Kentucky Law Blog

How do appeals court work in Kentucky?

The state's constitution allows litigants in criminal and civil cases the right to appeal at least once. Rather than retry the case already heard in the lower court, the party who files the appeal (the appellant) must argue that the trial court made a legal error that affected their case's outcome and prepares a brief of legal arguments that the mistake signals that the case should be overturned. The opposing party (the appellee) in the case heard in court can file a brief that responds to the appellant’s arguments. Both sides cite their arguments and decisions from previous cases that...

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How does foster-care adoption work?

Foster-care adoption involves a child in foster care because their biological parents had their rights terminated by the court. The causes are often related to such issues as neglect, physical abuse, or substance abuse by the parents. The children placed in foster care are cared for by foster parents or organizations until the biological parents resume their role as caregivers. Children placed in foster care often have siblings also placed in foster care. The judge creates a reunification plan with a time limit. If a parent fails to meet those expectations, the court terminates the parental...

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5 common breach of contract defenses

Contracts are the lifeblood of any business. They outline such essential details as the scope of work done, the cost of the work, deadlines for delivery, and other things. Disputes over meeting the agreed-upon terms lead companies to file a breach of contract lawsuit. While a company or business partner may feel that a lawsuit has no legal grounds, speaking with an attorney with experience handling business litigation is always advisable. They can review the contract and the case details and then build a strong defense for their client if necessary. Every contract is different The...

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What’s needed to contest a will

Even if you think you have a good reason, it is more challenging than many people believe to contest a will. Generally speaking, there are a series of hoops you need to pass through to raise valid concerns that can be heard in a court of law. Legal standing Those who want to contest a will must have legal standing. Common reasons that give legal standing include: You are a beneficiary in the current will. You were a beneficiary in a prior will. You would be heir if intestacy law applies -- there was no will, and the law divides the estate among the family. Valid legal reasons to challenge a...

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There are many reasons for probate disputes

The loss of a parent, grandparent or loved one can devastate beneficiaries and those they leave behind. It can also change the dynamic between the survivors as they deal with their loss – what was once harmonious can become contentious. Moreover, even the most carefully drafted estate plan that reflects the decedent's decisions can cause disagreements over the division of assets, control of the estate and other matters handled during probate. This can lead to litigation. Common causes of probate litigation The details of each case and estate are different, but these are some common reasons...

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Adoptive parents must do a home study

There are many steps in the adoption process. The steps will vary depending upon the details regarding the adoptive family, but the home study is one step that all families must take. Some may feel anxiety with this step because it judges the prospective parent. It also involves quite a bit of paperwork. When a trained and accredited social worker conducts a home study, there are a few essential things to remember. Courts review the study to determine if the family is suitable to receive a placement. Secondly, adoption professionals will often require a home study before pairing prospective...

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How to split debt during divorce

Kentucky courts divide assets and debts as part of divorce settlements. While many worry about who gets the house, cars or other high-value assets, they should also worry about marital debt, which includes mortgages, car loans and credit cards. Both parties share the responsibility of repayment, but the split is similar to splitting assets in that it is fair and equitable. While splitting debt can be challenging, but is generally recommended that the couple pay off all marital debt before the divorce is final. It makes for a clean break and protects future assets – a shared debt follows the...

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How will your high-value assets get divided?

Families that count businesses, investments, estate plans, and maybe even bitcoin or artwork face serious challenges when dividing marital assets. Each spouse must get an accurate list of the assets. Considering there may be thousands or millions of dollars at stake, it is essential to evaluate each asset individually to ensure that the assets are appropriately valued and retain that value despite the marriage's dissolution. Below are some effective strategies to minimize unnecessary expenses and determine a fair and equitable split of marital assets during the divorce. Get accurate...

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How can virtual visitation protect your relationship with your child?

Regular contact with your child is essential to building and maintaining a strong relationship as they grow and mature. Unfortunately, a divorced parent may not always be able to be in the room with them, particularly if you move out of town or your career takes you away from the area where they live. For parents in these situations who share custody with their child's other parent, virtual parenting time (sometimes called virtual visitation) may offer an opportunity to maintain contact during this interruption to the schedule. What is virtual parenting time? Virtual parenting time is a...

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It may be possible to terminate a coparent’s rights

Kentucky family courts typically award joint custody to parents who divorce. It may not mean that the children spend equal time in each household, but it does mean that each parent has an equal say in how the child is raised and is also responsible for the care and support of the child. Unfortunately, not all coparents can (or choose to) meet those obligations. Instead, they are unreliable, unsafe, or untrustworthy caregivers. Circumstances like these can prompt coparents to explore terminating the other parent's rights, which ends the parent’s legal, financial, and social responsibility....

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