COMING OUT OF A GRAY DIVORCE WITH SOME FINANCIAL SECURITY

Yes, it is possible. After relying on each other for decades for financial support, ending the marriage can cause a significant amount of stress regarding how to make ends meet after the divorce. With some planning and guidance, a Kentucky couple who falls into the “gray divorce” category could still come out of the process with some financial security.

First, the spouse who either did not work during the marriage or who was not involved in the finances needs to take the time to gather important documents and consult with a financial planner or an accountant. Understanding the marital financial situation is only one side of the coin. On the other side is understanding what will be needed in order to live after the divorce. This includes considering what assets are worth fighting for and which are not.

For example, it might not be a good idea to fight to keep the family home. It might be affordable with a combined income to support it, but with only one income, that might be another story. In addition, a divorce might allow a withdrawal from a retirement account without paying a penalty, but that does not mean that one should use the funds for personal support. Rolling it over into another qualifying account helps rebuild the retirement lost through the divorce. Simply put, each party needs to look into the future, not just the here and now.

Each party needs to have a clear picture of where he or she wants to be after the divorce is final. This will come in handy when settlement negotiations begin. The more informed each Kentucky resident is going into the process, the more likely he or she will exit the process with the chance to start over with some sense of security and a fair settlement.

Source: finance.yahoo.com, “Gray Divorce: The Financial Challenges and Opportunities“, Maryalene LaPonsie, April 20, 2017

ESTABLISHING PATERNITY IS ESSENTIAL FOR UNWED PARENTS

These days, many Kentucky couples decide that marriage might not be right for them. Making that choice might come with numerous advantages, but when it comes to children, it puts both parents at a disadvantage. Eventually, the issue of paternity will need to be addressed in order to protect the parents and the child. It is not enough to simply put a name on the birth certificate.

Even though you may know that you are the biological father of your child, the law does not recognize that automatically as it does with married couples. Therefore, you technically have no parental rights. That means that if you and your partner go your separate ways, you do not have the right to custody or visitation. Even if you stay together, without being legally recognized as the father of your child, you might not be able to participate in even the most ordinary parental tasks such as obtaining medical information or school records.

For mothers, if you and your partner split up, you cannot automatically obtain child support from the biological father of your child. The courts want to be sure that the right man is held financially responsible. Before the issue of child support can be appropriately addressed, paternity needs to be established.

If done at the right time, establishing paternity could be as simple as filling out and filing the appropriate affidavits. However, if you wait too long, or are unaware that you need to legally establish paternity here in Kentucky, the process could become more complex. Either parent could deny that a man is the biological father. As a father, you deserve to be legally recognized as such, and if you are the mother, having legal recognition of the father of your child is essential if you need child support.

“GRAY DIVORCE” BECOMING MORE COMMON AMONG BABY BOOMERS

There has been a shift in marriage statistics regarding older Kentucky residents and others in the nation, according to a recent study by a research group that focuses on demographic trends. Adults over 50 years old are not necessarily following the traditional relationship norms they once did. The study, which addressed divorce and marriage trends, was based on data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The research shows that more older couples in this country are foregoing marriage and are living together instead. In the past 10 years, the number of people living with an unmarried partner has increased 75 percent. Also, the divorce rate among adults 50 and over has doubled since the 1990s, prompting the phrase “gray divorce” for those separating baby boomers.

Another statistic cited in the study is the marriage rate versus the number of people who live together but do not get married. The marriage rate in the country has dropped over the past three years. However, those living together but not married has increased for all age groups.

“Gray divorces” were specifically addressed in the report since they reflect a significant shift in trends. Analysts believe divorces in this demographic may be explained by changes in social norms, including the greater economic independence among women. On the other hand, they could actually contribute to the rise in cohabitation among older Americans.

No matter what age, getting a divorce is a major decision. Contacting an experienced divorce attorney is the first step in ensuring that the process goes as smoothly as possible. A Kentucky family law lawyer can thoroughly discuss the issues and develop a course of action that is designed to achieve the best outcome for the client.

Source: New York Post, “Baby Boomers are over marriage“, April 7, 2017

 

A TRANSITION PLAN CAN MAKE CO-PARENTING BETTER FOR EVERYONE

Parenting after a divorce can be complicated, even when two Kentucky parents work together to come to a beneficial resolution regarding complex issues, such as child custody and visitation. In order to avoid unnecessary complications and make things easier for children, parents often choose to co-parent or share joint custody.

Children benefit when they can maintain a strong relationship with both parents after divorce, and these types of parenting plans provide a way for them to do so. However, that does not mean that parents will always get along or never have another disagreement. One of the ways that parents can avoid continued conflict after divorce is to make sure that they have peaceful transitions when their kids go back and forth.

The art of a peaceful transition

Co-parenting or joint custody typically means that parents share custody or parenting time. This means that children will be going back and forth between two households, which can be difficult in the aftermath of the end of their parent’s marriage. By establishing a routine for these transitions, these changes can go smoothly and more peacefully. Some of the ways that parents can do this include:

  • Helping children understand when a transition is going to happen
  • Packing in advance to avoid last-minute stress
  • Dropping off instead of picking up the child
  • Helping children deal with strong emotions
  • Establishing and sticking to a routine

When parents are conscientious about the way that a divorce can affect their children, even after the divorce is final, it can help them stay focused on what is truly important: protecting the best interests of their kids.

A strong and sustainable parenting plan

Co-parenting is not always easy, but parents who make this choice do so for the benefit and well-being of their kids. The way to make this process work smoothly long after a divorce is final is to ensure that any parenting plan is sustainable. Both parents can talk through important issues and discuss concerns during negotiations or the collaborative divorce process.

From custody scheduling to how transitions should work, you have the ability to address these issues and make a plan that works for your family.

How can you protect your parental rights?

You can work to protect your parental rights, even in a co-parenting agreement. Sharing custody does not diminish your role as a parent. You will find great benefit in working closely with an experienced family law attorney to draft a plan that allows you to have a strong and active role in the lives of your children.

 

IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY IN KENTUCKY

When most men and women become parents, the idea that they might one day end up in court fighting over their children likely never enters their minds. It is an unfortunate reality, however, that many couples, married or not, engage in a child custody dispute when the relationship turns sour. Since most parents entering such a dispute likely have no experience in this area, some basic information about custody in Kentucky may be useful.

There are two basic forms of custody, joint and sole. Joint custody is the most common arrangement ordered by judges; an award of sole custody typically happens in cases with an absent or abusive parent. Both parents remain responsible for the upbringing of the child or children, and must make important decisions together.

Joint custody is then broken down into residential and legal custody. The child will primarily live with the parent who has physical custody. The remaining parent has legal custody, referring to his or her right to help make decisions about the child’s welfare. There are many factors for a judge to consider before awarding residential custody, including the age and gender of the child, the mental and physical health of all parties, and the relationships between the child and his or her parents. It is worth noting that the court does not favor mothers over fathers and will always rule based on the best interests of the child.

Naturally, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Child custody cases can become complex, and they are always emotional. The best strategy for a successful outcome may be to work with an experienced lawyer. A lawyer’s understanding of family law in Kentucky could make the difference to a parent in a very important matter.

Source: kyjustice.org, “What is Child Custody?“, Accessed on April 3, 2017