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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

How big is the impact of money on happy marriages?

Couples in Kentucky who are facing financial difficulties might be interested in the findings from a study that focused on marital satisfaction over the first five years of marriage. The general belief in the past was that couples began their married journey full of excitement that declined over time into a feeling of contentment. This belief was based on an earlier study that focused on middle-class white couples. Researchers, however, were concerned that this belief was linked to socio-economic factors, so they looked at couples in low socio-economic areas in Los Angeles to see if this had an effect.

The study, published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, studied couples who fell into three categories at the beginning of marriage: those who exhibited high, moderate or low levels of satisfaction. What the study found was that couples exhibiting high and moderate levels of satisfaction at the beginning of their marriage continued to show satisfaction in their marriage over the next five years. But the couples who had low initial satisfaction showed a higher risk of decline.

Dealing with the marital home's mortgage during divorce

When spouses choose to divorce in Kentucky, the decision over how to handle the marital home can be complicated. Depending on the amount of equity at stake, the family home may be the most significant jointly held asset. If the house is not sold, one spouse will generally walk away from the divorce in possession of the property. However, ownership comes with significant financial costs.

Dealing with the mortgage can be a major concern. If the original joint mortgage is kept, both spouses remain fully responsible for the debt. However, any default can be seriously damaging to both parties' credit, so many spouses want to end this entanglement when the divorce is completed. In other cases, the joint mortgage is refinanced into one spouse's name. This can present some challenges, because one spouse will need to show the income and capacity to pay for the entire house on their own credit alone. In other cases, one spouse can assume the original mortgage if the original loan documents allow for loan assumption.

When older couples divorce, finances can get complex

While the rate for divorce in general has been stable for a while, gray divorces, or those involving people over age 50, have doubled since 1990. As some Kentucky residents have discovered once they begin the process, grey divorces usually involve more complex financial dealings as couples have often acquired more assets throughout their married life.

As Kentucky is an equitable distribution state, the division of assets during divorce can be very complex since this means fair division of assets between the spouses. The court or an arbitrator decides what fair division means for each case. As part of the process, alimony is usually negotiated. Each state has different rules on how to set up alimony, but it should be based on total compensation, not just salary, which can include bonuses, allowances, compensation packages, stock options and company ownership.

Study finds fathers often favored in child custody disputes

Some people in Kentucky may assume that in a custody battle between parents, the mother always gets preference over the father. However, research conducted by a professor from the George Washington University Law School suggests that this is not the case. The professor examined 2,000 child custody cases that involved parental alienation, child abuse and domestic violence. The professor found that a mother's claim of child abuse was never substantiated in court if the father's claim of parental alienation was accepted.

Furthermore, if the mother says that sexual abuse has occurred and the father says that there has been parental alienation, courts substantiate sexual abuse in just 1 out of 51 cases. This happens even though parental alienation remains a controversial concept. A situation in which a parent tries to turn a child against the other parent, it is often treated as a widespread problem in some courts even though research from the psychiatrist who advanced it has never been recognized by certain bodies, such as the American Medical Association.

Do I have to pay my spouse's student loan debt after divorce?

Most people enter marriage believing it will last forever. They often agree to "for better or worse," which can include financial choices. You might think that means that you share all of your assets if you divorce, but what about debt?

Debt of any kind can strain a relationship, but student loans can be particularly overwhelming. It is debt often deemed necessary by many people in order to complete their education and have a career. The amount of student loan debt is often significant and may have a high interest rate, which can make it difficult to repay. If you get a divorce and your spouse has student loan debt, you may end up having some responsibility for repayment. Here's what you need to know.

Why divorce later in life can be problematic

In 2010, roughly a quarter of all those who were divorced in the United States were over the age of 50. In 1990, only about 10% of those who were divorced were over the age of 50. While a divorce can have financial ramifications for most Kentucky couples, those that occur later in life may carry especially significant circumstances. This is because there is less time to replenish a 401(k) or any other assets that were lost when a marriage ended.

It is also important to consider that individuals who get divorced could need to pay rent and other expenses on their own. Furthermore, it is worth noting that those who are older than 50 tend to have greater assets. Therefore, there are still in a relatively stronger financial position compared to younger people who end their marriages. A divorced male over the age of 50 has $165,000 more in assets than someone who has not yet reached 50. Women over the age of 50 who are divorced have $65,000 more than women under the age of 50.

Dealing with finances during a divorce

When a couple decides to divorce in Kentucky, both partners may be concerned about protecting their assets. Going from a shared to a single lifestyle can place a major strain on everyday finances. This may be exacerbated when there are higher levels of conflict during the divorce. While divorce is an emotional time, it's important to remain as clear-headed as possible when negotiating financial settlements. This can help to protect a person's future financial stability and well-being.

Divorce can often put a major dent in a retirement savings account, especially in the case of a long-term marriage. Since the majority of those savings could be divided in half, an ex may need a new financial plan to boost their future funds. After all, it's more costly to fund two retirements than one. The process can also be very difficult for people who have worked in the home or raised children for most of their lives. While they will receive a divorce settlement and potentially spousal support, there is generally an expectation of a transition to the workplace moving forward. This can be challenging without updated skills and work experience.

Lack of trust and intimacy contribute to divorce

The results of a survey consisting of 2,371 individuals who were recently divorced was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. It found that there were four common reasons why Kentucky residents and others were most likely to end their marriages. One of these four reasons was a lack of communication in the relationship. If couples don't talk to each other on a regular basis, it can cause stress that weakens the bond they once had.

Another typical reason why people get divorced is that they lose trust or respect for their spouses. Research has found that respect can matter just as much as love when predicting whether a couple will stay together. In some cases, people found that they had simply grown apart from their partners. Upon discovering that they wanted different things than their significant others, they chose to end the relationship.

Successfully managing finances while co-parenting

In the United States, about 40 to 50% of married couples divorce. This means that many Kentucky parents are co-parenting. While many co-parents deal with difficulties surrounding decisions that need to be made while co-parenting, financial stress can be minimized when the following steps are taken.

The divorce decree usually outlines the responsibilities that each parent has regarding expenses related to raising the children. It will guide the parents since it breaks down specific financial responsibilities like spousal support, health care, extracurricular activities and education. The details should be fine-tuned in court in order to save the divorced couple from many problems.

Considering your circumstances when going through divorce

Getting a divorce is a complex process. Though you and many other Kentucky residents may wish you could just decide to no longer be married and end the situation there that is not the case. Over the years, you and your spouse have entwined your lives, and now, you will need to work to separate the many facets of your lives to once again live as single individuals.

The exact details of your marriage and your family dynamic could indicate how difficult your legal proceedings could be. For instance, if you do not have children, you do not have to worry about child custody proceedings like divorcing parents would. Therefore, you want to begin your process by gaining information and helping yourself understand what you may face.

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