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February 2015 Archives

What is Maintenance in KY?

Maintenance is a fancy word for alimony or spousal support.  Some practitioners, me included, use the words interchangably since they mean the same thing.  Kentucky began utilizing the term maintenance instead of alimony in 1972. KRS 403.200 Maintenance -- Court may grant order for either spouse. (1) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of a marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse, the court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse only if it finds that the spouse seeking maintenance: (a) Lacks sufficient property, including marital property apportioned to him, to provide for his reasonable needs; and (b) Is unable to support himself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home. (2) The maintenance order shall be in such amounts and for such periods of time as the court deems just, and after considering all relevant factors including: (a) The financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, including marital property apportioned to him, and his ability to meet his needs independently, including the extent to which a provision for support of a child living with the party includes a sum for that party as custodian; (b) The time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to enable the party seeking maintenance to find appropriate employment; (c) The standard of living established during the marriage; (d) The duration of the marriage; (e) The age, and the physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance; and (f) The ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance. It is important for the practitioner and for the client to know and understand the tax ramifications of a maintenance award.  Maintenance is tax deductible to the paying spouse and is taxable to the spouse receiving the payments.  If you have questions, ask your attorney or tax consultant. For information or consultation on divorce and maintenance issues in Northern Kentucky, contact the Bouldin Law Firm and schedule an appointment with Michael W. Bouldin, a divorce practitioner for over 20 years.  Call at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

Are Videos Mandatory in DUI Arrests?

Is it mandatory that police video tape a DUI arrest?  This is a question which needs further investigation.  Currently, if there is a video then the Defendant is entitled to a copy of it through discovery.  If the Prosecution fails to provide the video, the case may be thrown out or the Defendant will at least be entitled to a lost evidence instruction.   The bigger question which many local police agencies must begin to answer is, "Why is there no video?"  This IS the best evidence.  In a day and age when virtually every person has video readily available on their phone, and video cameras cost less than $100, why are videos NOT mandatory?   Is it a constitutional right to video of a DUI stop and/or arrest?  The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizure.  The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to confront witnesses and to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses.   This is the most important time and event in the life of a defendant.  Why is it not mandatory to video tape this incident?  For example, Boone County sheriff DUI "Specialists" do not have video in their vehicle.  Does this disturb anyone else?  Write your legislators to change this and make DUI arrest videos mandatory.  Ask the judge to make a ruling that lack of video will either (1) be subject to the equivalent of a lost evidence instruction; or (2) invalidate the testimony of the arresting officer. If the judge does not rule in your favor, seek a jury trial. Your attorney can ask the jury to discount the testimony of the officer... question why an officer would not have video of such an important time and event in the life of the defendant. If you have questions about DUI or the use of video evidence, contact an attorney.  For a consultation or representation in Cincinnati or Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call at  859-581-6453 (581-MIKE)

50 Shades of Grey and Kentucky Law

50 Shades of Grey is the most wildly popular book and now movie in years, and perhaps ever. Why would a divorce law blog post be written in response to this success?  In short, the question I've been asking myself is whether a non-disclosure and consent contract would hold up in court. Interesting question.  You can consent to a boxing match, however it must be sanctioned by a regulatory authority.  Can you consent to illegal acts?  No.  Can you consent to assault?  Hmmmm, probably not.  There is no "consent" language in the definition of assault.

Can I Use a 50 Shades of Grey Contract?

50 Shades of Grey is the most wildly popular book and now movie in years, and perhaps ever. Why would a divorce law blog post be written in response to this success?  In short, the question I've been asking myself is whether a non-disclosure and consent contract would hold up in court. Interesting question.  You can consent to a boxing match, however it must be sanctioned by a regulatory authority. You cannot consent to an assault.

Can I Use Tax Refund to Hire Divorce Attorney?

Yes.*  Generally, you can utilize your tax refund for any purpose including hiring/retaining an attorney to represent you in a divorce or dissolution.  The asterisk (*) relates to the presumption that there are no Court ORDERS which mandate how the tax refund will be utilized.  Many clients also ask, "What about a status quo court Order?" Status quo orders generally mandate that parties are to continue paying certain expenses and to not incur additional liabilities.  AOC Form 237 provides a standard/typical status quo order.  A typical status quo order includes the following: no cancelling of any insurance policies, no changing beneficiaries, no selling, gifting or transferring of money or other assets. A status quo order is not issued in every case.  There was a period of time (2012?) when the Northern Kentucky family courts would issue them in every newly filed case.  The court of appeals and supreme court of Kentucky overturned the automatic issuance of such orders and mandated that they only be issued when there was good cause; typically a filing by either party. Consult with your lawyer before making use of your tax refund.  If you filed a joint tax return, you should likely split that refund with the joint filer/your spouse.  The attorney can review court orders to assure that you are not in violation before using the proceeds of your refund to retain an attorney. The status quo is not intended to prevent either party from obtaining legal counsel.  Obviously there is a contract and retainer involved in hiring an attorney.  This incursion of debt is expected in a divorce case and most courts try to assure that both parties have the financial ability to retain counsel. If you need an attorney or have questions relating to divorce or dissolution, contact the Bouldin Law Firm and talk to attorney, Michael Bouldin or paralegal, Emily Deegan.  Email mwbouldin2@gmail.com, emily@bouldinlawfirm.com or call the office at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

Dude, What's Up With Your Website/Blog?

