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Grayson, Kentucky, Legal Blog

How joint custody can help parents and children

Parents in Kentucky who are getting a divorce might wonder whether joint custody is the right choice for them and their children. They may have misconceptions about this type of custody that is not backed up by research. Studies actually indicate that the best arrangement for children after divorce is joint custody as long as there are not issues with abuse.

One concern parents might have is that children dislike moving back and forth between their homes. However, in interviews, children say they prefer this disruption to living with only one parent. Studies show that even when children are very young, there are benefits to joint custody. Some people may believe that mothers bond with infants more than fathers, but the bond can be just as strong with each of them.

Study says fatal crash rates increase on 4/20 holiday

Though Kentucky is not one of the states that have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use, residents should know about the impact that the legalizing trend has been having on drivers. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that on April 20, a self-proclaimed holiday started by marijuana users in the early '90s, there tends to be a slight increase in the number of fatal car crashes in the U.S.

With no police data on drug testing, the study could not specify how many of the crashes involved marijuana, but the connection is far from a tenuous one since marijuana use will impair driving. To arrive at their conclusion, researchers analyzed U.S. government crash data between 1992 and 2016, comparing the number of deaths on 4/20 to the number in the preceding week and the week after it. Most states saw an increase on 4/20: about 12 percent overall, or roughly 142 additional deaths.

Seek medical care even if your car crash was a minor one

You may never have been involved in a traffic accident, but it could happen, and you should know what to do. You are probably aware that you should exchange insurance information with the other driver, but what then?

One of the most important steps for you to take is to seek medical attention, even if you feel fine after the accident.

Tax law changes to significantly affect spousal support

Financial matters are often some of the most difficult issues for Kentucky couples to sort out while finalizing a divorce. Alimony payments are often a particularly contentious topic that may lead to lengthy negotiations or extensive court filings. However, the recent adoption of the new federal tax bill in December 2017 has major implications for taxation of spousal support payments.

Since the mid-20th century, U.S. federal tax law has had a standard approach to alimony payments. Traditionally, the alimony payer is entitled to a tax deduction on the basis of the amount paid. The recipient of spousal support, on the other hand, must pay taxes on the payments as part of their overall income taxes. However, after December 31, 2018, this will all change; payers of alimony will now be denied the ability to deduct payments from their income taxes while support recipients will not have to pay tax on funds received.

Truck drivers and commutes to be studied by FMCSA

Commercial truck drivers in Kentucky and elsewhere around the country will soon be asked to participate in a survey regarding their commuting time in their personal vehicles. The survey, which is to be conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is intended to determine how often truckers' journeys to their jobs take longer than two and a half hours. The agency also stated that after the survey has been completed, it plans to examine how safety and driver fatigue are affected by excessive commuting.

The agency has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget with the White House to implement the survey. If the OMB grants approval for the survey, the FMCSA will publish a notice asking for volunteers for the survey.

Key tips to remember during settlement negotiations

The end of a marriage can be a difficult time for couples in Kentucky. Not only do spouses have to deal with the emotional fallout, but the practical logistics of divorce can also present many challenges. Negotiating with a former partner about the divorce settlement can be challenging and complex. However, an arrangement will be necessary for both parties to settle and move on.

There are a few tips to keep in mind when negotiating a divorce settlement. One key concept is to be aware of one's finances before going to a settlement conference. This is especially important when dealing with asset division, child support or spousal support. Going into divorce negotiations without solid financial understanding can lead to poor decisions.

Timely action may be necessary after a car crash

Kentucky residents that have been in a car accident may debate whether to report it. If they do choose to report an accident that they have been in, it is best they do so as soon as possible. In some cases, it may be a good idea to report the accident when it happens. This may be done by calling a 24-hour hotline or using a mobile app provided by the car insurance company.

In the event that someone causes an accident, he or she must report it. This is because he or she may be liable for damages incurred by accident victims. It may be necessary to report the accident even if there was only one vehicle involved. The only reason a person may not want to report a crash to an insurance company is if the amount of the damage is roughly the same as the deductible.

Steps to take when in an accident with an uninsured driver

All drivers in Kentucky need to have auto insurance. This holds true for most states, and yet, information gathered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that nearly 13 percent of drivers do not have any insurance. 

It is dangerous to drive without insurance. However, perhaps you have a policy in place. You may end up in an accident thinking you will be all right only to discover the other driver lacks coverage. The other driver may want to work out a deal that does not involve the authorities, but you need to think about your own best interest. Here are the steps to take to try to receive damages. 

When ridesharing companies are involved in accidents

Kentucky residents who use ridesharing transportation might wonder about liability issues if an accident occurs. With companies like Lyft and Uber, drivers are classified as independent contractors rather than employees. This means any suits following an accident would likely be filed against drivers instead of a company.

Following car accidents, injured passengers should typically seek emergency assistance if necessary, take pictures of the wreck and get the names and relevant information from the drivers involved, witnesses and responding officers. When a wreck occurs while using a ridesharing service, passengers should also ensure that they have the name of their driver and take screenshots of the receipt. Lyft and Uber have a $1 million liability policy for when a driver is at fault.

Divorces could start early in 2018

For many people living in Kentucky, January is a time of new beginnings. In some cases, this means making the decision to leave a marriage that is no longer working. While divorce is never easy, there are some things that spouses can do to make the process less painful and financially devastating.

Individuals who are considering divorce would do well to scale back or even cease participation on social media platforms. This is because social media posts can be used as evidence in divorce cases. Even seemingly innocent posts may be misconstrued by the other spouse or his or her legal counsel. Ceasing or scaling back on social media posts can be announced as a "New Year's resolution" to friends and family.

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