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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Splitting 401(k) funds for a divorce

One of the issues divorcing couples in Kentucky may have to address is the separation of the assets, including retirement money. Couples should take care with how they divide their retirement accounts, such as 401(k) funds, as the different types of retirement accounts are governed by different rules. Dividing the money the wrong way can result in one ex-spouse receiving a bigger portion of the funds than the account holder wanted. It can also result in the parties having to pay high penalties and a large tax bill.

Traditional pension plans and 401(k) plans can only be legally divided with a qualified domestic relations order. For ex-spouses who are entitled to a portion of the workplace retirement plan paid into by their former spouse, the QDRO is what is needed for them to legally obtain their share.

Hague convention provides rules for international adoption

Many people in Northern Kentucky who wish to have a child may be considering international adoption as a way to add to their family. International adoption has been an important part of the history of many American families' lives. However, it is important for people to keep the legalities in mind as they go through the process.

An international treaty, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, also known as the Hague Adoption Convention, became law in the United States on April 1, 2008. After that date, any American who wishes to adopt internationally must ensure they comply with the law in the interests of the children involved, the birth parents and the adoptive parents. The countries that have signed the treaty designate a central authority to ensure that the adoption process has oversight and safeguards. In addition, adoption agencies and other service providers must be accredited to work on adoptions under the Hague process. It is important for prospective adoptive parents to ensure that their agency is authorized to work on Hague adoptions before signing a contract or providing funds.

Why a family care plan is a high priority for military parents

Like all Kentucky parents, you are responsible for your children's care. Parenthood is often a joyful, rewarding experience but can also be quite challenging at times. If you are a parent who also happens to serve as a member of the U.S. military, you likely already understand just how challenging juggling career and family life can be. Concerning parental obligations, not only must you have a plan for your children's care in your absence, the military also expects you to put that plan into writing.

A family care plan is a valuable tool for parents serving in the armed forces. You can customize your plan to optimize your children's safety and well-being during periods of active duty or deployment. Whether you're a single parent who is divorced or have never been married, you can make decisions in your children's best interests ahead of time, so no stone is left unturned while you're away.

Shared parenting can help resolve custody concerns

Dealing with child custody is often a major concern for divorced parents in Kentucky. While there are many widely held beliefs about shared parenting and child custody, many assumptions are inaccurate. Shared parenting, in which both of the parents share physical and often legal custody of a child, is an increasingly popular standard for courts working out parenting plans.

Decisions about child custody are usually based on the best interests of the child. However, that phrase can be vague and confusing, leaving room for personal biases. Research shows that the best outcomes for children of divorces are often achieved through shared parenting, which emphasizes a close relationship with both parents.

Will tax code changes make your divorce more difficult?

Divorce is a difficult process, regardless of how amicable the two parties may be and their resolve to work through divorce issues out of court. If you are facing a divorce in Kentucky, you may have the goal of reducing conflict and moving through the process as quickly as possible, but new changes in tax law could make that more difficult.

Recent changes in tax laws that will go into effect next year could signal big changes in the way that divorce orders address spousal support or alimony. Settling the financial aspects of a divorce could be more difficult than ever, even for a couple who wishes to avoid litigation.

Transitioning to post-divorce financial health requires planning

Kentucky couples navigating the sometimes challenging process of getting divorced typically view the signing of the final decree as the end of the line. For most couples, however, there is still work to be done after everyone agrees on the final terms of the marital dissolution. While they may be eager to say goodbye, ex-spouses must continue to work together in order to finish the process.

The judge's final decree of divorce is usually a specific set of instructions that must be carried out by others. For example, the parties may be ordered to sell a piece of property. In that scenario, someone still has to meet with a Realtor and do any other necessary legwork. The same applies if vehicle titles are to be transferred. Putting in place a plan under which the parties agree what should be done and by whom can help streamline the process and avoid confusion or delay. Sometimes, such plans are even incorporated into the actual decree. If either party refuses to cooperate, the judge could impose penalties.

Divorcing parents can work together on custody issues

For many Kentucky parents considering divorce, figuring out custody issues is a major concern. Almost any divorce means that each parent will have somewhat less time with their children. For close, involved parents, this can be difficult to contemplate. Handling the complications and changes that come along with co-parenting can also be a rewarding, but difficult journey.

Child custody and the division of parenting time can be an emotionally fraught issue, but it is possible to achieve a positive solution that builds toward a successful co-parenting relationship. Unlike many representations in movies or on television, child custody does not need to be a battle; instead, divorcing spouses can reach a mutual agreement about how to share time with their children.

Understanding the different types of child custody

Child custody decisions in Kentucky are made by judges when parents cannot agree. The goal of every legal decision on child custody is to do what is in the best interest of the child, and custody does not always mean either sole custody or joint custody. There are several different types of arrangements that can be made, all of them based on the legal definition of the two types of custody: physical and legal.

Physical custody refers to which parent the child actually lives with while the parent with legal custody has the right to make decisions about the child's health and welfare whether the child lives with them or not. In cases where sole custody is granted to one parent, that parent has full legal and physical custody, and the other parent has only visitation rights.

Taking steps to end the cycle of abuse

Numerous Kentucky residents, men and women, live in abusive marital relationships. Many endure the abuse because they do not feel they deserve better or are afraid to leave. If you have found yourself in such a situation, you can start taking steps to end the cycle of abuse.

Victims of domestic violence often feel alone in their situations. Their abusers make them feel that no one will be willing to help them. This is far from the truth. There are organizations out there ready and willing to help you when you are ready to make a move. One of the first things such organizations suggest doing is seeking a protective order.

Marriage myths that can result in divorce

When a Kentucky couple ties the knot, their family members and friends often talk about how healthy, long-lasting marriages should be. There are often some common pieces of advice: that spouses should actively listen to each other and that marriages should always be equal. However, these two ideals can actually cause marriages to fail.

One marriage myth is that listening to a spouse and using conflict resolution techniques will save a marriage. In fact, there is even research that shows that couples are often still distressed after using the techniques. The problem is that this type of discussion pits one spouse directly against the other, potentially making the other spouse feel all of the blame for the problems.

Working together can keep a marriage healthy, but how these discussions are handled is an important factor. This is true regardless of whether or not you go to relationship counseling or marital therapy.

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