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Louisville KY Family Law Blog

How the court determines who receives alimony and who doesn't

When a Kentucky couple chooses to sever marital ties, the decision is usually just the beginning of a court process that is often lengthy and complex. When children are involved, many decisions and plans need to be made regarding their future care and financial provisions. Some spouses, as well, are unable to make ends meet on their own after divorce, especially if they placed their careers on hold to stay home and raise families during marriage. This is why the court sometimes determines alimony appropriate in a particular divorce situation.

It's not as simple as one spouse telling the court he or she needs financial assistance from the other spouse. While state laws vary, there are general guidelines and factors of consideration in place to help the court make its decisions. Many people turn to experienced family law attorneys to help them determine the ins and outs of the law when it comes to alimony.

A post-decree modification can make your divorce fairer

When you and your former spouse went through the divorce process, emotions were probably high. Chances are that if you had to go through hearings and court, you didn't agree on critical issues, like asset division and child custody or visitation. You may have pushed intensely for a certain outcome, only to feel disappointed with the outcome. When the courts issue the final divorce decree, you may think that you're stuck with things the way they are. However, in some situations, it is possible to have your divorce decree modified after the courts finalize your divorce.

Child custody and spousal support are frequently areas that get revisited for modification. It is possible, though less common, for the asset division component of your divorce to be modified as well. You may have found out that your former spouse was hiding substantial assets from the courts that he or she accrued during the marriage. When you believe it is in your best interest to ask the courts to modify your divorce decree, you are going to need the help and advice of an experienced Kentucky family law attorney. Your lawyer can help you successfully work for a modification after your divorce.

Hidden assets may complicate divorce in Kentucky

No two situations are exactly the same, and it's up to every Kentucky married couple to determine the course of their future. Some will be among others throughout the nation who choose to divorce. Proceedings may be rather simple, with little to no obstacles arising in the process. Others may face significant challenges regarding child custody, business issues or hidden assets.

The latter is a common problem, especially when high net worth is involved. Kentucky is part of the nation's majority when it comes to property division laws. This means that although jointly owned assets will not necessarily be divided 50/50, the court will determine a fair distribution between spouses.

Don't cut ties with your parenting rights in divorce

Issues involving children are typically the ones that evoke the strongest emotions when Kentucky married couples choose to sever their ties in court. The divorce process is never exactly the same twice. Every situation is unique, and the court does its best to render appropriate decisions that protect parents' rights and keep the best interests of children at heart.

When it comes to child custody situations, laws vary by state. Typically, the court believes children fare best when provided ample time with both parents. However, if parents disagree on what's best for their kids, the court has the power to make any decision it deems appropriate to a given situation, even if one or both parents are not happy with it.

Children living at home while parents come and go after divorce

Many Kentucky readers are familiar with the term "empty nester," as it relates to parents whose children are all grown and moved out of their homes. However, some might not yet have heard about a new type of nesting that concerns couples with children who divorce. This new type of parenting plan is catching on in some areas, as one woman recently shared in The New York Times.

The idea behind nesting after divorce is to help children adapt to their new lifestyles by causing as little disruption to their existing routines as possible. In this particular arrangement, it means children continue to live in the home that was shared by their parents in marriage while the parents take up separate residences elsewhere and come to stay with their children on a rotating schedule. The woman who posted about her experience said she often gets looks of surprise and confusion when she describes her situation to others.

When a spouse dies during the divorce process

Of all things that happen in Kentucky this year, undoubtedly some instances will include married couples deciding to end their relationships. What happens after that will likely vary according to individual circumstances. However, most people who divorce have a few things in common, such as a need to adapt to new lifestyles and/or restructure their future financial or parenting plans.

Only a few spouses will face extenuating issues that arise when those they are divorcing pass away before the process is finalized. Some who have been through it say it's a strange experience going from a soon-to-be former spouse to a widow or widower overnight. There's a large support network available for those whose spouses die under more "normal" circumstances; however, there doesn't seem to be many resources to help those who were separated when their spouses died.

Don't believe everything you hear after divorce

Developing  new parenting plans after marital ties are severed is a challenge many Kentucky adults must face. Divorce necessitates some major lifestyle changes, especially where children are involved. It's often the case that one parent will hear something about the other, either from a child, a relative or friend, and if he or she acts without first researching the situation to confirm the rumor, things can get pretty messy.

Let's say someone tells you your children were left alone at their other parent's home, and you and your former spouse agreed never to do that. There are several ways to handle this type of situation, some of which may do more harm than good in the long run. Generally speaking, if you launch into a full-out attack against your former spouses without first seeking an explanation, you may wind up becoming entangled in a contentious situation that could cause detriment to your relationship with your children.

Alimony: A quick history lesson on why it exists

Spouses who are forced to pay alimony, and spouses who have the right to receive alimony tend to view the fairness of alimony in a very different light. This is natural. In a lot of marriages, the spouses don't part on good terms, and the last thing the so-called "moneyed" spouse wants to do is send a check to his or her ex on a monthly basis.

All this aside, there is a sound historical basis for why alimony exists and why it continues to be relevant today.

Pros and cons of parenting after divorce

No two Kentucky families are exactly alike, but many have things in common. For instance, some are blended families, comprised of parents who bring children together from previous unions. Others are single-parent households that developed after divorce.

Those in the latter group often say they face many challenges as they learn to adapt to post-divorce lifestyles, particularly as it affects their parenting plans. One woman says she believes she has actually become a better parent in some ways since her marital split. One thing she's apparently learned to do that she didn't do while she was married is directly interact and share activities with her children on a regular basis. 

These options often help people considering divorce

Most married people in Kentucky remember at least one or more things that attracted them to their spouses before they wed. Reasons people marry vary almost as much as those cited when spouses file for divorce. Every couple's situation is different. Some are able to workout their differences and stay together.

Just as various other aspects of life require regular upkeep and maintenance (such as physical health, pet care and/or machines and appliances) a director of a postgraduate marriage program and a couples' therapy group in another state says people must give adequate attention to their marriages to keep them from falling apart. A person who never exercises or doesn't eat healthy may have trouble functioning physically. So too, spouses who neglect one another and never put personal effort into their marital relationships may eventually find their problems irreparable.

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