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January 2014 Archives

Who Is the Best Divorce Lawyer?

As a practitioner for 20 years, I am often asked who the best divorce lawyer is in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati. Kentucky ethic rules prohibits the use of the term "best" in advertising.  It is a misleading term as it implies a degree of expertise above all others. Simply, there is no BEST lawyer. There are many good divorce lawyers in both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. In my opinion, the best attorneys are the ones who are the most honest with their clients. They give realistic expectations and advise on when to settle and resolve disputes and when to stand firm and proceed to litigation. Very good lawyers know the law and also the judges who will be handling your case.  Experience in front of the judge will lead to better advice on what to expect from the judge, what to look for and how to present the case, as well as most realistic expectations.  The best lawyers also have compassion for their clients and can anticipate their concerns; whether financial, personal, emotional or fear of the unknowing. Also to consider is how well the attorney communicates with clients and essential is that the client trusts the advice of his/her attorney.  The best lawyer for you may not be the best lawyer for someone else.  For example, some clients want an attorney who will "fight" for them, while others want an attorney who will give them the best advice.  This may not be the same attorney.  I often advise potential clients to interview 2-3 attorneys before deciding who they choose to represent them.  It is important for clients to realize that the attorney is their chosen representative and their actions, statements and portrayal is a direct reflection of the client. If you are considering divorce or dissolution, it is always advisable to retain an attorney who regularly practices in your jurisdiction/county of residence.  If you wish to schedule a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin  at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.  

What Is Penalty for TBUT?

TBUT is a crime in Kentucky which is shorthand for Theft By Unlawful Taking.  If charged as TBUT > $500 (under $500), it is a felony charge.  If TBUT < $500 (over $500) it is a misdemeanor charge.  Often TBUT is the charge for shoplifting as well as cold check cases.  The statutory definition is as follows: KRS 514.030 - Theft by unlawful taking or disposition -- Penalties. (1) Except as otherwise provided in KRS 217.181, a person is guilty of theft by unlawful taking or disposition when he unlawfully: (a) Takes or exercises control over movable property of another with intent to deprive him thereof; or (b) Obtains immovable property of another or any interest therein with intent to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto. (2) Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to $500 fine and/or 12 months jailunless: (a) The property is a firearm (regardless of the value of the firearm), in which case it is a Class D felony; (b) The property is anhydrous ammonia (regardless of the value of the ammonia), in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense; (c) The property is one (1) or more controlled substances valued collectively at less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony(punishable by 1-5 years prison) (d) The value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a (punishable by 1-5 years prison(punishable by 1-5 years prison) (e) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more but less than one million dollars ($1,000,000), in which case it is a Class C felony(punishable by 5-10 years prison) (f) The value of the property is one million dollars ($1,000,000) or more but less than ten million dollars ($10,000,000), in which case it is a Class B felony; (punishable by 10-20 years prison) or (g) The value of the property is ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or more, in which case it is a Class B felony. (punishable by 10-20 years prison) (3) Any person convicted under subsection (2)(g) of this section shall not be released on probation or parole until he or she has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed, any statute to the contrary notwithstanding. (mandatory 5-10 years prison) As you can see, the felony charge may be enhanced based on the amount of theft.  Over $500 is a Class D Felony, Over $10,000 is a Class C Felony and Over $1,000,000 is a Class B Felony, with specific enhancements for mandatory prison time if over $10MM. If you have been charged with any TBUT, whether misdemeanor or felony, you need an attorney.  For representation in Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Gallatin Counties, email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453.

What Is TBUT?

