Is a Business Valuation Necessary in Divorce?

Depends. I often start a blog post with questions often asked during a divorce; only to find myself knowing that it is not simply a Yes or No question.

You need to first ask the following questions:

  1. Is the value of the business greater than the owner? If the business is single person LLC where a service is provided, it is often only an alternate to other gainful employment. This often includes professionals such as attorneys and accountants or others such as personal trainers and life coaches.
  2. Is it a “saleable” business? Meaning, if we put this business on the market, is there a potential buyer. Some businesses are so unique that there is no market for their purchase.
  3. Is there a value above the value of the assets? A valuation can be useful if there goodwill that needs to be explored or client/customer lists that have value.
  4. Can the ownership be divided between the spouses? If it is a single member or there is buy/sell clauses that limit spouse ownership, one party may have to buy out the other.

A business valuation may take on many forms. For example, in a collaborative dissolution often the parties will utilize one valuation expert to provide a neutral valuation for use in determining value of assets and potential division of property. In litigation, a thumbnail evaluation may give a party at least an overview and vague idea of the value of a business, while a more comprehensive valuation will be necessary if presenting to court for trial. Know that every business has a value, which can be determined using:

  • Income-based approach
  • Asset-based approach
  • Market-based approach

If you are going through a divorce and there is a closely held business, a valuation may be necessary or at least useful before separating marital assets. You should discuss with your attorney the various types of valuation, the relative cost and the usefulness if the case proceeds to litigation.

For consultation regarding divorce/dissolution, contact Michael Bouldin by following this link or call 859-581-6453 to schedule a consultation.

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How to Expunge EPO or IPO in Kentucky

As criminal defense attorney I am often asked, “Can I expunge an EPO or DVO?” If certain criteria are met, you can expunge an EPO or IPO in Kentucky. You will need to pay the initial fee of $40.50 for a background check. Once that is certified by the state, your attorney can file to have the records expunged.

Fortunately, Kentucky law does allow people to expunge the records of the EPO filing and proceedings if the proceeding did not result in the issuance of a DVO or IPO.  To be eligible for expungement, the following requirements must be met:

1. The proceeding did not result in the issuance of a DVO or IPO;

2. At least 6 months have elapsed since the dismissal of the case; and

3. During the 6 months prior to the expungement, the person cannot have been bound by a DVO or IPO relating to any other person.

The cost for attorney fees is typically $500, but may vary if you have felony or other issues to expunge from your record. If you have had an EVO or IPO against you dismissed, you are likely eligible to have all the records of the proceedings expunged. 

Contact the Michael Bouldin today by using the link, email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-6453) to find out what we can do for you. 

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AI Facial Recognition in Criminal Investigations, Warrants, Charges and Trials

After listening to a recent podcast for facial recognition, Stuff You Should Know, it gave me the thought of a separate article concentrating on crimes and investigations in which Facial Recognition is used to “solve” the crime or identify a suspect. Is every adult now part of a virtual lineup every day?

The 4th Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees persons from unreasonable searches and seizures. Case law around this issue is that it passes constitutional muster so long as they are minimally invasive to the party and the public good outweighs the infringement of rights. The US Supreme Court has found that a copy of voice or handwriting, a lifted fingerprint or found DNA is not a “search and seizure of a person.” There is a requirement to obtain a warrant if requesting a person’s DNA or submission to a fingerprint analysis. As such, it is very unlikely that a court would find that a photo of your face would be a search or seizure subject to constitutional protection.

The second argument against is one of privacy. In general, one cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy for things put into a public space and there is no expectation of privacy of a person’s physical characteristics, such as voice and handwriting. It would be a stretch to rule that a person as a right to privacy regarding their facial features; especially if they are in public and upload pictures to social media sites.

The use of AI facial recognition has grown considerably in recent year(s) and is growing at a rapid pace. The slope is dangerous and slippery. While most people do not object to using this to catch child predators or to find abducted children, the next few steps would undoubtedly follow. Police in may cities already use Facial Recognition to identify criminal suspects. Recent investigations say that just searching criminal databases has lowered from 30 days for a human to 3 minutes for a computer. Obviously this is a better use of time, but to what extent? Can we use it to identify traffic offenders, speeding, jaywalking or any other typically innocuous crime.

The bigger question is what is the tolerance for mistaken identity? Due to the databases used, it is proven that minorities, particularly African Americans, are more often mistaken than white people. Black women are disproportionately mistaken in Facial Recognition. So if the computer gets it wrong 1% of the time, is that a good result. We get 99 criminals off the street and 1 innocent person gets wrongly accused or convicted. What percent is acceptable? Moreover, is is fair for a person to have to defend themselves from baseless accusations because a computer picked them out of a lineup that they didn’t know they were in?

If used, virtually every person is a potential suspect in every crime and they are part of an ongoing virtual lineup in every case. You may be investigated, questioned, asked for an alibi, or even charged without ever knowing about a case because your face is in any database – mug shot, DMV, Instagram, LinkedIn, FaceBook, etc.

This area is rapidly expanding and there is little hope of putting the cat back into the box. This should be a legislative debate, but unfortunately it will likely first be led by criminal defense attorneys seeking justice for their clients.

If you have been charged with a crime, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. For consultation, contact Michael Bouldin by clicking this LINK , email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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Can I Spank My Children?

As both a criminal defense and family law attorney for over 25 years, the answer is not simply that you have the right to spank your children, there are varying degrees that are often interpreted differently by different judges, professionals and social workers.

The general rule is that you can spank your children as a corrective behavior measure so long as it does not leave a mark. Even the question of “leaving a mark” is measured drastically differently depending on a number of factors.

For example, light skinned or white children will more readily show a mark. Most professionals agree that if you spank your children, you should use your hand. That said, a hand print is often the first thing that will arise when they are filing abuse charges.

The second thing that is considered is if it was a thought-out punishment. Spanking while angry or without consideration is generally considered worse and more likely to be abuse. Though out may be 1, 2 or 3 swats, not ongoing or without a plan.

There are also various definitions which are used. The most common place that people go if there is a report of abuse is to Family Juvenile Court for DNA. DNA is Dependency, Neglect and Abuse. The case is sent to Juvenile court where the initial goal is to reunite the children with the parent(s). This is not criminal court and the standard for making a finding is much less than in criminal cases. The parent may be required to take parenting classes, undergo drug/alcohol testing, or seek abuse counseling.

If the county attorney considers it severe, the parent could also be charged with a crime. The standard for a criminal conviction is much greater than that required for a finding in Juvenile court. The defendant is entitled to a jury trial and representation if they cannot afford an attorney.

In defending a criminal charge, KRS 503.110 provides: The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant is a parent, guardian, or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor or an incompetent person or when the defendant is a teacher or other person entrusted with the care and supervision of a minor, for a special purpose, and: (a) The defendant believes that the force used is necessary to promote the welfare of a minor or mentally disabled person or, if the defendant’s responsibility for the minor or mentally disabled person is for a special purpose, to further that special purpose or maintain reasonable discipline in a school, class, or other group; and (b) The force that is used is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death, serious physical injury, disfigurement, extreme pain, or extreme mental distress.

If you have been charged with child abuse, whether in Juvenile court or as a crime, you should hire an attorney to protect y our rights and advise you though the process. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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