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Kentucky And Indiana Law Blog

Understanding Kentucky's "look-back" period

A conviction for a single DUI is bad enough. However, plenty of drivers in Kentucky are habitual drunk drivers, and there have been people who have contended with second, third and fourth DUIs. For those drivers, the state recently made life a lot tougher. 

In 2016, the state passed a new law that would extend the "look-back" period from five years to 10 years. That means anyone who gets additional DUIs within 10 years of the last one faces harsher consequences. Previously, if a person received another DUI eight years after the last one, harsher penalties would not apply. That is no longer the case; prior drunk drivers need to be aware of the new law and what it could entail. 

Marital satisfaction study upends common divorce beliefs

It is commonly believed that spouses in Kentucky and around the country become less satisfied with married life as time passes, and divorce is often seen as the inevitable outcome when dissatisfied couples run into problems with money. However, the results of a study conducted by researchers from universities in Georgia and Texas suggest otherwise. The study reveals that spouses who were happy when they walked down the aisle tend to maintain high levels of marital satisfaction even when they are struggling financially.

The study, which was published on Aug. 29 in the academic journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, is viewed as groundbreaking because the 431 couples who participated all lived in low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Previous research into marital satisfaction has relied on data gathered from middle-class and predominately white couples. The researchers contacted the couples once a year between 2009 and 2014 to ask them a series of questions that were designed to gauge their levels of marital satisfaction.

Finances during and after divorce

When Kentucky couples decide to divorce, they are often struggling with intense emotions surrounding the end of their marriage. In addition, they must also find ways to work together to resolve important issues such as child custody as well as the separation of their joint finances. In many cases, spouses may not fully understand what it means to divide property, assets and debts.

One of the first things that a couple will need to do is develop an accurate understanding of marital assets as well as joint debts. This can be a complex process, particularly if spouses have not been entirely honest with each other regarding spending and the maintenance of financial accounts. Still, attorneys and other financial professionals will need to know about current debts and assets so that a fair property settlement can be negotiated.

Saving or regaining driving privileges after a DUI

A DUI is a serious charge, and it comes with strong consequences. In fact, the first penalty occurs immediately, when the officer confiscates the driver's license.

This can prove to be quite inconvenient. Thankfully, there are options that may help to expedite regaining driving privileges quickly after a DUI.

Financial concerns that may arise in divorce for older couples

With divorce on the rise among older couples, attorneys in Kentucky may be working with more clients who are concerned about protecting their retirement. There are several considerations specific to older divorced couples. For example, some people may not be aware that after retirement, they might be eligible to draw benefits on an ex-spouse's Social Security contributions if they were married for at least 10 years.

If one spouse is supposed to pay alimony to the other, it is important to correctly assess the income of the paying spouse. For older adults, career advancements could mean that in addition to a salary, there are ownerships in various companies, stock options and more. This should all be taken into account. The person paying alimony might also be required to carry a life insurance policy. This can help ensure that if the person dies, the recipient will still receive payments that could be critical to financial security.

How some spouses might try to conceal assets in divorce

During a divorce, spouses are supposed to reveal all of their assets and debts for the purpose of property division. Signs that a spouse in Kentucky may be attempting to hide assets could include taking money out of a shared account, showing a sudden interest in cryptocurrency or even investing in art and antiques.

A person might also hide statements in an effort to conceal that money is being removed from accounts. Some people may try to transfer assets to other family members or place them in dummy corporations. Overpayment to the IRS or credit card companies can keep money out of circulation until after the divorce when the overpaid portion is returned. People may think that their cryptocurrency transactions are untraceable, but this is often untrue. Accounts may show transfers to trading sites. Some traders accept goods in lieu of money, so if there have been major purchases but no evidence of the product, this could also indicate cryptocurrency activity.

New marriages can strain co-parenting arrangements

Family law judges in Kentucky and around the country tend to favor co-parenting arrangements whenever possible because research shows that the children of divorce are less likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems when they spend time with both of their parents. Divorced parents are usually able to put their differences aside when the welfare of their children is at stake, but even the most amicable child custody and visitation arrangements can become difficult when one of the parents remarries.

In this situation, the divorced parent who remarries and the parent who does not may both find themselves in an uncomfortable position. The remarried parent could find it difficult to exclude a new husband or wife who they want to make happy from parenting activities, and the parent who does not remarry may feel like they are being replaced. People who wish to avoid these issues should have frank and candid discussions about how the marriage will affect their parenting roles before it takes place.

How older adults can manage the stress of divorce

People who are 50 and older have higher divorce rates than younger couples, and the stress of the process can take its health toll. Most older adults who divorce are between the ages of 50 and 64, but people also divorce in their 70s and beyond. Older people in Kentucky who are getting a divorce can take steps to safeguard their health.

Isolation can be a big problem for older divorced people, especially men, so they should make an effort to leave the house daily. Joining a club or a group can help provide a sense of community. Getting a pet can also provide company. People should exercise, try to eat healthily and avoid overuse of alcohol. They should also keep an eye on their health. The stress and anxiety that divorce can cause may in turn lead to serious physical conditions, such as heart disease. It can also affect the immune system.

Some of the top reasons for divorces

A study that was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy suggests that views of marriage and the reasons people file for divorce are shifting. While in the past divorces were often prompted by such behavior as violence or infidelity, the study indicated that more people are leaving marriages because they do not feel emotionally fulfilled. This also could indicate a fundamental change in how marriage is viewed to one in which intimacy, communication and respect are crucial.

The biggest reason for divorce, cited by 47% of the participants, was a lack of love or intimacy. People left partners when they realized one or both of them no longer had feelings for the other. Just behind this reason was a lack of communication at 44%. In third place were couples who had grappled with a lack of trust or respect for one another. Another reason for divorce was simply that the couple had grown apart and no longer wanted the same things in life.

How to use social media during a divorce

Kentucky residents shouldn't feel as if they can't use social media if they are married. However, it is important that they use discretion when they post something that others can see. For instance, it is rarely a good idea to say something negative about a partner. If a negative post is published, it may be worth trying to delete it. This may be especially true if someone is about to be involved in a divorce.

It is also a good idea for someone to review his or her privacy settings to ensure that his or her spouse can't see what is posted to an account. During the divorce process itself, it may be best to stay off social media as much as possible. Couples may want to mutually agree on when to announce that the divorce has been finalized or that the marriage will soon come to an end.