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Kansas City Legal Blog

Top three challenges women face after divorce

The United States has the third highest divorce rate in the world. While divorces are common, this does not mean that they are easy to go through. Something that may be of interest to Kansas residents is learning about how divorce affects women in different ways than men and what their top concerns usually include.

The biggest concern that women deal with after divorce is usually money. It is no wonder considering that women are likely to experience a 20% decrease in their income while men may experience up to a 30% increase in their income. Speaking with an accountant can be helpful in order for a woman to get control of her finances after divorce. Creating a budget based on the new circumstances and sticking to it are essential.

Remedies available in international child custody disputes

International marriages are becoming more common in Kansas and around the country, which means that there is also a growing number of child custody disputes involving parents who live in different countries. American parents may feel helpless if their children are taken out of the United States, but state laws and international treaties do provide them with some remedies. The most important of these is the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which is more commonly referred to as the Hague Convention.

The Hague Convention protects children who are abducted and taken to a foreign country, but its provisions only apply when children who are 16 years of age or younger are taken to one of the nations where the convention is enforceable. All European and North American countries and many nations in South America and Asia have signed the Hague Convention. The goal of the convention is to return child custody arrangements to the way they were before an abduction.

Creating an inventory before property division may be helpful

Over the course of your life, you have likely accumulated various items. Some may have come about out of necessity, and others may have simply been objects you desired. After you married, the accumulation of assets likely continued, perhaps with some major purchases taking place.

Now that you are getting divorced, you may worry about what will happen with those assets that have come into your possession over the years. Some big-ticket items like your marital home may be of particular concern, but you may also wonder about what will happen to your smaller, sentimental items. Because Kansas is an equitable division state, your marital assets will be divided as fairly as possible.

Protecting your business after a breach of contract

Contracts are some of the most valuable tools available to Kansas businesses. They can help a company protect its interests when working with suppliers, customers and even employees. These legal agreements are especially useful when one party fails to meet his or her obligations. This is breach of contract, and there are certain steps you can take to protect your company in these situations.

When it comes to a situation that involves a breach of contract, your company interests are at stake. Whether it's a compromise of your trade secrets, loss of money or other type of setback, you can take action to stop losses and seek appropriate damages for this. Breach of contract can occur when one party is late to fulfill obligations, does not meet the terms in the right way or refuses to comply at all. 

Learn how to co-parent with a toxic ex

Kansas parents who have a toxic ex-spouse deal with many challenges when it comes to co-parenting. In order to navigate an ex-spouse's efforts to throw them off course, maintaining personal integrity and looking out for the children's best interests should be two non-negotiables at their core.

After a divorce with a toxic person, it is necessary for the other individual to identify communication patterns or triggers that can cause a situation to escalate quickly. It could be that there are certain fears that trigger the other spouse, perhaps they are not even based on logic or reality. Interrupting this unhealthy dynamic and forcing it in a more positive direction can be empowering and will protect the children.

What to do if a custody hearing date is inconvenient

Divorce can be tough for Kansas parents for many reasons. The logistics of scheduling can be one of those reasons. In addition to the emotional and financial toll that the end of a marriage takes, it also consumes a lot of time, and fitting that in around work and efforts to spend quality time with children can be challenging. One hurdle parents may face is a child support or custody hearing scheduled at an inconvenient time or place.

In general, a court will expect some kind of documentation that shows why the parent cannot appear in court at the scheduled time. If it is a conflict with the parent's job, the court may accept a letter from the employer stating this. If the parent has relocated, the court may need proof of the change of address. However, this might be an insufficient reason to move the hearing since courts generally want it held where the child resides. Some parents may also be concerned about their safety, and they may need to present a protection order or other documentation supporting this claim.

Stepparent adoption when the biological parent does not consent

Some people in Kansas might have questions about stepparent adoption. They may have married someone who has children and might wish to adopt them. Ideally, the other birth parent will consent to the adoption, but there are steps parents can take if this is not the case.

In order to adopt the child without the consent of the birth parent, that parent's rights must be terminated. This may be done in several different ways. If there is "abandonment", then the parent has stopped communicating with the child or helping the child financially. There is generally a certain time period over which this must be consistently true. Another option might be demonstrating that the other parent is unfit. This could be the case if the parent has abused or neglected the child. This could also happen if the parent has a serious mental illness or addiction or is incarcerated.

Medical condition can cause involuntary intoxication

Police officers in Kansas and around the country will usually assume that a driver has been drinking when a breath test indicates that their blood alcohol concentration is .08% or higher, but it is possible for an individual who has not consumed a drop of alcohol to fail such a test. In 2015, a judge in New York dismissed a drunk driving charge against a woman who had failed a breath test after a doctor revealed that she suffered from an obscure medical condition known as auto-brewery syndrome.

ABS is a rare and terrifying disease that causes the people who suffer from it to become involuntarily intoxicated. The digestive tracts of ABS sufferers contain unhealthy amounts of bacteria or fungi that convert carbohydrates into ethanol. This can lead to BAC levels that are two or three times the legal driving limit even when no alcohol has been consumed. The exact cause of ABS has yet to be identified, but those who are afflicted with it often start to show symptoms shortly after taking antibiotic medication.

Congress proposes vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving

Being arrested for drunk driving in Kansas can lead to serious consequences. People who are confronted with these allegations might face jail time, fines, a license suspension and other penalties. While law enforcement is actively seeking to stop and arrest drivers who might be under the influence, there are other ways in which legislators advocate DUI prevention with technology automatically installed in new vehicles.

A bipartisan push in Congress hopes to require automakers to install a system to detect whether the driver has been using alcohol. These would be required additions by 2024. The proposed law, Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone Act of 2019 (RIDE), also provides funding for various testing procedures to track the blood-alcohol level in the driver's system.

Steps for handling a tenant who won't pay rent

Owning rental property is a common way to make some extra cash. In fact, some wise investors accumulate enough properties to support themselves on the rent. Of course, this depends on if the tenants actually pay the rent.

Whether you own one duplex or a dozen residential and commercial properties, tenants are the common factor in the success or failure of your investment. If you have a good screening process and are fortunate, you can end up with renters who are respectful of your property and compliant with your regulations, including the due date for rent. However, what do you do when rent is no longer a priority for one of your tenants?

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