Birds of a Feather, I’ve Heard

My brother and I have a “healthy” competitive relationship. Growing up we always played basketball against one another, and the series would go back and forth. The last time we played, it was the first one to score 21 points, using ones and twos. We play that you have to win by at least three points, so the game doesn’t end right when it’s getting good. We ended up playing until almost 40 points, but in the end, I beat him. I posted up in the paint and walked him down like clockwork. Big brother for the win.

Recently, he just bought a Subaru BRZ. I don’t know if you are familiar with the Scion FR-S, but that’s what I drive. They look identical, and he thinks his car is faster when it really isn’t. We haven’t made it out to a legit track yet, but that’s definitely on the soon-to-do list.

We always try to show each other the next best thing. Lately, we’ve been exploring different beers, and it’s been really nice. We choose a style of beer, pick up a couple of different six packs, and sample a bunch. It’s been a great hobby for the weekend, and there’s enough beer that it doesn’t feel so competitive. If there’s a good beer, we always split it up three and three, and sometimes if I’m lucky, I’ll enjoy a beer that he doesn’t like and I get four of them. Sometimes we buy beers we like by the growler, and my brother showed me this awesome setup he has in his garage that serves beer out of a tap. I couldn’t let him be the only one to have this. Just like our cars, now we both have one!

The worst beer we’ve tried so far was this jalapeno IPA craft beer that tasted like trash. I don’t even remember what the brewery was called, but it has some sorta demon looking thing on the front of the can. If you see that, DON’T BUY IT. I’ve never had a beer that I couldn’t finish until I tried that one. Seriously, I don’t even think you could call it a beer. The drink was spicy, which I expected, but there was hardly any hoppy flavor and it was altogether a really bad blend of low-quality ingredients.

Craft beer isn’t cheap, and that six-pack cost me ten bucks. The worst part was that I picked it out and my brother just laughed at me. We each opened one can, didn’t finish it, and shook the rest up and shot ’em with a BB gun. Normally, I would have taken the bullet before I let a beer get wasted like that, but then again, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t even beer. I never imagined anything sold as a beer could ever be so awful, and it truly was a low point in my life and a loss of innocence.

Now that football season is in full swing, I’ve got my Sunday’s figured out. Wake up, get everything I need to get done for the day finished first, and then kick back and trash-talk my brother’s team. It’s actually a great way to pass the time, and we’ve been watching it at my house lately. He has a great sound system, but I’ve got the bigger television.

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What is Mediation?

Mediation is a divorce process wherein a court-appointed and neutral mediator is assigned to the spouses so they can properly make compromises on the legal aspects of the divorce, such as the amount of alimony and child support and division of assets and liabilities.

The website of the Raleigh divorce attorneys at Marshall & Taylor, P.C. mentions that attorneys don’t necessarily help in negotiating the terms of mediated divorces, but they can still be necessary so the spouses know the extent of their rights and legal options. In other words, you should still consider getting a family lawyer even though there is already a mediator for your divorce.

Advantages of Mediation

Many couples see mediated divorce as their legal process of choice, because it is not as formal as other divorce proceedings, such as contested and uncontested divorce. Choosing mediation over other legal options have several advantages, such as the following.

It is less argumentative

Other divorce processes, especially contested divorce, can be very argumentative, because the spouses cannot agree on the legal terms and nobody seems to want to compromise and get the shorter end of the stick. Mediated divorce, in nature, is not adversarial and rely on mature communication to come up with a fair compromise.

It is less prone to bias

A divorce process like an uncontested divorce can be the easy choice, because of how fast it can be due to the lack of arguments. But this may also mean that a spouse has given in to the biases of the other spouse just to get the divorce over with. This is simply not the case for mediated divorce, because the presence of a mediator can prevent biases.

It puts your children away from the divorce process

Divorce is a complicated legal process, as it may involve aspects such as child custody and support. This may mean that your children will be actively involved in the divorce process, in the form of interviews and presence in courts. This can have a negative effect on children, especially if they are still in their developmental years.

Since a mediated divorce is less formal and everything can be talked out casually, it will help avoid stress and prevent children from getting too involved in the legal process.

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How Criminal Charges Can Affect Child Custody Arrangements

Divorcing couples have to make plenty of difficult decisions. Among these decisions revolve around child custody. For parents who can’t come to an amicable agreement, the court can mediate and decide on an arrangement that will suit the best interest of the child or children involved. Such a decision will entail a variety of different factors and considerations to take into account.

In recent years, U.S. family courts have been keen on ensuring that children maintain the stability they have been used to and are able to spend time with both parents as much as possible. If the circumstances allow it, most judges award divorcing couples joint custody to keep the child’s relationship with both parents as close to what he or she have been used to. However, this decision will drastically change if one of the parents involved is deemed unfit.

The court has the legal power to restrict custody and visitation rights of a parent who is found to be unfit and incapable to properly care for their child. A parent will be considered so after an investigation that brings to light some factors that could be considered dangerous or risky to the child’s wellbeing. Someone with a history of domestic abuse, substance abuse, and other criminal offenses will be barred by the court from exercising their rights as a parent.

According to the website of the BB Law Group PLLC, a parent is usually declared unfit based on the following scenarios:

  • If a child or the other parent has been subjected to abuse, whether physical or emotional
  • If the parent in question is dependent on narcotic substances
  • If a parent’s new partner endangers the child’s well being

A parent with criminal charges can also face severe consequences when it comes to child custody or visitation rights. As pointed out by the website of the Flaherty Defense Firm, even minor criminal charges can have the potential to affect a person’s life. For example, a parent dealing with a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession could risk their ability to retain their rights as a parent after the divorce.

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