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Kentucky And Indiana Law Blog

Study finds more U.S. veterans are binge drinking, drunk driving

Drunk driving accidents involving U.S. military veterans in Kentucky and elsewhere have increased over the last few years, according to a recent study. The study also found that veterans are binge drinking more than in the past.

Researchers from the American Addiction Centers analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found that binge drinking rates among U.S. veterans increased from approximately 14 percent in 2013 to just under 16 percent in 2017. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks in two hours or less. The largest increase in binge drinking was seen among female veterans, who experienced an increase that was twice that of male veterans.

What to know about getting a repeat DUI during the holidays

Kentucky is serious when it comes to drunk driving. State law includes increasingly consequential penalties for drivers who rack up more than one DUI.

During this holiday season, it is important to understand the risks at hand if police stop you on suspicion of drunk driving and if they arrest you for DUI. This is especially relevant if you have already had one DUI arrest or conviction. 

The level of conflict helps determine custodial arrangements

Kentucky parents headed for divorce or separation are typically most concerned about the custody arrangements for their children. Depending upon the nature of the relationship between the parents, custodial agreements can take various forms. When parents get along well or have demonstrated an ability to set differences aside for the benefit of children, a true co-parenting relationship can exist. Such an arrangement involves having a general agreement regarding what is best for the kids and a willingness to make that a priority above all else.

In situations where the parties cannot agree on what constitutes the best interests of the children or cannot get along for other reasons, a parallel parenting plan might be the best path. The goal of such a plan is to limit interactions and therefore create a peaceful and stable situation for the involved children. Family law professionals typically meet with parents and then negotiate a detailed plan in which virtually every contingency is considered. The parties are then left with having to only communicate regarding logistics in a rather formal manner. Contrasted with this is the collaborative approach where frequent communication is encouraged between the parents in order to keep everyone fully integrated in all aspects of a child's life.

What to consider when ending a marriage

For those about to get divorced in Kentucky or anywhere else in the United States, it may be a good idea to finalize it by the end of 2018. This is because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) calls for the tax treatment of alimony to change starting on the first day of 2019. However, if a divorce is finalized before then, the terms of the split can be changed while maintaining the status quo regarding alimony.

It is still worthwhile to make sure that the overall divorce settlement is favorable before signing it. In some cases, individuals can benefit from compromising as long as they are giving up something that isn't necessary. Ideally, a person will learn what a spouse needs or wants to make it easier to negotiate the final deal. In most cases, those who are ending their marriages will do so with the help of an attorney.

Prenups aren't only for the ultra-rich

People in Kentucky rarely want to think about the potential of divorce while they're still engaged in wedding planning. Nevertheless, planning can help people to avoid bigger problems further down the road, even for people of modest means. When people think of prenuptial agreements, they often think of celebrity news or heirs to family fortunes. However, many people can benefit from developing prenups to protect their interests in the case that their relationship changes in the future.

While people often think of prenups as a way to protect their money, there are a number of different reasons why people may opt for an agreement. State law governs how marital property is to be distributed in case of divorce. While Kentucky is an equitable division state and property gained after marriage is not necessarily divided equally, people may want to make agreements about specific items before the situation becomes more difficult.

Tips for avoiding financial mistakes during divorce

People who live in Kentucky and who are getting a divorce may make some common financial mistakes if they are not careful. For example, some people might be tempted to go on a spending spree during or just after a divorce. While this may be satisfying in the short term, those bills will need to be paid eventually.

People may be able to make better decisions if they create a financial plan. A professional, such as a financial planner, may be able to assist with this. This may help steer them away from errors such as keeping a home despite being unable to afford a high mortgage and cost of upkeep. Another common mistake is selling assets to pay for divorce-related bills without taking into account that there may be tax on the sale of those assets.

What to do about visitation concerns

Noncustodial parents living in Kentucky or any other state are generally allowed to see their children. Courts grant visitation rights to noncustodial parents in an effort to nurture an important bond between the parent and child. However, custodial parents may worry about the health and safety of their children during these periods of visitation. In some cases, a custodial parent can refuse to let a son or daughter visit with the other parent.

This is generally acceptable in instances when a custodial parent suspects his or her child is being abused or neglected. It is also possible to deny visitation in cases involving a child who doesn't want to see the other parent. However, failing to abide by a court-ordered visitation schedule could result in legal consequences. Therefore, parents should be sure that their children are in legitimate danger before violating a judge's mandate.

3 tips for avoiding a repeat DUI conviction during the holidays

If you have an existing DUI conviction on your criminal record, you know how much trouble it can cause for your life. However, that may not necessarily prevent you from drinking and driving again. The temptation to consume alcohol and get behind the wheel can be strong, even if you know the consequences. 

According to recent statistics, approximately 75 percent of people with drunk driving convictions are repeat offenders. The probability of you getting behind bars again may be even higher during the holidays. Here is how to stop yourself from getting another charge.

Statistcs show an increase in drug-related traffic fatalities

As drivers in Kentucky already know, laws regarding driving under the effect of alcohol have been on the books for decades. Likewise, the means for testing a motorist are also long established. As more states are legalizing the use of marijuana, and an opiate epidemic has developed in the country, federal regulators are seeking standardized tests for use in the field.

Recent statistics demonstrate an increase in the number of accidents where driving while intoxicated by drugs is a factor. According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA), nearly half of the drivers killed in 2015 were under the influence of a drug at the time. This figure was 30 percent in 2006. The cause for this jump is due to the legalization of marijuana and increased use of opiates.

How some personality traits can endanger a marriage

There are certain personality traits that may increase the likelihood that a Kentucky resident might get a divorce. For example, all people are selfish sometimes, but people who are consistently selfish and always have to get their own way may be endangering their marriage.

Narcissists are even more selfish, seeing themselves as victims and refusing to ever take any responsibility for conflicts or problems in a relationship. It is difficult to remain in a marriage with a person who is like this. Another trait that can cause problems is a fragile ego. These people tend to be more motivated by external than internal factors, and the result can be that they are more likely to be unfaithful.