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Kentucky And Indiana Law Blog

Study looks at child support payment variations

A study by Custody X Change calculated typical child support payments for all 50 states and found Kentucky on the higher end at $735-$880. The states with the highest typical payments had a range of $881-$1,187, and those with the lowest ranged from $400-$528.

The company used hypothetical parents with two children and a total income of $100,000, with the noncustodial parent making $55,000. The noncustodial parent spent 35% of the time with the children. Pew Research and census figures estimate a lower average income for two earners at $56,000, but the study still shows the disparity in support payments. For example, support payments across the state border in Tennessee were in the lowest range.

The penalties for not having auto insurance coverage in Kentucky

Kentucky residents who do not maintain insurance on their vehicles can be fined as much as $2,500 and sent to jail for as long as 180 days. It's important to understand that uninsured motorists could face severe penalties even if their cars never leave their driveways. To avoid these sanctions, drivers in the Bluegrass State must maintain insurance that includes bodily injury coverage of a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, minimum property damage coverage of $25,000 per accident and minimum personal injury protection coverage of $10,000 per accident.

Proof of this coverage must be presented before a county clerk's office will register a vehicle, and insurance companies that do business in Kentucky are required to notify the authorities whenever a policy expires or is canceled. The state's Division of Motor Vehicle Licensing then checks these lapsed or canceled policies with active registrations. Uninsured notices are sent to all vehicle owners who have plates but no insurance, even if they don't drive their cars.

Dealing with job loss when a marriage ends

Kentucky couples going through a divorce usually hope to avoid added stress during this time of transition. Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances happen, such as one spouse losing a job. This change of dynamics can affect everything from how spousal or child support payments are handled to the preparation of settlement agreements.

With job loss during a divorce, the court usually bases decisions on the circumstances involved. If a job is lost because layoffs or other uncontrollable situations, a judge is more likely to be more understanding and accommodating. However, if a person's unemployment is due to his or her own actions, the court is less likely to make adjustments for divorce-related financial obligations. Even so, both parties are typically encouraged to be realistic about how a spouse's job loss affects the divorce process.

Co-parenting is not realistic for everyone

Even under the best possible circumstances, divorce can be difficult. Although a Kentucky couple may agree that beginning a new life living apart is the right path, issues such as property division and spousal support often trigger disagreement, but child custody and support present issues that can last well into the future. Ultimately, cooperation on some level must be arrived at, but some individuals are so unrealistic and selfish that there is little room for conciliation and compromise.

Family counseling professionals agree that co-parenting, where mutuality of respect, concurrence on core child-raising issues, and civility can be achieved, is the best possible scenario for children of divorce. Some marital relationships have so deteriorated, however, that those goals are unattainable. Still, the two parties remain bound to each other as parents of their children and some contact between the two must inevitably occur. In many instances, the same personality issues with one party that causes conflict with the post-divorce issues were responsible for the failure of the marriage in the first place.

Parenting teens successfully post divorce

The divorce process means making many changes, particularly if there are children involved. This process can be even more challenging for many Kentucky parents when it includes co-parenting teenagers. There are some things, however, that parents should avoid, to continue providing a safe, supportive environment for their teenagers as they grow.

When it comes to child custody, parents usually have a parenting plan as the rule book for parenting after divorce. For some parents, strictly following the plan is what makes them able to co-parent. However, with teenagers, parents have to be more flexible since teenagers have their own interests and relationships that will compete with the time allotted with each parent in the plan. Without this flexibility, parents might find themselves in unwanted, and unneeded, confrontations with their teens.

What parents and teens should know about underage DUI laws in KY

As a parent, you try your best to protect your teenager. But there is always a possibility that he or she will get into trouble with the law. The last thing you want is your son or daughter to face underage DUI charges, but there is a chance it can happen.

You should be ready to teach your teen about the reality of drunk driving, including the dangers, penalties and importance of having legal defense. Here are some important facts you and your teen should know about underage drunk driving charges in Kentucky. 

Eligibility for spousal retirement benefits after divorce

Many Kentuckians rely on Social Security for retirement income. A married individual is eligible to take spousal benefits if their spouse's benefits are higher than their own. Those who are divorced may also be able to collect spousal benefits accumulated from the work records of a former spouse if they meet certain conditions.

If a marriage lasted at least 10 years, spousal benefits will be available from the Social Security Administration based on the earnings records of an ex. The ex-spouse's benefits must also be higher than what the spouse is entitled to receive on their own. Finally, the spouse who is seeking spousal benefits must be at least 62 years old to begin collecting payments.

Ketosis and false positive breath tests

Kentucky residents who have certain medical conditions might blow a false positive on breath tests, but there is some disagreement about how accurate the different types of tests may be. Ketosis, which is a state that a low-carb diet can put people into, may cause people to breathe out isopropyl alcohol, and some breath tests might not distinguish this from ethanol alcohol. Diabetes and GERD are among the other conditions that could lead to a similar false positive.

A Texas attorney was able to get DUI charges against his client who was in ketosis dropped, but manufacturers of breath tests that use fuel cell technology say their devices are accurate. The attorney says that there are not peer-reviewed studies to support this claim. Furthermore, one professor of forensic technology published a paper in 2006 about a man who could not get past the breath test ignition lock on a vehicle while he was in ketosis. This device also used fuel cell technology.

Financial disparity can put pressure on marriages

An increasing number of married couples in Kentucky consists of high-earning women. Some of these women are married to men who also earn high incomes while others outearn their partners. Despite the advances made over the years to advance gender equality in the workplace, social attitudes persist that can put additional pressure on couples with financial disparities, especially when the wife makes more than the husband. While some of the problems these couples face are common among all pairs with widely different incomes, others were more frequently found among this group.

One study found that couples in which the wife outearns the husband are 33% more likely to divorce. This can be connected to a range of factors. In some cases, the wife can be controlling when it comes to finances, a common problem in couples of all genders with a financial disparity. In other cases, the problem had less to do with actual financial behavior and more to do with social stereotypes. The husband may feel pressured to earn more than his wife and receive social messages that he is less masculine for bringing in a lower income. This attitude can trigger resentment that eventually leads to the failure of the marriage.

Why is the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration 0.08%?

As someone who likes to drink, it may seem unfair that the most alcohol you can have in your bloodstream is 0.08%, especially if you reach that level more quickly than others. Factors such as size, gender and food intake can affect how fast your body metabolizes alcohol, making it hard to know when you have reached the maximum.

While drinkers may wish to raise or do away with the number, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommend that all states make 0.05% the new standard, as it would save more lives in car accidents. In fact, one state has done this: Utah's legal limit is 0.05%, and many countries around the world have the same limit or under. Why, then, is 0.08% the chosen number?