Divorces Often Focus On Child Custody and Support Issues

Divorces Often Focus On Child Custody and Support Issues

Divorces often focus on the issues of child custody and support issues.  This includes temporary and permanent child custody orders, visitation or parenting time, child support and spousal support or maintenance.  There are multiple factors that will influence how a judge will rule on these matters. 

The process of a contested divorce in Shepherdsville, Mount Washington, Shelbyville, Taylorsville, Radcliff, Elizabethtown, Jeffersontown or Louisville, Kentucky can be extremely time consuming and ultimately expensive.  It doesn’t have to be. 

My name is John Schmidt and I have been a family law attorney for almost 25 years.  I can tell you the cost of your divorce and the time it will take to complete are directly tied to the amount of disagreement between you and your spouse and your ability to work through issues to reach a settlement.  If settlement cannot be reached the Court will have to decide.  A divorce in Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin, Spencer, Shelby and Oldham counties cannot be completed until every aspect of the divorce is resolved.

The contested issues in most divorces often focus on child custody and support issues.  Here in Kentucky, the Family Courts have clearly established that it is in the best interest of a child to spend quality time with each parent.  Most Courts wish to see time split fairly evenly between the parents.  Child custody and visitation is often determined by the children’s health, school, extracurricular and religious activities and where each parent will live in relationship to the child’s life and activities. 

Resolving areas of disagreement around child custody and support issues often paves the way to reaching agreement on other issues and ultimately a successful divorce. 

Child support begins with a series of calculations required by the State of Kentucky.  The amount of child support can be influenced by with the amount of time spent with each parent under the visitation or parenting time agreement.  It may also be influenced by which party is going to remain in the family home, as well as income and the unique needs of each child. 

Spousal support or “maintenance” is not a specific calculation, it is determined by a number of factors for your Judge to consider under Kentucky family law.  These include but are not limited to the age and health of both parties, viability of employment, the need for support and the ability to pay it, the duration of the underlying marriage and the time necessary for the recipient to become self-supporting.

While divorces often focus on child custody and support issues the good news is there are effective ways to resolve many or all of these issues and complete your divorce in a timely and cost-effective manner.  Negotiation is the fastest and least expensive strategy to resolve areas of dispute.  I help to prepare our clients for crucial conversations, and am available to negotiate with opposing counsel. 

Mediation is another effective and cost-efficient legal venue to resolve issues.  Mediation is a confidential, private venue that keeps your personal and financial information out of the public record.  The parties select an experienced mediator who works to find common ground and ultimately settle each issue.  The goal of mediation is a settlement agreement that resolves most or all of the contested issues in your divorce.

If the parties are unable to resolve their differences the matter must be placed before the Judge.  This is not only time consuming and more expensive than other options, it means a total stranger is going to impose a solution upon both of you.  After almost 25 years of experience in these cases I can tell you family law is rarely a “win” or “lose” scenario.  The Judge works to find the fairest possible solution under the law and each party is required to give in order to get.  It is not unusual for both parties to feel that they’ve “lost” a bit.

It is much better to find a way to resolve these matters through negotiation or mediation.  When you work together each party has “skin in the game” and have some ownership in making it work after the divorce is completed.  It also increases the likelihood that each party will abide by the agreement(s) after the divorce is completed.  This reduces post-decree disputes and associated expense.

We invite you to contact us via e-mail, schedule an appointment or call us today at (502) 509-1490 to get answers to your questions and to learn more about your unique circumstances and how to protect what is most important to you in your family law case.