Lobbying Affiliate: MML&K Government Solutions

Family Law

When you're through hoping it will just go away.

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Video Blog - Ross Ewing - The Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Case Obergefell v. Hodges on Family Law for Same-Sex Couples

Areas Of Concentration


Professionals going through a divorce or in need of any other family law service can find sophisticated representation at the law firm of McBrayer. Our experience has positioned us to provide high-quality representation to a frequently mobile client base of doctors, business owners and other professionals. We are prepared to overcome the most challenging issues related to:

  • Divorce
  • Property division
  • Child custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Alimony
  • Post-divorce modification
  • Paternity actions
  • Grandparents' rights
  • Prenuptial agreements

Post-Divorce Tax Consequences

Individuals with large estates and high incomes have unique challenges that need to be addressed during a divorce. One of these challenges is mitigating the post-divorce tax consequences. When dividing businesses and other properties accumulated over the years, there can be huge tax consequences that are often overlooked. Our attorneys know about these consequences. More importantly, we know the steps to take to minimize them whenever possible.

Representation from Experienced Family Law Attorneys

Our family law clients come to us with significant legal problems they want solved. Our role is to find the best solution. Often, that means working out the business aspects of divorce cases and coming up with proactive solutions and settlements, rather than plunging headfirst into litigation. We will not engage in unnecessary battles that serve only to run up the bill and decimate the assets available for distribution. We are skilled negotiators.

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 know our way around a courtroom and have extensive experience in front of judges and juries. We know how to succeed when trial is necessary.

Take the First Step to Success

When you are going through a difficult divorce, call the experienced legal team at McBrayer. Contact us to learn about your options. With offices in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Greenup and Ashland, we serve clients throughout Kentucky and the United States.


News & Insights

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • October 20, 2017
  • Divorce 101: Avoiding Rookie Mistakes
    Young Lawyers Division, Kentucky Bar Association
    Lexington, Kentucky, February 25, 2016
  • Federal Benefits of Marriage
    Kentucky Bar Association, Annual Convention
    Louisville, KY, 2015
  • Recent Developments in Family Law
    KY Legal Aid Consortium
    Lexington, KY, 2015
  • Family Law Changes Ahead 
    Northern Kentucky Bar Association
    Covington, KY, 2015
  • Life after DOMA
    Fayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar Annual Conference
    Lexington, kY, 2013
  • Family Court 101
    Greater Lexington Paralegal Association
    Lexington, KY, 2013
  • Tying the Knot Federally: What will it mean for KY same-sex couples?
    Fayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar Annual Conference
    Lexington, KY, 2013
  • Winning Your Family Law Appeal 
    Fayette County Bar Association, Bench & Bar Annual Conference
    Lexington, KY, 2012
  • Family Court 101
    Greater Lexington Paralegal Association
    Lexington, KY, 2012
  • Breaking Domestic Violence Barriers
    AppalRed Legal Aid
  • Winning Your Family Law Appeal 
    Domestic Relations Section, Fayette County Bar Association
    Lexington, KY, 2011
  • Know Your Divorce Statues...The Judge Likes it that Way
    Kentucky Justice Association
    Louisville, KY, 2010





  • Parenting Outside of Marriage
  • Courtney M. Hampton - Attorney Biography
  • Video Blog - Ross Ewing - The Impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Case Obergefell v. Hodges on Family Law for Same-Sex Couples
  • Ross T. Ewing - Attorney Biography
  • David J. Guarnieri - Attorney Biography

Who We Serve

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 divorce 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.

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 typically include business owners, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals 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.

McBrayer family law attorneys provide experienced, skilled guidance to our clients. We understand both the emotional challenges associated with family law and domestic relations issues as well as the potential effects on a client's financial situation. We offer hands-on, tailored representation to responsively address all of our individual client's needs. Our family law attorneys welcome our client's input relative to whether our client desires an out-of-court resolution or trial.

McBrayer's family law attorneys are experienced negotiators. Often, our family law attorneys obtain a settlement agreement or other resolution which meets and exceeds our client's expectations. When an out-of-court resolution is not realistic or viable, however, our family law attorneys have substantial experience in the courtroom, and are zealous advocates for our clients at trial.

A sampling of our typical family law clients includes:

A married individual who earned considerable income or business assets prior to or during the marriage and seeks restoration of assets following divorce.

An unmarried individual who anticipates marriage and seeks to protect his/her non-marital assets.

A public figure who seeks to reduce the publicity associated with his/her divorce.

A business owner or other successful professional who seeks to discuss the potential financial consequences of separation and divorce.

An individual who seeks to discuss the necessity and consequences of a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.

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 separated from his/her significant other who seeks to ensure the well-being and financial support of their children.

An individual who seeks to prevent the other parent from relocating with the parties' children.

An individual who seeks to establish, modify, or enforce a prior decree of custody, timesharing, child support, or maintenance/alimony.

Family Law FAQ

Q: What is the difference between marital property and non-marital property?

A: In general, all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and the following assets are considered non-marital property even if acquired during the marriage:

(a) Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent and the income derived therefrom unless there are significant activities of either spouse which contributed to the increase in value of said property and the income earned therefrom.

(b) Property acquired in exchange for property acquired before the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;

(c) Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation;

(d) Property excluded by valid agreement of the parties; and

(e) The increase in value of property acquired before the marriage to the extent that such increase did not result from the efforts of the parties during marriage.

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 District Court of 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.

Q: My child's other parent wants to relocate. Can he/she do so?

If the parties share joint custody of the child, written notice must be filed with the Court and notice must be served on the non-relocating joint custodian. If one party does not agree to the relocation, then either party may file a motion for change of custody or timesharing within 20 days of service of the notice. If the parties agree to the relocation, then the parties must file an Agreed Order if the timesharing arrangement is modified by the relocation.

If one party has sole custody of the child, written notice shall be filed with the court and notice must be served on the non-custodial parent. If the court order is affected by the relocation, the non-custodial parent may file a motion contesting the change in visitation within 20 days of service of the notice.

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.

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 also 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 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.

Q: What is an uncontested divorce?

A: A divorce is uncontested where the parties agree on all issues relevant to the divorce. These issues specifically include property division and allocation of debt. If the parties have a child, then the parties will agree upon issues relevant to the children, including custody, timesharing, and child support. If the parties disagree with respect to any relevant issues, then the divorce is contested.

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;
  • is considerably wealthier than the other and desires to protect his/her financial interests and assets in the event of divorce.
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