Lisa L. JohnsonAttorney at law
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Lexington Kentucky Family Law Blog

It may help to take these steps prior to divorce mediation

Even though you and your future ex-spouse agreed to keep things friendly as you end your marriage, you may still want to make sure that you receive a fair and equitable settlement. You may believe that divorce mediation will accomplish that goal by itself. However, without taking certain steps prior to beginning negotiations, you could still end up losing out on receiving everything to which you may be entitled under Kentucky law. 

You cannot split assets you do not know about. For this reason, it is important to do what you can to get as clear a picture of what encompasses the marital estate first, especially if your spouse was the one who dealt with the finances during the marriage. Gather as much of the relevant documentation as you can such as bank statements, deeds and titles. It may also help to know what separate and marital debts you each have.

Commingling of assets can affect a high asset divorce

During a marriage, most Kentucky couples pool their resources in order to make a good life together. They may use the separate assets they bring to the marriage for that to happen. When facing a high asset divorce, this fact plays a crucial role in how assets are divided.

It is called commingling. When individuals use what was once considered a separate asset to benefit the marriage, it becomes marital property. For instance, if a couple moves into a home that belonged to one of them prior to the marriage, it could become part of the marital estate if resources from both parties go toward paying the mortgage loan, making repairs or other upkeep of the home such as remodeling.

Child custody issues: The drop-off location

If you are going through a divorce with children, you may hear more than once that you need to put your feelings for your soon-to-be former spouse aside for their sake. While you may be able to do so in order to negotiate a child custody agreement that will meet the approval of a Kentucky family court, that does not mean that you necessarily want to spend a significant amount of time with your ex thereafter. In fact, even though you may agree to communicate and compromise in order to co-parent, that does not mean that you and your ex can handle extended periods of face-to-face contact.

This raises the question of how to handle dropping off the children to the other parent. Your personal relationship could still be raw enough that even short contact may cause tension and anger, which could lead to arguments that are counterproductive to what you intend to do for the children. Therefore, you may need to consider finding a neutral drop-off location that provides security for everyone and discourages prolonged or contentious interaction between parents.

A property division checklist can keep track of all assets

There is a lot at stake when going through a divorce. As such, many divorcing couples focus their immediate attention to matters of property division. There is a simple reason for this, as all hope to get their fair share of marital assets in the eventual settlement.

While hammering out the details can be a challenge, there are many steps you can take to stay on track from start to finish. For many, this begins with creating a property division checklist.

Keeping the financial future in mind during divorce mediation

Ending a marriage comes with numerous emotions. One of them often revolves around fear of how the financial future will look after the divorce. Fortunately, Lexington residents going through divorce mediation can keep this all important factor in mind as they negotiate a settlement.

What will the budget look like as a single person living here in Lexington? The answer to this question could affect the structure of a final divorce agreement. More than likely, income will go down and expenses will go up in the majority of cases. Making the most of a settlement requires prior planning to make it stretch as far as it can.

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.