Tuesday, July 9, 2013
From National Law Review:
On June 26, 2013, the US Supreme Court (the “Supreme Court”) struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional in the case of United States v. Windsor (“Windsor”). In a related case, the Supreme Court also dismissed an appeal from the federal district court ruling that struck down California’s Proposition 8 (which overturned marriages of same-sex couples in California) as unconstitutional in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry (“Perry”), leaving intact the district court’s ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. This advisory summarizes the estate and income tax planning opportunities and other topics for consideration arising from the Windsor and Perry decisions. Married same-sex couples should consult with their advisors in light of their particular facts and circumstances in order to take maximum advantage of the change in the law. Unmarried same-sex couples should now consider whether to marry.
Read more here.
Hat Tip: Angelique Devaux
Monday, July 8, 2013
Saturday, July 6, 2013
From USA Today:
The marriage rate is at its lowest point in more than a century, and the number of marriages across the USA fell more than 5% during the recession. But a new analysis projects that pent-up demand and the large population of marriage-eligible Millennials, ages 18-34, means more will be headed to the altar over the next two years.
Read more here.
Friday, July 5, 2013
In 2011, the Center for Disease Control collected a wide range of data concerning violence and children within school. While these facts fall short of the horrific events that happened in 2012, the numbers are still cause for great concern. While we strive to implement plans and ideas that can keep our children safe, a large number of children experience the worst parts of life in what should be one of the safest places on the planet for them.
1. Fear - Almost six-percent of children surveyed grades 9 through 12 did not go to school preceding 30 days of the survey due to the fact they either felt unsafe at school or unsafe to travel to and from school. While you can attribute some of those numbers as the result of a sarcastic high school student, the percentage is quite high. Our children should view a school as one of the most safest places on Earth for a child. Instead, slightly more than 1 out of 20 fear it. For many schools, that is one child for every classroom that is afraid to be there.
2. Armed - Carrying weapons has become quite a trend since the 1900s. Of the same high school students above, 5.4-percent of them admitted to carrying a gun, knife, or club to school. Whether the reason behind carrying weapons is aggressive or defensive in nature is irrelevant. It would be shocking to many teachers to realize that at least one of their students is carrying a weapon in his or her classroom. However, this is also dependent of the area and the teacher might not be shocked from the outcome. The fact that the child feels he or she needs to carry a weapon at all should be the main focus of this point. The world shouldn't be this violent for a child regardless of their location.
3. Threats with Weapons - During the nationally represented sample of youth survey, 7.4-percent of high school aged children reported being threatened by weapons at least once in the 12 months preceding the survey. Unfortunately, this doesn't show if these threats were caused from retaliation of threats the child received him or herself as a defensive measure or if a particularly aggressive child is threatening many different students.
4. Fighting - Fighting amongst children isn't a new occurrence in school, and 12-percent of high school-aged children admitted to being in a fight in the last 12 months while on school property. What's interesting is the 32.8-percent of children grades 9 through 12 who have been in a fight whether it was at school or not as a whole. This means that close to one out of three fights a high school child experiences will be on school grounds. Given the speculation that some of these off-school fights could have originated in the classroom, it begs the attention of how can the staff allow the violence to progress so far?
There are many speculations to how this violence erupts so frequently for children in the teenaged high school group. While some attribute the aggressive nature to video games and television, others point fingers at social services as parents are afraid to discipline their children out of fear of being arrested or spending the next two years attending court proceedings for "abuse" and/or "neglect." Regardless of the reasoning, something needs to be done. Our children shouldn't be afraid of the institution that is supposed to promote knowledge and temperance.
Stephanie has many years of experience as a nanny. She has always loved children and has continuously been involved in childcare activities. Currently she is one of the writers for houstonnanny.com. If you want to get in touch with her, you can email her at stephanie. Houstonnanny @ gmail. com.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
From USA Today:
Another day, another headache for the Internal Revenue Service.
This time, the federal agency is being accused of mishandling the tax returns of adoptive families.
A report from the IRS's Taxpayer Advocate Service says that 90% of families who claimed the adoption tax credit during the 2012 filing season had their returns flagged for further review. Nearly 70%t had at least a partial audit of their tax return.
Read more here.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
Monday, July 1, 2013
Spending on the average wedding in the U.S. climbed 5.2 percent to $28,427 in 2012 from a year earlier, according to XO Group Inc. (XOXO), a New York-based company whose websites include theknot.com and WeddingChannel.com.
“People do feel more comfortable spending their money than they used to,” said O’Shaughnessy, a 29-year-old partner at Bellafare LLC, an event and wedding-planning company in New York. “We’re busier, the stuff we’re getting is much more grand, and we’ve had to hire more people to help us out with everything.”
Read more here.