Louisville Divorce Lawyer 

relentless Divorce Attorneys Serving Jefferson County, KY

At Hodge & Smither, our divorce lawyers have more than 32 years of combined experience advocating for families in the Kentucky Family Court System. Our family law firm’s attorneys know how emotionally charged divorce cases can be, which is why we strive to approach every matter thoughtfully and with care. From initiating the divorce and settling disputes to finalizing agreements for child custody, alimony, and the apportioning of marital property, our advocates can work side by side with you and your family to help see you through your divorce. 

What You Need to Know About Divorce Law in Kentucky 

In Kentucky, the legal term for the process of divorce is “dissolution of marriage.” Although this page uses the more common word “divorce” throughout, it is important to clarify that the two terms are essentially interchangeable. 

Is KY a no-fault divorce state?

The state of KY is “no-fault” regarding grounds for divorce. A judge in Kentucky must find that the marriage is dissolved entirely before the court can enter a decree for a divorce. To file for divorce in KY, neither spouse has to show who is at fault, such as adultery.

Instead, the state only requires that spouses say there had been an “irretrievable breakdown” in the relationship, and as a result divorce is the best course of action. There are times, however, where one spouse might argue that the marriage is salvageable. In these cases, the party seeking divorce can bring the matter before a judge, who will then consider the details of why the party filed for divorce, the likelihood for the couple’s reconciliation, and other factors the parties find relevant to the decision. 

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, an uncontested divorce usually takes 60 to 90 days after filing the divorce papers. The process is shorter than a contested divorce because there are no court hearings or divorce proceedings. 

The process of an uncontested divorce in Kentucky includes: 

  • Both parties agree on the terms of their separation agreement
  • The spouses must have been separated for at least 60 days before filing
  • The petitioner has 45 days from the date of filing to complete proof of service
  • The non-filing spouse is given time to respond to the petition for divorce

The court can issue temporary orders as soon as the divorce is filed. Still, the actual divorce and final orders can only be done 60 days after the date the divorce was filed.

Call the experienced Louisville divorce lawyers Hodge & Smither at (502) 383-5590 or contact us online to get the guidance you need in your case. 

Understanding the Divorce Process in Kentucky

Going through a divorce can be a challenging and emotional time, and it's important to understand the legal process in Kentucky. Our experienced Louisville divorce lawyers can guide you through each step of the divorce process, from filing the initial paperwork to reaching a settlement or going to trial if necessary.

Key aspects of the divorce process in Kentucky include:

  • Filing for divorce: Understanding the residency requirements and grounds for divorce in Kentucky.
  • Division of assets and debts: Navigating the equitable distribution of marital property and debts.
  • Child custody and support: Addressing the best interests of the children and establishing custody and support arrangements.
  • Spousal support: Determining if alimony or spousal support is appropriate in your case.
  • Finalizing the divorce: Completing the necessary paperwork and obtaining a final divorce decree.

Our dedicated divorce attorneys are here to provide compassionate guidance and aggressive representation to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your divorce case.

Commonly Asked Questions

What are the residency requirements for filing for divorce in Kentucky?

At least one of the spouses must have been a resident of Kentucky for at least 180 days before filing for divorce. If the respondent is a non-resident, they must be served with the divorce paperwork while they are in Kentucky.

How is child custody determined in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, child custody is determined based on the best interests of the child. The court considers factors such as the child's relationship with each parent, the mental and physical health of the parents, and the child's adjustment to their home, school, and community.

What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce in Kentucky?

A contested divorce is when the spouses cannot agree on one or more issues, such as child custody, alimony, or the division of marital property. An uncontested divorce is when the spouses agree on all terms and do not require a trial to resolve any issues.

Can I change my name as part of the divorce process in Kentucky?

Yes, you can request a name change as part of the divorce process in Kentucky. The request should be included in the initial divorce petition, and the court will typically grant the name change as part of the final divorce decree.

What are the grounds for divorce in Kentucky?

Kentucky is a 'no-fault' divorce state, meaning that neither spouse has to prove fault or blame to obtain a divorce. The only ground for divorce in Kentucky is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.

How to File for Divorce in Kentucky

Divorce Requirements in Kentucky

To successfully file for and settle divorce, there are three general provisions spouses will need to meet, two of which involve specific time requirements. 

They are as follows:

  • Spouses must have lived in the state for 180 days prior to filing. 
  • Judges can only finalize divorces when a couple has lived separately from each other. This domestic separation does not necessarily require individuals to live in different locations. If the two have not been sexually active with one another while living together, they can still cohabitate in the same house, apartment, or otherwise. 
  • If it is part of a judge’s jurisdiction, they must establish pertinent agreements for child custody and support, alimony, and marital property distribution. Once this is done, parties can finalize separation. 

Divorce Process in Kentucky

Aside from these provisions, the divorce process looks generally like this:

  • Once spouses have met the residency requirement and have established that the divorce has had an “irretrievable breakdown,” they must file and serve papers. 
  • The spouse who received the papers may contest the divorce, at which point the couple must appear in court to settle the dispute. In the event that the spouse who served papers does not receive a response, a court can consider the divorce uncontested. 
  • Finally, it is often necessary that couples appear in court to determine how marital property will be divided, custodial arrangements, and whether one spouse should pay child support and/or alimony and how much. 

How Our Experienced Louisville Divorce Lawyers Can Help

At any point in the divorce process, there are many ways that the family attorneys at Hodge & Smither can help put you in a position to get what is fair. The outcomes of divorce can be life changing - ideally for the better. Our divorce attorneys Jonathan Hodge and Rebecca Smither take pride in having represented hundreds of clients in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding areas. If you are seeking divorce in Louisville or the surrounding counties, trust Hodge & Smither to offer you the legal support you need in this critical time. 

Call our Kentucky divorce attorneys today at (502) 383-5590 or contact us online to discuss the specifics of your case. 

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