A Boutique Law Firm Serving Northern Kentucky and Ohio
Northern Kentucky Divorce Lawyers
The decision to seek a divorce is a significant one, and it can often be a difficult period in a person’s life. Our Northern Kentucky divorce lawyers can’t make any emotional pain go away, as much as we might like to. What the team at Smith Law is committed to doing is ensuring that our clients have peace of mind in knowing that a reliable attorney is handling their legal affairs, so they can focus on starting the next era of their life.
Smith Law opens its doors to all couples who are looking for someone to guide them through the legal thicket that the divorce process can be. We serve both the Cincinnati and Louisville areas, with a deep understanding of the applicable law in both states.
Call us at (859) 710-9001 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation.
Issues in a Divorce Settlement
Every marriage is different, and some settlements are more complex than others.
The key issues in a divorce case generally fall in these categories:
Property Division in Northern Kentucky
The states of Kentucky and Ohio both use the legal principle of equitable distribution. This does not mean that property must be split on a 50/50 basis. It simply means that the distribution must meet the more intangible definition of being equitable.
Who decides what’s equitable? Hopefully, the spouses will reach that decision themselves in negotiation or mediation. If not, then a family law judge might end up making that decision in litigation. The quality of a settlement sometimes depends on how well a spouse’s lawyer articulates their interests and fights for them.
There are marriages where one spouse earns a substantially higher income than the other. There can be different reasons for this, including the economically disadvantaged spouse making a decision to forgo career advancement for the sake of other priorities in the marriage. The care of children and/or elderly parents is often one of those priorities.
State law in both Kentucky and Ohio places high value on these contributions and is committed to the ideal that both spouses should be able to enjoy the same standard of living in a divorce that they had in marriage. That’s not always possible, but spousal support is aimed at either making it happen or at least allowing any reduction in standard of living to be shared equally.
Child Custody & Support
Parents with minor children must work out how the children will be raised. The issue of physical custody (where the children will live) must be resolved. This is distinct from legal custody, which refers to decision-making authority in important areas of the child’s life. Custody can be granted as either full (to one parent) or joint (both parents sharing an equal role).
Courts start with the presumption that the best interest of the child are served by both parents playing equal roles in their upbringing. A parent who wants full custody, either physical or legal, must show why that arrangement is in the best interest of the child. It is often the child’s best interests that are the sole factor in all child custody decisions that come before a judge.
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