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Edgewood Kentucky Family Law Blog

Kevin Federline asks Britney Spears for more child support

Kentucky fans of singer Britney Spears may be aware of her ongoing child support dispute with her ex-husband Kevin Federline. The two split up in 2007, and Spears paid Federline, a former backup dancer, $1.3 million and several years of spousal support. Her child support payments for their two sons were set at $20,000 per month.

However, the latter payments were based on her income at the time, and she was dealing with mental health issues and struggling in her career. She has since started a residency in Las Vegas, where she earns $15 million annually, and released four albums. Reportedly, it was her Vegas success that prompted Federline to ask for more money.

Retirement funds can be major financial issue in divorce

For many in Kentucky who choose to divorce, the end of a marriage is fraught with emotional and practical issues as well as long-term financial concerns. In the case of retirement funds, these often represent the single largest asset that is part of the couple's marital property, reflecting substantial savings and the result of hard work. As both parties often look towards these accounts as central to their financial futures and health, dealing with their distribution in a divorce can be problematic.

All of the complex matters that arise in relation to retirement accounts and property division can be exacerbated as the value of those accounts rise; in a high-asset divorce, it is critical that proper attention is paid to the precise details of the accounts in order to ensure a proper distribution. Retirement accounts are frequently subject to an array of specific financial and legal regulations, and if these rules are not followed, the two parties could face significant excess taxes and penalties as a result.

Divorce planning can be an important financial step

For many people in Kentucky beginning on the marriage journey, planning for divorce may be one of the least appealing considerations to make. While couples currently planning their marriage may not see divorce on the horizon, making certain kinds of preparations can help prevent harm in the future and can be considered part of financial planning. Indeed, many of the same actions that provide greater individual protections in case of divorce also carry benefits in terms of estate planning and other related issues.

In any divorce, some of the most devastating and serious issues can revolve around the financial aspects of the end of a marriage rather than the emotional issues. This is one reason why many wealthy people use prenuptial agreements to protect their separate property before beginning a marriage. Separate property includes the assets that each partner brings into the marriage as well as later individual gifts and inheritances. While retaining separate property can be critically important for people going through a divorce, it can also be a key estate planning consideration, especially for people with blended families in which both partners have children who predate the marriage.

Legal terms you should know if you suspect a hidden asset problem

Protecting your rights and assets in divorce is no doubt one of your highest priorities. If you're a parent, then making sure proceedings focus on your children's best interests is also of paramount importance. When the time comes for the court to divide your marital property, problems (and stress) can arise if your spouse is not being honest. Hidden assets are a major problem in many Kentucky divorces, as well as in hundreds of other divorces throughout the nation.

Not only is this type of behavior mean-spirited, it is illegal, so it's crucial to know what options are available for rectifying hidden asset problems before they get out of hand. There are several legal terms that can lead you to possible solutions for uncovering hidden assets and making sure you get what is rightfully yours during property division proceedings in divorce.

Financial aspects of divorce can be important later in life

For over 25 years, divorce has become increasingly common for people over the age of 50 in Kentucky and across the United States; since 1993, the rate of divorce among this age group has more than doubled, and the numbers continue to indicate an upward trend. The end of a marriage can be especially complicated for long-term couples choosing to divorce after a lengthy partnership, as the couple is likely to have a deeply entangled financial life and extensive assets.

Many couples who divorce later in life after accumulating significant assets and various types of property, including investments, retirement accounts, real estate, insurance and more, may be in the situation of going through a high asset divorce requiring a high level of detailed attention to property division. In preparing for a divorce, a spouse should review all of the assets of the couple and create a comprehensive inventory. This should include both joint assets and individual property like inheritances. Past employment records can also be highly relevant, highlighting pension plans, stock options and other benefits and investments.

Transitioning to single life requires planning during divorce

Kentucky couples in the midst of a divorce may look to the signing of the final decree as the finish line in the process. Getting the judge's signature on the dotted line is a major milestone to be sure, but there is still work to be done afterward. It can be helpful to think of the court order as marching orders for the parties with a list of benchmarks that they have to meet. It is up to the individuals involved, along with their legal advisors, to carry things across the actual divorce finish line.

It pays to have an action plan designating in writing what is to be done by whom. If property must be sold, someone has to retain a realtor. If retirement assets are to be divided, someone must coordinate with plan administrators. If child support or alimony is to be paid, the manner in which it will be paid must be articulated. Each party may wish to assemble his or her own team of financial advisors for taxes and investments if assets have been managed jointly during the marriage. New health insurance policies may be in order.

Divorce rate could rise in 2018 due to tax changes

The new U.S. tax law changes signed by President Donald Trump in December 2017 could cause some unhappy Kentucky couples to hasten their divorce plans. Under the new tax law, it could be more expensive to pay spousal support. Since the changes do not go into effect until the beginning of 2019, people who finalize their divorces in 2018 will not be affected.

Each year, there are approximately 800,000 divorces finalized across the United States. That number is anticipated to rise in 2018 as divorcing couples rush to meet the December 31, 2018, deadline to preserve the current alimony taxation system. This is especially the case for divorcing couples with substantial assets who are already part of a higher tax bracket. Many of these spouses have expressed concerns about the change. Under the current system, the former spouse who makes support payments can deduct a portion of those funds on their income taxes each year.

Should you bypass divorce mediation and go to court?

Now that you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may feel a deep sense of relief. This may be especially true if your marriage was little more than years of struggle and tension. Perhaps your spouse violated your trust by unfaithfulness or other forms of misbehavior, and you simply want the divorce to be over.

Most marriages end through some form of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation. Kentucky law doesn't require mediation, but the judge in your case may have ordered it before setting a date for a trial. Whether you have already tried a gentler way to divorce or you are not interested in negotiating, you may be among those few for whom a litigated divorce is the better option.

Annual tax filings can see major changes with divorce

Spouses in Kentucky going through divorce may be concerned about the financial implications of ending their marriage. From asset and property division to spousal and child support, divorce can have a major impact on the financial health of both partners. There is an additional financial change after divorce that is often left discussed: changes to tax filings as a result of the end of a marriage.

Changes to tax returns as a result of divorce can become apparent shortly after the divorce is final. If a divorce decree is finalized before Dec. 31 of a given year, it must be reflected on the filings for that year, which are due before April 15 of the next year. On the other hand, if the parties are not yet fully divorced by the end of December, those tax returns will continue to reflect a married filing status.

Establishing a parenting plan

When parents in Kentucky decide to divorce, the children are often a priority. No matter how unhappy the parents may be with each other, they each maintain a strong commitment to their children. For that reason, crafting a parenting plan that supports these essential bonds is important.

Parents in even highly acrimonious divorces are still capable of understanding that their children's needs come first. If both parents are committed to their children's well-being, they likely have the ability to set aside their differences and develop a positive plan for custody and visitation.

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
130 Dudley Road Suite 150
Edgewood, KY 41017

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