Areas Of Concentration
Couples going through a divorce or in need of any other family law service can find sophisticated representation at the McBrayer law firm. Our experience has positioned us to provide high-quality representation to a busy, frequently mobile client base. We are prepared to overcome the most challenging issues related to:
- Child custody and timesharing
- Child support
- Spousal maintenance
- Surrogacy and assisted-reproductive technologies
- Grandparents' rights
- Prenuptial agreements
- Couples who choose not to marry
Representation from Experienced Family Law Attorneys
Our family law clients come to us with significant legal issues, and our role is to find the best solution. In addition to traditional divorce proceedings in a courtroom, we offer mediation services, giving our clients the opportunity to come to a mutually-beneficial agreement without the added costs and stresses of going to court. We are also adept at working out the business aspects of divorce cases and coming up with proactive solutions and settlements. We will not engage in unnecessary battles that serve only to run up the bill and decimate the assets available for distribution.
While we always review other options first, we understand that litigation may become necessary. Our clients are confident when their cases reach this stage because they know they are represented by lawyers who do not just do paperwork. We have extensive experience in front of family court judges, and we know how to succeed when trial is necessary.
Take the First Step to Success
Family issues are difficult. When you need legal counsel, call the experienced legal team at McBrayer. Contact us to learn about your options. With law offices in Lexington and Louisville and a government relations practice in Frankfort, we serve clients throughout Kentucky and the United States.
News & Insights
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Retirement Benefits & Divorce: What Every Lawyer Should KnowUniversity of Kentucky College of LawLexington, KY, January 30, 2018
- Are You My Mother? Assisted Reproductive Technologies & Parenthood in Kentuckywith Hon. Lisa Hart Morgan - Kentucky Circuit Judges CollegeLouisville, Kentucky, October 23, 2017
- October 20, 2017
- Special Considerations in Military DivorcesNational Business Institute, Advanced Family LawLexington, Kentucky, October 19, 2017
- There Ought to be a Law: Parenting Outside of Marriagewith Hon. Lucinda Masterton - Fayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar ConferenceLexington, Kentucky, June 27, 2017
- LGBT Law Issues for the General PractitionerKentucky Bar Association - Kentucky Law UpdateGilbertsville, Kentucky, October 27, 2016
- 2016 Update: Same-Sex Marriage & Family Law TodayKentucky Bar Association Bench and Bar ConferenceLexington, Kentucky, June 22, 2016
- Divorce 101: Avoiding Rookie MistakesYoung Lawyers Division, Kentucky Bar AssociationLexington, Kentucky, February 25, 2016
- Federal Benefits of MarriageKentucky Bar Association, Annual ConventionLouisville, KY, 2015
- Recent Developments in Family LawKY Legal Aid ConsortiumLexington, KY, 2015
- Family Law Changes AheadNorthern Kentucky Bar AssociationCovington, KY, 2015
- Life after DOMAFayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar Annual ConferenceLexington, kY, 2013
- Family Court 101Greater Lexington Paralegal AssociationLexington, KY, 2013
- Tying the Knot Federally: What will it mean for KY same-sex couples?Fayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar Annual ConferenceLexington, KY, 2013
- Breaking Domestic Violence BarriersAppalRed Legal Aid2012
- Winning Your Family Law AppealFayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar Annual ConferenceLexington, KY, 2012
- Family Court 101Greater Lexington Paralegal AssociationLexington, KY, 2012
- Winning Your Family Law AppealDomestic Relations Section, Fayette County Bar AssociationLexington, KY, 2011
- Know Your Divorce Statues...The Judge Likes it that WayKentucky Justice AssociationLouisville, KY, 2010
- McBrayer Newsletter, March 2016, March 17, 2016
- July 2014
- Kentucky Bar Association's Bench & Bar, January 2014
- Kentucky Bar Association, Bench & Bar , January 2014
- A COVID Christmas: Navigating Child Custody This Holiday Season November 18, 2020
- Five Common Misconceptions About Divorce August 27, 2018
- Four Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce March 1, 2018
- When to Change Your Kentucky Child Support Order (Probably Not as Often as You Think) August 22, 2017
- How to Find the Right Divorce Lawyer May 12, 2017
- David J. Guarnieri - Attorney Biography
- Courtney M. Hampton - Attorney Biography
- Modern Families Are Complex
Who We Serve
McBrayer routinely handles domestic relations and family law matters ranging from minor issues to the most complex cases. We provide client-oriented, value-added services. Our family law clients include individuals from business owners to stay-at-home parents seeking high-quality representation. We respect our client's privacy, and take care to utilize the utmost discretion to address and resolve family law matters. Moreover, our family law attorneys are focused on the client's desire relative to whether an out-of-court resolution or trial is his/her ideal outcome.
McBrayer provides sophisticated legal representation for individuals in need of legal services related to any and all domestic relations and family law issues. Our family law attorneys represent individuals in all family court matters, including but not limited to divorce, child custody, timesharing, child support, maintenance/alimony, division of property, post-decree modifications, and prenuptial agreements. In addition, McBrayer offers consultations to our clients, at which our lawyers will explain the divorce process and answer any questions our client may have, particularly in regard to property division, marital and non-marital debt, and other relevant issues.
A sampling of our typical family law clients includes:
- A business owner or other successful professional who seeks to discuss the potential financial consequences of separation and divorce.