TBUT is a crime in Kentucky which is shorthand for Theft By Unlawful Taking.  If charged as TBUT > $500, it is a felony charge.  If TBUT < $500, it is a misdemeanor charge.  Often TBUT is the charge for shoplifting as well as cold check cases.  The statutory definition is as follows: KRS 514.030 - Theft by unlawful taking or disposition -- Penalties. (1) Except as otherwise provided in KRS 217.181, a person is guilty of theft by unlawful taking or disposition when he unlawfully: (a) Takes or exercises control over movable property of another with intent to deprive him thereof; or (b) Obtains immovable property of another or any interest therein with intent to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto. (2) Theft by unlawful taking or disposition is a Class A misdemeanor unless: (a) The property is a firearm (regardless of the value of the firearm), in which case it is a Class D felony; (b) The property is anhydrous ammonia (regardless of the value of the ammonia), in which case it is a Class D felony unless it is proven that the person violated this section with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of KRS 218A.1432, in which case it is a Class B felony for the first offense and a Class A felony for each subsequent offense; (c) The property is one (1) or more controlled substances valued collectively at less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; (d) The value of the property is five hundred dollars ($500) or more but less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), in which case it is a Class D felony; (e) The value of the property is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more but less than one million dollars ($1,000,000), in which case it is a Class C felony; (f) The value of the property is one million dollars ($1,000,000) or more but less than ten million dollars ($10,000,000), in which case it is a Class B felony; or (g) The value of the property is ten million dollars ($10,000,000) or more, in which case it is a Class B felony. (3) Any person convicted under subsection (2)(g) of this section shall not be released on probation or parole until he or she has served at least fifty percent (50%) of the sentence imposed, any statute to the contrary notwithstanding. As you can see, the felony charge may be enhanced based on the amount of theft.  Over $500 is a Class D Felony, Over $10,000 is a Class C Felony and Over $1,000,000 is a Class B Felony, with specific enhancements for mandatory prison time if over $10MM. If you have been charged with any TBUT, whether misdemeanor or felony, you need an attorney.  For representation in Boone, Campbell, Kenton and Gallatin Counties, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453.

What Is Penalty for PCS?

PCS, or possession of controlled substance, is a class D felony in Northern Kentucky.  Unlike most class D felonies, which are punishable from 1-5 years, PCS is punishable to a maximum of 3 years of incarceration.  If the offender is trafficking, the charges are likely C felonies, punishable by 5-10 years if they remain in state court.  If the quantity of the drug is excessive, this may also materialize into federal charges, with its own set of sentencing guidelines. Additionally, pursuant to the KRS 218A.1415, there is a presumption of probation or deferred prosecution in first offender PCS cases.  Most often the courts are looking to assure treatment for the offender to prevent repeat of the offense, or injury/death to the offender.  Heroin is currently the most common substance which accounts for the majority of PCS cases, however cocaine and meth still seem to find there way into the system. PCS and all felony charges are serious charges with possibility of jail or prison sentences.  If you have a felony charge in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin for a consultation at 859-581-6453.

What Is Possession of Controlled Substance?

Possession of Controlled Substance, typically referred to as PCS, is usually a felony charge in Kentucky.  PCS is a felony charge if someone is arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine or any other narcotic substances, schedule I or II narcotics, and methamphetamine.  PCS can also be a lesser charge if a non-narcotic prescription drug.  Unlike other class D felonies, the penalties for PCS are 1-3 years, with presumption of probation or deferred prosecution. PCS is codified and located in Kentucky Revised Statutes under controlled substance act. KRS 218A.1415 - Possession of controlled substance in first degree -- Penalties. (1) A person is guilty of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses: (a) A controlled substance that is classified in Schedules I or II and is a narcotic drug; (b) A controlled substance analogue; (c) Methamphetamine; (d) Lysergic acid diethylamide; (e) Phencyclidine; (f) Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), including its salts, isomers, salts of isomers, and analogues; or (g) Flunitrazepam, including its salts, isomers, and salts of isomers. (2) Possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class D felony subject to the following provisions: (a) The maximum term of incarceration shall be no greater than three (3) years, notwithstanding KRS Chapter 532; (b) For a person's first or second offense under this section, he or she may be subject to a period of: 1. Deferred prosecution pursuant to KRS 218A.14151; or 2. Presumptive probation; (c) Deferred prosecution under paragraph (b) of this subsection shall be the preferred alternative for a first offense; and (d) If a person does not enter a deferred prosecution program for his or her first or second offense, he or she shall be subject to a period of presumptive probation, unless a court determines the defendant is not eligible for presumptive probation as defined in KRS 218A.010. PCS and all felony charges are serious charges with possibility of jail or prison sentences.  If you have a felony charge in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin for a consultation at 859-581-6453.

What Is Felony Assault?

