CHILD CUSTODY BATTLE CONTINUES FOR MOTHER OF SICK CHILD

The 3-year-old girl was vomiting and hallucinating in addition to suffering seizures as a result of inconsistent doses of antipsychotic medication. To help her daughter, the mother prepared a smoothie containing marijuana butter, which is known to relieve those symptoms. Later, when the 23-year-old woman took her child to the doctor, the marijuana became evident in the girl’s blood test. Since the drug is not legal in her state, the woman was subsequently charged with a misdemeanor, and her children were removed from her custody.

On the positive side, the court placed the children with their father instead of denying custody to both parents. The mother is also permitted supervised visitation. However, she contends that her actions did no harm to the child and, in fact, eased her suffering. The most recent hearing upheld the current custody arrangement. The woman may have to wait until her criminal trial is over before attempting again to win back her children.

The courts in Kentucky defend the best interests of the child. However, those interests are not always evident to people other than the parents. When parents must fight for their child custody rights, they often rely on the experience of a family law attorney who will represent their interests and fight for their cause.

Source: idahostatesman.com, “Mom who gave pot butter to daughter still denied custody, judge rules“, Alex Riggins, Dec. 23, 2016

 

NO CONSENSUS ON SERVING DIVORCE PAPERS THROUGH FACEBOOK

In a recent case, a woman tried to serve her estranged husband with divorce papers after he left her just months following their marriage, when she was six months pregnant. She suspects that he left the country and is now living abroad. However, with no way to locate him, she was left with little option other than to try and serve him through Facebook. However, when the matter went to court, the judge in the case refused to allow such service.

The judge felt that because divorce includes issues of child custody and property division, every effort must be made to ensure that both parties are notified of the proceedings and have the chance to participate. In this case, the man’s Facebook account seemed to get little use, and the judge was concerned that the account was inactive. In addition, the wife failed to prove that she had used the account to regularly communicate with her husband. For those reasons, the judge refused to accept legal service through Facebook.

In other cases, courts have allowed the service of divorce papers through Facebook. When it comes to legal matters, social media remains something of a new frontier. That can leave some spouses in Kentucky with limited options for serving papers on an individual who has no known address and may wish to avoid service. There is no word on whether the wife in this case plans to appeal, or if she will pursue other avenues for ending her brief marriage.

Source: New York Post, “Judge rejects divorce papers served through Facebook“, Julia Marsh, Dec. 9, 2016

 

DON’T GET SIDETRACKED BY THE SMALL THINGS DURING DIVORCE

Divorce necessitates the division of not just marital wealth, but also of personal property. That includes everything that a couple has amassed over the course of their marriage. From furniture to family photos, everything must be divided. That can lead to a great deal of tension between spouses, who often feel that they have already been put through enough, and dig in their heels over relatively minor matters.

In many cases, spouses wage a battle over a piece of furniture, wedding gifts or items connected to shared children. By the time the dust settles, they have both racked up excessive legal fees to fight over those items. Looking at things in black and white, they quickly see that the cost of fighting for those items was far greater than the value of the items in question.

The best way to avoid excessive legal fees related to property division is to handle many of those decisions independently, especially when it comes to items of personal property. That may mean making concessions that feel unjust, but at the end of the day the cost of replacing those items may be minor in relation to what it will cost to fight over them in a Kentucky divorce court. Saving money on legal expenses can preserve more marital wealth for both parties, leaving them in a far better position to begin their newly single lives with a degree of financial stability.

Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Things I Learned As A Divorce Attorney“, A. Rodriguez, Dec. 6, 2016

 

ONE STATE REDUCED WAITING PERIOD FOR DIVORCE

In many cases, Kentucky spouses who are ready to bring their marriage to an end cannot reach that outcome soon enough. They are often eager to begin their new lives as singles, and to move beyond a marriage that is beyond repair. One state has facilitated that process by shortening the required waiting period between filing for divorce and having the process made final.

While many people believe that lengthy waiting periods can help couples decide to work on their marriage and save their union, that outcome is not strongly supported by research. In many cases, having to wait to finalize a divorce is difficult for all involved and has little benefit. It should also be noted that most couples who decide to divorce do so after many months or years of deliberating the move, and not on the spur of the moment.

Having obstacles in place that delay a divorce can lead to increased tension between spouses, which often translates into increased tension for shared children. It also increases the chance that one or both spouses will move on to new relationships during the required period of separation. That can often further complicate a divorce, as the new partners sometimes have strong opinions about how property division and child custody matters should be handled.

The state that recently shortened the required waiting period went from two years to just one. That news will come as a relief to many people who are ready to move beyond a dysfunctional marriage and on to new pursuits. For those in Kentucky who are married and considering relocation to a new state, it may be worthwhile to look into the divorce rules currently in place in the new location.

Source: pennlive.com, “Shorter waiting period for no-fault divorces takes effect in Pennsylvania“, Wallace McKelvey, Dec. 2, 2016

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS AS A FATHER IN A MILITARY DIVORCE

The end of a marriage is complicated for many reasons, but it can be particularly complex for individuals who are members of the military. If you are a dad, you are probably especially concerned for your rights as a father, but you also want to maintain a strong career in pursuit of your future military aspirations.

This is a difficult balance, but it is possible to secure a resolution that benefits your children and you as both a father and military service member. In order to successfully navigate this situation, you need a lawyer who is knowledgeable in both Kentucky laws and the laws that pertain to divorce in the military.

What do you need to know about child custody?

You have the right as a parent to maintain a strong relationship with your children. Whether it is through co-parenting, regular visitation or a parenting plan that reflects your family’s unique needs, you should consider the following factors when dealing with child custody concerns:

 

  • Parenting time: How much time will you get to spend with your children?
  • Visitation: If you do not have custody, will you have regular visits with the kids?
  • Legal custody: Will you have a say in important decisions for your kids, such as education and religious upbringing?
  • Career factors: If deployment is possible or if your duties require travel, will it affect your ability to parent?

 

Military careers come with the risk of deployment, temporary duty assignments, possible moves across state lines and more. It is critical to work with a lawyer who understands these special considerations and who can help you pursue a parenting plan tailored to your needs.

How will military procedures affect you?

As a member of the military, you must follow certain requirements that are military-specific. From determining the best court for your case to ensuring the proper acknowledgement of your rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, your lawyer will be an invaluable ally throughout this complex process.

Your career in the military should be honored and respected and should never be used against you in terms of a child custody order. Military divorce is daunting, but with the right help, you can emerge from the process with a strong future with your children firmly intact.