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Louisville KY Family Law Blog

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.

What snooze buttons have to do with divorce

Many Kentucky residents can relate to hearing an alarm clock ring in a new day, leaving them fumbling in the dark to reach the snooze buttons on their devices. Some say there is a certain type of procrastination in marriage similar to hitting a snooze button that may be a red flag warning for divorce. It has to do with severe communication breakdown in a marriage.

It is not uncommon for spouses to evade difficult issues and problems by avoiding the topics altogether. Otherwise known as "sweeping it under the rug," some have convinced themselves that not discussing a problem will make it go away. Others have learned this is not typically true, and may even to bigger problems in the long run.

What will happen to my house in a divorce?

If you own a home, it is likely so much more than just an "asset." That home contains some of life's happiest memories. It could be where you raised your children, celebrated holidays, played in the yard or sat around the dinner table as a family.

For some people, those memories will be too painful in the event of a divorce, and they will want to get as far away from the house as possible. Other times, neither divorcing spouse wants to move out. This is why control of the home can always be one of the most bitter, emotional disputes with a divorce.

Jesse Jackson, Jr. headed for divorce proceedings

Former congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife of 25 years, Sandi Jackson, have chosen to end their marriage. Jackson is the son of Jesse Jackson, Sr., the well-known Baptist minister and civil rights activist. The younger Jackson appears to be facing several contentious issues in his divorce, including who will have custody of the former couple's children. Many parents in Kentucky can no doubt relate to such problems.

Sandi Jackson has requested sole custody of the children. She has also made a few further requests of the court. For one, she has asked for exclusive possession and usage rights to the home she once shared with her husband. Mrs. Jackson is asking for alimony and child support as well.

Navigating parenting issues after divorce

Kentucky parents facing the complicated parenting challenges that can arise after the end of a marriage know how difficult it can be to resolve these issues peacefully and beneficially. Divorce can be complex for the younger members of the family, but a co-parenting plan may provide stability and continuity of lifestyle for the children. When choosing to co-parent, it is critical that the terms of the agreement be thoughtful and sustainable so as to avoid future legal complications.

Research has shown that children benefit when they are able to maintain a strong relationship with both parents after divorce. Co-parenting allows children to do this, but it requires that parents work diligently to put aside their emotions and work jointly for the best interests of the children. Disputes can derail a parenting plan if they are not addressed appropriately.

The factors that contribute to a lower divorce rate

While many Kentucky readers may believe that at least half of all marriages will end prematurely, recent statistics indicate that this may not be true for every age group. The overall divorce rate seems to be lowering, but this trend does not apply to middle-age and older generations. There are many factors that affect the divorce rate, from college education to life expectancy.

The overall number of divorce filings has continued to decrease over the last few years, and many factors can be credited for this trend. Younger generations tend to marry later than their parents or grandparents before them, many obtaining college degrees and securing steady income before choosing to marry. It is believed that this, in addition to being more selective about their prospective mates, has led to fewer divorces among younger generations.

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