Felony assault in Kentucky is codified in KRS 508 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. KRS 508.010 Assault in the first degree. (1) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree when: (a) He intentionally causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or (b) Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person. (2) Assault in the first degree is a Class B felony If the injury is less serious but there is physical injury caused by a deadly weapon, or if there is serious physical injury without a weapoin, the charge is located in KRS 508-020, Assault in the second degree.  This is a class C felony. If you have been charged with a felony assault, it is a serious offense and you need a criminal defense attorney.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@fuse.net or call 859-581-6453

What Is Penalty for Felony Assault?

Felony assault in third degree is assault on a police officer.  Felony assault in second degree is assault with a deadly weapon or assault resulting in serious physical injury to the victim.  Felony assault in the first degree is assault with a deadly weapon and resulting in serious physical injury. The statutes provide very specific definitions as to what constitutes physical injury versus what is serous physical injury. Assault 3rd is a Class D felony which is punishable by 1-5 years in prison. Assault 2nd is a Class C felony which is punishable by 5-10 years in prison. Assault 1st is a Class B felony which is punishable by 10-20 years in prison. If you have been charged with a felony assault case, IT IS A SERIOUS OFFENSE.  You should contact a criminal defense attorney at your earliest convenience and schedule a consultation.   Michael Bouldin at Bouldin Law Firm represents criminal defendants in state and federal courts.  For consultation in N.Ky or Cincinnati, call Mike at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com .

Is There A Better Way to Divorce?

The offspring of divorce is dissolution. The offspring of dissolution is collaborative law, also referred to as collaborative dissolution. Many people do not like the option of utilizing courts and judges to make life decisions for themselves, their children, their assets and debts and their family.  It is especially daunting to trust your future and your life to a total stranger that has been elected as the family judge.   Unfortunately, that is the method of determining division of assets, custody, visitation and support if the parties cannot otherwise agree.  Thus came the advent of Collaborative Law. 

How Much Does Divorce Cost?

One of the most common questions and most difficult to answer is How much does it cost?  Nearly all domestic/family law practitioners will have a retainer and charge an hourly fee.  The legal fees vary based on the amount of time necessary to resolve the issues. Divorce costs can include: filing fees, legal fees, mediation expenses, guardian ad litem (GAL) fees, expert witness fees, psychological/psychiatric expenses, deposition and discovery costs, and expenses relating to parenting assessment, evaluation and co-parent therapy or counseling.  If the parties do not have children or agree on custody/parenting, then they will likely save all expenses related thereto; psychological, counseling, GAL, and parenting evaluation. There are very few case where a flat fee can be determined by the lawyer.  These cases typically involve an agreement between the parties on all issues.  This includes not only division of assets and debts but also custody, support and parenting time if the parties have children in common.  In this type of case, also referred to as an uncontested dissolution, the attorney may handle the case for a set fee. This legal fee may be as low as $1,500, but is to be determined based on the complexity of the case and generally does not include filing fees.  For example, complex parenting agreements, division of real estate, quit claim deeds and division of retirement via QDRO are generally additional fees.  Also, some courts require more forms and paperwork than others and the fees may increase as a result thereof.  More often, the amount of time will determine the legal fees involved.  The retainer is generally based on an anticipated minimum amount of time that the case will take to resolve.  Many cases do exceed this minimum so ongoing legal fees are generally expected. It is important to discuss fees and expectations with your attorney.  If you have a problem with the fees, it is better to address them as soon as possible.  Most attorneys are accustomed to discussing fees and should be able to verify the time expended on your case.

What Does $40 Golf Driver Have to Do With Criminal Attorney?

Recently a potential client in Kenton County, Kentucky inquired about my fee in a case.  The case was a felony charge that was likely to be resolved as a misdemeanor.  I advised the client that my fee would be $1,500 so long as we could get resolved without a felony indictment.*  By the way, this is a fairly standard fee for criminal representation of this type by an experienced criminal defense attorney. The client called again and said that some other attorney would represent him in court for $200 and wanted to know my thoughts.  While my initial thoughts were to simply hang up (0r worse), I decided instead to ask if he played golf. In the warmer weather, I generally golf 1-2 times per week.  Many times I'm asked whether a cheap, used or knock-off driver is as good as the more expensive brands.  Last summer a friend asked what I thought of their new $40 find.  My reply was, "It looks good but does it work?"  In general, you get what you pay for.  My experience tells me that he probably wasted $40.  That said, if he doesn't mind paying twice, he might as well swing it for awhile and see if it works for him.  If so, he probably saved $350.  If not, he will end up spending $440 and having another driver in his garage. My advice to defendants in a criminal proceeding is to find an attorney in whom you have confidence.  There is no shortcut to experience - in the courtroom and in the county dealing with the local prosecutors, judges and jurors.  If you have questions or need counsel in Northern Kentucky counties of Boone, Campbell, Kenton, Grant or Gallatin, contact Michael Bouldin at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453 . You may schedule a consultation through the paralegal, Emily. *This is an example of one fee in specific case. Each case is unique and subject to different fee.  Legal fees are discussed in each case and agreed upon between the attorney and client.

