out, like bumper stickers and decals or unique paint jobs? Of course, if you're able to write down the license plate of the driver in question, that would be even more helpful as it will allow police to easily track the offender down.

Protect your business from your divorce

One of the biggest concerns for business owners in Ohio is keeping their business assets protected. While fraud, changes in the market, and other similar issues are always monitored with care, most business owners forget about one possible hurdle: their spouse. Unfortunately, it's wise to consider what to do in the event that a divorce becomes inevitable, as it may put the business at risk.

Entrepreneur states that there are ways to "divorce-proof" a business, keeping the business assets safe from division between spouses. This includes both preemptive measures, and things to do after a divorce is already in process. Preemptive measures include:

  • Creating a buy-sell agreement
  • Signing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
  • Placing the business in a trust
  • Having the appropriate insurance

Identifying and treating a shoulder sprain

When motorcyclists are involved in accidents with other vehicles, their smaller size can result in more intense injuries. Some could take a short time to heal, while others may require a substantial period of recovery before the person can regain their former functionality. Sprains can fall into either category, depending on their severity.

Sports Injury Clinic points out that even the symptoms of a shoulder sprain can vary depending on the injury's severity. The shoulder's capsule or ligaments are typically torn when the shoulder has been forced backwards. A decent amount of pressure must be applied in order to tear the ligaments there. Sometimes, in a particularly intense accident, the shoulder bone may also become dislocated or broken.

How to take photos of your car accident

There are many steps to take in the aftermath of a traffic collision. You should contact the police and see a doctor to make sure you did not sustain any injuries. It is also important to take plenty of photos at the scene to help with your insurance claim and potential court case.

Photographic evidence is a huge asset in car accident claims. Here are tips to remember if you ever need to take pictures from such an incident.

Common household objects may present an unforeseen child hazard

You may remember the tragic story recently that involved a toddler at a Payless shoe store, who was killed when a wall mirror fell on top of her. At the law offices of Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., we are dismayed to admit that unsecured, heavy objects found in homes, daycares, schools and stores present more dangers than you and other Ohio parents may realize.

In fact, the problem is so prevalent that Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company has issued a safety campaign regarding the hazards of under-secured television sets and furnishings. Large TVs are said to be responsible for a child being taken to the emergency room once every 45 minutes across the United States. In addition to toppling televisions, your children may be injured by cabinets, dressers, tables, large appliances, decorations and other heavy or bulky items found around the home or other settings that may at first glance seem child-friendly.

Sealing your criminal record in Ohio

If you live in Ohio and have a conviction for a crime on your record, you may find that it impacts your ability to find work or obtain affordable housing, among other possible repercussions. In some cases, depending on your criminal history and the specific details surrounding your crime and conviction, you may be able to attempt to have your record sealed. At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., we understand the eligibility requirements associated with criminal record sealing in Ohio, and we have helped many offenders who have since turned their lives around break down the barriers a criminal record can present.

Per the Ohio State Bar Association, record sealing is an option for some offenders who wish to, essentially, erase their crimes from public record so that they no longer impact an offender’s life. To qualify for record sealing in Ohio, you must typically not have more than two misdemeanor convictions on your record, or one misdemeanor conviction and one felony conviction. In most cases, minor traffic violations or possession of marijuana convictions will not factor in when determining record sealing eligibility.

Do I have any say in how my ex spends child support?

As a noncustodial parent who pays child support, you most likely have an interest in how the money you give your ex-spouse is used. As you know, child support is for the benefit of your children. You might have doubts and concerns about how your ex spends the money. Like many Ohio parents who pay child support, you may wonder if you can check up on your ex’s spending or tell him or her how you want the money spent.

FindLaw confirms that the purpose of child support is for your children’s well-being. This includes their emotional as well as physical needs. You may not agree if your ex decides to spend child support on such seemingly non-essential items as gifts for your children or expenses for a weekend road trip. However, entertainment is considered an acceptable expenditure for child support, as long as your children’s basic needs are also being met. Your ex-spouse is also within his or her rights to spend child support on clothing, medical needs, school supplies, extracurricular activities or private lessons for your children, or to save the money for future tuition or financial emergencies.

What makes a motorcycle accident so dangerous?

As a motorcyclist in Ohio, you likely know that motorcycles are considered more dangerous than other vehicles. But why is that, exactly? What is it about a motorcycle that increases your risk of getting into harmful situations?

Medicinenet.com hosts an article detailing exactly why motorcycle crashes are so deadly compared to other types of vehicular accidents. The study showed that not only is the loss of life higher in accidents involving motorcycles, but that medical expenses also rise. Motorcycle accidents can cost the healthcare system up to six times as much as other types of crashes, and they are five times as potentially lethal.

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