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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Jobs in travel and entertainment have higher divorce rates

Recent studies suggest that Kentucky residents who work in the entertainment, hospitality or travel sectors may be more likely to divorce than those employed in other areas. Figures from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey indicate that bartenders have the highest divorce rates in the United States. The study also reveals that divorce is more common when spouses have fluid schedules or jobs that require extensive travel.

Occupations that lie at the other end of the divorce probability scale tend to be less adventurous and more cerebral in nature. Studies have found that divorce is relatively rare among scientists, health care professionals, software developers and actuaries, and experts believe that this is because these fields tend to attract level-headed individuals who shy away from conflict and resist change. However, the data also highlights a connection between income and divorce, and even spouses employed in seemingly sedate occupations may find themselves embroiled in bitter disputes when money becomes an issue.

Providing constancy between households after divorce

One of the common problems many Kentucky divorced parents face is how to implement rules that provide consistency for children living in two different households. Parents typically have differing belief systems on which rules should be established in shared custody situations and how strongly they should be enforced. However, if parents can develop a strategy to create normalcy between households, it can go far in helping the children adjust after the divorce.

Ideally, parents should sit down together and have a conversation about which rules will be enforced in both households. While the parents may undoubtedly struggle with communication issues, it is better to have the meeting in person so that everyone's feelings can be heard and understood. If the children are old enough, they could even take part in the discussion so they are assured of how important their opinion is, and they will feel as though they've contributed to the process.

Sole custody may not be beneficial for mothers

Many northern Kentucky residents may still believe that fathers should be responsible for financially supporting the family while the mothers stay home and raise the children. In part due to these traditional views, divorce courts still overwhelmingly award sole or primary physical custody to mothers.

While this can feel like a victory for some mothers, it can make it difficult for them to be able to go back to work, especially if the kids are younger. This potentially keeps them trapped in the role of the homemaker. If they cannot work to support themselves, they could find themselves relying on child support and alimony to pay for the education, medical care and anything else the children may need. However, child support does not last forever and getting back into the workplace after years of staying at home can be difficult for some women.

The financial side of divorce could have an impact on your future

The end of a marriage can be a stressful and challenging experience and may also have a substantial impact on the future of those involved. If you wish to move forward in life on your own, chances are, you might wonder how certain aspects of a divorce might affect you, perhaps especially those concerning finances.

The process of property division will inherently have financial ramifications. However, you might be able to take certain steps throughout this period to prepare for the road ahead, which could help you avoid suffering any unnecessary and potentially catastrophic consequences.

A strong parenting plan is better for every member of the family

When two parents divorce, it can have a significant emotional impact on the children. Some Kentucky families may find that it is beneficial to work together on a parenting plan that allows the children to have some continuity of lifestyle and stability, even long after the divorce process is final.

You and your spouse have the right to draft a parenting plan that serves the unique interests of your individual family. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting plans, but you would be wise to make sure that yours includes considerations of all of the important issues that could affect your children. With the right parenting plan in place, your family could enjoy a more peaceful post-divorce future.

Tax deductions and spousal support

A Northern Kentucky divorce often includes the requirement that one of the parties pays alimony. That alimony may be tax deductible, but only under certain circumstances.

The alimony has to be named in the separation or divorce agreement, and the agreement must not specify that the payment is not considered alimony. For example, it should not say that the payment is nontaxable. If a portion of the payment is child support, that is also not tax deductible. If the child support amount is not explicitly stated, it can be identified as the amount that ends when the child reaches a certain age, marries, gets a job, reaches a certain income level, moves out of the home, finishes school or dies. Any payment that is not alimony or child support will be considered part of the property settlement and is also not tax deductible.

Establishing paternity through a DNA test

When Kentucky parents are not married, the alleged father of the child may be asked by the mother to pay child support. Before the court will order the alleged father to pay, however, those involved in the child support dispute will usually be required to undergo DNA testing.

DNA tests have accuracy rates of up to 99.99999 percent and are used by courts to conclude whether or not an alleged father is actually the child's biological parent. Once paternity has been established, the father may be required to begin making child support payments. However, establishing paternity also has other uses. For example, paternity allows the father to potentially seek custody of the child or seek visitation.

When mediation is not an appropriate option

When a Kentucky couple determines that their marriage cannot be saved, they will need to make a decision about how to go through the divorce process. For some, mediation offers advantages that are appealing as this method is less adversarial than a trial. However, mediation will not work for all couples.

In order for mediation to work, both individuals must be able to work together and want each other to come out of the divorce okay. This means that a person must be able to consider the other's point of view and listen to what he or she wants out of the divorce. This also means that a person will have to accept the other's view of reality, meaning that the experience the other person had while the marriage was ending may not be the same.

Military personnel may have right to stay hearings

Military personnel living and working in Kentucky should be aware of their rights under the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act of 2003. The act covers all active duty service members, and the protections it offers remain in force, generally speaking, until between 30 and 90 days after the date active duty terminates with discharge. In some cases the protections may last longer.

The SCRA is designed to allow active duty servicemembers to focus on the tasks of active military service; it is meant to relieve them of worries associated with such things as rental agreements, credit card interest rates, mortgage foreclosure or eviction. It calls for civil court proceedings and administrative proceedings to be delayed, including hearings related to divorce, child custody or bankruptcy. Most of the SRCA's protections are applied uniformly across all states.

Important divorce considerations

Kentucky residents contemplating divorce might like to know more information about the topic. When preparing to dissolve a marriage, first keep in mind that men and women view divorce differently. Women typically want to process their emotions when ending a marriage while men take a quick and efficient approach.

The likelihood of divorce increases with each marriage, so couples who are young may wish to wait a few years before tying the knot. This is because those who marry younger are more likely to divorce. Nearly 60 percent of women who marry before they are 18 file for divorce within 15 years. The divorce rate drops 36 percent for couples 20 and older. Getting it right the first time is crucial as 67 percent of second marriages fail along with 73 percent of third marriages.

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