Uncontested Divorce in Kentucky
Following Kentucky divorce law, all soon-to-be-ex spouses can apply for either contested or uncontested divorce. Let's take a look at the main differences between these options.
- If partners fail to reach a complete agreement on divorce-related issues, such as spousal support, child custody, division of marital property, and so on, they will have to go through a contested divorce. Usually, this type of divorce requires a vast amount of time and financial resources, as both parties will have to proceed to trial and let a judge decide any contested issues.
- Partners who agree on all the key aspects of their divorce are allowed to go through an uncontested divorce, which is a simplified route. In this case, they can expect a faster resolution with minimum costs and expenses required.
Get Your Divorce Forms Completed Online
The preparation of divorce papers can be considered one of the most important steps in the entire divorce process. To make sure appropriate forms are completed without delays and extra costs, many residents of Kentucky use services provided by online divorce companies, such as DivorceOnline.
Our online divorce software guides people through selecting and filling out Kentucky divorce papers that comply with local requirements and laws for just $139. All you have to do is complete a simple questionnaire to provide us with your marriage-related information.
In a matter of two business days, our clients can download completed divorce paperwork along with filing instructions. So, people aiming to speed up the uncontested divorce process and save money can consider online divorce services as an alternative to hiring an attorney.
Currently, Kentucky courts may require divorcing couples to prepare and submit following papers:
- Form #1: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Without Children Under 18) / (With Children Under 18)
- Form #1B: Petition for Dissolution of Marriage Certificate of Divorce, VS-300 form
- Case Data Information Sheet
- Form #2: Entry of Appearance Waiver
- Form #3: Marital Settlement Agreement (Without Children Under 18) / (With Children Under 18 and/or in High School)
Steps for Filing a Divorce in Kentucky
To file for divorce in Kentucky, divorcing couples should follow several essential steps outlined below.
- At least one of the spouses must have been a legal resident of the state for a minimum of 180 days, or approximately six months before the divorce case is started.
- The divorce petition should be filed in the county where either spouse resides.
Kentucky belongs to the list of no-fault states, which means that there is no need to accuse a spouse of engaging in marital misconduct, causing failure of the marriage. In turn, to establish a divorce, it is enough to testify that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."
Besides, the judge cannot grant the final divorce based on the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage until the spouses have lived apart for at least 60 days ("living apart" can include living under the same roof without sexual cohabitation).
To initiate the marriage termination process, divorcing couples should prepare Kentucky divorce forms and take them to the court clerk's office.
Divorce Papers in Kentucky
Required divorce papers differ from case to case in Kentucky, although the basic list of divorce documents needed to start a divorce includes:
- The Summons
- Petition for Divorce
- The Case Data Information Sheet
- The Certificate of Divorce.
To determine the list of papers necessary for a certain case, divorcing spouses can contact the county clerk’s office. If the couple uses an online divorce service, the platform will select appropriate divorce papers itself, so spouses don’t have to do research of legal forms on their own.
When filing divorce forms in the court, the petitioner (filing spouse) will also need to pay a filing fee (it ranges around $200) in cash or by a certified check/money order. This payment is needed in order to process submitted documents and your request. To find out the county's exact fee, the person should contact the local court cler
Before the divorce can be finalized, all couples should go through a mandatory 60-day waiting period starting from the initial filing date. However, if spouses don't have minor children, this waiting period can begin from the date of separation, which could shorten the total time of the marriage dissolution process.
Within 45 days after filing, the petitioner should notify the respondent about the initiation of the divorce process. Otherwise, the filing will be dismissed automatically.
Presently, Kentucky divorce papers can be served in one of the following ways:
- By hiring a professional process server or a sheriff to carry out this task.
- By certified mail, if the respondent is willing to sign an Entry of Appearance and Waiver.
Once the waiting period ends, divorcing couples can finalize their divorce either by going to court for a final hearing or by giving the family court divorce documents showing the agreement on all issues. Then, the judge will issue the divorce decree determining the rights and responsibilities of each party.
