Category: Divorce Tips

Am I Responsible for My Spouse’s Debt in a Divorce?

Debt and divorce go hand-in-hand like peaches and cream, only it’s definitely not so sweet all the time. If you’ve been married for any length of time, it’s almost certain that you and your spouse have some marital debts. How these debts are handled during your divorce can make a big impact on your credit long after the two of you split. Once you say “I do” you are not only blending your life with your partner you are also commingling your finances, your property, and your debt plus the marriage debt such as mortgages, credit cards, car loans, and maybe even student loans. What happens to those debts when you and your spouse split up??

Assigning Debts in Property Division

Equitable distribution is a method of dividing property at the time of divorce. All states except for a handful follow the principles of equitable distribution. Equitable distribution does not mean “equal”; it means that assets acquired during a marriage are subject to distribution. Each spouse is responsible for the debts they incurred before and during the marriage. Even if it was acquired during the marriage the spouse will usually be given the debt they acquired during the marriage. If you and your spouse cannot decide who will be responsible for paying certain debts the judge can divide the debt on your behalf. In Kentucky, divorcing spouses are less likely to incur their spouse’s debt than in states that do not have equitable distribution. However, there is always a but you could still be saddled with your spouse’s debt.

Taking on Your Ex’s Debt

When two people apply for credit together, each is responsible for repaying the debt. This is true even if your divorce decree assigns the debt to your spouse. If an account goes into default due to non-payment, both spouses will be held liable since creditors are not bound by a divorce decree. On top of that, your credit score will drop, which will make getting credit in the future harder.

Protect Yourself From Your Spouse’s Debt

Consider closing joint accounts that were opened in both of your names, as well as removing your spouse as an authorized user on your own accounts. You can also ask the creditor to convert these accounts to individual accounts. Since creditors aren’t obligated to convert such accounts, you may need to apply for credit on an individual basis. The creditor will then extend or deny you credit based on your new application. Refinance the debt to ensure it is solely your spouse’s legal responsibility. If you had a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that would help.

Equitable distribution works from an assumption that the marriage is an economic unit and that what the spouse acquired during the marriage is subject to distribution — regardless of need.

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About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
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Divorce Tips – Factors That Warrant Sole Custody Of Your Children…

Sometimes, a parent will go to court seeking sole custody of their child. This may be because joint custody is not in the best interest of the child. In the State of Kentucky, a bill was created that allows for parents to retain joint custody by default and this is usually the best measure for both parents to maintain relationships with their children. However, when a parent does not want to continue with shared custody they will have to go back to court to apply for sole custody.

Physical Custody vs Legal Custody

Parents can obtain two types of custody, sole custody, and legal custody…

  • Legal custody is a parent’s right to make decisions regarding matters of importance in the child’s life, such as the child’s medical care, education, religious upbringing, and moral development. If a parent has sole legal custody, they do not need to consult with the other over the previously mentioned matters.
  • Physical custody pertains to where the child lives and the actual physical care of the child. Decisions regarding the day to day care of the child are typically made by each parent when the child is in their care. However, if one parent has sole physical custody, that parent makes those decisions alone.

 

Factors That Warrant Sole Custody…

Evidence must be provided if a parent believes joint custody would not be in the best interest of their child. To obtain sole custody one of the following criteria must be proven…

Abuse

If a parent has a history of violence or sexual abuse and has been abusive to the child (or any child) or the other parent..

Neglect

If a parent has a history of neglecting the child, it is likely this neglect would continue in the future. Neglect is the failure to provide a child with necessary dental care, medical care, proper supervision, adequate food, appropriate clothing, shelter, and any other safeguards that protect the child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Substance Abuse

A parent who engages in substance or alcohol abuse presents a danger to the child.

Mental Illness

A child should be protected from a parent who is mentally unstable and exhibits irrational and unpredictable behavior that may endanger the child.

Abandonment

Sometimes parents are unable or unwilling to take care of their child. If a parent has shown little or no interest in the child and has failed to maintain contact with the child, you may want to get sole custody in order to protect your child’s best interests.

Incarceration

If a parent is in prison. If you feel it would be in your child’s best interest, you may want to seek sole custody that will secure your custodial status now and offer the incarcerated parent reasonable (if appropriate) visitation in the future.

Relocation

When a parent plans on moving out of the state or country, some parents feel it would be better if one parent was granted sole custody.

If the parent seeking sole custody is doing so as the result of the other parent’s negligence, they should be aware that the court may still grant that parent supervised visitation. Something like this would ensure the child is safe while still allowing them to continue a relationship with the other parent.

Whether you are seeking sole custody of your child or you are fighting to retain joint custody, contact an attorney who will help you pursue the best option for your family.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
>> Learn More

3 Ways Businesses Can Be Divided During or After a Divorce…

The division of property is based upon the state of residency. In the state of Kentucky, a court must divide all assets. While this distribution may not be equal, assets division will be handled with the upmost fairness. The following are a few ways a court will divide business assets in a divorce…

Buy-out Your Spouse

If the property is co-owned and there is negative energy that is hindering the spouses from remaining professional, one spouse might considering buying out the other’s half. This must be agreed upon by both parties.

