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Louisville KY Family Law Blog

Kentucky couples may need to consider state laws in divorce

Ending one's marriage can be one of the most difficult experiences a person can face. Most people get married truly believing in the commitment they make to be with their partner forever. However, the union may encounter difficulties that are insurmountable, and in those circumstances, a divorce can be the only way out. While most may believe that divorce laws are consistent throughout the country, many Kentucky readers may be interested in the fact that laws vary widely based upon the state in which a divorce is filed.

A recent Forbes article describes the various ways that laws can differ from state to state. First, most states have specific residency requirements that must be satisfied prior to filing a divorce claim. In Kentucky, for example, one must be a resident in the state for at least 180 days prior to filing.

A "gray" divorce may significantly impact Kentucky couples

Going through the dissolution of a marriage, including asset division, can be difficult even in most any situation. A "gray" divorce, or a divorce between people over the age of 50, presents a unique set of challenges that are generally not as important or prevalent in divorces between younger couples. A recent article details some of the particular considerations that Kentucky couples may want to contemplate if they are pursuing a divorce later in life.

Throughout the country, gray divorces have steadily increased in frequency over the past few decades. A recent article reports that the divorce rate between people between the ages of 55 and 64 has doubled, and the rate for those 65 and older has tripled. There are many factors that have affected this rate, such as longer life expectancy and the general increase of acceptance of divorce.

What Happens With a Family Business in a Divorce?

Family businesses are normally owned by both spouses, so when a marriage breaks up, it puts the state of the business in limbo. This can be especially worrisome in situations where income from the business is the main thing fueling the family's livelihood. The break-up of a marriage is one thing, dissolving a business is another, and just because there is a divorce it doesn't mean the business relationship has to be over. It all depends on the nature of the business and each person's ability and willingness to look at the business relationship as something separate from the personal relationship. Depending on the specific situation, there are generally three options:

Tips for negotiating division of the family home in a divorce

Life after a divorce may involve many changes. For continuity, some individuals may hope to continue living in their family home. However, that decision involves important tax and financial considerations.

Before deciding to stay in the family home, an individual should draw up a financial plan for his or her post-divorce life. That analysis should factor in an individual’s ability to refinance the mortgage solely in his or her name. In addition to determining an appropriate monthly payment for mortgage or rent, an individual should also remember other costs associated with a home, such as maintenance and home repairs, landscaping, real estate taxes, utilities and other costs. An individual should also consider the desired amount of living space and whether the location is still convenient.

Tips for raising the subject of a prenuptial agreement

Conventional wisdom may offer much advice on the timing of a wedding proposal, but is there a good time to raise the subject of a prenuptial agreement?  Our law firm believes that the way in which this topic is raised can be even more important than its timing, provided that the agreement is executed before the marriage ceremony.

Specifically, a premarital agreement doesn’t have to be seen as a lack of confidence in a marriage. Rather, this type of contract can serve a housekeeping function, helping each spouse take an inventory of his or her assets before marriage. In the interest of full disclosure, however, Kentucky courts require that material facts be disclosed before the prenuptial agreement is signed.

Signs your spouse is hiding assets

While no two marriages are alike there are certain matters that must be addressed in the course of any divorce. In many cases the most contentious issue is the way in which the shared marital property is divided. Depending on the assets the couple held, the process can be complex. In any divorce the first step will be determine exactly what is considered marital property. This is not always as easy as it seems, particularly when one spouse is hiding assets from the other.

Tips for finding the right divorce lawyer for your needs

Although an individual going through a divorce might want to avoid entering into any new relationships for a period of time, the truth is that finding the right divorce attorney also depends to some extent on personal chemistry.

Make no mistake; there is certainly a legal strategy to pursuing favorable outcomes in a divorce, especially regarding matters of support or property division. In addition, an experienced family law and divorce attorney can utilize civil discovery techniques to search for any hidden assets that a spouse may not have disclosed. Indeed, obtaining a complete and accurate inventory of the marital estate is essential before an equitable distribution of assets can be made. In addition, an attorney can advocate for the relevant factors that may help a spouse obtain a favorable distribution. 

How can an attorney help with the divorce timeline?

Unless an individual has been through a divorce, there can be surprises resulting from the process. For starters, many individuals aren’t familiar with the typical divorce timeline, which is governed by court procedures. Understanding that timeline can help an individual feel more comfortable.

After the petition filing, an individual seeking a divorce should be prepared to address any temporary issues that require a plan before the divorce is finalized. Those issues may include temporary child custody and visitation, support, or even restraining orders to protect against domestic violence.

Can an attorney help you plan a post-divorce financial strategy?

Those going through a divorce should work with their attorney to develop not only a transition plan into post-divorce life, but also long-term steps to financial recovery. 

The good news is that a divorce filing generally does not hurt one’s credit score. After removing one’s name from joint bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and other loan or credit obligations, an individual should be able to start with new accounts and take sole responsibility for his or her credit score. If only one spouse is going to keep the family house, it may be wise to refinance the mortgage solely in that individual’s name.  

Private School and Post High School Education Expenses

In some jurisdictions in the United States, there are significant battles over the payment of private school tuition for minor children as well as the tuition obligations of children who have achieved the age of majority. Some of those battles are legislative as advocates work to install such a requirement, and in in other jurisdictions, statutes requiring just that are being challenged.

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