KRS 403.044, current reads as follows:
“In divorce actions in which there are minor children who are the issue of the marriage no
testimony other than on temporary motions shall be taken or heard before sixty (60) days
have elapsed from the date of service of summons, the appointment of a warning order
attorney or the filing of an entry of appearance or a responsive pleading by the defendant,
whichever occurs first.”
This means that in a divorce action where there are minor children, the court cannot hear testimony on anything except temporary motions until at least sixty (60) days have passed. Meaning that a divorce where the parties have minor children takes at a minimum sixty (60) days before it can be completed. HB427 as proposed would change that.
The proposed changes to KRS 403.044, would change the amount of time it will take to finalize a divorce. House Bill 427 proposes to make the time increase to one-hundred and eighty (180) days. Going from two months to six months before a divorce could be finalized.
HB427 would also amend KRS 403.170 to require the court in a divorce to hold a hearing with the parties present to determine whether the marriage is irretrievably broken and allow the court to require a divorce assessment performed by a qualified mental health professional. Meaning every couple getting divorced with children would have to have a hearing to prove the marriage is irretrievably broken. If a judge thinks they can work it out, the couple could then be ordered to go to counseling.
House Bill 427 would make changes to KRS 403.044 and KRS 403.170. These changes would make divorce actions that have children take longer, cost more and be more difficult. It is important to be aware of what bills are being proposed and how they can affect your life and the lives of others in the Commonwealth.