Getting a Divorce With Children
To address child-related issues, spouses with minor children may be required to submit additional legal forms, such as:
- Parenting Plan Agreement
- Child Support Worksheet
- Parenting Class Completion Certificate
In Kentucky, child custody, whether upon the parents' agreement or court decision, must be determined based on the best interests of the child or children. Given this, both joint or sole legal and physical custody can be granted. For example, joint legal custody ensures that both parents have an equal say in the child's overall well-being and can make significant decisions in the child's upbringing. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that parents have equal or nearly equal time with the child (as in a joint physical custodian situation).
When a Circuit Court judge decides custody issues, they mainly consider the following factors:
- the child and parent's personal preferences;
- the child's relationships with each parent and other family members;
- the child's adjustment to home, school, and community;
- each parent's financial status;
- each parent's physical and mental health;
- history of domestic abuse.
When it comes to child support, both parents have a financial responsibility to support their children. This aspect of divorce follows the Kentucky child support guidelines based on the Income Shares Model. The exact amount of financial support ordered in a case depends on each parent's income and the number of children. Currently, this payment can be estimated by accessing Kentucky's child support calculator.
Paying accurate child support is essential, as these payments help cover the costs of necessities that are needed to ensure the support of child's wellbeing. For instance, clothes, food, and shelter are the main things each child needs to live a satisfying life. In addition to human basic needs, child support can be used to cover the costs related to education, entertainment, psychological development, and medical treatment.
Support will generally continue until the child reaches age 18 (or 19 if the child is still in high school).
Filing for Divorce in Kentucky Without a Lawyer
Considering that people going through an uncontested divorce have the opportunity to prepare divorce forms online, many residents of Kentucky process their divorce cases without a lawyer. And as for divorce issues other than paperwork, divorcing couples can reduce legal costs and emotional stress of litigation by using alternative dispute resolution methods, like divorce mediation. Unlike a divorce lawyer, a mediator is an impartial third party who works with both spouses, helping them negotiate and reach mutually beneficial agreements and prepare for an uncontested divorce.
Do-It-Yourself Divorce in Kentucky
The DIY divorce simply means that spouses prepare and submit their completed divorce papers without engaging a family law attorney to represent their case. Simply put, it is a perfect solution for couples who agree on all terms of the divorce and aim to save money and time on this process.
In this case, divorcing couples take full responsibility for filling out Kentucky divorce paperwork. Considering that preparing all the legal forms free of errors can be tricky, spouses should have a solid legal background.
To make sure divorce papers are submitted in time and without errors, residents of Kentucky may need help from online divorce companies, such as DivorceOnline.
Frequently Asked Questions:
If the couple manages to find a mutual agreement on key aspects of divorce, their divorce can be granted 60 days after the date of filing. In contrast, contested divorce cases can take up to one year, as a variety of divorce-related issues will have to be resolved.
Apart from a mandatory filing fee (around $200), soon-to-be-ex spouses typically spend money on attorneys ($200-400 per hour) or online divorce services ($139 for the whole packet of completed divorce forms). As a result, the total cost of the marriage dissolution process varies from case to case.
If the filing spouse cannot afford to pay legal fees, they can contact the local county courthouse and ask for a fee waiver form. After signing the Motion for Waiver of Costs and Fees document, the person should submit it to a court. Then, the judge will review this paper and decide on waiving the payment.
To file for divorce, each couple needs a unique set of documents, although all residents of Kentucky should be prepared to submit the following forms:
- The Summons
- Petition for Divorce
- The Case Data Information Sheet
- The Certificate of Divorce
- Financial Disclosure Statement
- Entry of Appearance and Waiver
- Marital Settlement Agreement
- Acknowledgment of Preliminary/Final Disclosure Statement
- Deposition of Petitioner
- Finding of Fact and Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
- Motion for Final Decree