Kentucky Law Blog

Should recent research impact your custody decisions?

As you face your divorce proceedings, you may wonder how you will come out of the process successfully. Because success in relation to divorce can seem like an oxymoron, you could feel that any decisions made only indicate future hardships. However, when you have children and face custody proceedings, you may want to take a more positive approach.

Of course, finding the best custody arrangements for your situation can depend heavily on the particular circumstances involved. When trying to determine what may work best for your kids, you may wish to take recent research into consideration.

Divorced couple disagrees over use of frozen embryos

The legal application of the law often changes according to the time in which it is applied. Shifts in legislation, public opinion, societal norms and even technology may call legal issues (even those concerning family matters) into question. This often leaves court officials in local courts relying on the interpretation of legislators to establish legal precedents. In the absence of such statutes or interpretations, courts are forced to set such precedents on their own. 

Such has occurred in a recent case in Arizona involving a legal battle over seven frozen embryos. Local courts were left to rule on a case where a divorced couple disagreed on the right to use the embryos. The woman (who had the eggs fertilized with the man's sperm frozen prior to undergoing cancer treatment) wants to retain the right to use them in the future. She claims that such an option is her only realistic opportunity to have a biological child. The man, on the other hand, does not want them used, citing concerns about how having biological children (even those with whom he might not have a relationship) might affect any inheritance he may receive in the future. He also did not want to have any financial obligations to support the child. Even though the woman claims she would not expect financial support him, state law would require it were she to apply for state benefits in the future. 

What are my rights when I'm facing a criminal charge?

If you are arrested and charged with a criminal charge in Kentucky, you have specific rights owed to you under the law. These rights cannot be taken away from you and are your rights regardless of what you are being accused of doing. They are what lie at the heart of our legal system. It is your responsibility, though, to know and understand your rights because they may not always be explained to you.

Starting at your arrest, you need to be aware of your rights. According to the Department of Public Advocacy, you have the right to be informed of the charges against you and your rights to remain silent and to an attorney. You do not have to answer any questions except to give law enforcement your name. There is no time limit in the state on how soon you must be arraigned after an arrest, but your bond must be set within 24 hours.

What are 3 reasons why I should create estate plans today?

You may not think that having a will and estate plans are all that important. According to USA Today, you are not alone; 15 percent of Americans do not feel they need estate plans and 27 percent of them are not in a rush to create them. You should reconsider your stance on this issue and prepare for the future. 

Estate plans are important documents you can use to protect your estate and loved ones. Take some time to consider the following three reasons to create your will and estate plans right away. 

Can unpaid child support interfere with tax refunds?

If you are required to pay child support, you could find yourself facing an array of financial problems that make it difficult to stay current. For example, you might have lost your job or been through an unexpected accident that led to health care costs. However, it is crucial for you to stay focused on making your payments on time. Whether you live in Fort Mitchell, or another Kentucky city, unpaid child support could make your life hard in different ways, such as affecting your tax refund.

The Internal Revenue Service states that missing child support payments could result in your tax refund being offset. Sometimes, the Bureau of the Fiscal Service offsets the tax refunds of non-custodial parents who have failed to pay the child support they owe. However, you will receive a notice if your refund is offset. If your tax refund is offset, your life can become complicated, especially if the interception comes as a surprise. For example, you might have been planning to move or buy a car with your tax refund, all of which can be interrupted by problems stemming from unpaid child support.

Finding a baseline child support calculation in Kentucky

Whether you were married or unmarried, you and your partner may have reached a point where you knew that your relationship had reached an end. Now that you are making arrangements to go your separate ways, you turn your attention to providing for the children you share. You may have already worked out a child custody agreement with the other parent and have a written parenting plan with which both of you are satisfied.

Now, you need to figure out how much you will either pay or receive in child support depending on whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent. This is often where parents end up arguing. If you arm yourself with enough knowledge about what you could be facing in terms of amount, it may help diffuse some of the tension that often accompanies this topic.

How can I protect my business from divorce?

Before you file your divorce papers in Fort Mitchell, think about how it can affect your business. If you are not careful, you could risk everything you have worked so hard for to a spouse who contributed considerably less or nothing at all towards it. You do not want to rely on any verbal agreements you have with your partner because they can be hard to enforce. Also, you should not assume that there is nothing for you to worry about if your divorce seems to be amicable. 

Although you may not have taken steps to shield your business before you married your spouse, it is not too late for you to do so now. Take some time to review the following suggestions on how to protect your business from divorce. 

How to explain divorce to young children

A divorce is a devastating situation for everyone in the family. While the adults may be prepared for the situation, children usually are not. This is especially true for younger children who may not understand what is happening and why their family is changing. It is up to Kentucky parents to ensure they talk with their children and help them through the divorce.

Care.com recommends divorcing parents work together to speak with children. It is never a good idea to fight in front of them or blame the other parent. When working together, parents can create a plan that makes the children feel safe and prevents trauma from occurring. For the young children, it is best to just be straightforward and keep things simple. Parents should explain in clear terms what a divorce is and what it means.

Understanding burden of proof

Those who have been charged with crimes in Fort Mitchell could be in for a harrowing experience if and when their cases go to trial. Their fears may be founded in the presumption that if one is arrested and charged with a crime, he or she most likely did what authorities are accusing him or her of. Most people have likely heard the term "innocent until proven guilty," yet few may understand what it truly means in a legal context. Its application is related to the concept of burden of proof

Burden of proof describes the responsibility one side in a dispute has of proving a point. For example, some may believe that all that a prosecuting attorney must do is make the jury hearing a criminal case believe that a defendant may have committed a crime based off evidential elements. Information shared by the Cornell Law School defines such scenarios as a "preponderance of evidence." In civil cases, one side need only meet this mark in order secure a favorable ruling. Criminal cases, however, are held to a higher standard. 

What can be done to improve eyewitness identification?

Eyewitness have long been relied upon to identify perpetrators. However, they have also been under scrutiny for being unreliable. In Kentucky, you may find yourself accused of a crime simply because someone else said they saw you do it. If you even look similar to the actual person who committed the crime, you could be in trouble. However, there have been studies recently to suggest there are things that can be done by law enforcement to minimize the risk of erroneous eyewitness identification.

The National Center for State Courts outlines what law enforcement should do to avoid issues that could lead to your misidentification by an eyewitness as someone who committed a crime. This starts at the crime scene. If law enforcement on the scene suspects you of committing the crime, they may put you in handcuffs and even sit you in the back of a cruiser. Then, they may bring over witnesses and ask if you are indeed the perpetrator. This has a psychological effect on these witnesses because seeing you in handcuffs and essentially under arrest may lead them to believe you did it.

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