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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Military service members have highest rates of divorce

Although few Kentucky couples get married with the assumption that it will eventually end in divorce, not all marriages last. In fact, money problems, mental illness and stress from work can wear down a marriage to the point where a divorce becomes necessary. However, an analysis of U.S. census data showed that people who work in some career paths are more likely to get divorced by the age of 30 than those who work in others.

The analysis found that military service members have the highest rates of divorce out of any career, with the average divorce rate being 15 percent by the age of 30. First-line enlisted military supervisors had a divorce rate of 30 percent. Further, the analysis of the data also showed that military deployments played a major role in the failure of a marriage. The divorce rates reportedly increased each month spouses were away on deployment.

Divorce myths can mislead separating spouses

Sometimes, it seems to estranged Kentucky couples that everyone has gone through a divorce. While this can help them receive a sympathetic ear, it can also lead to a surfeit of incorrect legal advice from well-intentioned, yet ill-informed, friends and family members.

For example, when a divorce is amicable and the two spouses have agreed on most aspects of their split, some may think that both spouses can share one lawyer in order to save money. While people can represent themselves while the other hires a lawyer, each lawyer can only represent one party in a divorce. Even in an amicable divorce, representing both parties in a divorce is a conflict of interest.

In a marital split-up, how will our property be split up?

Divorce can take a toll on you both financially and emotionally. One of the biggest areas of contention during the dissolution of a marriage is the division of property, especially for couples who have large amounts of property or high-value property.

In many marital split-up situations, the couples cannot address issues related to property division amicably. As a result, going to court is inevitable.

Using a QDRO to divide a 401(k)

When a Kentucky couple gets a divorce and one of them has a retirement account, it will likely be considered part of the marital assets that must be divided. However, if a person wants to give some or all of a 401(k) to a former spouse, that 401(k) cannot simply be assigned to another person. Furthermore, a withdrawal and distribution to another person may incur tax and penalties.

In order to avoid these taxes and penalties, it is necessary to use a document called a qualified domestic relations order. With a QDRO, the agreed-upon portion of the retirement account can be transferred into the other spouse's IRA.

Tips for blending families

Some Northern Kentucky residents who have been married before may be in a new relationship and want to combine households. There are a number of financial angles to consider when creating a blended family. A couple should begin by discussing their attitudes about money, spending and saving with one another. They might also discuss their long-term spending goals and what they want for their children. They should consider how they will deal with various imbalances such as the differing needs of children or one coming into the relationship with more assets than the other.

The latter problem could be dealt with in part by having a prenuptial agreement. Putting one together also promotes honest communication about money, so it could be a good exercise for a couple even if they do not intend to make it legally binding.

Divorce documents must include all spousal payments

Kentucky couples who are ending their marriage may learn something from a U.S. Tax Court case. In the case, a man agreed to split a large bonus he had gotten at his job with his estranged spouse, and because they both signed an agreement stating that the bonus was community property, he believed the payment would be tax deductible. Unfortunately for him, there was one requirement that he missed.

In order for alimony to be tax deductible, it cannot be paid while the two partiesare living in the same home, the payments must end upon the death of the recipient and the alimony cannot be claimed as nontaxable in divorce settlement documents. However, the requirement the man in this case missed was that any spousal payments must be written into the divorce agreements in order for it to be deductible.

Why parental rights may be terminated

To some Kentucky parents, losing their parental rights may come as a relief. For others, it may come as a warning to do better to provide for their children. In some cases, a termination is voluntary and may be the precursor to an adoption. There are many different reasons why a parent may lose rights to his or her child. For instance, a child may be taken out of a home because of chronic physical abuse.

Parental rights may also be terminated if it is discovered that a child is being sexually or mentally abused. Children may also be removed from their home if they are being denied food, clothing or shelter. It is possible that a child may be removed if a sibling or another child is being abused or neglected by a parent.

Protecting your business and being proactive in divorce

When you own a business in Kentucky, your business is most likely your pride and joy. It is also most likely your sole or chief source of income. Therefore, it makes sense for you to be concerned if you are on the brink of getting a divorce.

Having a business, generally a high-value asset, complicates a divorce proceeding in Kentucky for a couple of reasons. After all, you have to value your business and then divide the assets based on state law. The lack of a broad understanding of the law may end up costing you financially in the long run.

Dealing with finances when going through a divorce

Whenever a Kentucky couple is considering divorce, the emotions and other conflicts they are going through can make the process difficult at times. However, those who share finances may find that there are additional complexities, especially because making financial decisions at this time can have major impacts on a person's finances once the divorce is finalized. As such, there are certain things those who are going through a divorce should do when it comes to finances.

Because divorce laws can vary by state and certain circumstances, those ending their marriages should talk to a divorce attorney before making any financial moves. The attorney can advise on when to make changes to life insurance policies or other important documents. Making changes without the court's blessing could result in less positive outcomes. A certified divorce financial analyst may also be able to offer expertise on how the split will affect a person's post-divorce finances.

How will my military service affect child custody?

Military life is hard on a family. Unfortunately, many couples in Kentucky and elsewhere end up getting divorced because it can all be too much to bear. While going through the dissolution process may be the best thing for the couple, if they have children, it can take a real toll on their little lives. This is especially true if you have to deal with frequent deployments or moves. How does child custody work when military service is a factor?

While your military status should not ultimately affect custody arrangements, the simple truth is that it does. You still have your rights as a parent, but how often you will actually be around will matter when it comes time to determine who will get the kids, for how long and how often.

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