How to Help Your Child Through Divorce Proceedings

Divorce is an unfortunate fact of life which takes place on a daily basis and it can be a very upsetting and emotional time for everyone involved. Most at risk throughout these proceedings are children and the separation of their parents can leave scars which can stay with children forever. The damage of a divorce on children can manifest itself in many different ways and it can very easily alter the course of your child’s life, if not managed in the right way.

If you are going through a divorce at the moment, here is how you can best help your child to come out of the process as unscathed as possible.

Everyone on Board

In order to manage your child’s emotions in the best possible way, you must ensure that everyone who is involved in these proceedings, has the child’s interests at heart. Regardless of what your relationship is with your partner, or soon to be ex partner, you must make sure that you are both on the same page regarding your child’s wellbeing. It is also important that you hire excellent family lawyers who have a wealth of experience in divorces and can offer you excellent advice and support throughout the process.

Create an Open Environment

Children are not stupid and you should never treat them as such, they will know that something is going on and you should not hide the facts from them. This is not to say that you should expose your child to all that is going on but they should be aware of the reality of the situation. It is your responsibility as a parent that you create an open environment with your child that will make them feel comfortable asking the questions which they have in their heads. If a child feels as though they cannot talk about what is going on, they will have many unanswered questions, draw conclusions which may not be true and they could even push emotions down, something which will not be helpful for them.

Maintain Normality

Whilst a divorce is a completely abnormal situation, you need to do your best that your child is living as normal a life as you possibly can. Make sure that the school run remains the same, they still do the things that they normally would and general create as little upheaval as you can when it comes to your child’s home life. This is not always easy but if you want to best protect your child, you must try to aim for the most normal life for them as possible.

Don’t Air Your Laundry

Whether your relationship with your child’s other parent is amicable or aggressive, you must never speak badly about them in front of your child. Doing this not only sets a bad example but it also puts your child in the middle of both parents, something which can never end well. If you have ill-feelings towards your ex-partner then either keep it to yourself, or make sure that your child is not around when you are discussing it.

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Know your rights: what you should do when faced with an eminent domain order

Faced with an eminent domain order? Here's what you need to do...

If you own property, getting served with an eminent domain order is something that will definitely ruin your day.

As hard as it is to believe, the forced expropriation of private property for public use is an action that is protected by the Constitution.

Worse yet, most cases where individuals fight to retain their land end in failure for the owner. This might sound unfair, but it is best to negotiate with the government than try to defeat them on this issue.

This article will lay out what you need to do to protect the rights you do have when the government moves to evict you from your land.

Hire an attorney who specializes in eminent domain

Don’t make the mistake of trying to take on the government yourself. Eminent domain orders are full of hard to understand terms that are designed to give governmental bodies the best deal possible. As such, you’ll want an attorney who can help protect your rights to the fullest extent.

If you live in Southern California, there are plenty of capable eminent domain lawyers in LA who can take on your case, as they have helped past clients get a level of compensation far above what they would have gotten if they had just settled for what the government was going to give them.

Know what your home is truly worth

A crucial aspect of getting the most from your eminent domain case is to have an appraiser tell you exactly what your land or property is worth.

The government has this data already, but don’t think for a second they are going to give you a fair deal. Instead, their first offer will often be laughably low, as they are eager to show voters how financially responsible they are with public funds.

Once the appraiser on your team tells you how much you should get for your property, you and your attorney can proceed with confidence in your eminent domain case.

Should you settle or try to get more?

Now you should you have an accurate representation of the value of your home – should you try to settle for a price not far from what the government is offering, or should you dig in your heels and try to get more?

If the compensation offered is over and above what your valuation is, or if the housing market in your area is terrible, you should be inclined to settle close to what the government is offering.

However, if they are trying to fleece you with an offer only suckers would take, the local housing market is on fire, or if your home/land will play host to a development that will have a significantly higher value than your property currently has, hold your ground and ask for more – a lot more.