What To Do If Loved One is Addicted to Drugs?

The first thing to do if a loved one is addicted to drugs is to try to get them help. Don't give up!  Statistics tell us that it takes, on average, 3 attempts to treat addiction before it actually works.  Under Casey's Law, you can have a loved one/family member brought before the court for involuntary treatment of drug abuse.  I have written a prior blog on this issue and you can gain additional information at caseyslaw.blogspot.com. Criminal charges are a primary way that many family members become aware of drug use and abuse.  Drug addicts are very persuasive and often convince their family members that: (1) they don't have a problem; (2) that they know best how to stop using; (3) that they are recovered; (4) that they don't have a problem, only recreational use, or able to stop at any time; (5) cannot survive in treatment/jail; or (6) posting bond will help them to recover. This week I had a client overdose and die while out of jail. (see prior blogpost) Often the best thing you can do for your loved ones is to leave them in jail until they can get into treatment.  Detox is difficult regardless of where it occurs, and jail is no better or worse than a comfortable bed.  In my opinion a good attorney will help the client to lessen the charges and minimize the jail time.  A great attorney will encourage the client and family to treat the underlying concern and break the addiction to drugs. If you or a loved one is addicted to drugs, seek all help available.  For legal help or consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com . 

Will DUI Affect My Divorce?

When a person is going through a divorce it is often a very stressful time of their life. I have represented numerous clients who have been charged with DUI while in the middle of the divorce and/or custody battle.  Some in divorce only, some in the DUI case and many in both the dissolution and DUI cases.  Many colleagues practice only criminal or family law, therefore I also receive referrals for those that practice one or the other. DUI can have an effect on the custody proceedings in a divorce.  This is especially true if the child is in the vehicle when the parent is charged with the DUI.  When determining custody, the court first looks at the "best interest of the child(ren)."  When evaluating the best interest, the court will first try to assure that the child is in a safe environment.   If charged with a DUI, the first order is to hire a good DUI attorney to represent you in that case.  The attorney can advise if you should challenge the DUI or how to best deal with the consequences.  As a criminal defense and domestic/family law attorney or nearly 20 years, many people plead guilty when they have legitimate grounds to contest the charges. If you are going through a divorce and are charged with a DUI, contact an attorney as soon as possible.  Having practiced both domestic and criminal law, I feel that i have a somewhat unique perspective on the correlation of DUI and custody.  How you handle each case depends on the specific circumstances as well as which judges are presiding in each case. If you have questions, concerns or wish to schedule a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.

Does DUI Affect Custody in Divorce?

When a person is going through a divorce it is often a very stressful time of their life. I have represented numerous clients who have been charged with DUI while in the middle of the divorce and/or custody battle.  Some in divorce only, some in the DUI case and many in both the dissolution and DUI cases.  Many colleagues practice only criminal or family law, therefore I also receive referrals for those that practice one or the other. DUI can have an effect on the custody proceedings in a divorce.  This is especially true if the child is in the vehicle when the parent is charged with the DUI.  When determining custody, the court first looks at the "best interest of the child(ren)."  When evaluating the best interest, the court will first try to assure that the child is in a safe environment.   If charged with a DUI, the first order is to hire a good DUI attorney to represent you in that case.  The attorney can advise if you should challenge the DUI or how to best deal with the consequences.  As a criminal defense attorney for nearly 20 years, many people plead guilty when they have legitimate grounds to contest the charges. If you are going through a divorce and are charged with a DUI, contact an attorney as soon as possible.  Having practiced both domestic and criminal law, I feel that i have a somewhat unique perspective on the correlation of DUI and custody.  How you handle each case depends on the specific circumstances as well as which judges are presiding in each case. If you have questions, concerns or wish to schedule a consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453.

