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December 2015 Archives

Don't Start the New Year with a DUI?

Want to end 2015 on a bad note?  Start 2016 off terribly?  If so, start drinking early and wake up in jail with a DUI arrest for the New Year.  Every year law enforcement is out in bigger numbers to stop DUI beginning on New Year's Eve and into New Year's Day.  The new year revelry often includes alcohol and then the prospect of getting home. It is advisable to get alternative transportation, a taxi cab, Uber or other ride from a sober driver, if you have been drinking alcohol on this, or any other night.  A DUI can cost over $10,000 if convicted.  Even an acquittal is likely to cost $2,000-3,000.  The big advantage of an acquittal is that your automobile insurance will not go through the roof - a reality that is likely to continue for 3-5 years.  A conviction in Kentucky will cost nearly $1,000 in court costs and fines, $300 in court ordered counseling classes, license reinstatement fees in addition to loss of license for four (4) months. An experienced DUI/criminal defense attorney can guide you through the process, advising of what are good issues to take to trial and when a deal is better to be struck.  Very few attorneys will tell you it is as simple as pleading guilty.  While that may actually be advantageous at some point, it is difficult to know until discovery is complete, knowing what issues may be available for suppression of evidence, if a video is favorable, or if blood or urine test may help your case. Drinking alcohol and driving is not necessarily a crime.  Know your rights by hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your county of arrest. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact a lawyer. For consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].  Call 581-MIKE.

Contempt - Enforcement of Court Orders

Enforcement of Court Orders may likely be the most difficult portion of a divorce case.  It can be frustrating when the opposing party refuses to comply with one or more terms of a settlement agreement or court ordered judgment in a case. Your remedy may be to file a motion for contempt in the court where the agreement was entered or the order issued. Contempt actions can result from any civil action and are not limited to divorce cases. Contempt is used when other forms of encouragement have failed and a party simply refuses to follow the terms of agreements that they've signed, or orders as directed by the Judge. For example, a person may be held in contempt for failure to pay support or provide certain information or documents, to allow for regular visitation, or to turn over property. The court will hold a hearing where both parties are usually represented and will consider whether the failure to comply with court orders occurred at all, and if so, whether it was willful or occurred through no fault of the non-compliant party. Contempt of court is punishable by up to six months in jail, $500 fine and other sanctions per count of contempt. A party may ask the court to award attorney's fees as an additional sanction where it appears, after consideration of all the evidence, that contempt was willful. If your ex-spouse is violating terms of the divorce, you should consult with an attorney regarding your rights. If you are facing contempt charges,  you also need an attorney.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call the Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected]

Where to File if Parents In Different States?

Having an office on the border of Ohio and Kentucky and practicing family law in both states, I am often asked: Where is proper place to file a divorce or custody action when the parties live in different states? Is it better for a father or mother to file in Ohio or Kentucky? There are some simple guidelines and some not-so-simple answers that are largely fact dependent.  First, the place of the marriage or birth of the child is irrelevant to where a filing should take place.  For a divorce, the place that the parties have resided for the most recent 6 month period should be the jurisdiction of filing.  For a custody action, the place that the child has resided for the most recent 6 months is the correct place of filing. What if the child spends equal time with each parent in different states?  This becomes more complex and is more case specific/fact dependent.  If the child spends more time, then that state is more appropriate.  That said, the first filing may be controlling.  If both parties file in different states, then the courts look at a variety of factors to determine which jurisdiction is more appropriate.  Those factors include the time in each state, reasons for filing in one v. other and most importantly, where the evidence is located. For example, if Father lives in Kentucky, the grandparents live in Kentucky, the child attends daycare in Kentucky, is treated by doctors in Kentucky, and both parties work in Kentucky while Mother lives in Ohio, then the evidence would be primarily Kentucky.  The potential witnesses are located in Kentucky (parent, grandparents, teachers, physicians) and the evidence is located in Kentucky (school/daycare records, medical records).  If the factors weigh about equally, then the first filing may also be a factor.  The judges from each state will discuss and make a mutual determination and the parties may have counsel in each state. The factors are the same regardless of which 2 states are involved.  It is more common when the states abut one another, however the decision making is the same if Kentucky v. California or Kentucky v. Ohio.  When the states are separated, it is very seldom that there is not a primary place of residence, which is controlling. Most attorneys will advise after consultation and help to answer the following questions: Which state is better suited to a particular parent? Which state is more "father friendly" or "pro-mother"? Which state is better for spousal support?  How does fault figure into a divorce in each state? How long will the process take in each state? If you ahve questions or are seeking counsel for custody or divorce in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact the Bouldin Law Firm and schedule an appointment.  Email Mike at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE.  859-581-6453.

Burglary Without Theft?

