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Kansas City Legal Blog

Student loans can cause problems in a marriage

Although many Kansas couples get married with the idea that they are in it for better or for worse, there are many marriages that do not make it due to financial stress. In particular, student loan debt is considered to be one of the largest financial issues when it comes to marriages.

According to a report from Student Loan Hero, more than 33 percent of those with college student loans said that those loans and other money issues contributed to the end of their marriage. Further, 13 percent of those who had gone through a divorce specifically blamed their student loans for the ending of their marriage.

Did a relationship with a business supplier turn sour?

Running a business is a substantial endeavor and definitely one you cannot do on your own. Even if your company remains relatively small, you will still need to obtain your materials from somewhere or have a manufacturer to create your products. As a result, you will need suppliers to help your business grow.

When you find suppliers that you hope to work with, you may end up creating a business relationship with them. As with any type of business relationship, it may be in your best interests to create contracts so that everyone understands what the relationship will entail. Before you make any relationship too permanent, you may want to consider what makes a good supplier.

Making co-parenting work following a divorce

A divorce in Kansas can involve multiple steps, from dividing marital assets to determining if spousal support is necessary. If a marriage resulted in children, another major issue is co-parenting arrangements. Making an honest effort to make co-parenting work could minimize the legal and emotional challenges that sometimes complicate matters.

Parents are often advised to put the best interests of the child first when working out child custody arrangements. Barring circumstances where a child is in physical danger, alienating one parent often does more harm than good. With household rules, it can be helpful to establish general guidelines everyone should follow (e.g., be respectful and patient) to maintain consistency. Children may also benefit from having a calendar in both households that clearly references agreed upon arrangements with holidays, vacations and special occasions to avoid awkward and potentially contentious situations with scheduling.

Dealing with divorce-related financial surprises

Kansas wives who are considering divorce may be interested in learning about some of the surprises that may come up after a marriage ends. According to a recent survey, more than 45 percent of divorced women were surprised by some of the financial challenges they faced following their divorces.

One of the biggest shocks that divorcing women face is learning the full scope of their marital debts. This includes learning the full amount due for mortgage payments, student loans and lines of credit.

How BIM can help with dispute resolution

If a construction dispute took place in Kansas or anywhere else in North America in 2016, it took about 14 months to resolve. Furthermore, average disputes had a value of $21 million, according to Arcadis. Unsubstantiated claims were one of the most common reasons why construction disputes were resolved through a formal resolution process either inside or outside of court. However, the use of building information modeling (BIM) can help resolve disputes in a timely manner.

Information from a BIM program can be used to determine if a job was completed in a manner consistent with a building contract. It can also be used to demonstrate the impact of any changes that were made during the course of a project. BIM also can determine who authorized a change during the construction process, which could reduce the odds of a frivolous claim being made. A record of progress made during a project can be created by laser scanning to determine the size and features of a given space.

States urged to toughen drunk driving laws

A growing number of car accidents in Kansas and across the country is prompting demands to lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit once again. Deaths related to drunk driving have dropped significantly over the past decades, but a significant percentage of fatal accidents continue to be attributed to the influence of alcohol, exceeding those caused by distracted driving or drugged driving. According to one study, almost 40 percent of those killed in drunk driving accidents were not drunk themselves.

Thus, many public safety advocates are looking for ways to make the roadways safer. One study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine calls for a vision of zero deaths related to drunk driving and recommends a lowered legal limit as a way to achieve this goal. However, while many of these fatal crashes are caused by people with serious drinking problems and a long history of DUI arrests, lowering the BAC limit could sweep up many other drivers who are functionally safe on the road.

Are you considering staying together for the kids?

After having children, you likely enjoyed looking at your family as yourself, your spouse and your kids. You may have gotten along as a cohesive family unit for some time, but due to one reason or another, you realized that the marital relationship was no longer working. While you may feel that divorce would be the answer to regain some level of personal happiness, you may wonder whether it would work in the best interests of the kids.

Many people contemplate the idea of remaining married for the sole purpose of allowing their children to have both parents under the same roof. However, you may not know whether that type of situation could truly benefit your kids. If you face this conundrum, you may want to ask yourself certain questions about your situation.

The length of a divorce

Divorce can be a harrowing process. Both parties tend to want to get it over with quickly, yet this may not always be possible: In Kansas, the best-case scenario is for a divorce to last for a couple of months while it could drag on for a couple of years. The faster a former couple can come to an agreement and file the paperwork, the faster they will be able to wrap up the entire process and put it behind them.

It is worth pointing out that not only will the degree of agreement between the former spouses dictate the amount of time required to finalize matters, but it will also prescribe the best way for both parties to move forward with the divorce. In the event that the parties agree on most things, they can just fill the forms themselves and file the paperwork on their own, which is known as a do-it-yourself divorce. Another solution for couples who see eye-to-eye on most things is to resort to mediation where an experienced professional acts as a neutral third party and helps both parties communicate effectively with one another.

How tax law can affect divorce negotiations

When people in Kansas make the decision to end their marriages, they often find that the financial aspects of a divorce can be among the most significant. This is one reason why changes to the tax code that affect the way divorces are handled are compelling many couples to try to finalize their divorces before the end of 2018. These changes can have a significant effect on both parties to the divorce with long-term financial repercussions.

One of the most well-known changes to the tax code affects the way alimony and spousal support are handled. These changes will only impact divorces that are finalized on January 1, 2019, and thereafter. However, the changes will have no impact on divorces that are finalized before that date. Under the current system, the individuals who are responsible for paying alimony can deduct the amounts they pay from their taxes each year. For people in high income brackets, this can cut up to 50 percent from their annual tax burden. In addition, the recipient pays taxes on the spousal support income in his or her own, usually lower, tax bracket. Those funds can also be directed to an IRA for retirement.

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.

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