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Kentucky Divorce Laws

Divorce is a common occurrence in the U.S. today. When spouses are unable to get along, divorce is often the best solution for everyone. When there are children involved, child custody and support are important aspects that will keep the family court involved in your case until the children are adults and no longer eligible for child support.

This article provides a brief overview of divorce laws in the state of Kentucky.

Kentucky Divorce Laws

There are certain requirements a couple seeking a divorce must meet before they can legally divorce in Kentucky. The following table explains the main highlights of Kentucky's divorce laws.

Code Section

Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 403 – Dissolution of Marriage and Child Custody

Residency Requirements

At least one spouse must be a resident of the state or stationed at a military base in Kentucky and have been residing or present in the state for at least 180 days before filing for divorce

Waiting Period

Divorcing spouses must be without sexual cohabitation for 60 days prior to filing the divorce petition. The separation is required before a petition for dissolution can be filed. A divorce cannot be finalized for 20 days after service on the respondent in divorces without children and 60 days for divorces with children

'No-Fault' Grounds for Divorce

Kentucky is a “no-fault" divorce state that permits divorces with one or both parties who believe the marriage is “irretrievably broken." Irretrievable breakdown means there's no reasonable prospect of reconciliation

Filing Fees

The court charges a filing fee of over $200, usually paid in cash or money order. For low-income individuals, this fee may be waived

Legal Separation

Kentucky law also permits a “divorce from bed and board" which is a form of legal separation that doesn't permit either party to marry another and also doesn't bar curtsey, dower, or other distribution rights. Also, at least one year after a legal separation decree, the court can change it to a divorce decree

Note: Because state laws change all the time, it's important to verify any laws you're researching by conducting your own legal research or contacting a knowledgeable attorney.

Research the Law

Kentucky Divorce Laws: Related Resources

Need Help with Your Divorce? Talk to a Kentucky Attorney Today

Divorce is never easy, especially for those who have children or other complicated matters to deal with. Even the simplest divorce can benefit from the experience and expertise of a legal professional. It's good to know the rights you're giving up, even if you choose to waive them anyway.

Please note the court can find a separation agreement to be unconscionable (extremely unfair or oppressive), choose to not enforce it, and create different court orders, at least towards the child support, maintenance, or property terms that are unconscionable.

If you are in the midst of a divorce or considering it, a Kentucky divorce attorney will protect your interests and help you through the process.

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  • Divorces are tough and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
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