Frequently Asked Questions
What is an uncontested divorce?
Wise Law defines a divorce as uncontested when the the parties execute a written Marital Settlement Agreement settling the issues within the divorce case. Additionally, uncontested divorces occur when the Respondent is in default. The Kentucky Civil Rules of Procedure 55.01 defines a party in default as a party who "has failed to plead or otherwise defend as provided in these Rules" after service of process has been effectuated. If a party has been served and has not responded or appeared in any way in the action, that party is clearly in default. Otherwise, the divorce is considered contested.
What does joint custody mean?
Joint custody acknowledges that both parents share in making decisions in major areas of the child's upbringing, even though one parent may have primary physical possession of the child. Sole custody gives the custodian sole decision-making powers, but may function in a way similar to a joint custody time-sharing arrangement between parents. The court may grant joint custody to the child's parents if it is in the best interests of the child. While joint custody may be the slightly favored presumption, courts recognize that divorcing parents may not be able to interact with one another in a way that fosters the best interests of the child.
Ideally, a parental parenting time arrangement should be crafted to allow both parents as much involvement in their children's lives as is possible under the circumstances." If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the court will order a parenting time schedule which takes into consideration the age of the child, the parties' work schedule, the child's activities, distance between the parties and any special concerns of the child. In addition, joint custody does not necessarily require an equal division of residential parenting time of the children. If there are findings of domestic violence, the court may deny parenting time or specifically determine parenting time arrangements which would protect the child and the custodial parent from physical, mental or emotional dangers.
With respect to exchanging the children between parenting time periods, the court should consider the physical distance between the parties' residences, the age of the children, and any safety issues, including domestic violence. Courts may dictate a particular place or places for the exchanges, order that the parties share transportation responsibilities, and even allocate the expense of transportation.
What does subscription based billing mean?
Wise Law’s subscription-based billing method eliminates the concern and anxiety associated with those lump-sums and hourly rates by using a flat weekly, biweekly, or monthly rate for legal representation. This model allows for stability up front; from day one, our clients know how much they will be paying, when it will be paid, and when it will stop. There is no guessing game; there are no surprise bills. We work out payment structures with each client that is tailored to their income and preferences.
In many ways, this is also a more cost-effective model. Without the continuous billing for every interaction, we are able to save our clients money. We put a cap on what our clients pay, and whether it takes 10 minutes or 10 hours, our clients deserve time with us worry-free. We are here to listen, not to rack up the highest bill possible.
Can I modify an old child support order?
KRS 403.213 provides that a child support order can be increased or decreased "only upon a showing of a material change in circumstances that is substantial and continuing." The statute also sets up, after a one year period, a rebuttable presumption that a 15% change in the amount of support due is sufficient to prove a material change in circumstances and a rebuttable presumption that a change of less than 15% is not a material change in circumstances. Prior to the one year period, the percentage is 25%.
A party wishing to recalculate child support must file a motion with the court alleging facts which show a substantial and continuing material change in circumstances. In order to meet the rebuttable presumption, child support must be recalculated, using updated income information for the parents. If the child support goes up or down by 15% or more, then, as a result of the presumption, the trial court will typically modify the support obligation.
What is Domestic Violence and does a Domestic Violence Order prohibit the Respondent from possessing a firearm?
Domestic violence and abuse are defined, at KRS 403.720(1), to mean physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, assault or the infliction of fear of imminent physical injury, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, or assault. Domestic violence orders may be issued for a period of time not to exceed three years. Although the statute provides that the court may reissue a DVO any number of times "upon expiration."
Upon the issuance of protective orders, Respondents are subject to legal prohibitions regarding their gun ownership and possession. A Respondent is required to immediately surrender a permit to carry a concealed weapon to either the judge or the officer serving the protective order. Federal law also provides that persons restrained under a Domestic Violence Order may not, with certain exceptions, possess or attempt to possess a firearm. The Brady Bill has been amended so that individuals subject to a domestic violence protective order are banned from possessing guns or ammunition. The penalty for knowingly violating the federal gun ban is up to ten years in prison.