There is an old joke about divorce, probably dating from the time of vaudeville comics, that goes something like this:
In any divorce, issues of the treatment of taxes will arise. In most cases, one spouse will have assumed the responsibility for preparation of household financial documents and continues on with the chore out of habit, but sadly, with the shattering of the trust that comes about from the end of a marriage there also comes a reluctance to cooperate.
On review, child custody decisions in situations where servicemembers face extended deployment at sea or abroad are seldom easy. Where both parents are presumably fit, it is intuitive that the nondeployed parent should generally obtain primary custody; however, where there are problems with parenting by the nondeployed parent, the decisions are much harder. In this office, we are well aware of these issues, and can assist in fashioning appropriate solutions and arguments.
In a Kentucky divorce, statute and established precedent require the equitable division of marital debt. Many litigants fail to understand what this means, and conflate the term equitable with the term equal. In cases with significant debt, a judge may consider a multitude of factors in making the division. Relative incomes, the underlying need which gave rise to the debt, the disposition of property which was acquired with the debt (or which may serve as collateral for the debt) and the ability of the parties to service the debt all become relevant factors; the final result will not necessarily look equal, but that division will be deemed equitable.
A major issue that arises in the breakup of longterm marriages in Kentucky is that of spousal maintenance, also known commonly as alimony. Attorneys all too frequently present it to clients as an "it exists, live with it" proposition, and laymen understand it only in the abstract. Sadly, poorly defined legal precepts on maintenance are constantly 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.
In Kentucky divorces (particularly high value divorces), we frequently observe attempts on the part of parties to obfuscate the financial picture of a marriage by hiding or undervaluing assets, colluding with partners or family members in closely held businesses to understate income, or to operate shell companies while shifting the income away from the apparent failing entity. While Kentucky now mandates the reporting of certain financial basics in every dissolution by court rule, a case with more complexity is going to require a significant level of discovery and analysis that require far more information than the boilerplate forms provide. A good divorce attorney will be able to craft discovery requests to get to the heart of the financial picture if factors like the following are observed in a marriage:
Over the years, I've had occasion to deal with a surplus of ridiculous advice given to people facing the worst event of their lives - their divorce. This advice can create many problems - discord between litigant and lawyer, poor strategic decisions and unnecessary disputes between the litigants. Once the bad advice is given and taken to heart, it takes a great deal of time and effort to dispel and results in significant expense of the litigant.
Kentucky legislators and judges have a lot to say about matters of child custody and parenting time in divorces. There are hundreds of statutes and thousands of pages of judicial opinions addressing issues of jurisdiction, of best interests, of factors to be used to determine what happens in modifications and what happens when someone leaves the immediate area. Sadly, in all of this material, there is very little said about how to act as a parent.
In Kentucky, a action for the dissolution of marriage (commonly referred to as a divorce) is the culmination of the period of turmoil that reflects a relationship in great crisis. In the months prior to the actual filing, there is usually a period of stagnation because the decisions to be made are difficult, costly and have a huge impact on the lives of the litigants. Allocations of parenting time, child care decisions, school choices, child support, alimony/spousal maintenance and the division of hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of assets and debts all have to be considered, all while the couple is under severe emotional stress.