What is Family Law?

Family law is the area of law that deals closely with the family and all significant changes that may impact the lives of its members.  From prenuptial agreement to divorce, family law can take on the guise of protecting the adults in the relationship.  Additionally, family law impacts custody, time sharing, and adoption, where the commonwealth insists the courts focus on the best interests of the child.  Take a look below at some of the areas of focus that define family law.

Divorce

Divorce in Kentucky can be simple or complicated, depending on the parties involved.  Kentucky is a “no fault” state, meaning that as long as the marriage is irretrievably broken you have the grounds to file for divorce.  Sometimes divorce can be as simple as filing papers in an uncontested divorce.  Other instances show it can be more complex when there are marital assets to divide up.  Through the internet many have seen couples who cannot come to an agreement ordered by the court to divide up collectible items that were acquired during the marriage. This could range from a baseball signed by Babe Ruth to a collection of beanie babies.

Divorce can be both mentally and financially draining, especially if you try to complete the process on your own without an attorney.   Contact the A.M. Brown Law Office to set up a free phone consultation if  you are contemplating divorce.  Having an advocate on your side that knows and understands the process will help you return some calm to a hectic life.

Custody

The most basic definition of custody is parental responsibility.  Custody determines which parent, or guardian in some cases, will have the ability to make major life decisions for a child or children in their care.  Major decisions include education, medical, and religious matters.  In Kentucky, the courts can opt for sole custody, or joint-custody.

Parents who amicably break off a relationship often opt for joint custody, with a co-parenting strategy.  Those that live within close proximity often find that this is what is best for their children.  Parents are asked to keep lines of communications open to discuss the needs of the child, and often expected to discuss a move to another location that would affect visitation and time sharing matters.  The key to joint custody is communication and the court will expect the parents to stay in communication regarding the child no matter the relationship of the parents.

Sole custody is an option in Kentucky for parents.  Sole custody means that all parenting decisions lay in the hands of one parent, including the right to relocate to a different state.  The court is hesitant to grant sole custody without proof that it is in the best interest of the child.  However, if there is a finding of negligence by the other parent, or neglect, the court is more open to entertain a motion for sole custody.

In addition to concerns about custody, Kentucky parents must determine where children will live, and when each parent is responsible for the child.  When looking at time sharing, Kentucky family law attorneys look at school schedules, after school activities, and parent work schedules to determine when the child should spend time with either parent.  Kentucky has time sharing guidelines that help spell out the time sharing expectations.  Each child is different, and many have activities that change as they grow.  It’s difficult for parents to anticipate the needs of a teenager when a child is 5, so parents are encouraged to work together and find an amicable solution to time sharing as the child grows.  This could be as simple as submitting an agreed order to the court, or as complicated as mediating a new time sharing agreement.

Child Support

It takes more than love to raise a child.  The costs of raising a child and providing for a child can be overwhelming, which is why there is a child support system in place to provide assistance to those who qualify for child support payments to help raise a child in Kentucky.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky has an interactive portal to help provide guidance for the Custodial Parent and the Non-Custodial Parent.  To be eligible to receive child support from the child’s father, legal paternity must be established.  Then discuss the terms of child support payments and sign an agreed order stating same.  Kentucky has child support worksheet and guidelines that will help determine a reasonable amount for child support.  An order must be entered into the record before child support can be established.

If you find the child’s other parent is not paying child support as they were ordered by the court, do not take action on your own.  The Commonwealth has tools to address this through the Child Support Enforcement Office and can seek to enforce child support orders by court action that may result in jail time for failure to pay, intercepting a tax refund, liens, withholding licenses and license renewals, and withholding unemployment benefits.  Again, there is an entire agency dedicated to enforcing these orders so any action to get child support paid should go through the Child Support Enforcement Office.

Adoption

Many children are living with foster parents and want to find a forever home.  Kentucky is in need of both foster parents and adoptive parents, and the A.M. Brown Law Office is here to help.  Adoption can be a lengthy process, and a legal one.  When you adopt a child, they legally become part of your family and thus have the same rights that your natural children would have regarding inheritance and such.  This is why hiring an attorney is crucial.  The process can be complicated, and it is better to have an advocate on your side to walk you through the process.

Domestic Violence

If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, family law attorneys are in a position to help.  Not only with a family law attorney direct you to the correct office to complete any necessary paper work, but a skilled family law attorney will advocate on your behalf at the Domestic Violence Hearing which will result from submitting the report.  This can be a hard step for many victims of domestic violence.  Kentucky family law attorneys are here to help, and can often meet discreetly to help victims of domestic violence.  Contact the A.M. Brown Law Office located in Lexington, KY for a free phone consultation, or schedule an in person meeting to discuss your specific situation.

Families can go through a lot of changes over the years, and sometimes you need the help of the court system to do what is best for you and your family.  This is why you need an attorney that will advocate for you and speak truthfully about your best options.  Not all families face every single aspect of family law, however all those who do need skilled attorneys to assist in the process.

If you or a loved on is going through a divorce or a custody battle, contact us today.  Every situation is different, and  you often need an advocate who knows the process and the necessary steps to get your matter resolved.  Call the A.M. Brown Law Office today to schedule your free phone consultation.