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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Child support cases reflect different situations

Kentucky parents who have entered the child support system recently may find all of the specialized terminology confusing or frustrating. It may not be clear why some families pay child support privately while others pay it through a state-monitored system. There are four different categories of child support cases -- IV-D, IV-A, IV-E and non-IV-D -- that all deal with these payment arrangements.

The term "IV" comes from Title IV of the 1975 Social Security Act, which deals with the grants provided by the federal government to the states for assistance to families with children in need. An IV-D case describes one in which the Office of Child Support Enforcement provides assistance to the custodial parent, whether in establishing paternity or enforcing an existing support order that is going unpaid. On the other hand, an IV-A case is one in which the custodial parent receives state-funded public assistance; the state will attempt to collect support from the non-custodial parent. IV-E child support cases involve foster parents or care by other relatives.

Student loan debt can be a factor in divorce

Young people in Kentucky are often dealing with mounting student debt and lengthy repayment periods. On average, student loan borrowers around the country have an outstanding balance of $34,144, and for people who graduated college as part of the class of 2017, they had an average debt burden of $39,400. Statistics show that the number of people who owe $50,000 or more has tripled in the past 10 years. Large student loan bills can place an extreme amount of psychological pressure on a borrower, and financial issues can already be some of the most difficult issues that a relationship can face.

Many millennials have postponed marriage because of their debt, including student loan debt. Only 22 percent of people of their generation say that they are free of debt. For people who have chosen to marry, stress over finances can lead to marital trouble and even the end of a marriage. In one study, 33 percent of divorced student loan borrowers attributed the end of their marriages to financial issues, and another 13 percent specifically said that their divorces were caused by student loan debt and the difficulties and stress that resulted from it.

Important tips for co-parenting after divorce

When Kentucky parents get divorced, they may still have to maintain a co-parenting relationship for years. The most important aspect of this relationship is making sure they put the best interests of the children first. This includes encouraging the child's relationship with the other parent regardless of any animosity between the exes.

Differences in parenting styles may be a factor in divorce. Therefore, parents should try to establish broad general rules that are consistent between households. They may need to use text and email for communicating about scheduling issues to prevent conflict that could arise during in-person or phone conversations. A large calendar in each home could help keep parents and children current regarding the visitation schedule.

Filing a divorce petition is first step in ending a marriage

You may be beyond ready to get a divorce and finally move on with your life. However, when it comes to knowing what step to take first, you may find yourself at a standstill.

The first step you need to take is to file your divorce petition in court. Here is a glimpse at what the divorce filing process entails in Kentucky.

Negotiating alimony during a divorce settlement

There are two main sources of contention that may affect anyone getting a divorce in Kentucky. While child custody is often the biggest battle, this is followed by spousal support. Alimony-related matters can quickly become complex since this is usually one of the final issues worked out among divorcing couples. While each situation where alimony is involved might have some unique circumstances to consider, there are certain steps that could make the process less contentions during negotiation efforts.

Having unrealistic expectations is a common reason for objections to spousal support requests. One way to minimize this issue is for the recipient of alimony to know their financial situation well enough to determine what they need and what they can live without. Additionally, it can be helpful for the receiving spouse to know their earning potential. As for how long alimony lasts, the general rule of thumb is about 50 percent the length of the marriage; although, spousal maintenance may continue until retirement in some situations.

Divorcing women and finances

Women in Northern Kentucky should be prepared for the negative financial impact a divorce can have on their lives. Out of 1,785 women who took part in a survey, 46 percent stated that the process resulted in surprising financial issues.

The women who participated in the survey included those for whom divorce was imminent, women in the middle of a divorce and women who were already divorced. About 22 percent of the women surveyed were at least 55 years old; the majority of these women were already divorced.

How money issues may affect child support

When Kentucky parents split up over money issues, those problems can follow them into the divorce and afterwards. They can even affect child support payments.

This was the case with one couple whose marriage ended in part because of different ideas about money and career goals. Within a couple of years, the father was struggling financially and trying to put together a bankruptcy payment plan that would allow him to keep his home. However, when he phoned his ex-wife to tell her the child support would be late, she gave him a deadline of one month.

The fastest ways to finalize a divorce

While some former Kentucky couples are content to drag their divorce on for months or even years, others are willing to work together to finalize the process as quickly as possible. In the state of Kentucky, former couples can finalize their divorce in as little as 60 days. There are several routes that former couples can take.

The first option is for people to handle the divorce themselves. This may be a good choice for those who do not have kids or only a small amount of marital assets that need to be divided. Once the paperwork is filled out and filed with the court, a couple only has to wait approximately 60 days, and then their divorce will be finalized. Mediation is similar in that individuals are more involved in their divorce, although they utilize the skills of a mediator who can help them work through any issues that they may have.

Military divorce raises unique concerns for parents

You understood that deploying to dangerous areas and dealing with difficult situations was part of the deal when you took an oath to serve in the military, but you probably had no idea just how overwhelming a divorce would feel. Although in theory military divorces should not differ that significantly from civilian divorces, service members typically deal with unique concerns. 

Child custody can be a difficult topic for members of the armed forces. You and your spouse might not even live in your state of residence, and you must also consider upcoming moves and potential deployments. 

The impact divorce may have on retirement

About half of those in Kentucky and throughout the country may not be able to maintain their current lifestyle in retirement. However, that number is about 7 points higher for those who have gone through a divorce. This was determined by looking at the National Retirement Risk Index created by the Center for Retirement Research. The ability to retire could be put in jeopardy because of higher costs incurred when a person is single compared to when a person is married.

It can also be hard to overcome the loss of assets that can occur in a divorce. Losing assets can be especially harmful to those 50 and older who go through a gray divorce. Between 1990 and 2010, the rate of divorce in this age group increased while it stayed steady among other age groups. A change in the way alimony is treated for tax purposes could also have a negative impact on a divorcing individual's finances.

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