Is Kentucky Law More Fair Than the Laws of States Where Everything Is Divided Fifty-Fifty in a Divorce?
Kentucky law is reassuring to parties who can expect to receive more individualized attention than what other states provide. In community property states, they may just put everything in and divide it fifty-fifty. Indiana, where I also practice, is a marital pot state. Because Kentucky is a separate property state, that applies to the debt too. There is no presumption in Kentucky that something should be split fifty-fifty just because it has both parties’ names on it or just because it accrued during the marriage.
The downside of Kentucky law is that it may result in cases taking longer to work through the system. And, obviously, these things can become expensive when you’re breaking down the origin of each debt.
Can I, or Should I, Move Out Before Our Divorce Is Final? Does That Give Up My Rights to Any Property?
Generally, moving out before a divorce is final does not give up any rights to any property. From a strict financial property perspective, parties do not have to live somewhere to continue to stake a claim to that property. In cases involving domestic violence or potentially volatile interactions, it’s important to leave for your safety and protection and weather the storm somewhere else. Leaving will not affect division of property or give up claims to the house, the car, or the bank account.
If children are involved, however, that obviously changes the dynamic. A judge would never think somebody abandoned the children just because they may have left the home for a period of time before the divorce, but these cases do require a more detailed analysis of whether you can leave without any repercussion at all.
If I’m a Stay-at-Home Parent or Earn Less Than My Working Spouse, Will the Court Order My Spouse to Pay Child Support From the Time of Separation?
Under Kentucky law, there is no requirement that married couples have to pay child support from the time of physical separation, but there is relief as long as one spouse files that request with the court. I’ve seen before where a stay-at-home parent’s spouse has just left, leaving them at a total loss and not prepared to file for a divorce yet. Their child support will not start, however, until they make a formal request with the court by filing for a divorce. Judges use that day as the start date and will not award support money retroactively to cover the time since the spouse actually left.
A lot of married couples don’t know that they just can file for a petition for child support if they’re not ready to say their marriage is over and file for a divorce. A lot of stay-at-home parents will do this when they’re not ready for a legal separation. When you file a petition for child support with the court, you preserve the date when you can start receiving support. Sometimes, this resolves the issue, and other times, these couples end up seeking divorce down the line. This petition at least draws the line in the sand so that judges can provide relief.
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