It is not uncommon to hear about Hollywood marriages that break up after a seemingly short period of time. It is a bit surprising to many when a marriage that has spanned two decades ends in divorce. However, marriages end for many reasons as many families in Kentucky have likely experienced themselves.

Recently, it was reported that actor Cuba Gooding Jr. has made the decision to formally file for a divorce from his wife, Sara Kapfer. The couple had separated about 36 months earlier. The actor had apparently recently spoken about the possibility of a reconciliation with his wife of about two decades, however that effort purportedly was unsuccessful. The former couple met in high school and have three children together.

Gooding has petitioned for physical custody of the youngest child, who is 10. They also have two sons who are older. He has elected to ask for joint legal custody. The actor has also petitioned to be permitted to retain all of his income dating back to the time that his wife filed for separation.

Gooding also expressed his openness to pay Kapfer alimony payments, though further details were not reported. Kentucky families who have reached the point where their relationship has come to an end may feel confused and unsure of how to proceed with matters such as filing for divorce and deciding on custody of minor children. They may seek the guidance of an attorney who is experienced in family law to provide ongoing assistance throughout the divorce process. 


Source: The Huffington Post, “Cuba Gooding Jr. Files for Divorce From Wife Of 20 Years Sara Kapfer“, Brittany Wong, Jan. 20, 2017


Richard Stephenson may not be a household name, but it is likely that Kentucky families have heard of his work. He is the founder of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a network of private hospitals that specialize in treating patients with cancers that are difficult to treat. Now, however, he has been consumed with a totally different undertaking as his high asset divorce has dragged on for more than 7 years.

Recently, he and his former wife had yet another court appearance as she is trying to explain why she has requested such a large alimony amount. She has asked the court to approve an estimated $400,000 a month. While the former couple have been separated for several years, they have yet to come to terms over property and asset division as well as the amount of alimony. They did have a prenuptial agreement, but it is unclear how that has played into the divorce proceedings.

The latest court hearing centered on Mrs. Stephenson’s claims about assisting her husband in the running of his business as well as the lifestyle she had grown accustomed to while she was married to him. She testified about the trips he took her on before their marriage and then how she was given greater responsibility in the running of his cancer hospitals, including her fund raising efforts. She has also claimed that it was her friendship with a former political leader that led to that man joining her husband’s business team as a consultant.

Mrs. Stephenson’s legal team have claimed that the money her former husband allegedly gave to a political action group must be included as part of his income when deciding how the marital assets should be divided. It is not clear how much longer this high asset divorce case will take, but for now, Mr. Stephenson claims he cannot afford to pay the alimony that his former spouse has requested. Kentucky residents who are facing their own divorce process may benefit from the advice and guidance that can be provided by a professional experienced in these matters.


Source: Chicago Tribune, “Almost 8 years into bitter divorce case, hospital founder’s ex takes stand“, Robert McCoppin, Jan. 11, 2017


When a marriage ends, as so many do, any children involved are directly impacted. While the majority of parents attempt to put the needs of their children first, when it comes to deciding who will be the primary caretaker, things may get complicated. Conventional wisdom use to dictate that children should spend the majority of their days with one regular caregiver. This was due to the now questionable theory that especially young minors could only properly bond with one parent.

Researchers have now discovered that children are in fact able to form bonds with multiple care providers. As a result, more non-custodial parents are seeking to spend more time with their children. Both parents can contribute significantly to the upbringing of their children and, provided the ex-partners can agree, a parenting plan that supports this might be in the child’s best interests.

There are situations and circumstances that might prevent both parents from taking a regular and active role in the raising of their children, and these issues might best be addressed by the courts. Kentucky families who are having difficulty settling on child custody or other matters can seek the advice of a family law attorney in order to arrive at the best options for their children. In addition, as children age, it may be beneficial to revisit older parenting plans in order to ensure that families are able to provide children with all they need to grow up healthy, both physically and emotionally.

Source:, “Custody and divorce: What you need to know“, Jan. 3, 2017



For many people who have made the extraordinarily difficult decision to divorce, keeping the process non-adversarial is a main priority. Whether you want to shield your children from a contentious custody battle or you simply want to avoid the cost and complication of going to court, a collaborative divorce may be the optimal choice for your Kentucky family.

Collaborative divorce versus traditional divorce

In a traditional divorce, one spouse initiates the legal process by filing divorce papers. The other spouse must respond, and through petitions, motions and other procedures, each spouse pursues his or her ideal outcome with the help of an attorney. Even amicable divorces can be lengthy and expensive as parties discuss settlements for different matters, such as child custody and property division.

In collaborative divorce, both spouses will retain separate legal representation, but unlike mediation, the assistance of a neutral third-party is not necessary. Instead, confidential discussions and negotiations take place in face-to-face meetings in order to reach mutually beneficial decisions. Parties must agree to full disclosure of all pertinent information, eliminating the need for the discovery process.

Understanding the collaborative law process

Collaborative divorce is often less expensive and faster than a traditional divorce. Despite the many advantages to this option, unless both spouses are committed to cooperation, the process can break down, requiring the divorce process to start again from the beginning.

This non-traditional approach to divorce may not be the appropriate choice for your situation if any of the following apply to your case:


  • There are concerns regarding a spouse’s substance abuse problem.
  • Mental or emotional instability is present and could impact the collaborative process.
  • Domestic violence or threats of violence played a role in the decision to divorce.
  • There are sensitive issues that could disrupt communication between the parties.
  • One spouse is uncooperative and unwilling to compromise.


If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are both willing to commit to the collaborative process, it can provide your family with the following benefits:


  • More control over a child custody agreement
  • A gentler transition to post-divorce life for both parties
  • Sustainable, practical financial agreements
  • The fostering of a more amicable relation between spouses who must co-parent after the divorce is final
  • Savings of significant costs, time and emotional duress


Effectively navigating the collaborative divorce process requires an extensive knowledge of Kentucky divorce laws and experience in collaborative law. Before you make any important decisions about your divorce, you should seek a complete understanding of the best way to protect the long-term interests of you and your children.


Marriage often results in one changing who he or she is in order to find harmony with a new spouse. However, if the marriage does not survive, then the former spouse may struggle to re-discover who he or she is once the divorce is granted. Instead of fearing how to start over, many Kentucky residents may find that their new life is just beginning. 

There are several emotions that are common after a divorce and it is suggested that these be processed and not avoided in order to forge a new path without the pain that many experience initially. In addition, learning who a person is after the marriage may enable one to adjust to new experiences easier. It may also be beneficial to work on a list of goals one would like to achieve, such as determining certain financial milestones.

There are other avenues one may explore in order to find peace and stability after marriage. One could pursue new hobbies or interests or learn a new skill. Engaging in activities that were once unfamiliar may give one a sense of achievement and empowerment. Likewise, selecting new relationships with diverse personality types may also be beneficial to maintaining a whole new outlook as a single person.

There are many ways to approach life after a divorce with each person choosing the paths that are best suited for each individual. However, getting through the divorce process may seem unexpectedly complicated to those who have recently decided on this legal remedy. Kentucky couples who are uncertain as to the best way to proceed may consult a family law attorney who can provide information and advice throughout the proceedings.

Source:, “Moving On: 7 Tips For Reinventing Yourself After Divorce“, Dec. 26, 2016