The breakdown of a marriage is never planned. However, when the time comes, individuals often find themselves overcome with a multitude of emotions and concerns. Therefore it is important to find a knowledgeable attorney who is compassionate of your situation and can help navigate you through such times with your dignity intact.
Dissolution of Marriage
In Kentucky we refer to a divorce as ”Dissolution of Marriage”. Each divorce case tends to be unique, but generally they fall into two major categories “Uncontested Divorce” and “Contested Divorce”.
Under KRS 403.180 the parties can resolve their divorce through the execution of a Separation Agreement. This is a document that is negotiated and executed by the parties and addresses division of marital assets and debts, and if applicable, custody and support of the minor children. By far this is the preferred method to effectuate a divorce because it is cost effective and helps preserve parties’ dignities. It also ensures complete control in the outcome of your case.
If the parties are unable to reach a resolution on one or more issues, it is likely that the matter will be submitted to the Judge for determination. Hearings and trials are cost prohibitive and generally emotionally taxing. It is important that you retain an attorney that can help navigate you through this process.
As a loving parent of a child, you always endeavor for what is best for your child’s future. At Keeney Atkins Law we understand this and will advise you on your rights and help develop a plan to help you reach these goals within such a framework.
In essence, Custody should be viewed primarily in two ways:
(1) Physical Custody- denotes who has physical possession of the child.
(2) Legal Custody- refers to the ability to make medical, educational and welfare decisions over the child(ren).
Custody is determined by Kentucky Courts under the “best interests” of the child standard and can either be joint or sole. Under a joint custody arrangement both parents share in the welfare decision-making progress. This does not always equate to a 50/50 parenting schedule. Courts will review each particular case and develop a parenting schedule that is tailor made for each child. Such schedules generally fall into three different models:
(1) Primary Residential/Visitation- In this model one parent is designated the "Primary Residential Custodian" and the other parent receives either supervised or unsupervised parenting time.
(2) Equal Shared Parenting- Neither parent is designated a residential custodian and the child(ren) spends equal time with each parent.
(3) Shared Parenting- This is an offshoot of the above model, except that the parenting schedule is less than equal between the two parents.
These designations have important legal consequences and it is important that you consult with an attorney before an Order addressing Custody is issued over your child(ren).
In Kentucky, both parents have an obligation to support a minor child. Most child support orders are established under the Kentucky Child Support Guidelines. The Guidelines serve as a rebuttable presumption of an award of child support and it is important to engage the help of an attorney to ensure that a calculation of support is made unique for your particular situation.