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Newport Legal Issues Blog

Childhood divorces can have negative impacts: Be aware

When your children are very young, you may think it's the best time to get a divorce. Your kids won't remember as much, and it's less likely to affect their schooling or activities.

The trouble is that if parents believe their children won't remember the divorce, that's not necessarily true. If you ignore the fact that your child is suffering or upset, it can have an affect on him or her in the future.

What are 3 tips for safer winter motorcycle riding?

It's the winter, and with winter comes a more difficult riding season for motorcyclists. Despite this, many still go out to ride.

There are some things you should know if you plan to ride in bad weather. The cold, snow and ice are all risks to you, as are drivers struggling with winter conditions.

Rhode Island protects you with equitable distribution laws

Rhode Island, like all states, has its own laws regarding marriage, divorce and other family law matters. Rhode Island follows equitable distribution laws. That means that the assets and debts that you and your spouse have collected during your marriage will be split in an equitable manner by the court if the two of you are unable to come to a mutual agreement on how to split them up yourselves. In community property states, a couple's assets are split 50-50 in a divorce.

The courts in Rhode Island consider many factors when deciding how to divide marital property if the matter is brought before them. Some of the factors considered by judges include the length of time you've been married, how much each of the spouses contributed to the marriage, the ages of the individuals, the current health of the couple, the employability of both of the parties and other important factors.

4 steps to take immediately after a boating accident

Boating accidents occur all the time off the coast. According to data from the United States Department of Homeland Security, a majority of these accidents in 2016 were a result of two boats colliding with one another. 

Regardless of how the accident occurred, the only thing that matters afterward is maintaining the safety and well-being of all people involved. You also want to make sure you comply with all laws and regulations to avoid a trip to jail. Here are the steps to always take should you find yourself involved in a boating accident

You can defend your rights if you're stopped for a DUI

Although you know that drinking and driving is not a smart decision, you still got behind the wheel and drove while intoxicated. You were rightfully pulled over, but you don't want to face time in jail or penalties for your actions. You thought your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was low enough to drive, and you were able to perform the roadside sobriety tests accurately. The only problem is that you blew a .08 percent on the Breathalyzer.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to defend yourself, even if you knowingly got behind the wheel after a few drinks. To start with, if you felt fine and could perform the roadside sobriety tests without failing, it's worth asking if the Breathalyzer was calibrated correctly or if the test was given accurately. If you burped or had just had a drink a few minutes before getting pulled over, it's possible that your BAC came back higher than it was in reality.

Do medical issues resemble being drunk?

If you have a medical condition that can make you dizzy, give you panic attacks or otherwise change how you act in a given situation, you may find that you become falsely accused of being drunk. Several medical conditions result in the appearance of being drunk including diabetes, seizures and narcolepsy.

With any medical condition, it's a good idea to have a medical ID bracelet or identification card on you. This helps officers identify when you're having a medical emergency versus driving drunk. In some cases, diabetics may smell like alcohol, so it's particularly important for them to carry medical ID cards for emergencies. Remember, if an officer doesn't know that you're struggling with a medical problem, he or she could take steps to restrain you or take you to jail instead of getting you the medical help you need right away. Alerting him or her to the problem is the first step to avoid trouble.

What can you do to prevent sailing injuries?

Sailing is fun, and it brings people together. Whether it's a hobby or something you've put your entire working life into, sailing is important to you. What you do need to know, though, is the danger sailing can pose. If you're not prepared, a mistake could end up leading to serious injuries or death.

Sailing injuries aren't uncommon, and some come up more often than others. For example, the most common injury on a sailing vessel is bruising. Bruising isn't always serious, but it can be in some instances.

Workers' compensation: Not the same for maritime workers

Unlike traditional personal injury or workplace accident laws, maritime injury laws have their own rules and regulations. Workers in this field don't qualify for traditional workers' compensation if they're hurt. Instead, they have to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

Under the general maritime laws, those who are hurt on the job can pursue several forms of compensation. These include the full cost of their current and future medical expenses, lost earnings and lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, found and prejudgment interest. Found is a term specific to this industry; it refers to the meals and lodging a seaman would have received if he had been able to remain employed as such.

Growing divorce rates lead to larger American families

When you get a divorce, it divides your family and can mean you lose some family members. That's short-lived, though, if you end up getting remarried, according to a news article. Divorce is actually responsible for making American families bigger than ever, growing them up to 66 percent thanks to stepparents, parents, half and step-siblings and others coming together into one family.

While that's great news for people who love a big family, it's also a problem. It actually has the potential to make it harder for people to grow close to one another and makes it difficult to know how you're related to people. For example, if your stepparent's sister or brother comes over, is that person now an aunt or uncle? What about if your stepparent's child has a grandchild. Are you a great aunt or uncle?

Boating under the influence

When most people think of DUI offenses, boats do not always come to mind. Yet a boat is also a vehicle that can cause substantial damage and injuries if operated improperly.

In Rhode Island, operating a boat while intoxicated is a crime that can result in a range of penalties, including some fairly severe ones. If you face charges, it is in your best interest to take the situation seriously and get qualified legal assistance promptly.

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