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Kansas City Legal Blog

Drink driving laws in Kansas

Most drivers in Kansas are considered intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or higher, but stricter rules apply to commercial vehicle drivers and those under the legal drinking age of 21. The penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol can be severe for motorists who cause serious accidents or have a history of drunk driving, and people who operate a vehicle while intoxicated with passengers under the age of 14 also face more severe penalties in Kansas.

Motorists convicted of their first drunk driving offense in Kansas spend 48 hours in jail or perform 100 hours of community service, and they must also pay for and complete a drug or alcohol safety program. Their driving privileges are suspended for 30 days, and they must pay their court costs, probation fees and a fine of between $500 and $1,000. The fines are increased for subsequent DUI offenses, and repeat offenders must have ignition interlock devices fitted to their vehicles.

When a former spouse defies the divorce agreement

Part of the process for finalizing a divorce between a Kansas couple is to draft and sign off on a divorce settlement agreement. While many former spouses understand that this agreement is legally binding, there are some who decide to defy the agreement. Depending on what was agreed upon, this could mean that the person refuses to pay child support, follow the visitation schedule or even hand over certain assets.

If a former spouse refuses to make his or her court-ordered child support or alimony payments, a person may need to file a petition for contempt. The person's family law attorney may help with the process. At this point, a judge can then force the former spouse to make the payments by having their wages garnished or by sending them to jail. The state of Kansas also has a child support enforcement office that can help obtain the payments without the need for court.

Could non-compete agreements benefit your company?

When you work hard to achieve a goal, you certainly want to receive your due credit. Additionally, you do not want someone else using your hard work or taking credit for your work for personal gain, especially in the business world. The actions you take may make or break your company, and when tactics help your business thrive, you want to protect your information.

In order to protect your intellectual property and other important business interests, you may want to limit the opportunities to spread that information. One way in which you could work do to this is by having your employees and other pertinent parties sign non-compete agreements. These agreements often need to have various details in order for everyone to understand the contract and for it to remain enforceable.

Building consistency into your parenting plan

When you have children, routines and schedules help everyone know what happens next on any given day. This especially comes in handy during the school year when everyone needs to be up at a certain time, make it to extracurricular activities and get done with homework. Without some consistency, the household may not run smoothly, and that's often when chaos ensues.

After a divorce, routines and schedules take on a new importance. With all of the inevitable changes that occur during and after a divorce, children need to know that some things remain the same. In addition, now that the children may be traveling between two homes, consistency becomes a paramount consideration.

How to make divorce easier

When Kansas residents get married, they generally aren't thinking about getting a divorce. However, if a marriage does come to an end, there are ways to make a divorce easier. For example, it is critical that an individual considers the settlement process to be a business transaction as opposed to an emotional ordeal. By using facts and logic, individuals can work toward a fair and timely settlement.

Ideally, those going through a divorce will take the time to learn their state's divorce laws and how they apply. In addition, to increase the odds of getting a fair settlement, it is important to work with an attorney. While friends and family may try to provide support of their own, it may be confusing or not applicable in a given case.

Documentary examines child support system through a racial lens

There are a number of stereotypes and fixed ideas about parenting that can affect perceptions of African American fathers in Kansas City and across the country. A new documentary called "Where's Daddy?" attempts to explore how race and poverty intersect with the child support system to the detriment of African American families across the country. While many people think of the stereotype of a deadbeat father who owes child support, many people with child support debt are actually living in poverty. In fact, 70 percent of all child support debt across the country is owed by people who make less than $10,000 each year.

Child support default can only add to the difficulties experienced by these families. By not paying, a father can lose child custody time and face criminal penalties that could affect future employment. In addition, people can even face prosecution or jail time associated with their child support debt. One well-known case of an African American man shot by police in the back after he ran away from a traffic stop was connected to child support debt. The man allegedly ran away because he was afraid of being taken to jail and losing his job.

Protecting College Dreams in Wake of Divorce

Couples are rarely prepared with a financial plan when it comes to a divorce. This often puts the children's college goals in jeopardy, since tuition plans are rarely discussed among married couples. All couples in Kansas City, Kansas should have a financial plan in place whether divorcing or not.

The typical costs of a college education at a private school averages $46,950. A divorce financial analyst could be consulted to help create a plan specific to the couple's family needs. The financial analyst could create the foundation for funding expenses like tuition costs, spousal support, and child support. They may be able to map out a plan that covers these topics and more, which helps protects college plans for deserving students.

The many ways to resolve business disputes

Construction disputes can occur in Kansas or any other state in the country. When they do occur, it isn't necessarily because a party has breached the terms of the contract. In some cases, a breach of contract claim can arise because a person or entity involved with a construction deal didn't understand the terms. Contractors should take steps prior to executing a contract to ensure that the terms are as clear as possible.

If a dispute does arise, the first step is to negotiate in an effort to resolve it in an amicable manner. Ideally, a negotiation clause or similar clause will be included in an agreement. However, if negotiation doesn't work, there are other steps that could be taken to resolve a matter. For instance, the parties to the deal could choose to go before an arbiter. Whatever ruling this person comes to is generally binding as opposed to mediation or adjudication.

How divorces can impact children

Divorced parents in Missouri should learn how to communicate with each other for the sake of their children. Poor communication could manifest itself in a situation involving a father who struggles to schedule play dates for his daughter while the mother does so easily. Talking about the problem could help the struggling parent understand whether the parents of the other children feel awkward or uncomfortable around that person.

In some cases, the parent who doesn't struggle to schedule play dates for a child is viewed as the victim in the divorce. The other parents may think that the other person is a bad parent or a bad person in general, and they may presume that is why the marriage ended. When others in the group see the individual in question interacting with the supposed victim of the divorce, it may change their viewpoints.

What is joint legal child custody?

When parents in Kansas go through a divorce, child custody and visitation issues can be some of the most complex emotional as well as practical things to address. Because both parents value their relationship with their children even though their personal romantic relationship has come to an end, child custody issues can highlight the changing nature of the family relationships. Understanding the terminology used can help both parents learn more about the process and envision their future obligations and rights.

For example, joint legal custody is a term often used to describe a common situation: Both parents have the right to make decisions for the child about important issues like religion, education and medical care. Legal custody is not the same thing as physical child custody, however. In many cases, one parent may have primary physical custody while the two parents share joint legal custody.

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