Kentucky Divorce Laws - What You Need to Know!

Getting a divorce can be disconcerting if you aren't aware of the different laws that govern it in Kentucky. Forewarned is forearmed so you may want to know exactly what the Kentucky legislature has to say about it.

Grounds for Divorce

Kentucky doesn't have at-fault divorce available so the only means of getting a divorce is to file a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage document with the court of the county in which you or your spouse have been living for at least 180 days before filing. Irretrievable breakdown is the actual term used to define what has occurred in the marriage. Both of you have to make an oath or affirmation that the there is no hope of saving the marriage in any way. The only other way to get a divorce is to make the oath or affirmation and hope that your spouse does not disagree. If your spouse doesn't answer the oath, that is taken as an affirmation in and of itself.

You need to have been living apart for 60 days before the affirmation is able to be made. You can live in the same house, however you must not have had any sexual relations during that time. There will a conciliation conference to determine the truth of the affirmations as part of the hearing for the divorce.

Another word for this is a "no-fault" divorce. There cannot be any wrongdoing named in the petition for divorce, only irreconcilable differences. The only time that fault can be named as grounds for divorce is to determine alimony or property division, not for the divorce itself.

Property Division

Kentucky is an "equitable property division" state. This means that anything you earn during the marriage is yours to keep, and your spouse can keep his or hers as well. This must be provable and you may be asked to submit pay stubs, income tax forms and possibly W-9s. In any case, the more documentation you have the better you will be able to plead your case. If there is any property in your name alone or your spouse's name only, the property is yours, however, in a divorce, just because you own it doesn't mean that the judge can't divide it and allow your spouse to manage a portion or even sell it. It isn't always fair and equitable.

Child Custody

The state of Kentucky puts the best interests of the child before the wants and wishes of the parents. The court wants the child to have contact with both parents after the divorce, and the judge, most of the time, will rule that joint custody is the answer to the child custody issues that arise. The court will read the documentation you present and may even call you in for questioning. The child may also have a say in what he or she desires.

Child Support

The question of child support is hotly debated in a divorce by both parents. The standard of living to which the child is accustomed is taken into consideration as well as the income generated by both parents. Both parents are required to support the child and the child should not be made to suffer because of the dissolution of the marriage. The court will take into consideration how much time each parent spends with the child. If one of the parents is able to make more income but does not take action to accomplish this, the court may demand that this be done.

Being aware of the state laws of Kentucky when it comes to divorcing is imperative. If you are getting a divorce, you may want to contact an attorney who can make a generally unpleasant situation proceed as efficiently as possible.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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