OVERCOMING PROBLEMS REGARDING POST-DIVORCE LIVING SITUATIONS

As you help your children come to terms with your divorce, you may encounter various challenging situations. Most Kentucky parents say they have some good days and some bad regarding how their kids adapt to post-divorce lifestyles. One of the biggest issues on your plate at this time likely involves living arrangements. The type of custody order the court hands down may affect your children’s living situation. 

If you haven’t gotten to that point yet in your proceedings, you may want to consider various factors that may impact your decisions regarding your own living situation, as well as your children’s, once the court finalizes your divorce. It’s good to remember that a particular agreement need not necessarily be permanent. In most cases, it’s possible to request modification of an existing court order should you determine a need to do so down the line. 

Which type of living situation best fits your family’s needs? 

The good news is that you can customize your parenting plan to provide for your immediate and long-term needs while focusing on your children’s best interests. One or more of the following living styles may be applicable to your situation: 

  • If one parent has sole legal and physical custody of your children, it definitely limits your living arrangement choices. If you are the custodial parent, you have the ability to choose where you and your children will reside. It may be even be possible for you to keep living in the house you shared with your former spouse during marriage.  
  • Joint physical custody means your children will be traveling back and forth between homes. To keep stress levels as low as possible, you and your former spouse may want to make sure your residences are close in distance.  
  • Shared legal custody means you and your former spouse must agree before making any major life decisions regarding your children. This goes for medical issues as well as education and religious matters. It may also affect your living situation in some way.  
  • Some Kentucky parents choose a bird nesting option as a living situation. In this situation, the children keep living in the family home while the parents take turns living with them.  

You may feel strongly that you know what type of living situation would be best for your children following your divorce. However, if your former spouse disagrees with your assessment, you may face tremendous challenge trying to implement your plan. If have questions regarding your rights as a parent when it comes to deciding where your children will live, you can tap into support resources available to find a swift and agreeable solution to your problem. 

CHILD CUSTODY CASE MAKING NATIONAL NEWS CONCERNING TRIBAL RIGHTS

Several years ago, a story broke concerning the proper placement for a child of Native American heritage. Though that battle waged for some time, the main issue was whether a Native American child should be raised by his or her blood tribal relatives. Though there are currently no reservations located in Kentucky, there are still members of several tribes that reside here who may be interested in these types of child custody cases.

Recently, a custody battle gained national headlines when a Native American woman filed for emergency custody of her newborn grandchild as well as two older grandchildren. The woman enlisted the assistance of the tribal police who then contacted the police department in the county where her grandchild had just been born. Acting on what they believed were federal orders, officers accompanied tribal officials to a local hospital and took physical custody of the 2-day-old infant.

The grandmother alleged that the child was in danger from her parents — especially the birth father who supposedly had physically abused the two older children in the home. The mother of the children has insisted that her relative is acting out of racial motives, as the biological father of the baby is a white man. She further claims that the children have not been harmed.

Senator Marco Rubio, from Florida — where this incident took place — expressed his outrage over what he calls false pretenses and an abuse of power by tribal authorities. The police department is likewise conducting a review of the matter and what further actions may be necessary. The majority of child custody disputes are between biological parents; however, if any Kentucky resident is concerned about the welfare of a relative’s child, he or she may seek information concerning custody arrangements that would best serve the child involved. 

Source: kmbz.com, “Child custody case erupts in dispute between state and Native American tribe“, March 22, 2018

NOT EVERY BELIEF CONCERNING MILITARY DIVORCE IS TRUE

There can be many unique challenges in military marriages. However, when a marriage comes to an end, a military divorce is not unlike a civilian dissolution — in spite of some myths that seem to persist. Kentucky residents who are contemplating a divorce that includes a service member may be best served by seeking the assistance of a professional who is familiar with military regulations.

The divorce process for service members will take place in the civilian court system. There are laws in place that were enacted to ensure that spouses receive an equitable share of the marital assets when it comes to property division in divorce proceedings, though both parties are free to negotiate the settlement that would best meet their needs. Many believe that a former spouse will be entitled to half of a service member’s retirement pay if the marriage lasted 10 or more years that coincide with military service. This is not necessarily the case.

