Lisa L. JohnsonAttorney at law
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Lexington Kentucky Family Law Blog

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.

Who will make decisions regarding child custody? Couple or court?

Most Kentucky parents want the best for their children. They may find it challenging to determine what that may be in the event of a divorce, and it may take some time to figure out the details. Two ways that child custody decisions get made in a divorce include allowing the court to determine how much time each parent will get to spend with the children and who makes major decisions on their behalf or retaining control over these and other issues.

In some cases, Kentucky parents have little choice but to rely on the court to order child custody and visitation due to extenuating circumstances such as abuse. The court's primary concerns will be the best interests of the children, along with who served as their primary caretaker prior to the divorce. Most often, parents will receive joint legal custody, which enables them to make major life decisions for the children together, and primary physical custody to one parent with visitation to the other.

Frozen embryos remain a complex part of property division

Many Kentucky couples who want to wait to have children or who cannot have children "the old fashioned way" freeze embryos for later use. If they remain married, they may use them when they are ready to become parents. If they divorce, the ownership of those embryos becomes a complex part of property division.

Courts across the country remain inconsistent with rulings regarding the fate of frozen embryos. However, the majority at this point sides with the party who wants to destroy them. This is mainly because of the prevailing theory that no one should have to become a parent is he or she does not want to do so.

Could divorce mediation be the best option?

Kentucky couples no longer have to rely on traditional litigation in order to resolve their marital issues. In the past, judges decided how property would be divided, who would get custody of the children and how much support a spouse receives, if any. Now, the parties can use divorce mediation to create their own agreement.

One of the biggest advantages couples receive from this method of divorce is that they get to retain control over their futures. They can make agreements that the court may not because they are "outside the box" and scope of what the court can do. The process is ordinarily less stressful on everyone involved.

Did Hulk Hogan defy his high asset divorce settlement?

For anyone in Kentucky who is a fan of wrestling, Hulk Hogan may be a household name. After spending years in the spotlight, he and his ex-wife Linda reached a divorce settlement back in 2009. Now, the former Mrs. Hogan claims that her husband is in violation of their high asset divorce settlement.

Linda Bollea, which is the name she now goes by, claims that her ex-husband is hiding the fact that he receives money from seven different business interests. In the divorce settlement, Hogan agreed to pay her 40 percent of the revenue he receives, but Bollea says she is not getting what she deserves and that Hogan is hiding assets from her in order to avoid paying her in accordance with their settlement. Other provisions of the settlement awarded her approximately $3 million in property and around 70 percent of the couple's liquid assets.

Kentucky updates child custody laws to reflect modern parenting

Although parenting in modern times has allegedly become more equitable, many parents, especially fathers, still feel at a disadvantage when it comes to child custody matters. In many cases, one parent (usually the mother) is still given primary custody and the other is relegated to scheduled visitation.

A new law in Kentucky aims to combat this perceived bias. In May, Governor Matt Bevin signed House Bill 528 into law. HB 528 makes several changes to existing Kentucky custody laws, chief among them the presumption that joint custody and equally-shared parenting time serve the best interests of the child.

Parallel parenting may be the better option for some parents

Not every Kentucky couple can work together after a divorce. Sometimes, the anger and hurt remain so strong that the parties have a difficult time being in the same room together even though they recognize that the children need to spend as much time with each of them as possible. In these cases, parallel parenting may provide a way through these challenges.

Unlike co-parenting, which requires a great deal of cooperation and communication between the parents, parallel parenting allows the parties to spend a significant amount of time with the children while limiting the contact between parents. This method of post-divorce parenting may allow Kentucky parents to limit the conflicts and tension that arises anytime they are in the same space. It would certainly benefit the children.

2 tax benefits divorce mediation could provide in 2018

Some Kentucky residents may believe that 2018 is flying by. As the month of June rapidly comes to a close, couples contemplating ending their marriages may be looking for a way to finalize their issues before the end of the year since some of the tax benefits that divorcing couples used to take advantage of disappear after Dec. 31. Using divorce mediation could help those couples come in under the wire instead of waiting for their cases to make it through the court system.

For instance, some of the tax benefits that homeowners depend on are changing in 2019. This includes the amount of mortgage loan interest and property taxes that may be deducted. A party wanting to keep the marital home may want to keep this in mind before moving forward with that plan since owning that home will probably become more expensive next year.