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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

Grandparents and custody rights

In Kentucky and other states, individuals may have the right to petition for custody rights to their grandchildren. A court could be willing to grant custody rights to grandparents in the event that the child's parent is abusive, unable to care for him or her or has passed away. The court hearing the matter will also need to determine that granting custody to a grandparent is in the child's best interest.

People will likely need to show that their grandchildren's parents are not fit to retain custody of them. This is because courts tend to favor allowing parents to retain custody whenever possible, and the law generally believes that grandparent custody could infringe on that right. In fact, the Supreme Court found that a Washington law violated a parent's right to raise a child without interference.

How to plan for the holidays as a divorced parent

Divorced and separated parents in Northern Kentucky may wonder how to approach the holidays. The holidays can be stressful for anyone, but they are especially hard on divorced couples and their children. However, approaching the holidays with a pre-decided plan in place can make things easier on everyone involved.

One way to make the holidays less tense for children is to eliminate the factor of unpredictability. Children of divorced parents often have concerns about what the holidays are going to look like. Giving the kids information about who they will spend which days with and who will be picking them up and dropping them off can go a long way toward eliminating their stress. Proper communication and cooperation can drastically improve the holidays for children.

Deciding between co-parenting and parallel parenting

Parents in Kentucky may have questions about how to raise their children after a divorce. Co-parenting and parallel parenting are both valid child-rearing structures that exes can choose to follow. However, deciding which is best for the individual situation requires weighing some pros and cons.

Co-parenting requires both parents to have healthy communication and respect. This means that each ex must be able to look past their personal emotions regarding the divorce and focus on the children instead. It is not necessarily easy for divorced parents to co-parent, especially when the divorce is still fresh in their hearts. However, if the divorce was not emotional in nature, or if the parents are especially adept at putting aside their feelings, co-parenting can work.

The pros and cons of birdnesting

Parents in Kentucky and elsewhere generally want what is best for their children after a divorce. One way to do this is to allow a child to remain in the same home in which he or she lived prior to the divorce. In a process called nesting, the child remains in the family home while the parents rotate between that residence and an outside dwelling.

Ideally, this situation will only last for about three to six months. If nesting lasts for any longer, it could create stress and anxiety for the child. This is because he or she is not allowed to adjust to the parents living in separate homes. In some cases, the child may believe that the parents aren't living in their own homes because they are trying to get back together. As a general rule, children look for any signs that the divorce may not be permanent.

Will new Kentucky child custody laws affect child support?

If you are preparing for divorce in Kentucky, you'll want to know about a new law the state passed this year. Other states have recently adopted similar laws, and not everyone is happy about it. In fact, some parent advocates say that the new shared-custody rules could wind up having negative consequences for those seeking child support. Perhaps you are one of many parents who gave up a career to stay home full time with your children.

Divorce will no doubt necessitate that you now must seek gainful employment, which can be quite challenging if you have been out of the workforce for a number of years. These are some of the reasons why not all parents thinks it's a good idea for states like Kentucky to make shared physical custody the standard, at least until spouses finalize divorce.

Reactions children may have when their parents get divorced

When you made the decision to divorce, you likely had a few concerns regarding how that decision would affect your children. You may relate to many Kentucky parents who were confident in their personal choice to leave their marriages but were worried about the possible negative consequences their situations might have in their children's lives.  

The good news is that most children are highly adaptable and those who have strong support systems can typically cope with divorce in as healthy and positive a manner as possible. There are no foolproof solutions to shielding your kids from any or all negative issues; however, the more you learn about the psychological growing stages of children in general, the better prepared you might be to help your kids overcome any challenges that arise.  

What fathers can do to get visitation, manage child support

Some unmarried Kentucky fathers might struggle to get custody or visitation rights. Since the vast majority of custodial parents are mothers, fathers may also have trouble keeping up child support payments. However, these dads should still try to pay something toward support. They can always go to court and ask for a modification. In certain cases, such as after a job loss, a modification will be easier to obtain.

Some unmarried fathers may have to establish paternity before they can get visitation or custody rights. It's possible that the father will not be listed on the birth certificate. Fathers who make an effort to establish paternity early on may have fewer obstacles compared to fathers who must be located by the court.

Common but avoidable financial errors in divorce

When people in Kentucky get a divorce, the process might be more difficult if they make common financial mistakes. For example, some people may go out and buy an expensive item during or after the divorce. This might feel better in the short term, but they will still have to pay the bill.

Another mistake is failing to understand the role of taxes. Liquidating an asset to pay bills could result in substantial taxes. This might also be the case if the couple needs to divide a 401(k). A distribution from a 401(k) needs to be rolled into an IRA, and the distribution must be done with a document called a qualified domestic relations order. Without an IRA or a QDRO, there will be taxes and penalties. People do not need to consider taxes for alimony as long as the divorce will be finalized after the end of 2018 since those payments will no longer be tax-deductible or tax-payable. Some people might take drastic steps to avoid alimony like quitting their job, but this will be costly in the long run.

Personality traits that lead to divorce

Marriage is typically a time of excitement, hopefulness and change for the marrying couple. Nevertheless, maintaining a marital union over the years is hard work. Couples who may not have been very compatible from the beginning are even more likely to have difficulty staying together.

While no one can predict the future, there are certain personality traits that make a union less likely to last. If couples who exhibit these habits refuse to make corrections before marriage, walking down the aisle may be ill-advised.

Working toward financial security after divorce

A common question divorcing spouses ask themselves is, "What will happen to me?" Often, this question expresses their fear and concern over their financial future as much as their personal loss. It is not unusual for newly divorced spouses to struggle financially, and what you do before and during property division may make a profound difference in your success after the divorce.

Whether you are the primary earner in the family, a stay-at-home parent or an equal earner, you are about to have your assets divided between you and your spouse. You may be losing some of the income you depended on to manage the household. Your savings or retirement may diminish. It is time to take steps now to ensure you will land on your feet.

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