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Edgewood Kentucky Family Law Blog

Property division can be tricky for wealthy divorcees

Divorcing spouses in Kentucky who are very wealthy may have to go through a particularly complex process of asset division. Such issues have been illustrated in the case of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who recently announced that he will be divorcing his wife after 25 years of marriage.

Unlike Kentucky, Bezos' home state of Washington is a community property state. This means that most assets acquired after marriage can be considered shared property to be split 50/50. Since Bezos started Amazon after getting married, it is possible his wife would be able to claim half of it.

Divorce risk higher for mismatched couples

An analysis of data related to online dating revealed that both women and men are likely to pursue romantic relationships with people who are more attractive than they are. Residents of Kentucky and other states who end up with more attractive partners might be at a higher risk of going through a divorce, though, according to other research. An article published in Psychology Today said that couples who are dissimilar in physical attractiveness tend to have relationships that are less successful.

There have been many studies on the subject, and it seems that most people have a pretty good idea how attractive they are relative to others. Most people naturally begin and maintain romantic relationships with others who are similar in levels of physical attractiveness. When partners are mismatched in this regard, their relationships tend to be shorter. Women who said they are significantly more attractive than their partners are likely to feel lower levels of commitment to the relationship and are more likely to flirt with other potential partners.

Joint custody more beneficial for children than sole custody

Some divorcing parents in Kentucky have valid reasons for filing for sole custody, such as concerns about a child's well-being when with the other parent. Other times, a person may seek full custody because of a belief that it's best for young children to spend overnights with mothers instead of fathers. However, research on this topic suggests it's better for children to be part of a joint custody family instead of a single parent home situation.

After a review of research on various parenting arrangements, one psychologist published a study concluding shared parenting should be the preferred option following a divorce. He also noted that concerns about younger children spending overnights with a father rather than a mother are unfounded and not in line with what's currently known about child development. More than a hundred experts agree with his conclusions.

Divorce and the family home: Sell or keep?

When people in Kentucky decide to divorce, handling the family home can be one of the most complicated parts of the property division process. The marital home is often one of the largest single assets held by the couple. At the same time, unlike other substantial assets like retirement funds or investment accounts, real estate cannot be easily divided in two. Also unlike those assets, people often feel a deep emotional connection to the marital home, especially when children are involved.

Nevertheless, many couples resolve the issue by selling the marital home as part of the divorce. Proceeds from the sale can go to pay off any mortgage balance owed as well as provide funds to help each partner seek future accommodations. In some cases, however, one spouse strongly wishes to remain in the home. When a divorcing couple chooses this option, it is important to consider some key issues that could lead to financial problems if not addressed at the time.

Who is most at risk for divorce?

If you follow national statistics related to divorce data, you may already know that the overall rate of marital break-up in the United States has been steadily declining in recent years. However, if you happen to be age 50 or more, then you're in a high-risk group because the rate for late-life divorces has more than doubled in the past 20 years.

Like most other married couples, those in Kentucky often encounter challenges in their relationships. Marriage can really be tough, and even if you and your spouse are determined to stick it out, you may reach a point where you determine your relationship is no longer sustainable. The question is: Who is most at risk for reaching that point?

How getting out of debt might save a marriage

Kentucky couples who believe they may have to get divorced as a result of financial trouble should remember that getting out of debt can help save marriages. According to a study released by Utah State University, couples who fight about money and debt are 30 percent more likely to divorce than couples who rarely argue. Couples who struggle with money are more likely to have trouble communicating as a result of their stress. Therefore, money is considered one of the top predictors of divorce.

Stress over money can lead to fighting, criticizing and other marital issues that go far beyond the subject of finances. However, couples who tackle the issue of finances head-on and get out from under debt often have good success rates and may be able to avoid divorce. Couples should consider having an honest discussion about money that results in a solid plan for getting rid of debt.

What a parent should bring to a child support appointment

Parents who are seeking child support in Kentucky will need to visit a local Office of Child Support Enforcement to complete the process. This is generally true even if it was started online. At this office visit, it will be necessary to show a valid ID, the child's birth certificate and general information about the child's other parent. Parents may also be required to show proof of income and proof of paternity.

Other important information to bring to an appointment include a divorce decree, evidence of past child support payments and an existing child support order. If possible, it's better to make an appointment ahead of time. Doing so may allow a parent to get into and out of the meeting in less time. Parents are allowed to bring their children, and it may be worth bringing extra snacks and entertainment to keep them occupied during an appointment.

Co-parenting during the holidays after divorce

Many Kentucky families endure a certain amount of stress during the holidays. Seasonal activities can be even more emotional following the end of a marriage that produced children. Added tension may also be created because of the increased contact between former spouses as kids get shuffled back and forth between separate homes more often, especially when there's an extended break from school. However, if divorced parents have a mutually acceptable plan in place, the holidays may be more joyous and less stressful for children.

The first thing parents are encouraged to do, especially if a divorce is fairly recent, is to put the interests of their children first. This commonly involves putting aside lingering animosity so that parents' personal feelings towards one another don't influence decisions about holiday arrangements with their kids. Achieving this goal sometimes requires leaning on friends for support or turning to a professional therapist.

Divorcing couples should keep taxes in mind

Divorce can change the lives of the people involved in a number of ways. It can be such a stressful, time-consuming process that separating parties in Kentucky can overlook important issues in favor of simply getting through it. For example, divorcing parents may be so caught up in custody disputes that they may neglect to consider all of the tax ramifications of their separation.

Head of household can be a beneficial tax status for people are newly divorced; however, it is among the most difficult to qualify for. According to experts, filing as head of household is generally better than simply filing as a single person. The parent who has the kids for more than half the year can claim the head of household status. In addition, this individual can claim the child tax credit and other tax breaks.

Attention, Kentucky athletes: Avoid these child support problems!

Earning a living as a professional athlete definitely has its perks. You probably dreamed of being a star on an NBA court or NFL field throughout your childhood. The fact that you actually were able to bring your dreams to fruition is extremely rare, as most people dream of making millions in the big leagues, but it never comes to pass. In addition to the fame and fortune you've known as a professional athlete, you've likely encountered day-to-day challenges the average Kentucky resident faces as well, like marital problems. 

It is not uncommon for someone in your position to determine that his or her marriage is no longer sustainable. In fact, you may have begun coming to terms with the fact that your marriage was over even before you filed divorce papers in court. A downfall of having a lot of money, however, is that divorce and issues related to it, such as child support proceedings, can get pretty messy, especially if your ex is determined to try to gain the upper hand.  

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

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