Lisa L. JohnsonAttorney at law
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Divorce And Family Law Issues

Lexington Kentucky Family Law Blog

Your child custody issues are too important to go it alone

Whether you are divorcing a spouse or separating from a partner, as a parent, you want to make sure that you do what you believe is best for your kids. Not every couple can resolve their child custody issues amicably and may need to go to mediation or court. Even if you and the other parent decide not to go to court, the stakes are too high to go it alone. This means that you may need to start looking for a Kentucky attorney to help you.

As you embark on the task of finding an attorney, you may benefit from considering several factors. Of course, finances are a primary concern for anyone, particularly when going from one household to two with the same monetary resources. What you will pay an attorney depends on numerous factors, one of which is how complex your case may be.

Property division has tax implications

Getting a divorce in Kentucky can naturally be an emotionally and financially arduous process. This is true even for couples who may not necessarily have many assets that have to undergo property division. An aspect of divorce that is especially overlooked among people of all asset levels is the tax implications of their marital breakup processes.

In a divorce proceeding, tax liability is extremely important, because many couples file jointly when they prepare their taxes. This can be beneficial from a tax standpoint, but it may also cause concern, because it means that both parties are liable for any tax amount owed from their tax return. Thus, after the divorce has been finalized, a previous couple might still get an unexpected tax bill in the mail from the IRS, and both individuals will be responsible for paying it.

Do grandparents' rights include face time with their grandkids?

Divorce is difficult on everyone, including extended family. Kentucky grandparents may have to fight for the right to have visitation with their grandkids. In some cases, exercising grandparents' rights may involve some technological options.

As technology improves, so do the ways in which families can connect and communicate. Many parents are already including virtual visitation in their child custody agreements and parenting plans in order to provide each parent with a way to keep in touch with the children when they are not together. Could grandparents use these technologies as well?

What’s happening to alimony deductions?

Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult times of your life. Adding to this is the fact that your financial situation could change in a number of ways.

While not always the case, alimony often comes into play. While this is nothing more than a payment that one individual makes to the other after divorce, there are long-term financial and tax implications to keep in mind.

Divorce mediation can help create a court-approved settlement

Nowadays, more Kentucky couples are bypassing the traditional adversarial court process when ending their marriages. Instead, they work together to reach a mutually satisfying settlement on their own. Many such couples turn to divorce mediation not only for help in structuring their settlements, but also to help ensure that the agreement ultimately meets with the court's approval.

Some Kentucky couples do not realize that the court must give final approval of any divorce settlement. Even though you and the other party worked out your differences and came to a settlement with which you both can move forward post-divorce, if the court does not approve it, you could end up having to go back and make changes. Enlisting the help of a mediator who understands this can help avoid unnecessary complications and the need to litigate certain issues.

High asset divorce filings could get interesting in 2018

Proponents of the new tax law that recently passed say that it will be a good thing for most Americans, including many here in Kentucky. However, not every provision contained in the new tax law provides an advantage. One area that is causing concern for some people is the fact that the tax deduction for alimony goes away on Jan. 1, 2019. On that date, those who receive alimony will no longer have to count it as income either. This could make things interesting for people anticipating a high asset divorce in 2018.

Many will want to get to the courthouses as soon as possible in order to finalize their proceedings by Dec. 31, 2018, since the changes in the law are not retroactive. On the other hand, others may try to delay the proceedings as long as possible and into 2019. Up through that date, any settlement or decree entered that includes an alimony provision allows the person making the payments to continue receiving the tax deduction, and those receiving the payments will continue having to include them as income at tax time.

Is there such a thing as privacy in a high asset divorce?

Technology has exploded in the last few decades. You can now hold in your hand a faster and more efficient computer than it took to put a man on the moon. While these technological advances make the lives of Kentucky residents better, there always seems to be a downside. One of them could be their use to invade a soon-to-be former spouse's privacy during a high asset divorce.

GPS trackers and spyware apps seem to be showing up in more and more divorce cases. Some programs allow one spouse to read emails and texts, review internet search histories and tap into social media accounts of the other party. Others use GPS trackers to know where the other party's vehicle is at all times.

Recent ruling changes property division for attorneys in divorce

Divorce involves a number of financial decisions from both of the parties involved. The only issue that may consume more time than property division is child custody. In some instances, the decisions made by a trial court end up being appealed all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

In one such case, the Kentucky Supreme Court recently handed down a ruling that affects attorneys in the state who are going through a divorce. Many attorneys take on cases on a contingency fee basis, and you may be one of them. If that is the case, you may want to pay attention to this particular ruling.

3 reasons mediation is important for high-asset divorces

You and your spouse decided it's time to separate for good, but you know that if you don't handle your property division correctly, you could end up with much less than you deserve. You don't want to go through months or years of litigation and fighting in the courts, but you don't know what else would work.

One good option may be to try mediation. If you and your spouse can discuss your assets, and how you'd like to divide them, calmly and respectfully, mediation is a good choice. If there is a disagreement, the mediator can give you information on how losing or gaining the asset affects each party. That way, misunderstandings of the law or misinterpretations of what would happen if you lost or gained an asset would be less likely to occur.

Kentucky proposes child support law reform

Proposed changes to current law may keep some offenders out of jail. Kentucky parents who are behind in their child support payments will have another chance to make it good before being sent to overcrowded state prisons, under the potential change. The change is somewhat contentious and has vocal supporters and detractors.

Under current state law, parents who are more than $1,000 or six months behind in child support payments may be charged with felony nonsupport of the child. A felony conviction could mean time in jail where the missed payments will continue to accrue. The new proposal would change the felony threshold to $10,000 or four to six months of missed payments.