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Florence Divorce Law Blog

Using your child custody agreement to ease the transition

Are you getting a divorce? If so, you may have the same concerns that other Kentucky parents do regarding making the transition from one household to two as easy on your children as possible. Your child custody agreement may be a good place to start.

When you sit down with the other parent to negotiate your custody arrangements and parenting plan, you can include provisions that may help your children adjust. For instance, most children thrive on routine, so if you both keep the same basic schedule for them, it could make things easier. They may get up at the same time each day, eat their meals around the same time and be required to do their homework before playing.

What seems to be behind the surge in gray divorce?

Starting life over again without a spouse after the age of 50 might seem like a frightening prospect, but that has not stopped numerous couples here in Kentucky and across the country from doing just that. In fact, so many have taken this leap of faith that the term "gray divorce" was coined to describe it. This may leave many people wondering what is behind this phenomenon.

Of course, many people have their theories. Even so, many of the reasons for divorcing later in life are the same as the ones facing younger couples. Substance abuse by one party can make remaining together an impossibility. Domestic abuse could also prompt a spouse to want out of the relationship. This may not have been an option in past decades, but numerous resources exist these days to help victims leave. 

Yes, establishing paternity matters

You have a child with your girlfriend. You know the baby is yours and you are ready to take on the responsibility of being a father. Unexpectedly, your significant other leaves you and takes the child with her. According to the laws of Kentucky, without establishing paternity you may not have any rights to your own child.

The paternity issue is a big one. Fathers never seem to realize how few rights they have until they lose their children and the mothers are holding all the cards. This predicament is why establishing paternity as soon as possible is so important. What are the benefits of paternity establishment and how do you accomplish it?

Should Kentucky couples consider collaborative divorce?

These days, many Kentucky couples shy away from the traditional courtroom battles still used in Hollywood movies for dramatic effect when marriages end. The cost, time and emotional toll this divorce process can have on a family makes it undesirable. This is why many couples now turn to other options such as divorce mediation or collaborative law to resolve their issues in a less contentious, time-consuming and expensive way.

Before going down the road of collaborative divorce, Kentucky couples may need an understanding of what it requires. Like the traditional adversarial process and divorce mediation, each party should have his or her own attorney. The difference is that this method requires the parties and their attorneys to enter into an agreement that if the process fails, the parties must find new representation.

Is keeping the marital home in a Kentucky divorce a good idea?

Many Kentucky residents believe that their home is the most valuable asset they own. At first glance this may be true, but when things such as taxes, repairs and maintenance -- not to mention the mortgage loan payments -- are taken into consideration, that number can drop quickly. That may not necessarily mean anything right now, but in a divorce, the true value of the house could be crucial.

Many people would risk going to court in order to keep the house without truly understanding what keeping it would mean. Meeting the mortgage loan and tax payments may not have been much of an issue during the marriage, but after a divorce, when the same income must now support two households, it could be an issue. The same could be said for a busted water heater or a broken air conditioner. Making those repairs during the marriage may have been somewhat of a challenge, but after the divorce, it may be nearly impossible.

Establishing paternity gives you rights to your child

Did you and the mother of your child formally establish that you are the biological father at birth? If not, you have no legal rights to the child under Kentucky law if you and the mother were not married at the time of the birth. Unwed parents do not enjoy the same legal assumption regarding paternity as married couples do.

In order to enjoy all of the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood, you will need to legally establish your paternity. For instance, if the relationship between you and your child's mother sours and ends, without the legal recognition that you are the biological father, you have no right to custody or visitation. On the other hand, establishing paternity is necessary in order for you to pay child support.

The choice of divorce attorney could make all the difference

Kentucky residents who are planning to end their marriages have many decisions ahead of them. One of them is to choose an attorney who will represent their interests and help them achieve the best divorce settlement possible. Even in an amicable divorce, the need for legal counsel does not go away.

Kentucky residents needing counsel as they begin their divorce proceedings may need to remember that they are interviewing the attorney. Yes, they are looking for someone who understands family law and can tell them what to expect and protect their rights. However, many people tend to act as though they are being interviewed instead of the other way around.

When your spousal support just isn't enough

During your marriage, you stayed home to raise the kids or experienced a number of other circumstances that kept you away from the job force. This left you fully financially dependent on your spouse. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, it is a situation in which many Kentucky residents find themselves. However, you got a divorce and you now find yourself struggling financially despite being awarded spousal support. What can you do?

Spousal support payments, in most cases, occur on a temporary basis. It is usually just enough to help the individual receiving it find some financial footing. Unfortunately, some struggle to do so in the specified time frame. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may have the ability to obtain an alimony modification.

The importance of parents in child custody matters

Many Kentucky parents would say that the most important job they will ever have is raising their kids. In a divorce, most parents want to do what they can to make the transition easier on their children. This is why the most important elements in any child custody matter are always the same, a loving mother and a loving father.

The only time this varies is in cases where one parent suffers from drug or alcohol abuse or there was abuse or neglect in the household. Otherwise, regular contact with both parents remains at the forefront of any child's needs. Research tends to support the assertion that shared parenting provides for and meets the best interests of the children.

Is support ordered in a military divorce not being paid?

Ending a marriage with a member of the Armed Forces involves dealing with numerous benefits and other issues that other Kentucky residents may not have to deal with in their proceedings. One of those issues is support orders. Each branch handles its members, providing adequate support in different ways. However, help may not be available if the service member is not paying support ordered in a military divorce in a civilian family court.

The pay of active duty, retired or reserve military members can be garnished. However, you can only seek a garnishment for alimony and child support. Having an order from a civilian court is essential. The order must clearly delineate that it is for one or both types of support. 

Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

505 Centre View Blvd.
Crestview Hills, KY 41017

Phone: 859-491-1011
Fax: 859-491-1899
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