What Is a Cheap Divorce?

Most people think of a cheap divorce as one that is quick, relatively painless and does not involve a great deal of legal work. Most often they are looking for an inexpensive attorney to do the work.

The legal work is largely dependent on the number of issues which may be involved. For example, if there are children involved then there are issues regarding custody, parenting decisions, parenting time, support, division of expenses, holidays, summers, vacations and insurance. Even when the parties think they have agreed on all issues, they usually forget a few pieces which may turn out to be a source of major conflict in the future.

The real questions that I look for is value. Did you get what, or better than, you paid? Would you rather have an attorney charge you $500 and sign papers or charge $5,000 and save you significant future battles and costs, or even uncover $50,000 of assets? It is easy to see how inept representation can cost far more than the dollars you save.

I recently had a case where the parties failed to include any language on relocation. When the mother wanted to move and assumed that she could take the children, significant litigation and legal fees were incurred by both parties, in addition to extreme hard feelings against one another. Had the parties included language regarding relocation, it is possible that the extensive litigation could have been avoided.

Generally “cheap” attorneys have less experience or qualifications than those that bill at a higher rate. Of course, there are some very good (and also some not so good) attorneys at any rate. That said, those of us attorneys charging a higher rate generally have experience to validate the hourly fee.

Easy, simple asset divorces do not have to cost as much and can often be accomplished for a set fee or. Often the attorney charging $300/hour will provide in depth answers without any research because they already know and understand the law. While the hourly rate may be more, the total cost may be less than with an attorney that charges $100-150/hour. Additonally, most good and busy attorneys do not provide free consultations other than your first phone call to schedule.

If you have questions or wish to further inquire, please call me. I’m not afraid to give a quote over the phone. For advice on divorce in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, contact us at Info@bouldinlawfirm.com or call 581-MIKE (859-581-6453).

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What To Expect After DUI Arrest In Kentucky

If you have been arrested for DUI in Kentucky, there are a number of steps.

First, you will appear in court soon after the arrest. If you are in custody, you will appear on the next business day. On a first offense, you will typically be granted an OR (own recognizance) bond after you have been in jail for 3-5 hours. If you are released from jail, you will be given paperwork with your next court date, which is generally in 1-2 weeks.

Your first appearance is called arraignment. The arraignment is simply to advise you of the charges, potential penalties and allow for a plea of either guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, you will be sentenced at that time. It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney as early in the process as possible. If you have not yet consulted an attorney, plead NOT GUILTY and then ask for time.

After your Not Guilty plea, the case will be scheduled for a Pre-Trial Conference. This gives the defense attorney an opportunity to review all of the case file, including video, officer notes, field notes, and reports. Often the attorney will also “pre-try” the case with the arresting officer to determine the strength of the prosecution’s case as well as any suppression issues which may be present.

Possible penalties for first offense DUI in Kentucky include 3-30 days of jail and/or $200-500 fine, 30-120 day license suspension, mandatory DUI service fee, court costs, Alcohol/Drug evaluation and any classes recommended (20 hour minimum). The costs and fees will range from $750-$1050. If an aggravating circumstance exists, there is a mandatory 4 days of incarceration.

Realize that often there are other charges which accompany a DUI. Those may be traffic offenses, license or insurance issues, or possession of some other illegal substance. Citations may also include felony charges for wanton endangerment, assault, or homicide charges. These may be dismissed or may be more serious than the DUI charge and require special care.

If you have been charged with DUI or any other crime in Kentucky, you should seek legal advice and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. For consultation in Northern Kentucky or Cincinnati, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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What Is Trafficking?

Trafficking is the selling, distribution, or transfer of an item. When a defendant is charged with trafficking a controlled substance, or trafficking marijuana, it does not necessarily have to be a money-making venture. A person can be found guilty of trafficking by not only selling, but giving, prescribing or distributing illegal substances. Most drug trafficking charges are found in KRS 218A and following.

Additionally, trafficking can be proven as possession with intent to traffic. This can be proven in a number of ways, including: quantity, other indicia of intent, statements by the defendant, other witnesses to trafficking or evidence found that would indicate that a person plans to selling, distributing or transferring the drugs.

Trafficking of marijuana can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the quantity as well as if it was in a protected area, generally a school zone. Trafficking of a narcotic is generally a class C felony, but can be a D if there is a small quantity and can be a B if a second or subsequent offense.

If you have been charged with ANY trafficking offense, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. In Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at Bouldin Law Firm by calling 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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How To Deal with a Narcissist in Divorce?

Narcissist is an often used, and generally overused, word in the divorce process. Nearly everyone has some narcissistic features, however very few people fit the medical/mental health definition of a narcissist.

A narcissist is defined as: a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. People refer to narcissists as those who think the world revolves around them. The clinical definition of Narcissistic personality disorder — one of several types of personality disorders — is a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.

This leads to the common question, “What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce?” That answer is simple, one the parties agree and the other they do not and must have a judge decide some or all of their disputed issues.

