Divorce Lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky
Serving Families in Oldham, Spencer, Shelby, Bullitt, Anderson, and Franklin Counties
At Hodge & Smither, we have more than 32 years of combined experience advocating for families in the Kentucky Family Court System. Our 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.
Kentucky Is a No-Fault State
Kentucky is a no-fault state, which means that is not necessary for a spouse who is seeking divorce to prove that something the other spouse did caused the need for separation. 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.
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.
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.
At any point in the divorce process, there are many ways that the 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. 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.