In Kentucky Burglary is defined as: A person is guilty of burglary in the first degree when, with the intent to commit a crime, he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building.  The definition does NOT require that a crime actually be committed, nor does it require any specific crime.  Although often thought of in conjunction with theft, said crime is not required. I have defended persons charged with burglary, wherein the underlying crime was arson, assault, as well as various theft allegations.  Those may be theft of goods, money, or drugs.  Additionally, charges of sexual assault, rape or attempted crimes may be used in conjunction with the unlawful entering (breaking and entering) to justify the burglary charge. If you have been charged with burglary, you are facing serious criminal charges in Kentucky and likely felony charges.  These often carry significant incarceration in addition to the felony label which may accompany you for the rest of your life. As such, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests and help you through this difficult time. For a consultation with Michael Bouldin, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at [email protected] or call Emily at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

Terms Used In Divorce & Custody Cases - Common Sense Definitions

Common Sense Legal Definitions for Dissolution/Divorce in Northern Kentucky and Ohio

Divorce in Ohio - filed in Ohio when the parties do not agree on all terms.  The parties may be in disagreement on any single or all issues.  Ohio is still considered an "at fault" divorce state, wherein one party must prove fault to be granted a divorce.  Basis for fault include: habitual drunkenness, gross neglect of duty, willful absence > 1 year, adultery, extreme cruelty, imprisonment or most commonly incompatibility. Dissolution in Ohio, means a divorce whereby the parties agree on all of the terms of the divorce (division of assets, custody, support, spousal support, etc). In Kentucky, synonymous with divorce. Kentucky is a "no fault" divorce state. Divorce/Dissolution in Kentucky - AKA No Fault - the parties are entitled to a dissolution without reference to reasons for the marriage to terminate. Typically, parties cannot introduce evidence of infidelity, financial mismanagement, adultery, abuse, neglect, abandonment and the like. These issues are sometimes relevant to child custody and possibly with respect to spousal support. EPO/DVO - Emergency Protective Order/Domestic Violence Order. The EPO is entered based on single affidavit and can last up to 14 days. The DVO is entered after service and hearing on the matter and can last up to 3 years (5 years in Ohio). There must be an act of violence or abuse or threats of actual physical violence or threat of bodily harm or death. Joint Custody in Northern Kentucky - preferred in Kentucky courts.  Literally means that both parties shall attempt to make joint decisions regarding the rearing of their children. Joint custody decisions typically entail schooling, religion, medical treatment and major activities. Joint custody does not necessarily have anything to do with parenting time. Shared Parenting in Ohio - term used primarily in Ohio but gaining acceptance in Kentucky. Typically used to show an equal amount of parenting time with both parents. Co-Parenting Term to describe how joint custody (KY) or shared parenting (OH) is supposed to work.  This term means that the parties work together to make decisions affecting the child(ren). Maintenance - Kentucky term used to describe spousal support. Also commonly referred to as alimony. QDRO - Qualified Domestic Relations Order. The QDRO is used to divide pensions and other types of retirement and company savings accounts. Quit-Claim Deed - the deed used to transfer real estate without the typical guarantees by the grantor. Typically used in the transfer of real estate through a divorce/dissolution.

Is It Too Late For Court to Determine Holidays?

If it is December and you have not already set a holiday visitation schedule, the answer is generally YES, it is too late. Being after December 1st, most filing deadlines have expired for having a court review your parenting/holiday schedule for 2015.  Many courts do have "standard holiday schedules" which can be found on the courts' websites.  The judges and most legal practitioners will advise clients to follow those standard schedules if you cannot agree, regardless of whether an Order has been entered.  Generally, the standard schedules alternate every other year and if you agree to the schedule for 2015, the court will almost assuredly follow the schedule for 2016. As stated in many previous blogs, the best advice is to work together with the other parent to arrive at a mutually agreeable holiday schedule. This is the essence of co-parenting (universal term), joint custody (Ky) and shared parenting (Oh).  Having practiced divorce/custody/domestic relations law for over 20 years, I understand the problems and that it does take 2 people to arrive at a mutual agreement and that is not always possible.  Your idea of "fair" may differ significantly from the other parent's fair. (Remember: Fair is a 4 letter "f word") Also remember, sometimes juvenile courts have different schedules than divorce courts.  This is especially true in Hamilton County, Ohio.  If you are divorced, the custody and holiday schedule is set forth from Common Pleas, Domestic Relations division.  This schedule differs greatly from the unmarried parents and schedule through the Hamilton Juvenile Court. IMPORTANT: If you have a court order and cannot otherwise agree, follow the current court order.  If you have questions about your order and have an attorney, call your attorney.  You do not want to be held in contempt for violation of court orders. If you have questions or are in need of representation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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