- An individual who has given up his/her career to contribute to the family and seeks maintenance/alimony and an equitable division of marital assets.
- An individual who seeks to discuss the necessity and consequences of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.
- A public figure who seeks to reduce the publicity associated with his/her divorce.
- An individual separated from his/her significant other who seeks to ensure the well-being and financial support of their children.
- An individual who has moved to Kentucky from out of state and needs to register, modify, or enforce a prior decree of custody, timesharing, child support, or maintenance.
Family Law FAQ
Q: What is the difference between marital property and non-marital property?
Generally speaking, all property you or your spouse acquire during the marriage is marital property. Being labeled “marital property” means it is subject to division in a divorce. There are many important exceptions to this, such as property you inherit or property you receive as gift. Those assets, along with the assets you had prior to your marriage, are generally considered non-marital property. Unlike marital property, non-marital property is not divided or redistributed in a divorce. It’s important to note that how a property is titled – i.e., whose name it is in – does not determine what happens to it in a divorce. A prenuptial agreement can also change or override these rules.
Every situation is unique, and some assets – for example, a house you own both before and during your marriage – can be partly marital and party non-marital. Characterizing these assets and determining their value are two the most important things a divorce attorney can do for you. If you have concerns about how your assets could be handled during a divorce, you should consult an attorney.
Q: How do I apply for an Emergency Protective Order?
A: An Emergency Protective Order (EPO) is issued by a Judge in response to an allegation of violence. An EPO is intended to protect the individual - and his/her child, if necessary - from further acts of violence from the offending party. All courts must provide twenty-four (24) hour access to apply for an EPO. Any family member or member of an unmarried couple who is a Kentucky resident or has fled to Kentucky to escape domestic violence and abuse may file a verified petition in the county in which he/she resides. The individual who desires to obtain an EPO - called the "Petitioner" - must fill out a detailed affidavit describing the actions and behavior of the person who placed his/her physical or mental well-being at risk. After this affidavit is submitted to the Judge, he/she will issue the EPO or deny the request. If the EPO is issued, both parties will receive a copy of the EPO and the Court will schedule a court date.
The Kentucky General Assembly recently extended these protections to victims of dating violence and stalking. These changes have greatly expanded the number of people who can apply for protection. If you are uncertain whether you qualify, consult an attorney familiar with these changes.
Q: Can the Court order my spouse to pay my attorney's fees?
A: From time to time, the Court may order a party to pay a reasonable amount for the costs incurred by the other party, including attorney's fees, to maintain or defend a divorce, custody, or related action. The Court shall determine whether such an Order is appropriate after considering the financial resources of each party.
Q: How is child support calculated?
A: Child support in Kentucky is based upon the parties' incomes. Kentucky Child Support Guidelines help determine how much child support is appropriate for a particular case. The goal of child support is to allow a child to maintain the same financial situation he/she would be if the parents had remained in one household. Expenses such as work-related child-care and payment for the child's health insurance premiums are also taken into account to calculate the appropriate obligation via the Child Support Worksheet.
The Court or parties may also "deviate" from the Child Support Guidelines, which means that a party may pay either more or less than the amount calculated in the Child Support Worksheet. This is increasingly common as parents more often share equal time with their children and/or make arrangements for the children’s expenses outside of traditional child support.
Q: Am I entitled to maintenance (alimony)?
A: Maintenance, which was previously called alimony, is financial support paid from one party to the other party. The Court may award maintenance where one party: 1) lacks sufficient property to provide for his/her reasonable needs; and is unable to support himself or herself through appropriate employment, or is the custodian of a child whose condition or circumstances make it appropriate that the custodian not be required to seek employment outside the home.
If the Court finds that a party is entitled to an award of maintenance, the Court will calculate the appropriate amount and duration of such maintenance by considering: (1) the financial resources of the party seeking support; (2) the time needed to complete an education to gain employment; (3) the standard of living while married; (4) the length of the marriage; (5) the age and health condition of the parties; and (6) the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet his/her needs while also meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance.
The Court may order maintenance during the divorce proceedings and/or after the entry of a divorce decree. Additionally, the parties may agree that neither party will receive maintenance or may specify the amount and duration for a maintenance obligation.
Q: What is the difference between sole and joint custody?
A: Custody dictates only which party - or parties - has decision-making power for the child with respect to major life decision, including but not limited to healthcare, education, and religion. Sole custody means that one party possesses the decision-making power for these important life decisions. Joint custody means that the parties are expected to work together to determine and agree upon the major life decisions for a child.
How often a child sees each parent is called visitation or timesharing, and it is separate issue from deciding custody itself.
Q: I'm getting married. Do I need a prenuptial agreement?
A: A prenuptial agreement - sometimes referred to as a premarital agreement - is a written contract signed by two individuals in contemplation of marriage. Prenuptial agreements address and resolve a variety of issues, and are particularly beneficial where a party:
- owns an interest in a business or professional practice;
- seeks to set, establish, or limit spousal maintenance (alimony) in the event of divorce;
- desires to distribute property a certain way upon his/her death;
- has prior-born minor children and desires to preserve certain inheritance(s);
- wants to remain free of the other party's previously-incurred financial obligations;
- desires to protect his/her financial interests and assets in the event of divorce.