Divorce in Kentucky
No divorce allowed when wife is pregnant
Benefits of counseling
Mental health authorities and competent attorneys alike will tell you that divorce, or dissolution of marriage as it is known in many states including Kentucky, can be one of life's more traumatic emotional events. This applies even if both parties agree the relationship has run its course--and is particularly applicable when children are involved. Accordingly, if you are considering filing for divorce (or have become a respondent to a divorce action), you should consider professional counseling. An experienced, trained attorney can help with referrals.
Addressing domestic violence
Authorities also agree that if domestic violence is involved, it should be addressed immediately. Again, a good attorney can be of immense help. Furthermore, Kentucky has a wide range of domestic violence resources, including:
- Kentucky Domestic Violence Association;
- Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Division of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services;
- Attorney General's Domestic Violence page;
- Kentucky courts .pdf brochure, "Preventing Domestic Violence";
- An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection (A.A.R.D.V.A.R.K.).
Residency requirements, including pregnancy restriction
According to the Legal Aid Network of Kentucky, "To file for divorce in Kentucky, you must meet all of these requirements:
- You and your spouse have been separated for at least 60 days,
- You or your spouse must be a resident of Kentucky. That means at least one of you must have lived in Kentucky for at least 6 months (180 days),
- You must file your divorce papers in the Kentucky county where you live. If you file in a different county, your case may be transferred to the county where you live.
- The wife cannot be pregnant. If the wife is pregnant, you must wait until the child is born, even if the husband is not the child's biological father."
Further residency issues, including spouse who never lived in state
If you have lived here for at least 6 months, and consider Kentucky to be your home, you are a resident. You are a Kentucky resident if you:
- Are registered to vote in Kentucky,
- Have a Kentucky driver's license,
- Pay state taxes in Kentucky, or
- Have been stationed on a military base in Kentucky for at least 6 months.
Important! If you are a Kentucky resident, but your spouse has never lived in Kentucky, the court can make divorce and custody orders, but cannot usually make property or child support orders if your spouse does not file papers or go to court.
More online resources
Kentucky is a no-fault state, requiring simply that the relationship is irretrievably broken. It is also an equitable distribution state, for purposes of property and debt allocation. Spousal support (alimony) is a possibility and Kentucky courts have guidelines to follow regarding best interests of any minor children. Other links include:
- Is a lawyer required to divorce in Kentucky?;
- What if I can't afford a lawyer?;
- Property and debt in divorce;
- Tax implications of alimony;
- Tax information for innocent spouses;
- Divorce education classes (required);
- More information (overview).
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