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Doylestown Family Law & Personal Injury Blog

Aisha Tyler's divorce settlement finalized

Pennsylvania residents might like to know about the legal ramifications of the divorce of Aisha Tyler and Jeff Tietjens. Tyler is an actress while Tietjens is a lawyer. The couple reportedly dated in college and married in 1994. They separated in 2015, and Tietjens filed for divorce in 2016.

The pair reached a stipulated judgement on May 17 and must also abide by a settlement agreement they signed in December 2016 after negotiations. Over the next four years, Tyler will pay her former husband $31,250 each month in addition to $500,000 up front. Tyler must also cover the payments for an annual $500,000 life insurance policy through 2020.

Tips for persuading a person to not drive drunk

Some people in Pennsylvania may wonder how they can prevent individuals from driving after they have been drinking alcohol. When trying to dissuade someone from driving drunk, it is important to remain nonconfrontational. It might be necessary to speak slowly and explain things more carefully than would be needed with a sober person.

Another strategy is to express concern about the intoxicated individual's safety. He or she can then be offered alternatives such as staying over for the night or alternate transportation including a taxi, public transportation or a sober driver.

Side-mounted underride guards could save lives

According to testing, underride guards for trailers could reduce injuries and fatalities on Pennsylvania highways. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducted the testing, said that these guards could provide the same safety benefits as rear-mounted guards.

Side-mounted underride guards are installed on the sides of trailers to prevent passenger cars from sliding under them in an accident. The testing showed that, even at just 35 miles per hour, passenger cars end up going under trailer, causing the top of the vehicle to be sheared off. This puts the driver and passengers at serious risk for injuries that are likely to be fatal. The vehicles can become wedged under the trailers, making it difficult for quick rescue. Testing with an underride guard placed on the trailer showed that, although the underride guard became bent, it stopped the passenger vehicle from sliding underneath.

Substance abuse and determining child custody

Pennsylvania parents who have an ex-spouse who may be struggling with substance abuse may have concerns about the safety of the children they share. It is important to know what they should do to protect their children and still be in compliance with child custody orders.

The courts can be notified of a parent's substance abuse if the situation is reported to the court from which the child custody order originated or to a state's family services agency. They may also address the issue at a child custody hearing.

Textalyzer device reveals recent cellphone use to police

Accidents caused by drivers distracted by their cellphones are far too prevalent in Pennsylvania and across the country, and an Israeli technology company has teamed up with a road safety advocacy group to develop a device that police can use to combat the problem. The device plugs into cellphones and reveals how drivers have been using them.

The advocates demonstrated their new device to lawmakers in New York in April, and police departments across the country are said to have shown an interest in acquiring the technology. Cellphones contain private and often highly personal information, and civil rights groups have been quick to criticize the so-called "textalyzer" for violating the protection against unreasonable searches and seizures guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

How courts handle the wishes of children in custody disputes

Child custody decisions in Pennsylvania and around the country are based on what is considered by family law judges to be in the best interests of the children who are the subject of the matter. Judges take a number of factors into consideration when applying this doctrine, and the wishes of the children involved will generally be one of these factors. In Pennsylvania, judges must consider the well-reasoned opinions of the children involved in custody and visitation disputes based on their maturity and the soundness of their judgment.

Not all custody and visitation arrangements are put into place by court order, and parents who are able to resolve these issues amicably are unlikely to be subjected to much in the way of official scrutiny. However, these arrangements may be put under great stress when children become unhappy and demand greater freedom. In these situations, it is often the noncustodial parent who is seen as the escape from the demands and discipline of a child's home life.

Why child custody orders get changed

Pennsylvania parents may ask the family court to modify their current child custody arrangements if they believe that they have valid reasons. However, people should be aware that the court will closely examine the petitioning parents' arguments and is always obligated to make decisions based on the best interests of the children.

Parents may request changes to child custody orders if they believe that their children are in immediate danger in the homes where they currently reside. When evaluating the situation, the court will consider whether domestic violence occurs in the household and if the child has resisted staying at the parent's home that may be dangerous.

Proving physical harm in Pennsylvania car crashes

If someone has been injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver, they will normally want to seek compensation for medical bills and treatment related to the harm they suffered. To obtain this compensation, a victim will need to prove that they were hurt in the crash and that another motorist was at fault for the accident.

When someone needs to prove that another person was at fault for an accident, it can be helpful to obtain statements from individuals who witnessed the accident as well as police reports related to the crash. Witnesses and police reports can provide evidence that another person caused the accident that injured the individual.

Preparing for a child custody battle

Pennsylvania parents who are ending their marriages and who want custody of their children might want to first try to compromise with each other. Court custody battles can be lengthy, expensive and stressful. If parents can avoidthem by agreeing to joint custody or finding another solution, they may be more satisfied with the outcome. However, if this is not possible, there are things a parent can do to prepare for a fight over custody.

The parent may want to work with an attorney and learn as much as possible about child custody laws. A judge will make a determination based on the best interests of the child although both parents might not agree about what they are.

Distracted driving is far too common

Data from an AT&T campaign indicates that large numbers of motorists in Pennsylvania and around the country have potentially dangerous driving habits. Distracted driving is when motorists are doing something that stops them from paying attention to the road when they are behind the wheel. While it can include things like changing a radio station or adjusting a seat, one of the most common distractions in a vehicle is a smartphone.

According to AT&T, about 70 percent of motorists use a smartphone while driving, and nearly two-thirds of them ensure that their phone is within easy reach when on the road. Some of the most common activities of those who use their phone behind the wheel include texting, sending emails and using social media. About 10 percent of people use video chat while on the road, and more than a quarter of those who shoot videos feel that it is safe for them to do so.