Getting a divorce in Lexington
Fayette Family Court comprises four divisions; Divorce Education offered
For an introduction and overview of Kentucky divorce statutes, please see "Divorce in Kentucky." There we discuss not only some of the not-so-obvious benefits of retaining an experienced, trained divorce attorney but also the benefits of professional counseling: Even in the most amicable of divorces, one or both partners may experience profound grief and a sense of loss. Many people report emotional pain as severe as that of a death in the family.
Addressing domestic violence
We also discuss the need to deal with any domestic violence that may be present. Experts say doing so is an urgent priority, and that article also provides links to statewide resources for help with domestic violence.
Residents of Lexington and Fayette County also have local resources, including the following:
- Fayette County Sheriff's Office;
- Lexington Police, Domestic Violence Advocates;
- Social Services, Domestic Violence Prevention Board;
- Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program;
- Fayette Commonwealth Attorney's Office, Victim Advocate;
- Fayette County Family Court, Domestic Violence rules.
Remember, a divorce attorney can immensely valuable in dealing with domestic violence, both in handling protective/restraining orders and in helping formulate escape plans and securing safe shelter and counseling. A lawyer can also help with referrals for grief counseling.
Residency requirements & legal venue
If you meet the residency requirements (again, please see "Divorce in Kentucky"), the next thing to know is which court will handle your case. The Kentucky Court of Justice system includes district courts and circuit courts. Within the Circuit Court is the Family Court. According to the court's Web site:
One Family, One Judge, One Court
Family Court is involved in the most intimate and complex aspects of human nature and social relations. For that reason, Family Court uses a case management process that distinguishes it from other trial courts. With the One Family, One Judge, One Court approach, cases are presented in a single court, allowing the same judge to hear all matters involving a particular family. This reduces the stress that can arise when individuals are shuttled between courts to resolve a variety of issues.
All the following are handled in Family Court:
- Dissolution of marriage
- Spousal support and equitable distribution
- Child custody, support and visitation
- Paternity, adoption
- Domestic violence
- Dependency, neglect and abuse
- Termination of parental rights
- Runaways, truancy, beyond control
Contact information for Circuit Clerk's Office is here, and contact information for the four divisions of the Fayette Family Court is here. In years past, divorces that included children meant automatic parenting classes for the divorcing couple; however that changed early in 2011, as seen on the Fayette Family Court's page:
Effective January 1, 2011 the Parent's Education Clinic, Kids Time Clinic, and Tween Time Clinics will NOT be mandatory for divorcing parents, however, a divorce education class could be ordered by the Family Court Judge on a case-by-case basis.
The court system also provides extensive Divorce Education programs, as seen on this site, which also includes a number of helpful links. However, neither the clerk nor any member of Family Court can provide legal advice--or favor one party over the other in preparing a case. You can see the local rules for Fayette Family Court (NOTE: some rules differ among the four divisions), but family experts and legal authorities recommend hiring a lawyer, at least for initial consultation, and most certainly if the proceeding will involve disputes over children or significant assets.
No matter your marital situation, we can help. If you're ready to begin the search for a compatible, well trained, experienced divorce attorney, you can start with our free case evaluation. If you need more information, please browse our site, using the tabs at the top of the page.