How To File For Divorce In Kentucky

August 17, 2010

Divorce
Image by jcoterhals via Flickr

So, your differences are truly irreconcilable, and the time has come to end your marriage. What do you do?

According to Kentucky law, the divorce process begins with the filing of a “Petition for the Dilution of Marriage” in the Circuit Court of the county where you or your spouse normally reside. Since Kentucky is a no-fault state, either spouse may file assuming both been a resident of the state for at least 180 days.

There are a number of issues that must be resolved which are governed by family law, and usually negotiated by divorce attorneys. They include division of property and debt, payment of alimony and child support, and child custody and visitation rights.

Dividing Property

Kentucky is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning each spouse is allowed to keep his or her “separate property” (property he or she acquired before the marriage, along with gifts and inheritance). The couple’s remaining “marital property” is then divided based on its value, the contribution each made to its purchase, the marriage’s duration, and the financial resources of each spouse once the property is divided.

Alimony & Child Support

Kentucky courts can order either spouse to pay alimony (also known as “maintenance”) to their ex-spouse, should that spouse lacks sufficient resources to meet his or her reasonable needs or is able to secure the level of employment necessary to support themselves. Divorce attorneys focus on factors such as the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage, and the age, physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance when negotiating the amount and duration of the alimony payments.

In addition to “alimony” (payments to a spouse based on his or her financial needs), the courts may also award “child support” (payments to the custodial spouse based on the financial needs of the child). Factors considered include the child’s age and health, his or her educational needs, his or her standard of living had the divorce not occurred, and each parent’s economic situation.

Child Custody and Visitation

Either spouse may be awarded sole or joint custody, which the court determines based on the best interests of the child. Visitation rights stem from the custody arrangement. The court considers the preferences of both the child and each parent along with the child’s adjustment to his or her new circumstances when determining custody and visitation rights.

Divorce is painful for everyone involved. Kentucky family law is designed to make the process as painless as possible. Working with an attorney will help you find the best possible solution with the least amount of pain.

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