Don’t be too greedy, though: follow all advice given to you by your attorney, or you might wake up one day to find you have had a settlement imposed on you, along with a 30-day notice to vacate.

Resisting eminent domain: a risky play to make

Think you can achieve total victory over the government? To be fair, some people have, as there are many examples over time where roads have been built around property lines after the owners fought a pitched political battle against local authorities.

For every success story, though, many get crushed, with only a pitiful compensation check to show for their struggle.

Don’t martyr yourself over a piece of land – hire a smart eminent domain lawyer, and you’ll be able to get a settlement that will give you all the cash you’ll need to reboot your life in a better neighborhood.

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What Are the Benefits of Sleeping on a Memory Foam Mattress?

If you are on the lookout for a new mattress and you have searched online, you have probably come across memory foam, or “Swedish” mattresses. If you have never tried one, have a read of some of the Nectar bed reviews out there to get an idea of what they are like. These mattresses have a really unique feel to them, enveloping and contouring your body in a natural way. Developed in the 1970s by NASA, it has been designed specifically to be able to absorb the G-force pressures in space. From NASA, it went into the healthcare industry to help people who were bedridden, helping them to avoid sores. Today, it is commercially available and many people swear by it.

Memory Foam Manufacturing Processes

Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam made up of two parts:

  1. The top layer, which is actually memory foam, onto which the body rests, giving it that unique feel.
  2. The bottom layer, which is a high density foam, supporting both the memory foam and the sleeper.

Usually, these mattresses also have a nonslip, ventilated bottom, which ensures the sleeper can remain in one position all night, in perfect comfort.

Why Memory Foam Is Different

Old-fashioned mattresses are made of springs. The more springs a mattress has, the more supportive it is. However, a mattress can only fit so many springs, leaving to gaps that make the whole bed uncomfortable and unsupportive. Memory foam, meanwhile, covers the entire mattress, ensuring the body is protect everywhere.

The Benefits of Memory Foam

There are many benefits to memory foam, but the two key ones are:

  1. They offer a better fit to the body, supporting every part equally. By contouring and enveloping the sleeper, tossing and turning is also prevented.
  2. It stops sleepers from moving about, because they will feel comfortable the minute they are in bed. This results in greater deep sleep and, hence, more rest.

How to Choose a Memory Foam

If you are now convinced that you also need a memory foam mattress, some of the key things to look into include:

  1. The density of the mattress, generally measured in pounds. A 5 pound rating is agreed to be the best one.
  2. The thickness of the foam, as only the top layer of the mattress will be made up of it, with the rest being simple polyurethane.
  3. The packaging of the mattress before it is sent to you. It shouldn’t be folded, but rolled instead. This stops folds and bends from occurring, while at the same time keeping the mattress clean and fresh, even when it is not in use.

They say that once you go memory foam, you will never go back to anything else. The comfort offered by these mattresses is literally out of this world, and you will genuinely feel as if you are floating into space from the peaceful confines of your bedroom.

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Planning a House Extension? Here are Some Things to Think About

A few years ago I had a decision to make regarding where I was living, I loved the home that I was in but found the need for some more space after my second child came along. I flirted with the idea of moving home but the property market was not in a good state and I begrudged the idea of moving away from my family, social circle and the last thing I wanted was to take my child to a new school to start again. I opted instead to renovate my existing home and add an extra floor as well as some more space on the side of the house. I always knew that the process wouldn’t be easy but I definitely underestimated just how hard it would be. If you are planning something similar then here is my advice to you.

Get Prices For Everything

I massively underestimated how much the raw materials would cost and didn’t look into this until quite far throughout the process. My advice would be that once you have a solid plan from the architect, start getting prices. For example, the quote which I received from David Montoya Stonemakers was very reasonable for the brick work and I got a little carried away, it turned out to be the only quote that I received which was anywhere near my expectation. This caused a lot of to and fro between myself an the architect and forced me to up my budget. Stick to your budget and make that plans around it rather than the other way around.