Drug Overdose and Criminal Law

As a criminal law attorney for nearly 20 years, I can state with absolute certainty that drugs are the primary cause of the large majority of crimes in Kentucky and throughout the United States. Everyone knows that cases involving possession of controlled substance, trafficking of marijuana or controlled substance and DUI are all drug cases. My experience also tells me that a large majority of other crimes: theft, possession of forged instrument, TBUT, burglary, nonpayment of child support, and robbery also generally involve the use or abuse of drugs.  While not always the cause, most cases of manslaughter, rape, sex abuse, and murder also often involve drug abuse. Today marks the third time a client of mine has died due to drug overdose. With an appointment scheduled for today, and the intent that she would turn herself in on an outstanding warrant, my client overdosed last evening and died.  This is not the first, and doubtful the last client who will overdose and die during the course of representation.  It is unfortunate that people cannot see the damage and danger of using drugs and alcohol to excess. If you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, seek help.  If you have criminal problems in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net. Kristina Kristina

What If I Miss Court?

If you miss court your best bet is to return to the court clerk as soon as possible. If you miss due to weather, you should call the day of your court and advise them of the situation and ask if they can continue your case to a later date. Snow emergencies are generally legitimate grounds to continue your case without your appearance. If you fail to appear, the court will usually issue a warrant for your arrest and set a bond.  In Ohio, this is referred to as a capias.  Hamilton County has specific forms you can file for a capias recall.  You can also turn yourself into the county jail and post the bond and be released with a new court date.  An attorney may be able to help you to have the bond reduced or to have the warrant quashed (legal term for removed). It is important to take account and return to the clerk/court as soon as possible.  This may help to avoid separate charges of bail jumping or contempt charges for failing to follow the orders of the Court.  It is considered contempt for failing to return to your court dates.  Bail Jumping may be a separate misdemeanor or felony charge. If you have been charged with a crime in Northern Kentucky, or if you have missed your court date, you should retain an attorney who practices criminal law.  For a consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton county, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mike@bouldinlawfirm.com .

Who Pays Attorney Fees in a Divorce?

The general rule is that each party pays their own legal fees in a divorce.  This is primarily based on the notion that the parties will equally divide the assets and debts of the marriage, thus leaving them both with similar financial resources.  In collaborative law cases, this is one of the consideration which is discussed and ultimately agreed upon by the parties and the attorneys attempt to divide the workload. In general, a judge has tremendous discretion in awarding attorneys' fees.  They are generally awarded when one party is unnecessarily increasing the legal costs for both parties.  The statute regarding attorney fees mandates that the judge's decision be based on the financial resources of  both parties.  

What If I Get Arrested for PCS?

Possession of Controlled Substance is a felony charge in Kentucky. If you are arrested, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney as soon as practical.  There are many options generally available to a criminal defendant when charged with PCS.  Your attorney should review with you those options which are available to you. The option of pleading NOT GUILTY and proceeding to trial by judge or jury is available in every criminal case.  Unfortunately there are very seldom cases of PCS where (1) the defendant is truly not guilty; and (2) that an offer is made by the prosecution where a plea bargain is better than a potential finding of guilt.  That said, you should always discuss with your lawyer any potential defenses, including suppression of evidence, that may be available in your case. Probation, diversion and deferred prosecution are all possibilities in dealing with PCS charges in Kentucky, especially for first time offenders who have no prior felony convictions. Prior convictions do pose problems to plea agreements and also greatly increase the likelihood of serving a prison sentence.  Speak with a private attorney, often the charges are less than you may imagine. If you have been charged, consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For a consultation in Boone, Campbell or Kenton county, call Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  

Can I Move With My Children?

