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Florence Divorce Law Blog

Paternity suit filed against NBA player

Like most men here in Kentucky, Amar'e Stoudemire had no problem accepting that he was the father of a woman's child despite the fact that he was married to another woman when the child was conceived and born. He began providing for the child after he was told about her, which was not until after her birth. However, that did not stop the girl's mother from filing a paternity suit against the NBA player seeking permanent child support and a legal acknowledgement that Stoudemire is the father.

The woman is not currently employed and does not want to be. She says in her pleadings that she does not want to work so that she can stay home and raise her child. She essentially wants the court to order Stoudemire to pay enough child support for her to be able to do that.

How much should the state interfere in child custody matters?

When a couple separates or divorces, it may be necessary to bring in the court to help determine with which parent the children will primarily live, when and how much visitation the other parent will have and other matters. Even though Kentucky parents in this position may not be fully satisfied with the child custody decisions made by the court, they asked for the court to make the ruling. So, at what point does the state's intervention in a family's lives cross the line?

Recently, officials in another state determined that a couple simply was not smart enough to raise their children. The state uses the fact that the mother, whose IQ is said to be 72, did not realize that she was pregnant nor in labor. She is not the only woman to ever experience this. The IQ of the father of her children is reportedly 66, and he receives Social Security disability benefits. A "normal" range for the average IQ here in the United States is between 90 and 110.

What do summer vacation and divorce have in common?

Timing is what they have in common. After summer vacations are over, many Kentucky couples could decide that the time is right to divorce. Few parents want to announce a divorce before the family vacation, so many wait until they return, but before school starts. This also gives parents time to let their children get used to the idea since telling them as soon as possible could help prevent problems later.

Regardless of whether a Kentucky resident married young, married for the second or third time or reconnected with an old flame on Facebook, he or she may deal with divorce differently, depending on gender. Research shows that men and women view the process differently. Women take more time to process their emotions while men want to move through the process quickly.

What to do if you believe your child's other parent is an addict?

Getting divorced is typically difficult in more ways than one. If your situation is similar to many others in Kentucky, you may face various financial challenges during and after divorce, as well was emotional struggles and problems related to parenting. In fact, the latter is often a topic of contentious debate in family court, and some problems can get blown so out of proportion they seem impossible to resolve. When an extenuating factor exacerbates a particular issue, you may be wrought with stress and anxiety.

Sadly, a surrounding circumstance that often causes serious problems in child custody cases is drug addiction. It's difficult enough to navigate situations where you believe a close friend may be experimenting with drugs; when it's your former spouse who may have an addiction, you may feel completely overwhelmed and unsure where to turn for help. At the same time, you may realize a need to bring an abrupt halt to any custody or visitation arrangements that exist.

Should you take your divorce to court or not?

Emotions are often high at the end of a marriage. The parties may be tempted to allow their emotions to determine the course of their divorce proceedings, but fortunately, they do not have to do that. In many instances, Kentucky couples could receive far more benefit for their families and their individual futures by staying out of the courtroom as much as possible.

Relying on a judge who may only see a Kentucky couple for a matter of minutes to make decisions on their behalves that will affect the course of their futures does not make much sense for many people. Judges may know the law, but they do not know the dynamics of the families that come through their courtrooms. Moreover, judges are often limited to a certain number of decision-making factors when issuing a ruling.

Does your occupation mean you are headed for a military divorce?

Researchers are always trying to determine what factors lead to the end of marriages. Recently, Zippia, a career website, conducted its own study using U.S. Census data to determine what occupations see the most divorces by the age of 30. Service members here in Kentucky and elsewhere may be interested to know that three of the top 10 spots were filled by U.S. military occupations. Does a service member's occupation mean he or she could be headed for a military divorce?

The number one spot went to those who coordinate the activities and lead the operations conducted by enlisted personnel. An astounding 30 percent of these service members face divorce. Next were those enlisted personnel involved in air weapons and tactical operations. When the divorce rate for all military personnel was examined, it was discovered that the rate was 15 percent.

How does Kentucky view your child custody plans?

Taking care of your children is certainly among your top priorities. In a divorce, the issue of child custody could be your primary concern. You want to devise a plan that works best for everyone, not just the children, but you need to make sure that the court will approve it. This means that it must comply with Kentucky law.

Here in Kentucky, like most other states, it is the best interests of the children that matter. Your and your spouse's interests take a back seat to this concern. You and the court may be of the same mind on this point, but at the same time, you need to be sure that your plan is feasible for the two of you as well. Otherwise, it could be doomed before it begins.

A divorce without the battle? Yes, it's possible

Contentious courtroom battles, strained relationships and fighting over the china are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Lots of couples, including many here in Kentucky, are turning to alternative methods of resolving their divorce issues. The methods provide a friendlier atmosphere that fosters compromise and cooperation, which often leads to a more satisfying settlement than those received in traditional courtroom divorces.

A Kentucky couple does not have to be in complete agreement regarding their issues in order to benefit from either mediation or collaborative divorce. It is only necessary to be able to work together and not have major disagreements. One of the greatest benefits that most couples gain from using these methods is the ability to control the outcome.

Could the collaborative divorce method work for your case?

When you first tied the knot, you may have believed that your marriage would stand the test of time and you would remain married for the rest of your life. Of course, you may also find yourself -- as many people do -- facing divorce. This situation may have blindsided you or you may have felt it coming for some time. Whatever the case, you now must determine how to approach your legal proceedings.

As a successful and wealthy individual, you may have particular concerns when it comes to the division of assets. Because a drawn-out court battle may not suit your tastes or the tastes of your soon-to-be ex, you may wish to consider a more amicable approach, such as the collaborative divorce method.

Finances are a major issue in a Kentucky divorce

Ending a marriage is an emotional time for most Kentucky couples. That may contribute to the fact that many are surprised when the sum total of their marriages comes down to dividing their property (and custody issues if there are children involved). No matter who or what precipitated the divorce, finances end up taking center stage in most proceedings.

Numerous financial issues need addressing in a divorce. It may seem trivial in the moment, but looking at the budget is a good place to start. Before any fruitful negotiations can begin, each party needs to determine what it will take to live post-divorce. The same resources that supported one household during the marriage now have to support two households. Understanding the current and future pictures could help determine which way the negotiations proceed.

Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

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Crestview Hills, KY 41017

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