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Kentucky Legal Issues Blog

How will you use your prenuptial agreement?

You may be among the many fans who shake their heads when a celebrity marries without a prenuptial agreement in place. After a few years, the critics begin to speculate how much damage the divorce will do to the celebrity's fortune, and you may be astounded to hear the details of the settlement that a prenup may have prevented.

What about your upcoming marriage? In fact, more people are realizing that they have just as much to gain from a prenuptial agreement as a movie star or rock idol. While you may think of such a contract to avoid a contentious battle over your money and real estate, there are other ways to benefit from a prenuptial agreement.

Relocating with the kids following your divorce

One step towards moving on following your divorce might be to move away from Lexington. If you choose to do this, you will no doubt want to take your children with you. Your ex-spouse, however, might not be okay with such plans. Countless people have come to us here at Fowler Bell PLLC in the same scenario concerned that their ex-spouses might be able to derail their plans to relocate. However, it is the court that you need to convince that your proposed move is in the best interests of both you and your kids. 

Recent changes to state law may make that slightly more difficult. Section 403.270(2) of Kentucky's Revised Statutes was amended earlier this year to make joint custody the default standard in all child custody cases. In the past, if you had sole custody of your kids, moving away with them might have been somewhat easier. Now the state seems committed to enforcing the idea that children are better served when they have consistent access to both their parents. 

Communicating with your ex during and after divorce

Every divorce is unique, and each couple has a different set of hurdles to work through when they bring their marriage to a close. Some couples work together and end their marriage smoothly, while others become very contentious and result in drawn-out battles in the courtroom. If you are just thinking about whether or not divorce is the right move, you are in the midst of the process currently or your divorce is already finalized, there may be a variety of reasons why you should pay attention to the way in which you communicate with your spouse or ex.

First of all, some people are not able to keep in contact with their ex, such as those who are subjected to domestic violence. If you are, however, healthy communication may be beneficial for a number of reasons, especially if children are in the picture. You may be able to resolve potentially contentious issues such as a custody dispute or disagreements over property division and you could avoid additional stressors as a result of mutual understanding. Moreover, discussing divorce matters with your spouse or ex could allow both parties to have a better understanding of how their partner sees things.

Best interests standards of the child in Kentucky

According to FindLaw, Kentucky courts determine custody based on the "Best Interests of the Child" standard. "Best interests," in the context of child custody cases, means that the courts make all custody and visitation decisions and considerations with the overreaching goal of nurturing and developing the security, happiness, mental health and emotional development of the young person into adulthood. Most courts can agree that it is in a child's best interests to maintain a close and ongoing relationship with both parents. However, most courts also discover that they have a difficult time maintaining and promoting such relationships due to the practicalities of raising a child in two separate homes.

To aid Kentucky courts in their decision making, Kentucky Legislature has defined factors that make a person a "de facto custodian." Per 403.270, a de facto custodian is an individual who has demonstrated via convincing evidence to have been the main caregiver and financial backer of a child for at least half a year, or one year or more if the child is at least three years old. If and once the courts determine that a person qualifies as a de facto custodian, the courts will go on to consider the best interests of the child. In Kentucky, courts give equal consideration to each parent and any de facto custodian, biological parent or not.

Can you deny a workers' compensation claim?

As a business owner in Kentucky, you understand how important it is to provide benefits for your employees. Doing so allows you to incentivize them while ensuring yourself some protection along the way. Workers' compensation, for example, is a benefit that protects your employees and provides them with assistance if they are injured, while also keeping you safe from an excessive legal backlash. 

There are times however, when it may be necessary to deny a workers' compensation claim that was filed by one of your employees. Understanding when this type of action is appropriate is important to ensure that you do not make a mistake that could be costly to fix in the future. According to PayScale, if your employee has not appropriately relayed to you what happened that caused his or her injury, it could be grounds for dismissing the claim. Likewise, if they wait too long to report their injury, their opportunity to collect benefits could have expired and you are no longer obligated to uphold your contractual terms. 

When might a marriage be declared invalid?

Whether you want to invalidate your own marriage or the marriage of a child, it is imperative to understand Kentucky law on the matter. The law has specific guidelines under which a marriage is invalid and the court can rule so. To begin with, according to the Kentucky Legislature, the only people who can request an invalid marriage declaration are you for your own marriage, your spouse or a legal representative.

You must request the judgment within 90 days to one year, depending on the grounds for the request. You have one year if your marriage is illegal under the laws of the state. You have 90 days for the other two grounds.

What standards determine bad faith?

When you have insurance in Kentucky, you put your faith in the company to pay when you make a valid claim. However, there are some instances where an insurer may refuse to pay. These instances may not be because you do not have a valid claim. In these cases, it is in bad faith for the company to not pay the claim.

While there is no standard definition of bad faith and what standards constitute it, according to the American Bar Association, some general points do indicate bad faith. In all cases, the insurer is trying to avoid paying on a valid claim. This might include delaying payment or dragging out negotiations when the company knows its insured is liable.

How can I bounce back financially after a divorce?

While divorce can be emotionally trying, financial issues can also cause quite a bit of stress. This is especially true for people who let their spouses take the reins for the duration of their marriage, which makes the transition into financial self-management quite challenging. In this case, Time recommends the following tips to help your take control of your life once again.

Make a list of goals

Caution urged with mortgage during divorce

If you and your spouse in Kentucky have decided to end your marriage, you are now likely faced with a myriad of other decisions. These decisions often center around how you will split up your marital estate. This includes both assets and debts and, if you are like most couples, your mortgage is likely the biggest debt you carry making it essential that you act prudently when choosing what you will do with this loan and the associated home.

It is not uncommon for one person to want to keep a family home after the divorce. As explained by The Mortgage Reports, if you are the spouse who will be leaving the home, you should be very wary about allowing your former spouse to keep the house without refinancing it into their name only. There are a few key facts here, the first of which is that banks do not consider homes and mortgages to be the same. Even if you sign a quit claim deed that provides full ownership to your partner, if your name remains on the mortgage, you are still liable for that debt.

Do I have a good reason to file for divorce?

Perhaps you grew up in a Kentucky family where the idea of divorce was unacceptable. The benefit of this upbringing is that it encouraged you to work through the hard times and keep fighting for your marriage when things got difficult. You may have given a valiant effort for a number of years, perhaps decades. Now you realize what an unhappy life you have.

Nevertheless, divorce is a permanent decision with the potential for negative consequences. It is not something you want to take lightly or rush into, especially if you have children. If there is a chance to reconcile with your spouse, you may want every opportunity to do so. However, there may be circumstances for which divorce is the best option for your well-being.

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