Current law does require notice to the court of intent to relocate.  This is required regardless of whether the relocation will affect the parenting time.  If you are planning to move and you have children, you should first consult with your attorney regardless of if you are divorced or were never married. Family law attorneys are regularly asked by clients and potential clients whether they can relocate with their children.  As a domestic attorney for nearly 20 years, this is probably one of the most often asked question that I receive.  Kentucky law has gone through many changes over the past 10 years with respect to relocation cases. In general, courts disfavor relocation of parents.  While the law certainly allows freedom to live where ever you like, it does not permit unfettered moving with the children, especially if it impacts the parenting time of the other parent. Whether the parties are married is often a significant factor.  Courts generally opine that if the parties chose to live together in a certain geographic area, it has already been determined to be in the best interest of the children.  It is somewhat comical that most often the mother believes that she should have the right to relocate with the children.  When challenged of "should father be able to relocate with the children?" those same mothers do not understand the fault in their logic. If the parties are not married and the child was born out of wedlock, consideration should also be taken as to whether there is a current custody Order from a court, as well as whether paternity has been established.  Legal advice may vary based on a number of factors.  Additionally, child custody cases must be filed in the state of the child's residence.  Residence is only established after the child has resided for more than 6 months in any specific state.   Based on the current status of the law, there may even be some circumstances where there is no "home state" for the child such that a custody case may be filed.  For example, if paternity has not been established and Father lives in Ohio and Mother and child lives in Kentucky, if mother moves to a different state, there may be no home state until 180 days have elapsed. For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com. 

Do NKY Divorce Attorneys Have Videos?

Attached is a short video from Northern Kentucky divorce attorney Michael Bouldin.  Get to know your lawyer before meeting.  Clink on this LINK and you will be directed to the YouTube video. If you have questions or concerns about divorce, or wish to schedule a consultation, contact my office.  Schedule with Emily Emily@bouldinlawfirm.com if I am not available.  Contact by email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE)

Can I Use Tax Refund For Legal Fees?

Many divorce and custody clients utilize their tax refund checks to pay the retainer for their legal fees. In uncontested divorces or dissolutions parties can share their legal fees by utilizing one attorney to prepare all documents, answer questions and help to finalize a dissolution. If you have questions in Northern Kentucky contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin@fuse.net or call 859-581-6453.

Who Gets the Family Pet in Divorce?

Kentucky law views pets as another piece of property, or chattel. While the family courts are courts of equity, they divide animals, pets, cats and dogs like any other piece of property. The court does not consider custody, visitation or separate schedule when dividing animals. Many couples elect to negotiate the division of animals, whether through mediation or collaborative law.  Choosing one of these options allows the parties to come to an agreement, whether with each taking certain pets, or with time share division of the animals.  Parties should also consider expenses, vet and grooming costs as well as other considerations which would normally be reserved for child custody cases.  While potentially costly, animals are often viewed by the parties as members of the family. (You cannot tell my family that Cabo isn't a member of our family)2-16B6D932-110298-800 It is hard form most people to imagine that a "member of the family" is worth the same as the recliner.    If your pet is important, make sure to discuss with your attorney.  If you are starting a divorce, consult with an experienced family law attorney. In Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, call Michael Bouldin at the Bouldin Law Firm for a consultation at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call at 859-581-6453.  

Know Your Rights

As a criminal and DUI defense attorney for over 19 years, I am often asked "what to do" questions. Following is the most  comprehensive and best advice I have seen and is neatly organized from www.theblaze.com .know-your-rights

Do Lawyers Specialize in Divorce, Custody or Post Decree Litigation?

Kentucky law does not allow certification of specialty practices. Some lawyers will handle only certain cases and others will represent individuals over a variety of practice areas.  There are a few attorneys in Cincinnati and other rather large cities who may only do collaborative law, however this is unusual.  There are also some attorneys who limit there practice to juvenile law.  This may include GAL or abuse, dependency and neglect features. Generally, most attorneys who practice family law, especially in Northern Kentucky, will handle contested and uncontested divorce cases, dissolution, custody as well as post-decree issues.  The primary reason is that there are seldom enough of any one type to keep an attorney busy.  Most attorneys who practice family law and collaborative dissolution would prefer the collaborative cases over the contested litigation. Additionally, many attorneys make it part of their practice to continue representation of clients after their divorce is final, as the post-decree issues may develop.  Those post-decree issues may include modification of custody, change of parenting time, relocation issues and changes to child support.  Future and continued representation is something to discuss with your attorney when determining who to retain for custody or divorce as many attorneys charge a new retainer for each new issue. If you have questions and wish to schedule a consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael W. Bouldin by email at  mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453.

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