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Edgewood Kentucky Family Law Blog

Informal methods of crafting a child support order

Separated parents in Kentucky may choose to work out a child support arrangement on their own. They could also choose to create a child support plan with the help of a mediator or through some other formal collaborative process. In some cases, parents hire legal counsel to help them create an agreement outside of court. In others, attorneys may be consulted after an agreement has been reached in principle.

There are benefits to negotiating a child support agreement informally or by using alternative dispute resolution methods. First, they tend to be more casual than a court proceeding, which may help the parties feel more at ease. In addition, the parents themselves get to play a more active role in crafting the final agreement as opposed to leaving its terms in the hands of a judge.

Planning to move forward following a divorce

Divorce can be a difficult time for many people in Kentucky. The end of a long-term relationship can be accompanied by depression, isolation and even a decline in physical health as people avoid physical activity. Even if people had been unhappy in their relationship for some time, divorce can come as a shock, especially for the spouse who did not ask for the end of the marriage. However, there are certain things that people can do to help them move forward and remember that a divorce can also open doors to new beginnings and a more positive future.

Family and friends can be an important comfort during and after divorce. They can listen to people's experiences, express sympathy and provide emotional support. In many cases, people can turn to their loved ones to find people who will always be on their side. In other cases, people may want to look for some kind of professional support. They may be struggling with difficult emotions or intimate issues that they find it difficult to disclose to close friends or family. A therapist or counselor could help people sort through their emotions during the end of a marriage.

When children request custody changes

Divorced parents living in Kentucky are often concerned about the well-being of their children. In many situations, one parent has primary physical custody while the other receives more limited visitation, also known as parenting time. In many cases, both parents are satisfied with their current arrangement. However, there are times when children, particularly preteen or teenage children, may express a preference to live full time with the parent who does not have primary custody.

When a child expresses his or her desire to move in with a noncustodial parent, the parent who has custody may experience a range of emotions. For example, the parent may wonder what he or she has done wrong, experience jealousy or, in some situations, become very concerned that such a move is not in the best interests of the child. While these emotions are normal, parents need to avoid expressing them in front of the child. Instead, the child's needs should be prioritized and discussed without bad-mouthing the other parent or burdening the child with feelings of guilt.

Is divorce stress throwing you off your game?

If you're one of many professional athletes who live in Kentucky and happen to be preparing for divorce, you may be able to relate to those who say their personal problems sometimes get in the way of their performance on the field or court. Divorce isn't easy, especially if there are children involved. If you are a top-performing athlete whose name is well known in the sports world, you might worry that the media will get hold of your story and the paparazzi will follow in droves.

Especially if your ex is making things difficult, such as refusing to agree on child custody, child support or alimony issues, it's understandable you might have trouble focusing on your work. In the sports industry, a poor performance can spark a pay reduction or could land you on the sidelines or bench. That's why it's a good idea to build strong support network from the start so you can settle your divorce and stay on top of your game.

Basic parenting plan elements and typical responsibilities

Parents who end their marriages in Kentucky face a period of adjustment alongside their children. As part of the divorce, parents usually negotiate a parenting plan that addresses when the children spend time with each parent and who makes decisions about the children's care and activities. At a minimum, parenting plans establish a framework for managing the children's education, medical care, extra-curricular activities and religion when applicable. Both parents could have joint authority over every element, or they might divide their authority between different areas of the children's lives.

Educational decisions involve not only where children go to school but who takes responsibility for school communications. One or both parents will also need to manage school attendance, supplies and homework. Medical responsibilities also go beyond simply making decisions about care. Someone must schedule appointments, provide insurance and discuss care options with health care professionals.

Marriages that begin unhappily linked to divorce

When people in Kentucky decide to divorce, there may be several issues that led to the end of a marriage. While many people expect that newlyweds are the happiest and that marital satisfaction declines over the years, other research indicates that some people continue to be even happier in their marriages years after the wedding. One study examined the impact of socioeconomic status on marital happiness and the likelihood of divorce. Researchers tracked the feelings of 431 couples living in a relatively low-income area, surveying the couples five times between 2009 and 2014. Participants were asked to answer eight questions where they assessed their happiness in their marriage.

The researchers found that 60% of the couples were initially very happy with their marriages. However, 30% were moderately happy and 10% were unhappy in their marriages from the very beginning. They found that couples that were happy when they were initially married were also relatively likely to remain happy over the years to come. Those that were already troubled at the beginning of their marriages were more likely to become even more unhappy over time and eventually to seek a divorce.

How to help children adjust to a divorce

As hard as a divorce can be on an adult, it can be even more difficult for a child to get through. However, there are many strategies that parents in Kentucky and in other states can use to help their children adjust to their new circumstances. Ideally, parents will not argue with each other in front of their kids. This unnecessarily exposes them to more conflict and lead to feelings of guilt as the fights may be related to their needs.

Parents should aim to be civil around each other when the kids are present even if they don't like each other. If a child thinks that there is an issue between the parents, they may try to choose sides or otherwise feel caught in the middle of the battle. Children should never be made to feel as if the divorce was their fault.

Common reasons women file for divorce

Women in Kentucky may divorce their husbands because of issues such as infidelity, abuse of alcohol or drugs, or domestic abuse. Many marriages also end because of financial issues.

The reason for divorce in many cases may come down to problems with communication. Women may file for divorce if they feel that their husbands are indifferent to their feelings or they feel taken for granted. In some cases, they might try to communicate with their husbands about this. Some men may stop listening to their wives or making an effort in other ways, and women could end up turning to friends and others to have these needs met. However, in other cases, women may not clearly express needs and wants, such as the desire for more romance in the marriage.

Gray divorce rates producing unique challenges

Dissolved marriages involving couples 50 and older are known as gray divorces in Kentucky and other states. These types of separations, which have more than doubled in the past two decades, present a unique set of monetary challenges that can be difficult for the parties involved. According to research from Bowling Green State University, couples who get divorced after 50 can expect their financial wealth to drop by 50%. This can be a major shock so close to retirement.

After turning 50, it can be challenging to build up a healthy retirement account like a 401(k) or IRA. It's also difficult to find employment, especially for a homemaker spouse who hasn't been in the labor market for some time. This age group also often has college-aged children, which can be another financial drain. As the resources of older divorcees are drained, additional financial pressure will likely be put on family and broader public institutions.

What can I do for my taxes since the alimony deduction is gone?

People with significant assets have to consider how divorce will affect their taxes. Previously, when one spouse paid alimony to the other, that alimony was tax deductible for the person paying, and the person who received the payment was responsible for paying tax on the amount. Though it seems like the recipient was at a disadvantage in this situation, it generally worked out that recipients got more money. That all changed with the new tax laws that took effect at the start of this year.

Now that the deduction for alimony is eliminated here in Kentucky, this means the paying spouse will end up paying less alimony because he or she will owe more tax. The recipient may not owe as much tax, but he or she won't receive as much money. If you're in this situation, don't despair. There are other ways to minimize your tax burden. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may want to utilize property division instead of alimony when creating your divorce agreement. Here are some experts' suggestions on exactly how to do that.

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