Move Out

I would wholeheartedly recommend that, if possible, you move out of the property whilst the work is being undertaken. The level of noise, mess and interruption is not helpful when you are trying to run a family home and if you stay, the work will also take a longer amount of time. Start planning as soon as possible to move out of your home for a while and even if you need to stay in a hotel, the money which you will save on the faster building work will more than pay of your time in the hotel.

Legality

Th most important advice that I can offer you is to check out all of the legality surrounding your proposed extension before you sign any contracts. We had great difficulty in getting planning permission for the extension and I had assumed that it would not be a problem. Thankfully we had great neighbors and an open dialogue with them about what we wanted to do and without them, we would not have been able to get permission. If you want to extend your home then make sure that you have all of the legal issues in place before you even consider signing up to the project or hiring contractors. Make sure also that you have a strong relationship with your neighbors or at the very least that you have informed them of your plans.

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Can You Repair Drywall Yourself, or Do You Need a Professional?

If you have an old property, and it was built using shoddy workmanship, it is likely that water damage, holes, and cracks have started to affect your drywall. Luckily, you can repair most drywall problems yourself so long as you have some DIY experience and the right tools. However, there are cases where the issue is more extensive, and you will need a professional like Lloyd Claycomb to come in. Deciding whether you need a professional is down to issues such as your budget, your experience, and the size of your project.

DIY Repairs

If you spot some nail holes or small cracks, you can easily fix it yourself, so long as it isn’t indicative of a larger problem. You need a drywall knife, some drywall tape, and drywall compound, with which you can simply patch the issue up. Generally speaking, apply a few layers of drywall, letting each layer dry before sanding it smooth. Do make sure that you have filled in the cracks first. All necessary materials are available through local DIY stores.

Professional Repairs

If you spot a bulging area or a large crack that creeps upwards, it is likely that you have a more significant problem with your drywall. It may have been installed poorly, or it may have shifted because of moisture in your walls. It is also possible that, upon original installation, the drywall wasn’t properly screwed in. There are many other reasons as to why you could have a major problem with your drywall and, while you can patch it over, this will only postpone the inevitable. Furthermore, once you do get to the point that it has to be repaired, the problem is likely to be far bigger, and therefore also far more expensive to fix. If you spot a hole in your drywall, a new uneven bulge, a discolored patch, or a crack that keeps progressing downwards, you need to phone in a professional. They will come in and determine what is going on, diagnosing the problem and coming up with solutions.

Health Considerations

If you do decide to go for a DIY repair job, you have to be aware of the health implications. Sanding down drywall releases a breathing irritant, so you should not do any of the work without wearing a mask. Make sure you leave the mask on when you have finished sanding for quite some time. Do also cover all your furniture, because the dust particles can linger for quite some time. Leave the room and make sure you properly vacuum everything before you allow the room to be used again. Also, be aware of the weight of drywall panels, so make sure you do not allow your children or pets to come near it, in case a piece falls and injures them. Safety has to come first at all times, and you should never cut corners on that. Hence, if you are not sure about what you are doing, phone in a professional.

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How to Have a Stress-free House Clearance

Have a stress-free house clearance by following our tips below...
Photo by CC user Nicolas Huk on Flickr

A house clearance can be very stressful – not only may it be occasioned by the passing of a loved one, but it can also be taxing in terms of time, energy and logistics. Here’s how to get through it as smoothly as possible.

Plan ahead

In general, you’ll need around half a day per room with a little bit extra. You’d be surprised how long it can take to sort through belongings, especially paperwork and keepsakes, so give yourself plenty of time. You’ll also need to take regular breaks and you’ll almost certainly want to reminisce over some items. Give yourselves enough time to do all this without having to rush.

Use a traffic light colour code for things

When you’re sorting through the items and belongings, it’s best to use a colour system to denote the things you want to keep within the family, the things you want to sell or give to charity and the things that can be recycled or disposed of.

Get lots of red, yellow and green stickers and label everything you can see. Red is for keeping, yellow is for selling or donating and green is for disposal or recycling.

