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Family Law Archives

Alimony Lump Sum v. Fixed Amount

Alimony is a frequently litigated issue due primarily to the fact that Kentucky does not have a fixed formula for determining alimony.  Alimony is based on a number of actors, but primarily is the disparity of income or earning ability and the length of the marriage.

National Adoption Day

This week celebrated National Adoption Day.  If you have been considering adoption in Kentucky you will need an attorney to guide you through the process and can call for more information. Whether a relative, step-parent, CHFS, private, familial, or international adoption, you will need an attorney in the state where you reside.  There may be other attorneys needed to represent various persons involved in the adoption.

Do I Need a New Will?

Kentucky law provides that after a divorce the provisions in a Last Will and Testament relating to the ex-spouse are treated as if that person pre-deceased the decedent.  In plain English, the law automatically writes your ex out of your will.  As such, you don't have to be concerned that your ex-spouse will inherit your portion of the remaining estate.  That said, IT IS DEFINITELY BEST PRACTICE to create a new or updated will following a divorce. Most wills between spouses leave all or a majority of the estate to their husband/wife.  In addition, the other spouse is often named as the executor of the estate, guardian of children and trustee for any trusts which may be created in the will (often for children).  The spouse could remain as trustee or executor even if they cannot inherit.  Moreover, there are many times when there is only one, or even no, alternatives to the spouse for filling of those positions. A new will will take into greater account how you wish for your children and others to receive funds from the estate.  During your review, you should also inquire and make sure that you have updated your life insurance, bank account and retirement beneficiaries.  Even if the law disinherits the ex-spouse, the beneficiary may remain the same.  Every year thousands of dollars are paid to ex-spouses as beneficiaries of those accounts. If you have not yet done so, contact an attorney to create a will. If you have been recently divorced, even more reason to update your will and estate plan.  Meeting with an experienced attorney will help immensely and they can guide you through the relatively painless process.  Call Michael at Bouldin Law Firm 859-581-6453 or email questions to mwbouldin2@gmail.com .  

How Does Spousal Support Terminate?

Pursuant to KRS 403.250 unless otherwise agreed to or included in the divorce decree, spousal support terminates by death of either party or by remarriage of the party receiving the support.  It can also be included that cohabitation is a change of circumstances which can be grounds to terminate or lessen a child support obligation. The spousal support or maintenance may also be modified "only upon a showing of changed circumstances so substantial and continuing as to make the terms unconscionable. The provisions as to property disposition may not be revoked or modified, unless the court finds the existence of conditions that justify the reopening of a judgment under the laws of this state." The statutes do not provide for what is and what is not a change so substantial as to make the terms unconscionable, but that additional term of unconscionability is clearly a higher burden than simply unfair or inequitable.  There is very little case law on modifications, and most of the case law is very fact specific, meaning that your case may be similar but distinguishable from those reported cases.  In short, the decision of the trial courts is most often upheld by the court of appeals since overturning the decision requires a finding that the trial court's ruling was considered arbitrary and capricious. For example, if your ex-wife is making more money, you are making less money and she now has a roommate or live-in boyfriend, this may be a substantial and continuing change of circumstances sufficient to make the terms of the Decree unconscionable. If you have questions or concerns about your divorce decree and want to inquire about modification of an award of maintenance or spousal support, contact an attorney.  For consultation in Northern Kentucky, contact the Bouldin Law Firm at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).

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