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Kansas City Legal Blog

Kansas man sentenced for fatal DUI crash

A 24-year-old man was sentenced to nine years and one month in prison on April 5 for causing an August 2017 crash that claimed the life of his passenger. In February, a Sedgwick County jury found the man guilty of involuntary manslaughter while impaired by drugs, aggravated battery, driving with a suspended driver's license and failing to yield at a stop sign. However, the man was not immediately transported to prison and is instead being held at the Sedgwick County Jail. This is because there is another criminal case pending against him.

The jury heard that the man's car was traveling at unsafe speeds and ignored a stop sign before striking a pickup truck at the intersection of 55th Street South and Southeast Boulevard near Derby. The man's 33-year-old male passenger was badly hurt in the crash and succumbed to his injuries nine days later. The man was charged after toxicology tests revealed traces of methamphetamine in his blood.

Woody Allen sues Amazon over film cancellations

Kansas residents are likely aware that allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein helped to give rise to the #MeToo movement. The popularity of the hashtag and the seriousness of the allegations it often accompanied has prompted many companies in the entertainment sector to reconsider their casting and business decisions, and this has given rise to lawsuits filed by men who feel that they are being treated unfairly.

One such lawsuit was filed by the renowned director Woody Allen against Amazon. In 2017, the online retailer entered into a four-movie deal with Allen that guaranteed the director at least $68 million. The agreement was seen as a major coup for Amazon at a time when the company was trying to establish a presence in the film distribution and video streaming sector, but all this changed when old allegations involving Allen and his adopted daughter resurfaced because of the #MeToo movement.

Divorce and family businesses

People in Kansas who get a divorce may discover that finding a way to divide family assets in a way that satisfies everyone can be difficult and draw out the divorce process. If one of those assets is a family business, they may find that the problem is compounded.

Having to divide a family business introduces a number of new challenges to a process that is already complicated. In order the find the best way forward, both parties should examine their motivations for remaining involved in the business; they need to be committed to determining how to best divide it.

Divorcees often have misconceptions about assumable mortgages

Going through a divorce can be very difficult for a Kansas couple, especially when children are involved. Child support, visitation rights, alimony and retirement funds are typical things that must be resolved before a settlement can be reached. However, few issues cause more contention than what to do with the family home. In some cases, one of the spouses will take ownership of the home and assume the existing mortgage. In other cases, that may not be possible.

It might make sense for a spouse to assume a mortgage when the existing rates are better than those of a new mortgage. Assumption fees may also be less than refinancing fees. In some cases, assumption fees can be as low as $1,000. Assuming a mortgage sounds like it would be a simple matter; however, that is rarely the case. Furthermore, it is common for divorcees to have misconceptions about the mortgage assumption process.

What can I do if my customer won't pay?

If you own a Kansas business, getting your clients to pay on time is a high priority for you. When a customer pays for your product or service, you, in turn, can pay your employees and vendors as well as your rent, utilities and other expenses that keep your business running. A customer who is late with a payment or who simply will not pay can create a domino effect of frustration and difficulty.

You have a right to the payment a customer owes for work you completed or a product you delivered. You can improve your chances of getting paid in full on time by taking certain precautions. Additionally, you can take steps to recoup payment from a delinquent customer.

Home sales during divorce

Homeowners in Kansas who are getting a divorce may decide along with their future ex-spouse to sell the family home during the divorce. This solution is a common one among divorcing couples who have to address what will happen to the home. However, before they take any steps to sell the home, it is important that both parties understand that selling a home during a divorce is not the same as a traditional home sale.

Having the right real estate agent is an important factor in selling a home during the divorce process. The agent should have some experience with selling during a divorce as it will be necessary to know how to avoid being dragged into the conflict that can be common among divorcing couples. The right agent will also know that it is unwise to choose sides between the two parties and that providing objective selling advice is the main priority.

Tax exemption issues in child custody situations.

Many divorced and separated parents in Kansas save a lot of tax money by claiming their children as dependents. In some cases, however, both parents feel the right to claim a child. It might come down to the primary caregiver doing battle with the primary financial provider.

The IRS doesn't normally get involved in custody disputes or issues related to child support. In most cases, the agency will accept the dependent claim of the first person to file a return. If both parties attempt to claim the child for the same tax year, the IRS will reject the later filed return. The right to claim a child can be challenged with the IRS or through the courts.

How much spousal support will you have to pay?

Spousal support is one of the most sensitive matters in any divorce. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be in disagreement over the issue of financial support, and you may have concerns as the higher-earning spouse that you will be stuck with a very expensive alimony order. It may be beneficial for you to learn more about spousal support and how it works.

The intent of spousal support is to provide support to the spouse who earns less or who stays home to help offset the economic inequity brought about by a divorce. However, you have the right to pursue a final order that does not leave you with an unmanageable financial burden. If you will not be able to settle your spousal support issue out of court, it is prudent to know what a Kansas family law court looks at when making a determination on alimony

Staying on path for retirement after a divorce

According to statistics, the rate of divorce among those 50 and older has increased dramatically since 1990. This can have a variety of impacts on a Kansas resident's life. For instance, a divorce later in life could make it harder to retire or have a financially stable retirement. That is a result of the fact that income and assets drop while expenses are not as affected as much after a marriage ends.

Those who are going through a divorce will want to do a financial analysis to see how much money they have coming in and going out. After doing such an analysis, they may need to make adjustments such as cutting expenses or seeking new sources of income to make ends meet. Online calculators can help a person determine how much he or she need to save for retirement.

What steps can you take to address a partnership issue?

Having a partner for your small business may have allowed you to get your dreams of owning your own company off the ground. Having a trusted person to brainstorm ideas with and experience the ups and downs of entrepreneurship with likely helped you through some difficult times as your company grew.

Now, however, you may worry that your partnership is not as strong or beneficial to the company as it used to be. If so, you are not alone. Numerous business partners find themselves at odds, and while they can work out those issues between themselves in some cases, that may not always work for you.

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