This is one of the hardest parts, in reality, but you have to be tough. Does the family really need another casserole dish? Of course, if that dish holds really special memories, then it stays, but this is one of the decisions that makes it hard.

How much of each category is there?

Now the hard part is over, you need to work out how much there is to be moved. Using a regular-sized skip as a yardstick (as it were), estimate how much of one of these skips the red, yellow and green items will fill each. You may not want a skip for the red or yellow category, of course, but the green category items will probably need one.

Call a removal company

For red items, you’ll need a careful removal company so everything gets to the family in one piece.

For yellow items, you have several choices. The more valuable and/or large items can go to specialist auction houses. House clearance auctions in Belfast attract a lot of attention and you can be sure that your items will be treated professionally and with respect. For smaller and less valuable items, eBay, Freecycle and charity shops are good destinations.

The green items are a bit easier, as you can either hire a skip or make several trips to the dump or recycling plant. Your local council may help with unwanted electrical appliances – fridge, freezer and so on. If the white goods are fairly new, you may want to offer them to a housing charity, though.

Safety and security

A house clearance is no mean feat – there’s a surprising amount of lifting and shifting, as well as clouds of dust, so make sure you lift properly and think about a dust mask, especially if you’re the allergic type.

You also need to remember identity theft – if you need to throw out old bank statements and similar documents, then invest in a shredder.

When you are done clearing your home, you certainly deserve a rest and a cup of tea.

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Wealthy locals support the economy of prime central London

The economy of prime central London is run by its wealthy residents
Photo by CC user Arriva436 on Wikimedia Commons

It is a widespread misunderstanding that the residents of prime central London do not contribute anything of value to the local economy. However, premier estate agents, Wetherell, have released a new report which shows that residents do in fact represent a significant support division in the prime central London economy and local neighbourhoods support the leisure, employment, and shopping sectors considerably.

There are currently 2,000 millionaires calling Mayfair home, of which 20 are billionaires, and 200 earn a nine-figure salary. Supporting data in the report provided by Westminster City Council, Dataloft, and EGI reveals that these wealthy residents contribute a generous £2.5 billion to the UK and local economy each year. Findings illustrate that the most supported areas in the local economy by people of the prime neighbourhood are luxury shopping, consultants, and employment. The annual spending review exposes spending of £2,700,000 on Interior Design and Artwork, £644,000 on Clothing, and £325,000 on Staff, at super prime households worth over £15 million, in Mayfair.

NUMBER ONE ADDRESS IN PRIME CENTRAL LONDON

Mayfair has always graced prime central London’s premium addresses and global destination wishlists with its presence. Despite this consistency, the exclusive neighbourhood has appealed to a changing profile of people over the years, with residents of the area getting younger each year. 43 percent of households in Mayfair are currently home to prosperous young couples and singles, with a high level of education. The property market in the district offers a rising number of flats designed specifically for this residential profile, making Mayfair younger by the day.

In addition to younger residents, Mayfair also attracts a broad range of people from around the world, with over 42 nationalities calling the neighbourhood home and over 60 percent of current residents having been born overseas. This ever-changing mix of people attracted to Mayfair is likely to continue changing as time goes on due to the shift in global economy and fortunes cropping up in other locations. Currently, 540 billionaires reside in the US, while 251 are in China and 120 in Germany, according to the Forbes Rich List. There are fewer Russian-speaking billionaires of late, and the Middle East has seen a fall as oil prices decline.

THE EXPANDING PROPERTY MARKET

Mayfair is set to undergo a major transformation this year, with further developments spanning the next five years. W1K has historically been the most expensive address in Mayfair, but with a long list of luxury developments in the pipeline, prices will begin to spread, and sales prices will increase, expanding the most expensive postcode across W1S and W1J.

