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How should a divorced couple handle child custody?

Parents in Kentucky who decide to get a divorce will also have to worry about matters of child custody. We at Lonneman & McMahan PLLC strive to help you understand how this particularly difficult and potentially stressful part of a divorce can go. We also offer guidance regarding what you can do to ensure that all parties can come to an amenable agreement.

In the past, it was common for one parent to have full custody over a child, with the other parent having very minimal involvement. While this is the style of parenting that some couples want even today, it has been proven in recent studies that children will almost always benefit more from having near-equal interaction with both parents. The input of both you and your ex-spouse may be vital to development and to the maintenance of familial bonds, which enrich a child's life and help them grow.

The difference between misdemeanors and felonies

Kentucky residents who are facing criminal charges could end up dealing with two different types: misdemeanors or felonies. It may not be common knowledge, but these two categories are quite dissimilar in how they're viewed legally. They can have drastically different impacts on a person's life, as well.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a felony as a crime differing from misdemeanors. These are usually grave crimes and come with accordingly severe punishments. As an example, the federal law demands prison stays of more than one year for felony convictions. Felony charges are also viewed with an intensely negative lens in the eye of the public, especially because a person's record will show that they have a felony conviction, but may not necessarily show what the conviction was for. Since felonies can range from drunk driving to murder, the unknown factor can be unsettling or disturbing to some.

New study shows divorce may be inherited

When Kentucky parents decide that a divorce is the right choice, many worry about what this could mean for their children. While previous studies show that children of parents who are divorced are more likely to divorce themselves, a new study found that this is because of specific inherited personality traits--not from seeing their parents divorce.

As Health reports, researchers were looking into the nature v. nurture debate around divorce and trying to determine if there was a genetic component at play. After studying the national registry information of about 20,000 Swedish adopted children who are now adults, the researchers were surprised to find that the adopted adults' relationships more closely resembled the relationships of their biological parents and siblings, rather than the parents who raised them. This is contrary to the common assumption that divorced parents lead to divorced children because the children repeat the relationship behavior they saw from their parents. 

Is Chapter 7 bankruptcy a good fit for you?

Kentucky residents who have decided to file for bankruptcy will have two main options: Chapter 13, or Chapter 7. Both have their own merits, and Lonneman & McMahan PLLC will help you determine which benefits will work best for your particular lifestyle and debt situation.

The first thing to consider is what you're willing to part with. The second is how much money and how many assets you have to work with. Chapter 13 is best for someone with a continued income, as it involves paying off small portions of your debt that have been broken down into more manageable chunks.

Studies show joint custody is best for children

Families across Kentucky navigate child custody arrangements whenever parents decide to divorce, and determining the best plan for a family is not simple. New studies encourage parents to work towards a joint custody arrangement whenever possible, saying that splitting time between both parents is what is best for the children.

A study reported by Science Daily has found that even very young children benefit from shared custody arrangements. The research was conducted on more than 3,600 children between the ages of three and five, and their parents and preschool teachers responded to questionnaires to identify any behavior or psychological issues the children may be dealing with. According to their responses, children who live with only one parent or who have a limited custody arrangement fared the worst. Both teachers and parents reported the most issues in this category. However, there was no difference in the reporting from parents who remained together or parents who had shared custody. Teachers, on the other hand, reported fewest issues from children whose parents were still together.

Important reasons to consider filing for bankruptcy

You never intend to get into debt. But while paying off the money you borrowed is your goal, sometimes it does not work out. Financial troubles hit us all in different ways. Whether your employer reduces your working hours or your business slows down, you might see the debt start piling up. 

As you continue down the path of financial turmoil, you probably feel scared of bankruptcy. However, bankruptcy may be the most viable solution in certain cases and help you get back on your feet. Here are some signs you should start to consider filing for bankruptcy

How can you protect assets in a high asset divorce?

When residents in Kentucky like you are in possession of high assets, it's normally a good thing that can enrich your day-to-day life and make your living situation much more comfortable. However, high assets can become an unmistakable burden if you and your spouse ever decide to get a divorce.

There are many ways that you can protect your assets during the divorce process. Forbes states that one of the best ways is to keep track of your money flow. Who's making the most money? Who's contributing the most to the household, financially speaking? Were any big ticket items like cars or electronics purchased solely by one person, or were most things joint purchases? Knowing where your money is, where it comes from, and where it goes will help keep asset division fair.

What are personal representatives permitted to do?

Upon petitioning for administration of an estate in Kentucky, a personal representative may be appointed to manage the affairs of an estate. A personal representative is a fiduciary under Kentucky law and must act with good faith and loyalty with respect to the intent of the testator, whose will must be admitted to probate, and in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. In doing so, the personal representative has broad discretion to act for the benefit of and otherwise administer the estate unless specifically proscribed by the will.

According to the Kentucky Legislature, a personal representative can perform 23 transactions specifically enumerated. While such actions are authorized not all of them will be applicable in the administration of each estate. Generally, a personal representative is permitted to receive and retain the assets of the estate, satisfy obligations to creditors, pay expenses, sell property and other assets, settle disputes, allocate certain assets as income or principal, defend the estate against claims of creditors or others, sue others on behalf of the estate, and ensure taxes are paid.

Retirement nuance in divorce

When Kentucky couples go through a divorce, the first thing on their minds is likely getting through the immediate future, but ignoring the impact a divorce can have on one's retirement savings is a mistake.

As Financial Planning reports, dividing the retirement funds incorrectly can cheat one party out of their largest asset. The division of an IRA account, specifically, must be done carefully to avoid extra taxation and financial penalties. Getting professional help to split an IRA is helpful because even in an amicable divorce, a mistake can make both parties lose out on their hard-earned money. A recent case before the U.S. Tax Court included just such a scenario, and serves as a reminder that splitting an IRA before the divorce is finalized can cost 10 percent in tax penalties. The court found against the couple trying to divorce with little conflict and made them pay the 10 percent in taxes.

Keeping your car in Chapter 13 bankruptcy

If you are thinking about filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy to manage your debt, you probably have a lot of concerns. For example, what will happen to your car if you file? Bankruptcy can be a scary thought, and you might be worried about losing your assets. Generally, you can keep your car in Chapter 13, but there are exceptions. 

Keeping your car depends on the amount of equity you have in your vehicle and the cost of your payment. Learn more about how you can potentially keep your car through a bankruptcy filing.