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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Behavioral patterns that can damage a marriage

Some couples in Kentucky might assume that the main dangers to marriage are major issues like infidelity or abuse. However, there are many "silent" issues that can chip away at a marriage and eventually be just as harmful.

Over time, some couples simply grow apart. This can happen at any age, but it may be the case for some retired couples in particular. Lying about money can also drive a wedge between a couple. Even if couples do not actively conceal information from one another, simply having different attitudes about money can lead to problems in a marriage. If one or both people in a marriage have unresolved baggage, they may bring those expectations to the relationship and expect the same thing to happen again. This can destroy the relationship if it's not dealt with.

The home study part of the adoption process

When parents are expecting a baby, they may organize the house, purchase important items, clear out a room and make sure everything is clean. The main reason may be to make things easier during the hectic weeks that follow the birth of a baby, but it is also a gesture of welcome to the child who is about to change their lives.

You may wish to take similar steps if you are going through the adoption process. However, much of your cleaning, organizing and preparing may be in anticipation of the home study that Kentucky law requires of adoptive parents. You may be understandably nervous to have a social worker or other agent prepare a report about the fitness of your family for the adoption of a child, but it is a critical part of the process.

To-do list for after the divorce

There are a number of tasks that soon-to-be ex-spouses in Kentucky may need to complete once the divorce is final. For example, many people want to change their names on their driver's licenses, Social Security cards and other documents after the divorce.

If one spouse has included the other on health insurance, it may be necessary to remove that spouse. Other types of insurance, such as car insurance, might also need to be changed. Ex-spouses should think about retitling assets as well. There are different processes for this depending on the asset. For example, retitling a home may involve a quit claim deed. Refinancing can remove one spouse from the mortgage.

Prenuptial agreements are becoming more commonplace

The period leading up to marriage is a busy time for Kentucky couples who are preparing to embark on a life-altering journey, and discussing legal matters is not high on the list of romantic topics. Some people argue that doing so casts a pall on the upcoming nuptials. This is especially true when the subject is a prenuptial agreement. However, prenups are not only more commonly accepted as worthy of consideration, but they are also finding their way into the basic framework of many marriages.

Some of the preconceived notions about prenuptial agreements, such as being solely a tool for the rich or only for someone who doesn't fully trust his or her intended spouse, have fallen by the wayside for the most part among the millennial generation. Legal experts report that those individuals who were born from the early 1980s through the early 1990s and, essentially, became adults around the turn of the 21st century are embracing prenups at a greater rate than previous generations.

Co-parenting as a divorcee

Co-parents are considered to be the legal parents or guardians of children. There are certain protocols divorced parents in Kentucky can follow to develop a co-parenting relationship that is effective at addressing the needs of their children.

One of the most essential aspects of co-parenting to keep in mind is that the children's best interests should be prioritized. Ex-spouses should not mistake the end of their marriage as the end of their relationship with their kids. It is important that both of the children's parents remain an active part of their lives if possible. Even if the noncustodial parent is unreliable in some way, it is better that the children come to this realization on their own instead of being sheltered from it or having it forced upon them. However, there are situations in which some parents' access to the children should be restricted or denied, such as when there is a history of some form of abuse.

Tips for dividing a business in divorce

Dividing a business can be one of the more difficult elements of divorce for people in Kentucky. First, it is necessary to determine the value of the business. Then a couple must decide whether one person will buy the other one out, if they will keep on running the business together or whether they will sell the company.

Most couples opt for one spouse to keep the business, which is a straightforward process if there is a direct purchase of shares. This is considered to not be a taxable event most of the time since it is related to divorce. However, a spouse who is not able to make this direct purchase might need to use a settlement note, or the company might purchase shares from the spouse who is leaving the company. This requires making sure the sale is structured to minimize capital gains taxes.

Don't lose out during property division because of hidden assets

The decision to file for divorce feels different for everyone. In some cases, it is a difficult decision that requires a lot of time and thought. In others, the realization that a marriage just is not working out is easy and obvious. Regardless of how you found yourself in divorce, there is one matter that will probably be difficult -- property division.

Figuring out how to untangle marital assets is already overwhelming enough as is, but a deceptive ex can further complicate the matter. Hidden assets skew the picture of what is at stake and how much you are entitled to as you start your new life.

How cryptocurrency can complicate divorces

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that's becoming increasingly accessible for individuals in Kentucky and elsewhere in the country and around the world. It's also an asset that's presenting unique challenges for divorce attorneys. The nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin makes it easy for soon-to-be-ex-spouses to hide such assets when it comes time to divvy up everything jointly accumulated or owned.

This type of property division can also become problematic since cryptocurrency values can vary greatly, often over short periods of time. Efforts to track down currency of this nature can be difficult but not always impossible. In one instance, a certified financial forensics accountant and fraud examiner was able to use bank statements to locate crypto assets a divorcing spouse failed to disclose on their statement of net worth. However, crypto assets purchased offline or directly are virtually untraceable.

Which parent gets to claim dependents after a divorce?

Tax season is unpleasant for many Kentucky residents. However, it can provide even more challenges for parents who have recently divorced. Claiming dependents on a tax return is relatively simple for married parents, but things can get a bit more complicated for those who have split up.

For example, tax credits like the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Credit can save taxpayers a great deal of money on their returns. Unfortunately for divorced or separated parents, those credits can only be claimed by one of them. That means that ex-spouses need to reach an agreement on who will claim the credits or ask the Internal Revenue Service to determine who will get to claim the credits.

Texting and parenting after divorce

When parents in Northern Kentucky divorce, issues of child custody and ongoing parental relationships are often of significant concern. In most cases, children will divide their time between the households maintained by each parent. Historically, specialists have noted that children do miss the parent with whom they are not living or visiting. Technology such as texting and social media provides some relief to parents and children during their time apart.

For decades, it was presumed that the quality of a child's relationship with each parent after divorce depended on the relationship between the ex-spouses. However, recent research has shown that what is most important is consistent contact between parent and child whether in person, online or via phone calls and texts. Without this contact, the relationship can suffer greatly, which can have a negative effect on both parent and child.

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