The current property account in Mayfair consists of 4,348 homes, of which wealthy tenants privately rent 2,173 with an average weekly rental amount of £1,387, homeowners maintain 1,305, and the final 870 are social houses. Of the 1,305 owned properties, five percent are estimated to be worth under £1 million, while 45 are worth over £10 million. The remaining 50 percent are valued between £2 million and £10 million.

If the current property values were not enough evidence of Mayfair’s affluence and exclusivity, the average cost of a flat or house entering the current market is over £1 million and £4.8 million respectively. Despite the Global Financial Crisis, the prime central London property market remained stable, with current house prices higher than before the crisis began in 2007. Mayfair property prices have been growing at a slightly lower rate than the 45 percent last year, at 42 percent, but higher than the latest decade average of 30 percent.

The most recent decade has seen house prices in Mayfair grow by 188 percent, which is a substantial difference to the growth in wider prime central London. The Mayfair property market even outperformed the equity markets, making it the perfect place for investment.

Moving forward, the luxurious district will continue to allure affluent residents, with the ability to provide new properties offering everything that the modern dweller desires. With the demand for luxury living growing and Mayfair in a position to provide advanced technology and exclusive design in its properties, these new homes can reach new price levels, with the most premium developments driving a 100 percent price tag over the current average house price in Mayfair. With that in tow, Mayfair will continue to grow and remain healthy with the local economy supported by its residents.

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Why Having Cafe Styled Awnings at Home is a Good Idea

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The great thing about visiting cafés is that each has their own individual style and design which makes it unique. For café owners, this means choosing décor that sets the appropriate ambience and flair. And when it comes to homeowners setting the mood, a clever choice in a café style awning is critical.

Enhancement

Awnings are decorative and functional devices that are utilised as canopies over exterior doors and windows. Obtainable in a wide selection of designs, the awnings are usually pretty easy to install and require nothing more than routine maintenance. Just like the café awnings, they also help to enhance the appearance of your home. Awnings also come in very handy with managing the temperature in the home, as well as providing protection from unpleasant weather.

Humble

Metal awnings are commonly shaped in a design that are more or less triangular. The devices are mounted over doors and windows to create shade or protection from excessive sunlight, rain, snow, and other harsh weather conditions. These humble window covers make it possible to still appreciate natural light, but also help to minimize the entry of sunlight into the home, which makes it easier to cool the interior.

Aluminium

Many households choose to use aluminium awnings over outside doors as well as windows. The café styled awnings will add style to your home and provide visual interest to what was a plain façade. They also serve the practical function of providing partial protection from the elements for anyone standing outside. This can certainly can be appreciated at times such as when attempting to balance packages and insert a door key while a rainstorm is happening!

Coating

It is common for top quality aluminium awnings to be coated with some kind of protective agent, such as baked enamel. The inclusion of this extra layer of protection helps to block corrosion and extend the life of the awning. The protective coating also makes the job of maintaining the awnings so much easier, because they can simply be rinsed off using a garden hose.

Retractable

Also, along with the traditional triangular fixed awnings and café style, there are other designs that allow for retracting the body of the awning. One style uses a roll up design, which makes it possible to use a hand crank to lengthen or shorten the body of the awning to just how the homeowner wants it. Another option is a retractable awning, which can be extended to provide more overhead coverage further away from the window, or retracted to allow additional sunlight into the home mostly during cooler or colder days. Should you happen to be in lovely W. Australia and looking for beautiful and unique awnings at an affordable price, check out Westral. With 43 years in the business, they put the B in the Best!

Individual

Different designs for aluminium awnings can often be found at home improvement stores, hardware stores, and lawn and garden shops, but for a more unique and individual choice, one should visit a specialist (especially for the café design). So, if you want your home to not only look cool, but stay cool inside, you know what to do!

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All You Need to Know About A-Frame Ladders

a-frame-ladder-2

A-frame ladders are very popular ladders. They are heavy duty aluminum ladders, but with a very specific purpose, which is to elevate the user up to four feet off the  ground. It also has wider steps, which makes the ladder more stable. An added benefit is that they fold together, which makes them very easy to store.

What Is an A-Frame Ladder?

