Contested vs Uncontested Divorces
I am often questioned about the differences in contested vs uncontested divorces. First off, Kentucky is a "no fault" divorce state - meaning you can obain a divorce in Kentucky without proving any "fault" by the other party. This simply means that you can get divorced for any reason or no reason at all. "Contested" means the Husband and Wife are not in agreement on the terms of their divorce i.e. they need a judge to determine the outsome of issues such as child custody, child support, and division of assets. In this instance, each side obtains their own separate attorneys, and one side is served with divorce papers. A long process ensues involving a substantial amount of time and money.
On the other hand, an "Uncontested Divorce" is where the Husband and Wife are in argeement on all the term of their divorce, they do not need a judge to decide these issues, and they simple want an attorney to properly put their agreement into a writing that the Court will accept. In this instance, the couple generally hires one attorney, thus they only pay a much smaller fee and obtain their divorce in much faster timeframe. Besides the time and money benefits, an "Uncontested" divorce also takes the unanticipated consequences out of it because the parties know full well before they sign the papers what the outcome will be. The same cannot be said for a "Contested" divorce where a Judge's decision represents an unknown factor.
Feel free to contact my office for any questions on this topic, and let me do the heavy lifting for you.
Also, I now accept credit cards for your convenience.
Parenting Class Requirements for Divorce with Minor Children: “Families in Transition”
I am frequently asked about parenting class requirements for divorces involving minor age children. Boyd County no longer requires parenting classes; however, Greenup County does require completion. The venue (fancy lawyer word for where you file your divorce case) is in the county where either parent resides (fancy lawyer word for where you live with the intent to remain). Therefore, if for example, you reside in Greenup County, but your soon to be ex-spouse resides in Boyd County, you can avoid this requirement and simply file in Boyd County. However, if you both reside in Greenup County, you and your spouse will both have to attend the “Families in Transition” program and obtain certificates for me to file with your divorce papers.
The fee for “Families in Transition” is $50.00 per person and it consists of one meeting lasting approximately three hours at the Greenup Methodist Church. It is administered by Marquetta Dearfield. You will need to make an appointment with her by phone at: 606-316-4301.
Remember, save yourself the headache and wasted time by avoiding internet and library prepared divorce packets, and let me do all the work for you instead. See my other blog about the many pitfalls of using these so called “money saving documents." With me, you save money in the long run and get it done right the first time. I’ve been doing these for 18 years.
The Importance of Setting up Your Business as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).
If you are thinking of starting a new business, or if you already have an existing business, you need corporate protection. Without corporate protection, a lawsuit could result in the loss of your personal assets: your money, your cars, even your home. Let me set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) for you. We can do this for your new business, or to convert your existing business to an LLC. A properly set up and managed LLC can protect your personal assets from attachment due to lawsuits and give you the piece of mind to focus on what is really important - running your business!
Do not be fooled by online forms or books; rather, trust your business to a professional. I have been setting up LLCs and PLLCs (Professional Limited Liability Companies for Doctors, Chiropractors, and Engineers) for over 17 years. I understand the intricacies of Kentucky Law and how to avoid the pitfalls that the online forms and books leave out, or are unaware of because they are written at publishing houses in New York to comply with other states' laws. My prices are reasonable ($650.00) to draft your Partnership Agreement and the Articles of Incorporation to file with the State of Kentucky. This expense is also tax deductible to your business.
Your Partnership Agreement is a private agreement between you and your partners that will govern your relationship until your business ends. It will clearly spell out how your profits and losses will be divided, who controls the partnership, and what happens in the event of a partner's death, incapacitation, or decision to sell. This step is so important, but often overlooked.
Can I Afford a Divorce, and Should I Just Get the Documents Online?
It is a popular misconception that only the rich can afford a divorce. When I began my practice, I saw this as a problem in our area. I strive to offer the most competitive rates so that divorce services can be more affordable. For uncontested divorces (where the parties have already agreed to all outstanding issues i.e. asset division, child custody, and child support), I offer a flat rate of $500.00 exclusive of the County Circuit Court filing fee of $178.00. I can get your case done quickly, efficiently, and without breaking the bank.
In uncontested divorces, you will only need 2-3 appointments. In our initial appointment, I will take down your information and draft the 5-6 documents that need to be signed. The second appointment will be to execute the necessary paperwork that I will file as your attorney with the Court. If you do not have children, or have already been living separate for 60 days, you are done, and your divorce will be final after the Judge reviews and signs your papers. If you do have children, or have not lived separate for at least 60 days, you will have to come in for one final appointment and signature 60 days later.
Do not be fooled by ads online, or elsewhere, for "easy" and "cheap" divorce packets. Many of my clients began with these "bargain" packets only to have them rejected by the Judge because they are improperly drafted, missing a pertinent document, or are on the wrong kind of paper. These forms (found in books, libraries, online, or even worse, OFFERED BY NON-LAWYERS), are carelessly put together with incorrect and unnecessary documents that Judges will send back to you and deny your divorce. At that point, you are out the time and money you spent on the forms, and you will need an attorney to fix the mess that has been created. Why waste your time, and money? And why give yourself all the extra headache of trying to understand archaic, poorly written forms created by publishing houses in New York, who have no idea what the Kentucky Courts require? There will be fatal flaws in any of the bargain forms you choose - I see them every week in my practice, and those couples end up spending more for their divorce than if they had just come to me in the first place.
I hope you will let me assist you in your divorce needs, but even if you do not choose me, do no trust something this important to a non-lawyer who will take your money and give you incomprehensible forms with no assistance on how to complete them. If a non-lawyer does assist you in filling out the papers or offers legal advice or opinions in exchange for money, this is the unauthorized practice of law, and this person should be reported to the Kentucky Bar Association. Online divorces are a SCAM. If it seems too good to be true, it is.