What Are Some Unique Circumstances That Divorced or Divorcing Couples Might Run Into If They Cross State Lines or Live in Different States?
There are drastic differences between states, not just Indiana and Kentucky, but between states in this entire region. When it comes to child-related issues, there’s often a race between the couples to the courthouse because Kentucky has a shared custody presumption, while Indiana does not. Fathers often push to have their case settled in Kentucky, but mothers who have been the primary caregivers for the children might prefer the case be in Indiana.
The first difference includes considerations for the child. Indiana child support goes until age 19, and Kentucky just goes to 18. Under Indiana law, you can argue about financial support for college, whereas in Kentucky, you generally cannot unless both parties agree to it. For these reasons, making good decisions about where to file a case, if your family is spread out, is not just going to affect how the divorce plays out, but it’s going to affect potentially years and years of your child’s life.
Regarding property, it’s very common that parties may have real estate that’s spread out amongst numerous states, and so there may be some confusion about whether a state court can even deal with property in another state. People assume that property in Indiana can only be dealt with under Indiana law, and that’s incorrect. Whichever court has the power of the divorce to resolve the marriage between the parties, that court can also resolve real estate no matter where it is located in the United States. If you have a separate property state, like Kentucky, and someone inherited a piece of property in Ohio, it will behoove them to file in Kentucky so that the inherited property can remain theirs under the separate property principles in Kentucky. If that person’s wife filed in Indiana and the piece of property in Ohio goes into the pot where there’s a presumed fifty-fifty division, that person’s going to be paying their attorney much more to try to defend that based on what the presumptions are under the law. People who have property spread out need to understand that, wherever their divorce takes place, that judge can divide up that property.
The final major difference between states regards alimony, maintenance, and spousal support. States vary widely about whether these are even options available to spouses. In the state of Indiana, alimony doesn’t really exist, whereas Kentucky tends to be a fairly proactive state in giving out maintenance awards and spousal support. State differences will not only affect how property is divided in the divorce, but what the ongoing financial obligations look like.
Where a case gets filed, even if a family is spread across the river, will dictate what their future looks like as it pertains to their balance sheet and their child custody. Thus, the importance of having an attorney who can see the case from multiple sides of the river and be able to advise on that.
I Live in Kentucky, but the Custodial Parent Lives in Another State Where the Child Support Was Ordered. How Do I File for a Modification in This Situation?
Given our interstate experience in these matters, we would talk with you about what the Kentucky interstate law is on child support modification. There’s a specific statute called the Uniformed Interstate Family Support Act, which most states have passed. Usually when we have somebody come in with that situation, the state where the child support order was entered also has that law, and what we can do is help our client match up with that and confirm that they can file a motion here in Kentucky even if their ex-spouse and the child live in that other state. There’s an analysis where you look at where the order was entered and where everybody lives now. Many times, there’s a benefit to having the modification in any future enforcement of that order in the state for the person who’s the payer because that’s the state where income withholding orders can be entered. While custody and parenting time issues may stay in the state where the custodial parent is (where the child primarily is), it’s a benefit to get the support issues resolved in the state where the payer resides. We can help clients transition over to their new state so that they can address those things locally instead of having to hire counsel in a foreign state or travel back and deal with hearings, or whatever may be the case there.
For more information on Family Law in Kentucky, an initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 302-0539 today.
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