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Lexington Kentucky Family Legal Blog

Will nesting be beneficial to you and your children?

If you are preparing to file for divorce from your spouse in Kentucky and are researching ways to go about deciding on a child custody arrangement, chances are you may have been bombarded with information overload about the options you have. While helpful at times, such drastic differences in opinion and suggestions can make it difficult for you to identify a single approach that will be best for the needs of your family. 

According to NBC News, a relatively new concept that you may have heard about is the idea of "nesting." This type of parenting would require you and your spouse to share an apartment or another temporary residence and to maintain your current home as the primary residence for your children. Say for instance you and your soon-to-be-ex take turns to spend time with your children every other weekend. The weekend you are with your children, you will live at your home and your ex will be at the shared apartment. The next weekend, you will both trade residences. Research shows that children who have a stable household and are able to maintain their routine despite the change in their parents' relationship, experience many positive benefits. 

What are the challenges surrounding pet visitation?

As you and other Kentucky residents are aware, life can be complicated for parents after a divorce. They often have to deal with child support, visitation schedules and conflicting parenting ideals, and they often do not get along. What if you have no children, but you and your ex-spouse have a pet you both love? Do you face the same sort of difficulties as divorced couples who have children?

As Divorce Magazine explains, pet custody issues are becoming increasingly prevalent with divorcing couples. It may come as no surprise to you that many pet owners love their dogs, cats and other animals like their own family members. Regardless of whether they have human children, many pet owners think of their pets as their children, as well. Consequently, sharing a pet after a divorce can be emotionally devastating for many reasons, including the following:

  • The courts consider pets to be personal property and do not tend to grant shared custody and visitation as they would with children.
  • Divorced spouses must often agree between themselves on sharing time with the pet.
  • One spouse may be afraid the other will take the pet and not return it.
  • Ex-spouses who share time with the pet will also need to share the costs for food, veterinary care and other expenses.

Do you really own high-value antiques?

If you and your spouse represent one of Kentucky’s high-asset couples, you likely own several antiques and perhaps many of them that your either inherited from family members or bought over the years. While all of them undoubtedly have sentimental value, however, do they have actual value? This is the question you will need to answer when you negotiate your property settlement agreement in the event the two of you divorce.

People tend to think that the older an object becomes, the more valuable it gets. People likewise tend to think that all old objects are antiques. Unfortunately, both beliefs can often be far from the truth. In the world of collecting, old objects fall into the following three main categories:

  1. Antiques: objects made at least 100 years ago
  2. Vintage: objects made between 75-100 years ago
  3. Retro: objects made in the 1950s and 1960s

House Bill 528 one of the best joint custody laws in nation

Historically speaking, the Kentucky family court system was quick to name one parent as the "primary" custodian of a child. The courts would then grant that parent a large majority of parenting time and the other parent would essentially play the role of "visitor" in the child's life. This type of system not only created a win/lose situation for the parents but also, it served as a detriment to the child as well.

According to Courier Journal, Kentucky's win/lose custody system all changed when Gov. Matt Bevin signed House Bill 528 into law in summer of 2018. The law is the first of its kind not just in the state but in the entire nation, as it gives a child of divorce the presumption of shared physical and legal custody. What this means is that if both parents are fit caregivers, the courts will award equal time to both. 

How to divide credit card debt in divorce

As you move through the divorce process, you'll come to find that property division demands quite a bit of attention. Along the way, you shouldn't turn a blind eye to debt division, as this will impact you now and in the future.

Many divorcing couples share credit card debt. If you find yourself in this position, the following advice will help:

  • Create a list of all your credit card debt: This is particularly true if you have a balance on more than one credit card, as it's easy to lose track of how much you owe.
  • Pay off joint credit cards: If you have enough money in the bank, speak with your soon-to-be ex-spouse about paying off the joint credit card debt together. This allows you to eliminate one more thing from your plate.
  • Divide up the debt: If you're unable or unwilling to pay off the debt, divide it evenly on separate credit cards. This allows both individuals to take on an equal amount of debt, thus tackling it however they best see fit.
  • Keep detailed records: For example, if the other person runs up a large bill without your knowledge, you shouldn't be on the hook for this expense. To protect against this, cancel joint credit cards and separate the debt shortly after deciding to divorce.
  • Learn more about bankruptcy: Before you divorce, it may be in your best interest to file for bankruptcy. If you're drowning in debt, especially credit card debt, bankruptcy may be able to help. For example, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate or reduce your joint credit card debt.
  • Visit with a credit counselor: You can do this on your own to gain more insight into the steps you should and shouldn't take as you prepare for divorce. You are likely to pick up tips that help you deal with your current situation, as well as the financial challenges you'll face after your divorce is finalized.

Splitting up with your spouse on good terms

When people think of the divorce process, many picture courtroom drama and intense bitterness. People may envision a great deal of hostility and a very time-consuming and costly process. However, divorce does not always have to be so tough and there are a number of techniques that can streamline the end of a couple’s marriage. For example, people who are on good terms with each other may have an easier time working through their divorce, which underlines the importance of trying to maintain a positive connection with your ex as you work through your divorce.

If you have kids, staying on good terms can be especially helpful. From child support payments to deciding how custody will be divided and taking turns with the kids, parents who are able to work together may not only have an easier time during and after their divorce, but the impact on their kids may be lessened as well. Moreover, even couples that do not have children can benefit from an amicable divorce. For example, some can work with a mediator to make the entire situation less complex and challenging.

Can you move out and still get custody?

Kentucky residents like you have your plate full when going through the divorce process. It's a lot of emotional stress, heavy baggage, and decision-making that can change the course of your life. Some of these decisions can even impact your ability to gain custody of your children.

FindLaw features a frequently asked questions segment on divorce, with one portion in particular talking about things that can hurt your chances of gaining custody of your children. Unfortunately, custody can be a tricky situation and almost anything you say or do can end up being scrutinized heavily by your peers and the courts alike.

What are signs your spouse is hiding assets?

Kentucky couples like you who are on the high earning side of the spectrum will have a lot to deal with during your divorce. High asset divorces can be tricky for multiple reasons, not limited to the fact that having so many assets to keep track of can make it easier for certain pieces to be hidden.

Trustify takes a look at 15 different signs that your partner might be hiding assets from you. Hiding assets is when someone isn't reporting the full amount of the money they make because it would be added to their total net worth. That would therefore result in higher alimony payments, or having to give you a higher cut of their assets.

How does an unmarried father seek custody or visitation?

Family courts throughout the United States, including Kentucky, generally presume that children benefit from the involvement of both parents in their upbringing unless there is specific evidence to the contrary. This means that, as the biological father of a child, you have the right to seek custody or visitation after a split from the child's mother regardless of whether you and she were ever married. 

According to FindLaw, one of the first steps in making child custody or visitation arrangements is for you and the child's mother to negotiate a parental agreement. This can occur while another legal process related to the split is in motion or before it has begun. Either you or the child's mother may contest custody or visitation arrangements in court if you cannot agree to terms. However, many couples are able to resolve their differences outside of court via a process of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation.

Stay-at-home parents affected by divorce

If you are divorcing and are a stay-at-home parent, it's important that you understand the rights that you have when dividing your marital property.

Some stay-at-home parents abandoned lucrative careers when the children were born, preferring to care for their offspring themselves rather than send them off to daycare every day. But regardless of your motivation for remaining at home with the children, your lack of employment doesn't mean that you give up any rights to a fair division of the marital spoils.

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