The underlying question is much more complex: Why do some people agree on terms and others fight?

There are many ways to deal with a person with excessive narcissistic personality features. It is important to share with your attorney if you believe that your spouse (ex-spouse) has these features and to develop a game plan in how to deal with them.

Using an attorney with extensive experience in dealing with a variety of litigants, especially narcissists, is helpful in not only handling the case, but also attempting to settle, deciding when to go to trial, and dealing with that person in the future. If you have children, the divorce is not the end of having to deal with the other parent.

If you have concerns and wish to discuss, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com to schedule an appointment.

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What is a Kiddie / <21 DUI?

A Kiddie DUI, or DUI for a person under the age of 21 years, can be charged if the driver is under the age of 21 and has a blood alcohol level over .02. The legal limit for a person over the age of 21 is .08.

A person can be convicted of DUI, or driving under the influence, based on a number of factors. Typically, a DUI is for driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. A conviction can be obtained if the defendant is driving a motor vehicle and under the influence or impaired by drugs or alcohol, or combination. Even if impairment is not noted, a person can be convicted if they are operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol over .08.

Regardless of age, generally if the driver has a blood or breath alcohol level over .08, they will be charged with thee standard adult DUI. Similarly, if the BAC level is over .15, the defendant will most likely be charged with an aggravated DUI, regardless of age.

A finding or plea to an Under 21, or Kiddie, DUI, has different consequences than a regular DUI. First, the fines are only up to $200 and there is no DUI service fee; as such the total cost is about $300 instead of $750. Additionally, an <21 DUI is not enhanceable, should the person later be charged with a 2nd DUI. Finally, there is a “zero tolerance” class that the < 21 defendant must take that differs from the minimum 20 hour DUI class.

If you have been charged with a DUI, whether regular, aggravated, high tier, or < 21, you should hire with an attorney. For consultation in Cincinnati or N.Ky., call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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Possession of Handgun & Drugs

Kentucky law allows for enhancement of any drug possession if the defendant also possesses a firearm. KRS 218A.992 provides:

Enhancement of penalty when in possession of a firearm at the time of commission of offense. (1) Other provisions of law notwithstanding, any person who is convicted of any violation of this chapter who, at the time of the commission of the offense and in furtherance of the offense, was in possession of a firearm, shall: (a) Be penalized one (1) class more severely than provided in the penalty provision pertaining to that offense if it is a felony; or (b) Be penalized as a Class D felon if the offense would otherwise be a misdemeanor. (2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to a violation of KRS 218A.210, 218A.1450, 218A.1451, or 218A.1452. 

The non-applicable provisions are as follows:
218A.210 – Schedule V Controlled Substances

218A.1450, .1451, .1452 – Trafficking, possession or cultivation of Savia

Interestingly, marijuana is NOT exempt from this enhancement. Despite possession of marijuana being a class B misdemeanor, the defendant who possession marijuana and a firearm is subject to begin penalized as a Class D Felon under 218A.992(1)(b). A class D felony carries 1-5 years in prison.

It is important to know your rights as well as possible consequences. While marijuana is illegal, the penalties may become much greater if you possess a firearm. If you are charged, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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Not All Custody Is Equal

Equal Parenting Time In Kentucky


In previous article I spoke of the Kentucky law that presumes shared custody and equal parenting time in Kentucky.   This law, KRS 403.270, remains perfectly valid and in effect, however recent case law underscores the importance of representation and knowing your rights.

New Kentucky Case Law

Barnett v. White

See above link for full case content.  Barnett v. White is the first case interpreting how 403.270 should be applied.  It states, “While the new version of KRS 403.270(2) puts a finger on the scale in favor of joint custody and equal time sharing by requiring only a preponderance of evidence to overcome, such a preference is a slight burden and the trial court continues to possess broad discretion in determining the best interest of the child as to who should have custody and where the child shall live.

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What is Collaborative Divorce?

I’m often asked about Collaborative Divorce since I was initially trained in the process 12 years ago. Collaborative divorce utilizes a goal of “divorce with dignity.” Often people that can no longer be married do not necessarily want to ruin the other spouse.

In those cases, often the parties consider the collaborative process. Parties agree to forgo court action and traditional litigation in favor of proceeding civilly toward a mutually agreeable resolution.

During the process, the parties each have their own attorneys who guide them through. They first meet and sign a collaborative agreement which outlines everyone’s responsibilities and expectations. The next step is to determine each parties’ Goals and Objectives and attempting to align them for a mutually beneficial resolution.

The team then decides if other collaborative professionals are needed: family support specialists, custody coordinators, financial neutrals, or business valuation experts. Once determined, the parties exchange information and work toward mutual resolution.

Often the process involves meeting with attorneys and parties to work toward common goals. Once identified, the parties work toward resolution of those goals – including custody, parenting time, division of assets and debts and financial independence, which may include support.

To find out more about collaborative process, or divorce in Kentucky or Ohio, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email mike@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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