Provision for Legal Separation in the State of Kentucky
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Legal separation in Kentucky results when the couple starts living separate after sorting the marital issues with the aid of the court. Kentucky is the state that recognizes the provision of legal separation and thus needs the documentation for the same.
There is a specific legal procedure to obtain a legal separation in the state of Kentucky. This process is similar to the process of divorce. The cost of the process of legal separation is almost similar to the divorce cost. The only difference between a legal separation and a divorce in the state of Kentucky is that after the divorce the marriage ends but after the legal separation though the couple is legally separated, they are technically married for all the practical purposes.
Settlement Agreement in Kentucky:
The couple has to sign a settlement agreement in order make the separation legal. This agreement covers everything right from the child custody, support and visitation to property settlement and division. The settlement agreement in Kentucky deals with the following issues:
The legal separation in Kentucky is revocable and is usually opted for by the couples who are unsure whether they want to get a divorce or work on their relationship. This agreement is also known as Temporary Maintenance Order or Separation Agreement.
- Child Support – The amount of child support is counted as per the percentage of the parents' income necessary to support the basic necessities of the child. The statute has given the percentage as per the number of the children. The parents are supposed to pay the amount equaling to the given percentage from their net salary. These percentages are as follows: 20% for 1 child, 25% for 2, 30% for 3, 35% for 4, 40% for 5, 45% for 6 children and so on. These percentages are flexible and can be changed according to the situation, earning capacity of both the spouses and other factors that are necessary in determining the amount for child support. This amount for child support has to be paid until the child reaches the age of 18 or until the child is emancipated or in case if the high school continues after the age of 18. Until the high school education is completed, the child support amount has to paid.
- Child Custody – The courts in Kentucky usually award joint or shared custody in the divorce as well as legal separation cases. While awarding the custody, the wishes of both the parents as well as the children are taken into consideration along with other factors such as the child's adjustment to his / her surroundings, family, friends, school, home and neighborhood, the parents' intention for asking for the custody arrangement they prefer, the relationship of the child with the parents etc. Besides, the court also verifies if there have been any past incidences of emotional, physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence etc. which greatly affect the child's emotional, psychological and physical well-being. The comfort level of children is the first priority when the court makes the decisions regarding custody of the children.
- Visitation Schedule – The visitation schedule is preferable prepared by the parents as they are well aware of the child's interests and commitments other than school and studies. The children attend various hobby classes, meet their friends and have a schedule of their own. The parents have to work around the schedules of their children in order to prepare a parenting plan which includes a visitation schedule, transportation for visits, communication with the non-custodial parent through phone, e-mail and in person. The visitation can be scheduled for each evening after the school, weekends, three days of the week and of course anything which is suitable for the children. The long breaks such as spring or summer breaks can be spent with each parent or the non-custodial one every year. Other vacations such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or others such Hanukkah, New Year etc. can also be divided between the custodial and non-custodial parents. The custodial parent can deny the visitation rights if he / she finds out that the child's emotional, physical, mental or moral health is in jeopardy. The court order stating the same can be obtained with the help of an attorney.
- Spousal Support – The court determines whether the dependent spouse needs spousal support or not. The earning capacity of both the spouses, standard of living established during the marriage, the lifestyle lead during the marriage, the age, health (physical, emotional and mental) of the spouse, value of the marital and the individual property, sources of income and other finances etc. are considered while determining the amount for spousal support or alimony. The payment of alimony is temporary only till the dependent spouse becomes able enough to survive by getting further education and training and securing a job that has a decent pay. By signing this settlement agreement, the parties make sure that their assets and the other property is safe and their spouses cannot misuse their money or other possessions.