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Louisville KY Family Law Blog

Alimony and taxes: What one has to do with the other

It's coming upon that time of year when many Kentucky residents are preparing their tax returns. This year will be different for those who were divorced and began receiving alimony in 2016. Various issues can arise if one is not fully aware of all tax laws and how spousal support may impact one's tax return.

Those on the paying end of alimony may actually be glad when tax season rolls around. This is because they can claim their payments as deductions. The Social Security Number of the recipient is used by the payer, who gives the number to the Internal Revenue Service so it can verify the amount claimed.

Preventing angry outbursts in divorce

It's no secret that many married couples in Kentucky suffer serious communication breakdowns as the years go by. This is often a key factor leading to divorce. When two people are barely able to be in the same room without fighting, working through child custody, financial and other important issues may be challenging.

Even when both parties want their marriage to end, it doesn't mean they are able to peacefully negotiate all the important issues that accompany their decision. Finding ways to avoid contention and treat each other in an amicable fashion has helped many spouses prevent angry outbursts and obtain swift and agreeable solutions to their problems. Especially where children are concerned, studies show they adapt much better to new lifestyles when parents are willing to cooperate during divorce proceedings.

The many ways a woman can prepare for the aftermath of divorce

Are you moving forward with the divorce process? Have you come to grips with the fact that your life will never be the same?

Although you are sure to face some challenges in the future, you shouldn't look at this as a bad thing. Instead, realize that you are doing something for yourself. You are making a decision that will improve your life in the long run.

Money and divorce: How to make sure you don't go broke

If Kentucky readers who have ended their marriages in court were to take a survey, answers to questions regarding what their biggest challenges were during the process would surely vary. Every situation is different, but most who divorce would agree on one thing: it's never easy. A main concern for many parties includes money; more specifically, how not to lose it all.

Surprisingly, many married persons are completely unaware of their own assets and liabilities because they hand over the reins on such matters to their spouses. While it might seem convenient and a good idea to let someone else keep financial records, pay bills and otherwise maintain all bank accounts, credit card statements and the like, if divorce occurs, one spouse might be left in the dark with regard to knowing what's what, financially. This lack of knowledge can create significant challenges when it comes time to divide assets and seek a fair settlement.

Alimony not what it used to be in Kentucky or elsewhere

There's no telling what types of challenges may arise when a Kentucky couple decides to end their marriage in court. Many common issues often surface, such as those pertaining to child custody, visitation and/or alimony. The latter is definitely not what it used to be in that there is no presumption that a wife will automatically receive spousal support from a former husband.

To the contrary, the state takes various guidelines into consideration when handing down decisions about financial support of a former spouse after divorce. One factor obviously has to do with each person's income, perhaps even projections regarding possible future income as well. Kentucky considers alimony as maintenance, and a person requesting it typically has to demonstrate the inability to be self-supporting and/or a lack of assets after marital property is divided by the court.

Divorce inquiries part of new year for many in Kentucky

Some Kentucky readers may be surprised to learn that January has apparently been dubbed "divorce month." This is due to an increase in inquiries, by means of the internet and otherwise, related to the topic during this month each year. Many people reportedly delay intentions to file for divorce until after their holiday seasons are over.

Especially in situations that involve children, parents often choose to set their differences aside for the sake of family unity during the holidays. Once January rolls around, focuses may change to New Year resolutions that, for some, may include ending their marriages. Opinions vary greatly regarding the subject of divorce and whether it benefits or causes potential negative risks to children.

Private School and College - A Kentucky Family Law Obligation?

A family law question which occasionally gets asked of this office is whether someone can be court-ordered to pay the costs of private education as a part of child support. I also hear queries about whether Kentucky law requires someone to pay college expenses or child support to a parent who has a college student living in their home. My usual answer is that in the absence of a written agreement,  payment for private education won't be required unless there are some special educational circumstances involving specific learning difficulties and a professional recommendation advocating attendance at a specific private school.

Divorce and business: What one has to do with the other

Many people in Kentucky will do many things for the first time in their lives in 2017. For some, this will include divorce. Others who have gone through the process understand the many challenges that can arise regarding future care and upbringing of children, division of assets and other divorce issues. One aspect that is often overlooked (until it's too late) is business interests.

Any spouse going through divorce who co-owns a business with his or her soon-to-be former spouse may want to ensure the end of marriage does not result in the end of the business (unless, of course, he or she wants it to be the end of the business, in which case, that opens a whole new set of challenges). Kentucky is not a community property state. This means income or items acquired during marriage are not automatically split 50/50 in divorce. Also, various issues may surface during proceedings related to a business that require the agreement of both spouses (as business owners), such as lease renewals or investment approvals.

Focusing on family in divorce

Most couples who marry in Kentucky do so with the intention of honoring a lifetime commitment. The reality is, of course, that many relationships do not last that long. Divorce rates continue to be high throughout the nation, with large numbers of spouses parting ways after the age of 50.

When spouses have been together for many years, and have raised one or more children together, various issues may arise during the divorce process that are difficult to resolve. Such issues may include with whom children will reside (if underage children still reside in the home), if either spouse should pay child support (and, if so, how much and how often) and who will have the voice of authority when it comes to important life decisions such as those regarding education, health and/or faith. A concerned parent may wonder how best to address a particular situation to obtain a swift and fair agreement while protecting parental rights and keeping children's best interests at heart.

Seeking guidance regarding alimony in Kentucky

Courts in Kentucky and throughout the nation have much discretion when it comes to matters of spousal support after divorce. Whether to grant alimony, to whom and how much, are all pertinent topics that may be addressed in court. Gone are the days when a woman automatically receives spousal support payments from a man in divorce. Nowadays, one, both or neither spouse may be granted alimony, depending on a particular court's decision.

Generally speaking, there are certain factors of consideration that typically aid judges in their decision-making processes regarding alimony. For instance, financial conditions of both former spouses are usually carefully reviewed. Age, physical and mental health of each party involved may also be assessed.

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