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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Seeking child support when a parent is voluntarily unemployed

When a former Kentucky couple splits up, the parent who does not have primary custody of the kids may likely be ordered to pay child support. While these payments are often supposed to be made to help the parent with primary custody pay for the children's clothing, food, medical care and other child-related expenses, some people attempt to avoid making payments, leaving the full cost of raising the children on the primary custodian.

One way that some parents try to avoid making payments is through voluntary impoverishment. This essentially means that individuals choose not to work or do not report their income. If the custodial parent believes that this is what is happening, he or she can contact the local Office of Child Support Enforcement. The staff can assist a person with filing a child support order in court if one has not yet been established.

Take the stress out of divorce with these tips

Marriage is a legal contract. When a couple decides they no longer want to be married, they can't just move out of the home they shared and start living separate lives. They have to go to court to end the contract. If they don't, each spouse could be responsible for the others' debts and assets may not be divided equitably. Although the process of getting divorced may not be pleasant, it's necessary for Kentucky spouses to take this step in order to move forward with their lives.

Sometimes people delay getting divorced because they don't want to fight over marital property. One way to avoid this is for each spouse to clarify what they really need and want. If they know what the other spouse wants and why, it could be easier for an attorney to negotiate a settlement they'll both agree with. Filing for divorce could put spousal and child support orders in place.

Avoid rocky roads when co-parenting as well as hiking this summer

What's your favorite part of summer? Like many Kentucky parents, spending more time with your kids, who are likely on vacation from school, may be at the top of your list. If this summer is unique for your family because it's the first one since your divorce, you may be concerned as to whether you and your ex will be able to amicably navigate the summer vacation schedule without running into custody, visitation or support problems.

It's helpful to talk to others who have trod the path before you. Ask your friends and family members who are divorced and have children if they can offer tips for smooth sailing in your co-parenting arrangement as well as on the water, if you and your children enjoy boating activities. The great thing about advice is that you can take it or leave it. If a legal problem threatens your summer fun, there are also places to turn for support on that front as well.

What happens to debt during a divorce?

Some people refer to divorce as "splitting up." This may be an accurate way to describe the process that often includes a tremendous amount of time and effort directed at splitting things between spouses. You will split your property, your time with your children and even your debts.

Perhaps you think it would be easy to divide the debts. After all, it may be pretty obvious which of you is responsible for some of the debts. Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. Since Kentucky is an equitable distribution state, your debts may not be divided according to who incurred them. The court may not even divide your debts equally between you and your spouse. However, the hope is that the division of debts – as with assets – will be fair.

Dealing with a late-in-life divorce

Many Kentuckians assume that once a couple has been married for 20 years or more, it is unlikely that they will divorce. While it is true that chance of divorce can decline over time, more and more couples are deciding to separate in their senior years.

There are many reasons behind this rise in "gray divorces." One factor is that people are, on average, living longer. The prospect of living into one's 80s or even 90s can cause someone to ponder whether they would truly be happy spending the next several decades with a spouse. In many cases, long-standing areas of irritation and resentment can begin to build, triggering the desire to move on.

How to plan for children's college educations after divorce

How to pay for a child's college education may be a worry for many parents in Kentucky, but those worries might grow if the parents divorce. An Ameritrade study found that although around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce, about two-thirds of couple lack a financial plan in case of divorce or the death of one of them.

Maintaining two households after divorce is more expensive than one, and people may find that college savings is given less priority than basic day-to-day expenses, such as food, housing and health insurance. There may be a need for compromise in college planning, such as a child going to a state school instead of an expensive private one. When parents make an agreement about paying for college expenses, it usually has a limit of five years. In general, one parent cannot compel another to pay for a particularly expensive school or for a child's graduate education. Parents may also want to look into the availability of financial aid, loans, scholarships and grants.

The process of establishing paternity

The issue of establishing paternity is a common one. Many birth parents in Kentucky and across the country struggle with the issue of establishing paternity, including questions about if they should do it and how establishing paternity can be accomplished. In a best-case scenario, a father will voluntarily acknowledge his children. In other situations, it will take court intervention to establish paternity.

Establishing paternity has some legal benefits for the children. First, paternity allows a child to benefit financially from his or her father. This doesn't just include child support. A child may have a claim to death benefits if his or her father were to pass away, which can include everything from veteran's benefits to an inheritance. Failing to establish paternity could lead to a child failing to receive these benefits. Paternity also gives a child access to his or her father's medical history, which may provide him or her with an understanding of any potential genetic issues that may arise in the future.

Why many entrepreneurs find themselves facing divorce

Being an entrepreneur is not likely a profession that most Kentucky residents would associate with high divorce rates. This may be due in part to the fact that there are no hard and fast statistics outlining divorce rates for entrepreneurs. However, there are certain characteristics inherent to most entrepreneurs and the circumstances they face that may account for higher divorce rates.

Marriages where one spouse is an entrepreneur, like any marriage, face financial challenges. What is unique to entrepreneurs is the fact that many of them use family resources or put family belongings up as collateral to support their ventures. When money is tight or business is not as successful as was hoped for, financial tension and the loss of family belongings puts more strain on the marriage. For some, this is a gateway that leads to divorce.

How to decide whether to share legal custody after a divorce

Joint legal custody is one option for parents in Kentucky who get a divorce. Parents who have legal custody have the right to decide about issues such as their child's religion, health care and schooling. It is a common arrangement for divorced parents to share legal custody while only one has physical custody and the other has visitation rights.

Sharing legal custody can push parents toward resolving their co-parenting differences quicker and more effectively. It may force them to communicate more often, and their children may benefit from seeing them resolve conflicts. However, if a court grants joint legal custody or parents agree to share it, this does not guarantee they will be able to cooperate. Furthermore, if one parent tends to be manipulative, there is always a chance that parent could try to insist that joint legal custody means the other parent must always agree. Sharing legal custody is not a process that has clear benchmarks, and parents might sometimes feel discouraged about whether they are co-parenting successfully.

We're getting a divorce. How do we tell the kids?

It may have been difficult to broach the subject of divorce with your spouse. There may have been a lot of yelling, crying and confusion as the two of you came to terms with the fact that your marriage has come to an end.

As difficult as that was, however, you now need to let your children know. Big changes are coming, and your children need the time to adjust and obtain some sense of security that they aren't losing a parent in the process. Like other Kentucky parents before you, you know this is something you need to do, but you may not be quite sure how to do it.

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