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Florence Divorce Law Blog

Same-sex couples, second parent adoption and co-parenting

In 2015, same-sex couples won an amazing victory when the law of the land changed to allow them to legally marry and enjoy all of the benefits that it brings. You and your partner may have taken the plunge and made your union official.

After you got married, you decided that a child would round out your new family. Perhaps one of you already has a child, either biologically or through adoption. Now, you want to make sure that each of you is a legal parent. You may decide to pursue a second parent adoption to make that happen.

Experienced help and guidance invaluable in high asset divorce

Those who are successful in life did not get there by happenstance. Hard work, dedication and perseverance through the hard times brought your dreams of financial security to fruition; unfortunately, those dreams can be shattered if a marriage becomes untenable. Kentucky residents do have options for protecting their wealth in the event they find themselves facing a high asset divorce. 

Like the majority of Americans, you likely worked hard to arrive where you are in life. That includes trying to find a compatible partner with whom to share your life and accomplishments. Too often, though, relationships prove to be even riskier than investing in the stock market, as people's emotions and intentions are frequently changeable. If one has amassed significant wealth or assets, there is a risk it could all be taken away when a final divorce decree is issued.

Couple utilize social media to bring attention to child custody

Those who serve their country make many sacrifices, including losing time with their children in the event he or she is deployed to distant locations. Unfortunately, these deployments may sometimes result in a non-custodial parent seeking modifications to current child custody orders. There may be several Kentucky families who have faced these difficult situations.

Recently, a couple turned to a social media platform in an effort to draw attention to their case and possibly aid other service members who are dealing with losing custody of a child due to a relocation or deployment. The father in this case was recently sent with his unit to serve in a mid-eastern country. Shortly after his deployment, the biological mother of his 11-year-old child petitioned the court for temporary custody.

Is there any way that I can adopt my stepchildren?

If you marry a person who is a parent, you may reach a point where you wish to adopt your stepkids. Stepparent adoption can be a beautiful way to grow your Kentucky family, but there could be certain roadblocks standing between you and your ultimate objective. If you are looking to formalize and legally establish your relationship with your stepkids, you would be wise to seek a full understanding of your options.

One of the main hurdles to accomplishing your goal of adopting your stepchildren is gaining the consent of the other biological parent. These can be complex issues, and the other parent may not be present or willing to allow you to move forward with this goal. Whatever your family law goal may be, you have the right to seek a full understanding of your rights and the choices available to you.

When seeking a military divorce, experience and knowledge matter

There are some momentous decisions that require a strong commitment and resolve to follow through. One of these decisions is the desire to sign up for a stint in the armed forces in order to serve one's country, and the other is the decision to enter into a marriage. Unfortunately, as many Kentucky residents are aware, many marriages will not survive in spite of one's best efforts, and the process of obtaining a military divorce may require patience and skilled assistance.

A civilian marriage and subsequent divorce can be a trying time for the parties involved. However, add in all of the complications that accompany life in the service, and the process may feel overwhelming. Along with all of the usual details that are a part of a civilian divorce, such as determining a suitable custody plan, there is the division of marital assets and retirement accounts. A military divorce has these elements as well but comes with an added layer of complications, as deployments and frequent relocation can make custody arrangements challenging.

Figuring out child custody is most important matter in divorce

There are many matters that may need to be considered when a couple is contemplating a divorce. While many are important, if the couple have children, then determining how to settle at least temporary child custody is of the utmost importance. Just like every other state, Kentucky has its own laws that will guide a court in making these determinations.

There are steps parents can take before the issue comes before a family court judge. One of these is taking time to consider the needs and feelings of the children who may be affected by the impending separation of households. In many cases, children do well to remain in their familiar environments, including their home if at all possible. Additionally, if the parents can come to at least a temporary agreement as to how to share parenting duties, this will also make the transitions easier for all parties. Refraining from using children as a conduit forĀ communication can also ease tensions for the child and allows for more open dialogue between parents.

Kentucky encouarges unwed fathers to legally claim paternity

Many years ago, it was considered taboo for a woman to have a child without being married to the baby's father. However, it is now an accepted part of normal family life, though states have devised laws that dictate how a biological father can legally establish paternity of his child regardless of marital status. Kentucky is no exception, and it has created an avenue for men to seek legal recognition as a child's father.

The state has set up its Paternity Acknowledgment Program, which provides an official document that allows an unwed father to claim his legal parental rights. The state touts the benefits to both parents and children when this document is entered into the official vital statistics department. Once signed, the biological father is acknowledged as the legal parent and is included on the child's birth certificate.

A divorce can be letting go, not giving up

Every engaged couple hopes for the best when they decide to say the vows that are meant to join them for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, life can take many twists, and the "I do" may become an "I cannot." Regardless of what may have changed, many Kentucky families may have learned that a divorce is not always an end, but possibly a beginning.

Recently, one woman shared her experiences and what she learned when she sought a divorce from her husband of 17 years. She related how she and her spouse came from parents who had stayed married for many years, and therefore, she viewed a divorce as a failure. As time went on, though, she came to see her marriage as no longer a positive relationship but rather one that had to be endured.

Creditors are not bound by your divorce settlement

During a marriage, many Kentucky couples take out debts such as car loans, mortgages and credit cards together. While there may be combined financial resources to cover these debts, this may not be an issue. However, in a divorce, those joint debts can have significant impact on each party's future.

Whether a Kentucky couple decides to use collaborative divorce, mediation or the courts to come to an agreement regarding a divorce settlement, each party may be assigned certain debts to pay. Each former spouse may be under the impression that this contract is enough to alleviate his or her responsibility for a particular debt. After all, the divorce settlement was approved by the court, which makes it an order that each of them must follow.

Paternity laws give unwed men a chance

Lots of Kentucky couples do not feel the need to get married to solidify their relationships. As time goes by, they may have a child. While the relationship is going strong, the fact that the couple failed to legally establish the paternity of their child. However, if the relationship sours and the couple decides to go their separate ways, it could quickly become an issue.

Kentucky law does not recognize an unwed, biological father as the legal father of a child. This means that you would not have any legal rights to your child. This means that a Kentucky court will not entertain your requests for visitation or joint custody. On the other hand, the mother of your child cannot ask the court for child support.

Tasha Scott Schaffner, PLLC - Attorneys at law

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Crestview Hills, KY 41017

Phone: 859-491-1011
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