A major issue that arises in the breakup of longterm marriages in Kentucky is that of spousal maintenance, also known commonly as alimony. Attorneys all too frequently present it to clients as an "it exists, live with it" proposition, and laymen understand it only in the abstract. Sadly, poorly defined legal precepts on maintenance are constantly reinforced in the opinions of both trial and appellate courts; further obfuscation comes from the earnest efforts of legal scholars in creating voluminous (and largely incomprehensible to anyone outside the legal community) articles on the topic.
All through 2012, I warned people who are in a family law dispute about being cautious about the information shared over social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, and implored restraint on the texts they exchange. Sadly, folks are still saying cathartic things in the heat of the moment, and I wind up either using them against a litigant or defending against their use against my clients. What they never seem to realize that judges in Louisville are more than willing to base portions of their rulings on statements made over media designed to broadcast to the public.
In Kentucky divorces (particularly high value divorces), we frequently observe attempts on the part of parties to obfuscate the financial picture of a marriage by hiding or undervaluing assets, colluding with partners or family members in closely held businesses to understate income, or to operate shell companies while shifting the income away from the apparent failing entity. While Kentucky now mandates the reporting of certain financial basics in every dissolution by court rule, a case with more complexity is going to require a significant level of discovery and analysis that require far more information than the boilerplate forms provide. A good divorce attorney will be able to craft discovery requests to get to the heart of the financial picture if factors like the following are observed in a marriage:
Having a family law practice with a heavy concentration of divorce work for 25 years creates a significant base of practical knowledge. Much of that knowledge should be intuitive, but sometimes, it can be difficult to comprehend for a person going through the emotions of the moment. There are multiple conflict points which can sap emotional well-being and can lead to poor or unfocused decisions. When going through this process, it is extremely important to do the following:
One frequent topic of queries to this office on child custody involves questions about rights to children yet to be born. My most frequently delivered answer to these queries (unless there are issues of serious potential harm) is that Kentucky litigation regarding these custodial issues must await the birth of the child.
In all divorces (particularly those in "high value" cases), people tend to focus on the major investments when they engage in property division. Home equity, investment accounts, retirement accounts, interests in closely held businesses and valuable collections seldom escape notice; with these items, marital division or restoration as a non-marital asset is an inevitability.
A major issue which arises in the dissolution of a longterm marriage in Kentucky is that of spousal maintenance, known otherwise in some other states and in the common culture as alimony. Practitioners of the law all too frequently present it to clients as an "it exists, live with it" proposition, and laymen understand it only as a nebulous concept. Sadly, this conclusive and nonexplanatory concept is all too frequently reinforced in the opinions of both trial and appellate courts; further obfuscation comes from the earnest efforts of legal scholars in creating voluminous (and largely incomprehensible to anyone outside the legal community) articles on the topic. Because of this, the general public has difficulty in understanding how spousal maintenance awards are even justifiable in an age where there is rough parity in employment and economic potential among men and women - this leads to miscommunication and misunderstanding between lawyer and client. To my way of thinking, it is important to distill the notion of why it exists down to an explanation that is simple, yet not a soundbite, if only to clarify available options.
Child custody and parenting time become especially fraught with conflict around the holidays. Each parent wants to have the children for their extended family's holiday traditions during the earliest phases of litigation, and later, once new relationships are forged, parents want holiday schedules to mesh with those of their new significant other.
A divorce can be a traumatic, emotionally draining event. Rather than seeing it as a new beginning, some litigants abandon common sense and view the process as a vehicle with which to settle scores, make points, rehash old arguments and pick at wounds long thought healed. The results of this sort of "scorched earth" strategy are generally not as had been originally intended - children and extended families are alienated and the parties are in a considerably diminished financial condition, unable to move forward to the next stage in their lives in a hopeful fashion.