One of the best resources for a service member who is seeking a divorce is the legal assistance office on base. This agency cannot provide representation in a civilian court, but can provide accurate information regarding the the division of military pay and retirement. A former spouse may be entitled to receive payment through the Defense Finance and Accounting Service if certain conditions apply. However, this does not mean that a service member will automatically be ordered to split that pay with a ex-spouse.

Furthermore, AR 608-99 is an Army regulation that serves as a guideline for a commander regarding the amount of support a service member must provide whenever a family member files a complaint and there is no existing agreement. Separately, the decision of how much support to award to a former spouse is entirely up to the judge in the family courts. Kentucky residents who are seeking a military divorce may consult with an experienced family law attorney to pursue a settlement that will best meet one’s financial needs.

Source: ftleavenworthlamp.com, “Sorting myth from facts about military divorce“, Capt. Hyun Muniz, March 8, 2018

PARENTS MAY FACE DIFFICULTIES WHEN IT COMES TO CHILD CUSTODY

When a marriage has ended — or non-married parents no longer see eye-to-eye on raising their children — there are several parenting options that may provide a suitable solution. The answer to who will be awarded child custody is seldom an easy proposition and often requires difficult decisions to be made. Kentucky parents have many aspects to consider when trying to resolve this issue.

One of the first considerations is whether parents can work amicably together in raising their children. There are many who can arrive at a co-parenting agreement that would result in them choosing a joint custody arrangement for their children. Out-of-court agreements enable parents to determine the custody or visitation schedule that will best meet the needs of the parties involved. However, not all parents can arrive at a mutually agreeable plan and may require the input of a family court judge.

In these cases, a judge takes various factors into consideration, including the fitness of each parent and whether he or she can meet the needs of the child. In addition, some courts will also take the child’s preference into consideration, providing that this will result in the optimal plan for him or her. Parents can be awarded either joint legal and/or physical custody, or one may be awarded sole custody, depending on each unique situation.

Some courts will require that parents attempt to resolve a child custody dispute through mediation or other methods. If this is not successful, then the court will determine custody based on the best interest of the child involved. There are also circumstances where a grandparent or other relative may seek to be awarded visitation or custody that necessitates the involvement of a family court. Kentucky residents who are working to determine the best options for their children may benefit from the guidance of an experienced and compassionate family law attorney.

 Source: FindLaw, “Custody Considerations: Step-By-Step“, Accessed on March 12, 2018

KENTUCKY SPOUSAL SUPPORT DURING AND AFTER A DIVORCE

Every state has its own approach to how former spouses can be provided for once a marriage ends. Kentucky is no exception and has laid out its own regulations concerning the subject of alimony both during and after a divorce. Each situation is different, however, and requires a specific agreement tailored to an individual’s needs.

In general, the subject of spousal support is appropriate whenever a separation and dissolution will have a negative impact on one party’s ability to provide a sufficient living for one’s self and any dependants living in the home. It may also be ordered if a divorce would result in either party suffering a significant loss in his or her standard of living that he or she once enjoyed during a marriage. Either party could be required to pay these monies, depending upon the unique circumstances.

The state will permit alimony payments provided the receiving spouse can show just cause for such support and the paying spouse can show that he or she can afford to provide for both parties. Once a recipient is able to obtain suitable employment and receives a wage sufficient for his or her needs, the payments will likely come to an end. In addition, if the paying party suffers a financial setback that infringes on his or her ability to continue paying support while providing for one’s own needs, then the support will likely be discontinued.

Regardless of the length of the predetermined schedule for receiving these support monies, it usually terminates if either party dies or the recipient remarries unless there is a prior written agreement stating otherwise. Likewise, it is unlikely that a court will order any changes in a prior settlement unless there is just cause to show that a case should be reopened. Kentucky residents who are in the process of obtaining a divorce may benefit from seeking the advice of an experienced attorney who can address the issue of alimony and other matters related to any settlement agreements. 

 

Source: alimonyhq.com, “Kentucky Alimony and Spousal Support Information“, Accessed on March 8, 2018