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Lexington Kentucky Family Legal Blog

How is paternity legally established?

You may already know why it is important to legally establish paternity of a child in Kentucky. If you are the father of a child, you have parental rights with regard to custody and/or visitation as well as a responsibility to support the child financially in the event of a split between you and the child's mother. Your rights and responsibilities as a parent are the same regardless of whether or not you and the child's mother were ever married. Establishing paternity cements you as the legal father of the child.

According to FindLaw, a paternity lawsuit is one way of legally establishing paternity, but in many cases, it is not necessary. In fact, if you already have a child and you were present at his or her birth, it is possible that you have already legally established paternity. When parents are not married at the time of a child's birth, they will often sign a form while still in the hospital called a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. If your name appears on your child's birth certificate, it means the state has accepted your voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, your rights as a parent are secure and you do not need to take further action to establish your paternity. If you did not voluntarily acknowledge paternity of your child at his or her birth, you may still legally establish paternity by filling out the form if the child's mother agrees. 

What happens to my family business when I divorce?

If you and your spouse own a family business in Kentucky, it likely will become a huge factor in your property settlement agreement should the two of you divorce. As you probably know, Kentucky law mandates that you and your spouse divide your marital property, including your business, in a fair and equitable manner when you divorce.

As reported by Forbes, you and your spouse have the following three basic options when it comes to dividing up your business in a divorce:

  1. Sale and split of proceeds
  2. Buyout of one spouse’s interest by the other
  3. Continued joint ownership after the divorce

Important divorce mediation questions to answer

If you decide to divorce, you should immediately begin to prepare for mediation. The more you learn about the process the easier it is to make sound decisions that allow you to push forward in a timely and efficient manner.

Here are several important divorce mediation questions to answer:

  • Can it really work? Many people assume that divorce mediation is a waste of time since they're unable to get along with the other person. Even if you're on bad terms, you can still use mediation to work through all divorce-related issues, such as property division and child custody.
  • What does the mediator do to help? This person isn't a judge, so they can't make decisions for you. What a mediator can do, however, is act as a neutral party to help move the process forward.
  • How long does divorce mediation take to complete? There is no single answer to this question, as it depends on factors such as the types of disputes, number of disputes and the willingness of both parties to negotiate and compromise. Generally speaking, most divorce mediation sessions last anywhere between one and two hours.
  • Will you spend any time in court? As long as you work everything out in mediation, you are not required to make a court appearance. Instead, the mediator, if the person is an attorney, can file all the necessary paperwork with the court.
  • Is divorce mediation really cheaper than litigation? There is no way of saying for sure, but it's generally cheaper to divorce through mediation than to spend a lot of time in the court system.
  • Is it possible for your case to be too complicated? Mediation can assist with even the most complex divorce cases, so it's always worth it to learn more and give the process your all.

Is your spouse committing financial fraud?

As a married Kentucky resident considering divorce, you may suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide marital assets from you in order to better his or her financial condition in your upcoming property settlement agreement. Unfortunately, asset hiding by greedy or vindictive spouses has been going on for decades, particularly with respect to high-asset couples.

What you may not be aware of, however, is that spousal asset hiding constitutes a form of illegal financial fraud.

Why might you need a paternity test for a divorce?

As a parent in Kentucky who is currently going through a divorce, you have to simultaneously handle matters of childcare and custody. Lisa L. Johnson, attorney at law, will help you look into paternity testing. This may be necessary for several reasons during the course of your divorce case.

What are some situations in which paternity testing can be useful, then? The first is if you believe that you're the father of your child, but your ex-spouse is attempting to claim that you are not. If you cannot prove that you are the father, the court will not appoint you custody rights. You may not even get visitation rights, which makes establishing paternity essential.

How to beat a spouse who lies about their finances in a divorce

You’re suing your husband for divorce. You’ve hired a divorce attorney, and you’ve requested all of the necessary financial records from your ex. But he’s been delaying—a lot. When he finally hands over his records, they’re a complete mess—you can barely make sense of them. And you have a sneaking suspicion he’s trying to hide something. A lack of clarity regarding your husband’s financial landscape puts you in a vulnerable position.

In high-asset divorces in particular, identifying and dividing assets can be a convoluted undertaking. If your husband owns his own professional practice or business, the division probably won’t be straightforward—especially if there are complex partnerships involved. If your husband has always handled your marital finances, there may be vested or unvested stocks that you’re not even aware of. There could be hidden trusts. He might have even set up accounts or bought properties in other parts of the country—or other parts of the world.

Debt and debt division: Don’t ignore this detail

When going through a divorce, you'll spend a good amount of time thinking about property division. This includes asking questions such as:

  • Who will get the family home?
  • What happens to retirement benefits?
  • What's the best way to handle cash in bank accounts?
  • How can you ensure that separate properly isn't included in the divorce settlement?

While matters of property division are extremely important, you must also make note of any debts you share with your soon to be ex-spouse.

Mediation may be a good choice for property division issues

After years of marriage, it is highly likely that you have accumulated a significant amount of assets with your spouse. When it comes time for the property division portion of any divorce proceedings, you may find that mediation provides you with certain advantages. More Kentucky couples end up satisfied with their settlements when they retain control over the content.

Negotiating a settlement can take some time depending on the assets you acquired during the marriage and those you intend to retain as separate property. Perhaps you have retirement accounts, multiple pieces of real estate and multiple vehicles, among other things. Relying on the court to divide these assets for you could result in you not receiving what you want. When amicably negotiating, your future ex-spouse may be more amenable to trading assets.

A prenuptial agreement could save time during divorce mediation

Ending a marriage these days does not have to involve contentious courtroom proceedings. Kentucky couples can take measures to make sure that they do not end up in that position should their marriages end. In fact, between a prenuptial agreement and divorce mediation, a couple may cover all of their issues without having to go to court.

A prenuptial agreement is executed prior to the marriage. It can identify separate property each party brings to the marriage, along with their individual debts. Each party may protect those separate assets and avoid ending up financially responsible for the other party's debts.

3 ways that people hide money before divorce

During divorce, you and your spouse need to disclose all of your assets. Regardless of where they are physically located or who owns them, you must disclose them.

However, people sometimes attempt to hide money away before divorce. They then claim they do not have it when the marriage ends. This keeps their spouse from getting a percentage of that money.

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