A-frame ladders are affordable options for people who look for something to use around the home. Because they elevate up to four feet, people should be able to reach just about any fixture in your home. The ladder has two sides that are of equal length, with a crossbar that keeps everything together. This is from where it gets its name, as it actually looks like an A. Using A-frame ladders is very easy, and reasonably safe. However, it is important that you do follow all the necessary safety tips as well.

How to Use an A-Frame Ladder Safely

  1. Only position the ladder on even surfaces, and never place them on top of a different object.
  2. Make sure the foot pads are adjusted so that the ladder has completely even and level contact with the ground.
  3. Only climb ladders when you wear proper footwear. After some use, the rungs, can become oily or wet, which means they could be slippery.
  4. Check that there are no dents or cracks in the ladder before you use it. Aluminum is a durable material, but if it does break anywhere, it tends to break completely.
  5. Lock the ladders brace so that it is completely stable. This will prevent the ladder from collapsing while in use.
  6. Make sure you understand the maximum workload of your vehicle, and never exceed that weight when using it.
  7. Check for OSHA ANSI A 14.2 compliance, as this means the ladder meets the relevant safety standards.
  8. Check what the ladder’s material is. Aluminum is the best and most common, but some A-frame ladders are made from wood or fiberglass. Each of these materials has its own pros and cons. Aluminum is preferred for a reason (it is safe, durable, and lightweight), so try to stick with that as much as possible. Aluminum ladders are also much easier to store.
  9. Do not climb onto the top two steps of your A-frame ladder. These rungs are there to give the top of the ladder stability, not to carry your weight. Being too high up can render the whole thing very unstable. And of course if you are pregnant never climb a ladder.
  10. Do not get anything stuck behind the rungs as you are using the ladders.

With Christmas just around the corner, many people use A-frame ladders to hang up their Christmas lights. The ladder lends itself perfectly to that. However, make sure you always keep your safety in mind, which means engaging in the right behavior when using a ladder. This is true regardless of what you are doing with the ladder itself.

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Switching homes in 2017? Move your stuff the smart way…

Switching homes in 2017? Make this move much better than others in the past
Photo by CC user Nicolas Huk on Flickr

New year, new home. After spending several years in your starter place, you have finally managed to upgrade to the house of your dreams.

Congratulations!

As you are aware from previous experiences, however, moving is often about as pleasant as taking a trip to the dentist. Sorting through your things, getting them on a truck, and ensuring that no fragile items break is tough enough.

However, the toughest part of this process involves combing through various removal companies in an effort to find one that is worthy of your trust.

This was a hit-or-miss effort as recently as several years ago, but thanks to the debut of a service known as Shiply (http://www.shiply.com), this chore has now been made much simpler.

How have they made one of modern life’s most stressful experiences easier to stomach? Below, we will take you through the steps of using this service.

1) Get a quote

Before one of Shiply’s 102,000 registered providers can help you move all of your possessions to your new pad, start by supplying the details of your task via their simple job order form.

Once these companies know exactly what they are dealing with, they will be able to provide you with a quote.

2) Review the results

Shortly after submitting your information to Shiply’s servers, you will be sent a quote from every removal company that is willing to compete for your business.

You won’t have to make inferences based on the price they charge you, as each contending company will have a list of customer reviews that you will be able to peruse.

Based on this evidence, you can then contrast it against the quotes provided in order to pick the company that is right for your needs.

3) Await their arrival

After accepting the quote that you liked the best, all you have to do is ensure that you are prepared for their arrival.

After they have moved your stuff to your new abode, submit your review to Shiply, and the system will be further improved for those that use this service after you.

Eight years, 3.1 million successful deliveries

The information revolution has transformed so many aspects of our lives. With moving being such a difficult task to execute, why not let the internet make this process simpler for you?

With savings of up to 75% off standard rates being reported by past users, and a rigorous vetting process that screens out fraudulent operators, you owe it to yourself to make this next move much less stressful than others have been in the past.

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