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Edgewood Kentucky Family Law Blog

How wedding debt can lead to divorce

LendingTree recently released a survey taken by 506 people between the ages of 18 and 53 in Kentucky and elsewhere who were married in the last two years. It found that 45% of the respondents had gone into debt to fund their wedding. Of that amount, 47% said that they had contemplated getting a divorce.

Furthermore, 36% of those who went into debt to host their wedding said that they argued with their spouse over money. About 25% of respondents who had wedding debt said that they regretted paying so much for food or the venue where it took place. Among respondents who didn't go into debt for their wedding, only 9% contemplated getting divorced. Only 11% said that they argued with their spouses on a regular basis about financial issues.

The importance of co-parenting for divorcing couples

Following a divorce, many Kentucky parents struggle with how to raise their children. Some will feel overwhelmed at the idea of being a single parent while others will experience anxiety at the thought of dealing with their former spouse again. Despite these obstacles, those who successfully embrace the concept of co-parenting may find that things are much easier for themselves and their children.

The children of divorce often feel insecure at the thought of their parents no longer living together. Co-parenting takes away much of this anxiety, allowing kids to feel loved and secure despite the separation. As such, any anxiety a child does feel is more likely to be short term rather than ongoing. This is especially true since co-parenting requires parents to communicate frequently and treat each other with dignity and respect. It's much better than the alternative, which is constantly arguing and bickering over every detail.

Millennials more likely to have separate accounts, prenups

Millennial couples in Kentucky may be more likely to keep their bank accounts separate compared to baby boomers and Gen X according to a survey by Bank of America. A survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found that prenuptial agreements are also on the rise, with millennials in particular requesting them.

However, experts say that even in an equitable distribution state, separate finances might not guarantee that a divorce court will agree that these are separate assets. While this is usually the case in equitable distribution states, an attorney could argue that they are marital assets and should be divided fairly. A prenup can offer more protection in case of divorce. An added advantage of a prenuptial agreement is that creating one means couples will talk about their financial situation and their attitudes toward money. Couples may also have the option to nullify or change prenups later.

Subsequent divorces may come with a unique set of challenges

If you are going through the end of a marriage, you may be facing a variety of difficult decisions. Since the outcome of your divorce will likely have a substantial impact on your life, even if only temporarily, you may wish to cover every crucial aspect associated with the process when preparing for negotiations.

If this isn't the first time you have been through a similar life change, you may feel that your previous experience will prove helpful during what comes next. However, this might not always be the case, as there are some issues to address that might be unique to a subsequent divorce.

Retirement savings and divorce

Couples in Kentucky who are getting a divorce should be prepared to devise a new retirement plan. The plans they had when they were married are likely to have to change. Depending on their situation, some people may find saving for retirement will be easier as they will only have to consider themselves when saving. However, they also have to keep in mind that no one else will be contributing to their savings, and they will have to bear expenses on their own.

After their divorce has been finalized, divorcees should take the time to work on a budget for their retirement costs. It is best to wait until after the divorce as they will have a better picture of how much they are actually spending. They should determine their estimated life expectancy and subtract the age at which they would like to retire in order to obtain an estimate of how long their retirement will be. A sum of all of their predicted annual living costs should be obtained and then multiplied by the number years they expect to be in retirement; an additional 3% per year should be added to account for inflation.

Delinquent child support list released by county

Every year in Jefferson County, Kentucky, a list of parents who are delinquent on their child support payments is released. According to the list released in 2019, these so-called deadbeat parents owe about $96 million in back payments to the primary caregiver of their child. According to the Jefferson County Attorney, the purpose of the list is to help track down the more than 4,000 people on it so that they can be held accountable.

The person who owes the most child support on the list is a father who is delinquent for $572,000. The mother who owes the most is responsible for $72,000. Women make up 12 percent of the list. More than 55,000 open cases related to child support are open for Jefferson County, but the department that handles them is only staffed by 154 employees and 15 attorneys. In 2018, they were able to collect $61 million.

False beliefs about noncustodial parents

While noncustodial parents in Kentucky might not have physical custody, they often share legal custody. This means that they have equal power to make major decisions about such elements of the child's life as education and religion. Despite this, some people unfairly view a noncustodial parent as being less engaged with the child's life.

Stories of "deadbeat dads" are common enough that many people may also perceive noncustodial parents as failing to pay child support. This is untrue, and the noncustodial parent might not even be a dad. While mothers are still more likely to have custody, courts are becoming increasingly aware of the important role that fathers play in a child's life. However, people may still assume that noncustodial parents do not do all the work of a single parent. It's important to note that the noncustodial parent is a single parent for the duration of the child's stay with them.

How to revise a parenting schedule for the summer

Even when a parenting schedule has been working well for divorced Kentucky couples, they might need to change it when summer rolls around. Kids' schedules may change when they are not built around the routine of school. Even summer schedules that have worked up to this point may need changing as children get older.

Parents should try to decide on the new schedule as soon as possible since uncertainty can be difficult for children. They can keep clearly-marked calendars in both their homes to remind children of it. They should also consider whether their rules between households are consistent. For example, if children are allowed only one hour of screen time daily at one house and unlimited time at the other, this can cause confusion and resentment. Parents may not agree on every element of co-parenting, but if they can bring expectations into better alignment, their children are likely to thrive with clear boundaries.

Co-parenting a teenager can be difficult but worthwhile

Raising a teenager is a challenging experience. That experience is often even more challenging if you are divorced. On top of helping your teen navigate their new freedoms, responsibilities and high school pressure, you will also have to deal with child custody. Co-parenting a teenager can present some unique hurdles.

Co-parenting a teenager is not necessarily more difficult than raising a younger child after divorce, but it is certainly different. Communication with your ex might even be more important than ever before. You also might struggle to draw the line between normal teenage behavior and behavior that is an indicator of a problem. Here are a few tips for successfully co-parenting your teenager.

Documents a Kentucky woman should obtain before a divorce

Kentucky women who believe a divorce is looming in the near future should consider the importance of gathering documents prior to making things official. Because wives are often not aware of every aspect of their families' financial situations, they should take care to collect documents such as tax returns to build a picture of their financial situations. A woman who is preparing to file for a divorce should also obtain a lifestyle analysis and net worth statement.

First, every woman who is planning to get divorced should obtain the most recent three years of tax returns from her family's tax preparer. If this is not possible, she should complete an IRS Form 4506. Tax returns show a family's income and, in the case of business ownership, expenses.

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Dietz & Overmann, PLLC
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Edgewood, KY 41017

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