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Louisville Family Law Blog

Does the "tender years" doctrine still apply in custody matters?

In Kentucky and many other jurisdictions throughout the country, child custody decisions are made based on the subjective interests of the children in question. That is to say, the best interests of the child guide how a court will resolve their custodial care following their parents' divorce. Since different children have different needs, their custodial arrangements can take on very different forms.

However, there was a time when one parent had a stronger presumption of appropriateness for receiving custody of their children. It was assumed that mothers were more appropriate caregivers to their young children and therefore that they should be the ones to retain control over the kids once their divorces were finalized. This presumption was known as the tender years doctrine and though in some cases a mother may prove to be a better choice for custody than a father, there is no longer an assumption that mothers, generally, are better at taking care of their kids.

Child support payments can be used for a wide variety of costs

There is a myth out there in the divorce world that says the spouse receiving child support payments has to pay special attention to how he or she uses that money. It's a myth that seems to imply "you can't use this money in most situations." However, just like with all myths, the truth is far different than the story. Child support can't be spent on just anything, but it can be spent on many different bills and costs associated with your child and your family.

The money you receive for child support can, and obviously should, be spent on the essentials. More precisely, your child support can be used on things such as clothing for your child, providing rent or mortgage money to ensure a roof is over their heads, and to make sure that food is on the table.

Business valuation may prove vital during property division

Knowing the value of your business or your spouse's business can have many uses. In the event that the business needs selling or simply for projecting future revenue, understanding the company's value and assets could hold great importance. On a more personal level, understanding business valuation may also prove useful in the event of divorce.

If you co-own a company with your spouse, the business will likely come under scrutiny when it comes time for property division during the divorce. Because you certainly do not want to lose out on your fair share, understanding the value of the business may help you determine to what you could be entitled.

Mediating your way to a strong post-divorce future

The end of your marriage will bring many significant changes to your life. From your finances to how much time you spend with your kids, you may have serious concerns over leaving your future in the hands of an impersonal judge. Fortunately, there are ways you can have more control over your post-divorce future.

Mediation is a way for you to resolve your divorce through negotiations and respectful discussions. This will not work for all Kentucky couples facing the prospect of a divorce, but it could be the right choice for you. Mediation is a peaceful way to come to a final order that you and your spouse will craft together.

Property division in Kentucky divorces

As a married couple, you and your spouse acquire rights to both property and debts acquired during your marriage. However, marital property excludes anything one owned before marriage, inheritance, gifts and property that is excluded through legal agreements such as prenups. Anything that a person obtains after a legal separation is also not included in property division in Kentucky. 

Are you trying to avoid litigation in a high asset divorce?

After spending years working and increasing your wealth and assets, you may have planned to retire more than comfortably with your spouse. As the kids left the nest and retirement approached, the two of you may have realized that you no longer want to stay together. You agreed that a divorce would be best for both of you.

Then you began to consider having to divide your wealth and assets. Perhaps you did some research on your own regarding Kentucky's property division laws and realize that going through the courts may not result in an agreement with which both of you can live. Fortunately, another alternative exists.

What is bird's nest child custody and does it work?

One of the many concerns divorcing parents in Kentucky share is the impact their actions will have on their children. Child custody often takes center stage as parents worry about how the divorce will affect their kids. In a time that is already difficult and emotionally challenging, moving the kids from one home to another on a regular basis seems anti-productive. As a result, many parents have begun to consider bird's nest custody as an alternative to traditional child custody arrangements.

Bird's nest child custody keeps the children in the home to which they are accustomed. Instead of shuffling the kids back and forth between residences, the parents take turns residing in the family home with their children. If the parents are willing to use a single separate residence during noncustodial periods, this type of custody may be quite affordable. If the parents each want their own residence during noncustodial periods, the costs will increase.

Lump sum alimony may be a solution in your Kentucky divorce

What does the word alimony make you think of? If you are like most people, you probably think about one spouse making regular monthly payments to his or her ex. What many people fail to understand is that alimony, or spousal support, is much more flexible than it was in bygone days.

Now, divorcing couples can choose from different alimony payment programs. The basics of these programs include: regular open-ended payments, usually on a monthly basis; short-term or rehabilitative maintenance; and temporary support while a divorce is pending.

Your teenager got an MIP - now what?

Part of being a teenager means attending the occasional high school party. You hope that your son will make good decisions when he attends these parties, but you know that peer pressure is always a risk. You expected a slip-up here and there, but you were not ready for him to come with a minor in possession (MIP) charge.

Most states are very strict when it comes to underage kids possessing drugs or alcohol. Part of dealing with MIP charges is understanding what they are and what kinds of consequences your child faces. A Louisville criminal defense attorney can help you take the next steps in defending against your child's charges. Read further for more information on minor in possession charges.

Is there any way a couple can divorce in peace?

The answer to your question is yes, with a disclaimer. You must understand that every divorce is unique, involving two individuals with distinct personalities. Sometimes, these two personalities can cooperate with one another in the face of adversity and sometimes they simply cannot. After all, divorce happens for a reason, meaning that many couples that could not "come together" to save a relationship may not be able to work together to end it peacefully.

With that said, if you and your spouse are both willing, it is indeed possible to minimize conflict, at least long enough to get a divorce decree in Kentucky. Some of the tips in the sections below may help you divorce in as peaceful a manner as possible.