Lisa L. JohnsonAttorney at law
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Divorce And Family Law Issues

Lexington Kentucky Family Law Blog

Sometimes, the only way to save a relationship is through divorce

Kendra Wilkinson Baskett recently decided it was time to end her marriage to Hank Baskett. Like many Kentucky residents, the former Playboy model admits that taking this step is difficult, but often necessary. Since Kendra and her future former husband have two children together, going ahead with the divorce may be one way in which they can save their parenting relationship.

Kendra and Hank had a rocky relationship marred by Hank's infidelity and drug use. Despite these issues, they tried to make their marriage work, but in the end, Kendra says that it just was not meant to last. Even though she is saddened and heartbroken that her relationship has come to an end, Kendra admits that she and Hand remain committed to their children and are both good parents.

How not to approach child custody as a competition

By the end of a marriage, many Kentucky couples subconsciously enter into an atmosphere in which they are pitted one against the other. The divorce becomes more of a competition to see who "wins" regardless of the issue. This approach is not healthy for either party, and is certainly not healthy for the children. When it comes to child custody issues, making it a competition only ends up hurting the children -- not just in the short term, but in the long term as well.

Raising children can be challenging enough without Kentucky parents working to sabotage each other. This puts additional and unnecessary stress on everyone. Instead of looking at the issue from a competitive standpoint, it may better serve the children to realize that they need both of their parents. The divorce is about the end of your marriage, not about the end of being a family.

Divorce mediation can help with a different kind of custody

Many Kentucky couples have pets that are like children to them. Their pets are an important part of the family, and when one of those couples decides to end their marriage, the fate of the family pet can easily become a source of contention. Fortunately, divorce mediation could help come to an agreement regarding the "custody" of this important part of the family.

If a couple goes through a Kentucky court to resolve all of their divorce issues, the pet is often treated no differently than any other property the couple needs divided. The court determines whether the pet is separate or marital property just as it would with the family home or a couch. For many people, this approach does not take into consideration the emotional attachment the parties have to their beloved pet.

Divorce mediation could help ease the trauma for children

No matter how much Kentucky parents attempt to shield their children from the breakup of a marriage, it will affect them. Each child deals with the situation differently, but each also goes through some degree of trauma when their parents go their separate ways. Divorce mediation may help ease the inevitable transitions coming in the near future.

Taking the non-adversarial route -- unlike going to court -- can ease the stress they must feel during this emotionally charged time. It could also prevent each parent from consciously or unconsciously expecting the children to choose one parent over the other. Instead, working together to come to an agreement may help keep the best interests of the children at the forefront, which often means giving the children as much time with each parent as possible.

A parenting agreement can help with life after marriage

Are you moving through the divorce process and wondering how it will impact your life in the future? Do you have concerns about maintaining a strong relationship with your child or children?

Although there are a lot of moving parts, there are steps you can take to put yourself in position for success down the road. For example, creating a parenting agreement will go a long way in helping both parents understand their role in the future.

Make property division easier with a prenuptial agreement

Kentucky residents get married for love, but that does not mean that a certain business element does not exist. A marriage is a legal partnership of sorts, and as such, it may be a good idea to put a contract into place. This contract, or prenuptial agreement, could make property division easier in the event of a divorce.

Prenuptial agreements may not be romantic, but they serve an important purpose for those who have them. They provide peace of mind, among other things. However, in order to stand up to the scrutiny of a Kentucky court, a prenup needs to be drafted and executed correctly.

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.