For those of you who regularly follow my blog postings, you may have noticed that it has been nearly a month since my last Northern Kentucky divorce law blog.  If you looked for the site, you were probably looking at a blank screen or a redirection page. Unfortunately, it seems that the server which hosted my website (1) crashed; (2) deleted or lost my site; (3) fell off the internet; or (4) cannot be explained.  As a site owner, the reason was not relevant, however the resulting complete lack of any site or explanation was very frustrating. Now that we are up and running again, I will try to update the site with current and relevant information concerning divorce law, custody, support and issues surrounding northern Kentucky family courts.  If you have seen past posts, you will understand that I do not have any preformatted method of posting; I do not have any ghost writers for my site; I do not cut and past posts from other attorney web blogs and do not have other attorneys write unless they ask and are given credit. If you are an attorney and wish to submit a blog, you may contact me directly.  I have some friends in the legal community whom I greatly respect and believe that their contributions would be worthy and helpful. This morning I helped a couple finalize an adoption.  In this world of family law, adoption is the one truly happy time in court when a family can realize their dreams.  I view adoption as the truly very specific time that children's best interests are fully met through the court systems.  It is a great way to begin a week as a practitioner of family law. If you have family law questions, wish to speak with an attorney or have a question or idea for a blog, contact Michael Bouldin at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call the office at 859-581-6453.

What is Wanton Murder?

Kentucky law allows for a conviction of murder as an intentional act or as a wanton act. KRS 507.020 defines wanton murder as follows: Including, but not limited to, the operation of a motor vehicle under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person and thereby causes the death of another person. Wanton is defined in (3) of KRS 501.020 as: "Wantonly" -- A person acts wantonly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts wantonly with respect thereto. If a person dies in relation to an automobile accident, they may be charged with a crime of reckless homicide, manslaughter or murder.  The charges vary not only by the facts of the particular case, but also by the individual prosecutor or county in which it occurred.  Some prosecutors will charge high with the hopes of pleading the case down.  Others believe that murder is the appropriate charge.  Like virtually all DUI cases, the surrounding community outrage or lack thereof often plays into the charge, as well as the criminal history of the defendant. If you have been charged with DUI, murder, wanton murder or wanton endangerment, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact the Bouldin Law Firm and Michael Bouldin by email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

How To Order Criminal Background Report In KY

-If you are applying for an expungement in Kentucky, you must first obtain a copy of your criminal background from the AOC (Administrative Office of the Courts).  If you hire an attorney to assist with your expungement, the attorney will generally perform this service as part of his work.  Follow this LINK to order a report.  a A regular criminal report costs $20, however if doing for purpose of expungement, it is required that the report be sent to KSP, Kentucky State Police, for review and approval of the expungement.  the total fee for the criminal background portion of the expungement process is $40.  The AOC will usually process the report within 2-3 business days, however KSP may take 30-60 days to process the report (I've found average is 45 days). A criminal defense attorney can assist in guiding you through the process, filing the correct forms, and assuring that ALL of the proper agencies get notified of the expungement.  It is not enough to simply have the court clerk expunge the record, it should also go to numerous other agencies, including police, detention centers, and prosecutors.  You may be eligible for a misdemeanor conviction or an acquittal for any felony or misdemeanor charges.  If you completed a diversion program, you should also follow up and have the charges expunged. For assistance in Northern Kentucky, contact the law office of Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com.  

What is Jail Time for Class D Felony in Ky?

A class D felony in Kentucky is punishable by 1-5 years of incarceration. This may be served in the state prison or, more likely, in local county jails.  Class D is the lowest form of felony in the commonwealth of Kentucky and most first time offenders are eligible for probation.  Certain crimes may also be eligible for felony diversion.  Felony diversion is available to first-time, non-violent felons, but must be with the consent and agreement of the prosecution. Felony diversion is a program that allows a person to enter a plea then be sentenced to a period of probation. If that person successfully completes probation, the case can ultimately be dismissed.  This enables the defendant to proceed as if they have not had a crime on their record. **in certain cases,  this may be used in sentencing if the defendant commits and is sentenced on a subsequent federal felony. If you have been charged with a crime, including felony or misdemeanor charges, in Kentucky, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm and schedule an appointment to meet with Michael Bouldin.  Call 859-581-6453 or email mwbouldin2@gmail.com.

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