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Northern Kentucky Family Law Blog

The truth about prenuptial agreements

Kentucky residents who are about to get married may want to strongly consider a prenuptial agreement. When constructed properly, they can help couples clarify their roles in the relationship in a rational and calm manner. However, some choose not to get them because of the many myths that society perpetuates about them. For instance, one myth is that they are only for wealthy people. The truth is that anyone can benefit from them regardless of wealth.

It is also important to keep in mind that getting a prenuptial agreement doesn't mean a couple is guaranteed to get divorced. Typically, they have no bearing on the success or failure of a marriage. This is according to a survey of mental health experts conducted by the website YourTango. In addition to preparing for a divorce, a prenuptial agreement can also help to create an estate plan.

Stressful interactions can lead to divorce

When people in Northern Kentucky decide to divorce, there can be a range of factors that contribute to the decision to end their marriage. Some people deal with irreconcilable differences regarding parenthood, relationship styles or even where to live. Even long-term couples can be surprised by the differences that come to light once they marry. In some cases, certain personality traits can contribute to a long period of angry, distant communication that leads couples to decide that divorce is the best option.

For example, when one partner tends to exaggerate the effect of small incidents, it can lead to the end of a marriage. This type of catastrophizing is seen most clearly when a spouse asks for a divorce over minor arguments. At some point, the other spouse may simply accept the divorce and end the relationship rather than fighting back.

How the cost of divorce may go up with tax reform

For the past few decades, people paying alimony after divorce could deduct those payments on their taxes. However, the 2017 passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts changes this for new divorcees in Kentucky and throughout the country.

Starting with divorce agreements finalized in 2019, alimony will be neither tax-deductible nor tax-payable. Experts say that this will likely result in the recipient getting less money. Although many parts of the tax act will sunset in 2025, this change will not. But since it is not clear whether Congress will make changes or not, couples who expect alimony payments to extend beyond this date may want to create a divorce agreement that allows for flexibility in case there are tax law changes.

Divorce may be more likely in certain work environments

When choosing professions, most people in Kentucky don't usually consider the ratio of co-workers from the opposite sex. However, a Swedish study looked at if working around co-workers of the opposite sex might have an impact on divorce rates. A previous study covering similar circumstances found that men living in communities with a high female population were more likely to have shorter relationships. Based on an assessment of 30-years of population data, the newer study focused exclusively on work-related environments.

Specifically, researchers compared relationship and employment histories of people who married opposite-sex partners over a 21-year period and held at least one job. According to the results, men who primarily worked in typically male-dominated fields like construction were less likely to get a divorce. On the other hand, the odds of divorce increased in situations when men worked around more women.

The health impacts of divorcing later in life

Kentuckians over 50 are divorcing in greater and greater numbers. In fact, the rate of divorce for this group has doubled since 1990. The phenomenon has been referred to as gray divorce, and it is linked with heightened symptoms of depression and other health problems. A professor of clinical psychiatry and geriatric psychiatrist said she often sees people who've divorced later in life develop anxiety or chronic stress.

Gray divorces may also leave the parties experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress through unhappy flashbacks or nightmares. Psychological issues often manifest physically. Depression has been linked to Parkinson's disease, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Chronic stress increases a person's risk for insomnia, obesity, weakened immune system and high blood pressure. The symptoms of stress on the psyche include lack of focus, muscle aches, mood swings, hopelessness, appetite changes, changes in sleep patterns and fatigue. Any of these symptoms might have a direct impact on physical health. In a case where a person experiences a combination of these symptoms, their physical health may be at greater risk.

What to do when post-divorce issues are upsetting your kids

No two Kentucky families will adapt to life after divorce in exactly the same way. You know your children best, however, and can determine a best course of action to meet their needs as they come to terms with your situation and learn to move on with life. If you ex is being less than cooperative, things can get quite messy.

For instance, what if you have an existing court order for scheduled visitation plans and your co-parent doesn't show up? You may find yourself with crying children, not to mention feelings of anger and frustration of your own. There are several things you can to do rectify such problems. A key factor is knowing where to turn for support.

What to consider before relocating with a child

Kentucky parents and others may have a need to relocate for work or other purposes. However, if the noncustodial parent has visitation or other rights to a child, the custodial parent may need to get permission to relocate. Whether or not permission is granted depends on whether or not the relocation is in the best interests of the child. This is generally determined based on how far the parent is moving and why the move is taking place.

If the move is a short one that is being made for work purposes, it will likely be approved. The same is true if it means that the child is closer to family members. In some cases, the custodial parent may get permission to relocate by modifying the existing visitation order. For example, the custodial parent could agree to allow for extended visitation periods or agree to meet to do exchanges somewhere convenient for both parents.

The children of divorced parents often face back-to-school stress

Schoolchildren throughout Kentucky have been returning to classrooms recently. With every academic season comes the nervous excitement of new teachers, new classmates, and new subject matter. For children and parents after divorce, the new school year can also bring uncertainty and confusion. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the uncertainty and stress for both children and parents after a marital split.

The first key is research and communication. Both parents should research the particulars involved in the coming academic year. Furthermore, parents should communicate with each other regarding important details. For example, there may be uncertainty about who is going to pick up and deliver children to and from school and extracurricular activities. The parents need to work this out in advance and reassure the children that everything is planned in advance. This will give a child the best opportunity to focus on the task at hand and enjoy their activities without worrying about divorce and changes in routine. Ideally, the regular school pick-up and delivery schedule will be included in the parenting plan, but there are always special events that must be accounted for as well.

How a wedding date choice can affect a later split

When people in Northern Kentucky decide to get married, they are often excited to set and announce a wedding date. Sometimes, they choose a date with personal importance to the couple or select one that is more convenient for the family or cheaper for the wedding venue. On other occasions, people might choose a holiday or romantic occasion for their wedding date. However, some research at the University of Melbourne indicates that couples who choose the latter approach may find their date selections accompanied by an increased likelihood of divorce.

The research examined wedding and divorce records for 1 million couples. In the course of tracking these dates, researchers found that 11 percent of couples who chose to marry on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, were divorced 5 years later. Nine years later, 21 percent of the Valentine's Day couples had chosen to divorce. The divorce rate for Valentine's Day weddings was the highest in the study. However, other dates were also linked to a higher likelihood of a later split. "Special number days" like Sept. 9, 1999, or 9/9/99, were also associated with a higher probability of an early end of the marriage.

Things to remember when talking to kids about divorce

If you have two or more kids, you've probably noticed that each of them has a unique personality. One might be more outgoing than the other. While they may share common characteristics, such as their love of sports or the types of food they like best, they are individuals and may react to various situations in vastly different ways. If you recently decided to divorce and have not yet told your children, you'll want to keep their personalities in mind when you give them the news.

If you know that one child is prone to angry outbursts, be prepared to witness a similar reaction when you tell him or her about your impending divorce. Another child might go off to his or her room and not come out all day. Just remember that your divorce doesn't have to ruin their lives, and with the right type of support and a lot of love, you provide them with the coping mechanisms they need.

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