Divorce is stressful. If you have decided to file for divorce or if you have been served with divorce papers, you are going to have questions. These are the most commonly asked questions by clients of our family law attorneys when faced with divorce.
Please note: These are general answers and are intended to help you understand the divorce process in Kentucky. The individual circumstances of your case will vary. It is always best to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer in your area about specific questions or concerns.
Many people have heard that Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state. However, few understand what that means. In a no-fault state, a person can get divorced for any reason. You are not required to show that your spouse has done anything wrong or that anyone is at fault for breaking up the marriage. All states have passed no-fault divorce laws and allow a divorce to proceed as long as at least one spouse no longer wishes to be married.
Clients often ask about the difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce.
In an uncontested divorce, also known as a “divorce by agreement,” the parties have agreed on how they will divide all property and debts. If they have minor children, they have agreed all issues regarding the children and any other remaining issues of the divorce action. In an uncontested divorce, the process moves much quicker, the is less stress and the divorce and associated legal fees are much cheaper.
The difficulty is that both parties must agree on all issues in the divorce.
A contested divorce is the more traditional way people think of divorces. It occurs when there is at least one issue where parties can’t agree and the Judge must act as a tiebreaker. Contested divorces can involve formal or informal discovery, mediations, motions and hearings. They usually last longer and are more expensive than uncontested divorces.
The unfortunate answer to this question is “It depends.” There are a variety of factors that affect how long a divorce will take to complete, including:
The minimum amount of time for a divorce action in Kentucky is from the date of filing until the decree is entered is thirty days (if there are no minor children) and sixty days (if there are minor children between the parties).
There is no maximum amount of time for a divorce to take, some with complex issues can take several years to complete.
Yes. In Kentucky, you can get divorced if only one party wants to get divorced. Occasionally, a spouse will attempt to delay the divorce action or avoid being served with the divorce petition. In those cases, an attorney can assist in moving the process along and either getting service on the other party or meeting the necessary requirements to finish the divorce without the other party’s participation.
That depends. If you are successful in doing an uncontested divorce action and have hired an attorney, then you do not have to attend court to finalize your divorce action in Kentucky.
If you are doing a contested divorce, then you are likely to have to attend some hearings before the family court judge. The types of hearings and how many will be required depends on what issues are being conteste and if yo have an attorney representing you.
No. There is no requirement in Kentucky for divorcing spouses to live apart. Although the dynamics of the parties often result in someone voluntarily moving out; it is not a requirement to get divorced.
In Kentucky, to get divorced the parties have to be “separated” for at least sixty days before they can get divorced. This means that the parties either live apart or refrain from having intercourse for sixty days prior to the divorce being finalized.
A spouse can file for divorce before the sixty days have elapsed, but the divorce can not be finalized until there have been at least sixty days of separation or abstinence between the parties.
There is a residency requirement to file for divorce in Kentucky. You must have been a resident of Kentucky for 180 days prior to filing a petition for divorce in Kentucky.
Dating while your divorce is pending will not stop you from being able to get divorced. Overall it muddies the water for a divorce action but is not prohibited.
Dating can complicate issues if custody or timesharing of minor children is involved or if you are attempting to do an uncontested divorce.
It is recommended that you wait until your divorce action is finalized to date. If you decide to begin a new relationship while your divorce is pending, make sure to inform your attorney of that development and if you have minor children, discuss how this may affect your case with your attorney prior to introducing a new partner to your minor children.
You are not required to hire a lawyer in Kentucky to get divorced. The only person who can decide if you need an attorney is you.
The outcome of a divorce action can have lasting effects on your finances and personal life; including your access to and decision making regarding your children. A family law attorney can help you understand the complex processes involved in a divorce and make sure issues addressing minor children and finances are resolved appropriately.
An experienced professional can help you see those effects and can take steps necessary to try and prevent them.
Please contact us if you have questions about divorce in Kentucky, or if you need an experienced divorce attorney to represent you.