Eligibility to File for Divorce in Kentucky
The one requirement of getting divorced in Kentucky is that you and your spouse must live in the state for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. Additionally, you and your spouse must live apart (which can still mean living under the same roof) for at least 60 days. As long as marital relations have ceased, you and your spouse could live under the same roof but in separate rooms. Such an arrangement meets the requirement of “living apart” for purposes of Kentucky’s divorce laws.
Grounds for Divorce – Kentucky is a “No-Fault” State
Some states require that there be a specific reason why a marriage must end in divorce. Adultery is one “ground” for divorce, for example. In Kentucky, neither spouse needs to present grounds for why the marriage should end. If you believe your marriage is no longer working, then the grounds for divorce would be that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” through no fault of either spouse.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
Divorce falls into two categories: contested and uncontested. With uncontested divorce, both you and your spouse agree to all terms. Uncontested divorces are quicker, cheaper, and less stressful. However, two spouses seeking divorce typically disagree on at least one matter. When a divorce is contested, you and or your spouse do not agree on how the termination of the marriage should be finalized.
Matters at issue in a divorce proceeding are unique to each couple’s situation, with the most common issues including the following:
- Distribution of marital assets (the primary home, vehicles, and other real and personal property);
- Child custody and visitation;
- Child support;
- Spousal support/alimony; and
- Division of debt.
Because you are more likely to disagree about at least one matter rather than agree on everything, choosing to work alongside an attorney when considering divorce is a good first step. By enlisting the help of a divorce and family law attorney, you can develop a plan for how to tackle your divorce. Finding ways to agree with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is crucial to reducing the stress associated with a divorce.
In Kentucky, you can file for legal separation, which is similar to divorce in that the same issues are decided by a court (such as the division of property, custody issues, and child or spousal support). However, with legal separation, the marriage remains intact. Both spouses must agree to a legal separation for the process to work. Some couples choose legal separation over divorce for many reasons, some of which include the following:
- The couple does not want the stigma of divorce;
- The couple may rekindle the marriage in the future;
- The couple is agreeable to separating without anger or combativeness; and
- The couple has religious objections to divorce.
Whether you are considering divorce, legal separation, or have other questions about Kentucky family law, a qualified attorney can provide you with the legal counseling you need and deserve.