Co-ownership

If the spouses are on good terms, they could continue to share the business after the divorce. If the business holds emotional value for both parties, they may commit to having a professional relationship even after their marriage has ended. If neither party wants to give up their share but they also do not get along, they might agree to one of them becoming a silent partner. Silent partners do not play a role in the day-to-day aspects of the business but they still contribute financially and benefit from the profits of the business.

Sell The Business

In the event that a buy-out or co-ownership are not feasible options, both parties can choose to sell the business in it’s entirety and divide the money evenly. This may seem simple but it can become complicated as it can come with its own share of problems. Sometimes one spouse will not agree to sell their half. It can also take some time to find a buyer based on the market for the particular type of business.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
>> Learn More

3 Ways You Can Appeal a Divorce Decree If You Have Valid Grounds…

Once the divorce is completed and a judgment entered, either or both spouses can appeal a trial court judge’s decision to a higher (“appellate” or “appeals”) court. Because of the deference given to the original judge, it is unusual, but not impossible, for an appeals court to overturn a judge’s decision in a divorce case. Settlement agreements usually cannot be overturned on appeal if both spouses agreed to the terms of the settlement unless there were problems with how the agreement was reached or other enforceability issues. The court places a great deal of faith in the judge’s final decision.

Valid Grounds for Appealing a Divorce Decree

The most common claim for appealing a divorce decree is that the court made a mistake regarding the law in the final judgment. The party filing the appeal must show that the judge made some kind of error or mistake in applying or interpreting the law regarding the circumstances of the case. Usually, a party cannot simply challenge facts that were already established during the original proceeding. If the facts have been established at the lower court, the appellate court will accept those as the facts of the case, unless something about those facts is a reflection of the mistake that the court made in applying the law. The person filing the appeal must show that the judge made an error in interpreting or applying the law to the case. The following are a few supporting grounds for a diverse appeal…

  • Instances of fraud committed by the opposing party in connection with the court proceedings.
  • Concealed or hidden assets of other important information by the other party didn’t divulge during the proceedings.
  • Discovery of new facts that could not otherwise be discovered during the original proceedings.

Example: Maybe the court failed to take into account a loss your business has suffered or miscalculated the worth of assets. Or perhaps inadmissible testimony was allowed or pertinent evidence was excluded in your case. Maybe the ex-spouse had a lover and was using community funds to buy gifts for this person. This could make the final judgment on income or alimony payment incorrect. The court is more likely to grant an apple based on any lawful errors committed by the original court.

Ways to Challenge a Divorce Decree Include…

  • Appeal – This is the “normal” avenue for challenging a divorce decree. It is also one of the most time-consuming. You usually have about 30 days to file an appeal after the final judgment has been issued, and the appeal must be based on the court’s mistake of law. In general, no new facts can be introduced on appeal.
  • Motion for Rehearing – A motion for rehearing is a very technical type of procedure that must be filed almost immediately after the judgment is issued. This does not guarantee your case will be reheard by a court and a judge must grant approval of the request.
  • Motion for Relief from Judgment – A motion for relief from judgment is only granted in limited circumstances, like if the other party committed fraud or concealed assets. Generally, this motion may be granted only in cases where something serious has occurred that affects the fairness of the decree.

If you are serious about appealing your divorce decree you must pay attention to the deadlines for completing the process. If you miss the deadline, you may miss your chance to appeal the decree. Talk to a local attorney as soon as possible about the various deadlines for motions and appeals to make sure you don’t lose your opportunity before you act on it.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
>> Learn More

How Adultery Can Affect Your Divorce and Possible Alimony…

Marriages can end when one member of the couple discovers that the other has had an adulterous relationship. How important is the impact of the extra-marital relationship on the divorce itself? Legally, the answer varies from state to state, In Kentucky we have a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, so there are no “divorce consequences” to the act of adultery. The larger question to ask is… did the adulterer us an marital assets to support the extra-marital relationship?

When Marital Assets Are Use To Support The Extra-Marital Relationship

These days, adultery rarely has much of an impact on the distribution of assets — except in cases where one spouse has used marital assets to support the extra-marital relationship. For example, if a husband borrows against a marital asset in order to support his mistress, that fact would likely be taken into account in distributing the assets of the marriage. Adultery will not typically affect if a spouse will receive alimony or spousal support, but it may affect how much.

Marital Misconduct and Alimony

While we are a no fault divorce state in Kentucky, meaning you don’t have to have a reason to get divorced, a spouses marital misconduct is considered when it comes to alimony. Misconduct will not affect child custody, or division of assets, it may affect the amount of alimony awarded. If you are the one that was adulterous and also the one that is supposed to receive alimony the judge may award less based on marital misconduct. However if you are the person receiving marital maintenance and your spouse cheated, you may be awarded more. Usually this is case by case situation and not the common outcome.

Always Consult an Experience Divorce Lawyer

For your own benefit, you should consult a qualified lawyer to address your concerns more appropriately. Divorce Lawyers realize divorce is stressful and emotional and they want to help you move through it as swiftly and painlessly as possible. Your best bet is to seek your revenge through being happy without your ex and let his or her conduct find its own punishment without you.

Contact us (859-341-2500) for a Free Consultation!

About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
>> Learn More