December 2013 Archives

Children and Divorce

Divorce, while emotionally difficult for the parents, is infinitely harder on the children.  Questions of custody and the allocation of parenting time bear heavily on the parents, not to mention the question of what happens on a parental relocation as a matter of Kentucky law.

Divorce Planning Tips

Having a family law practice with a heavy concentration of divorce work for 25 years creates a significant base of practical knowledge.  Much of that knowledge should be intuitive, but sometimes, it can be difficult to comprehend for a person going through the emotions of the moment.  There are multiple conflict points which can sap emotional well-being and can lead to poor or unfocused decisions. When going through this process, it is extremely important to do the following:

Child Custody Prior to Birth - Does the Father Have Rights?

One frequent topic of queries to this office on child custody involves questions about rights to children yet to be born.  My most frequently delivered answer to these queries (unless there are issues of serious potential harm) is that Kentucky litigation regarding these custodial issues must await the birth of the child.

Property Division in Divorce - Make Your List Thorough

In all divorces (particularly those in "high value" cases), people tend to focus on the major investments when they engage in property division. Home equity, investment accounts, retirement accounts, interests in closely held businesses and valuable collections seldom escape notice; with these items, marital division or restoration as a non-marital asset is an inevitability.

Kentucky Law on Spousal Maintenance/Alimony

A major issue which arises in the dissolution of a longterm marriage in Kentucky  is that of spousal maintenance, known otherwise in some other states and in the common culture as alimony. Practitioners of the law all too frequently present it to clients as an "it exists, live with it" proposition, and laymen understand it only as a nebulous concept. Sadly, this conclusive and nonexplanatory concept is all too frequently reinforced in the opinions of both trial and appellate courts; further obfuscation comes from the earnest efforts of legal scholars in creating voluminous (and largely incomprehensible to anyone outside the legal community) articles on the topic. Because of this, the general public has difficulty in understanding how spousal maintenance awards are even justifiable in an age where there is rough parity in employment and economic potential among men and women - this leads to miscommunication and misunderstanding between lawyer and client. To my way of thinking, it is important to distill the notion of why it exists down to an explanation that is simple, yet not a soundbite, if only to clarify available options.

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