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Grounds for Divorce in KY

Divorce Lalwyer in Kentucky

To file for a divorce in Kentucky, your petition for divorce must state the grounds on which the divorce is being sought. While some states require that spouses prove things such as adultery or cruelty, the state of Kentucky is a pure no-fault divorce state. Here’s a look into what you need to know about no-fault grounds for divorce in Kentucky, how to file for a divorce, and situations in which fault of the other party may influence your case.

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce

Petitions for dissolution of marriage can no longer be brought forth on fault-based grounds in the state of Kentucky. Instead, divorce will be granted based on no-fault grounds, specifically the “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.”

This grounds is found in Kentucky Statute, section 403.140, which reads that the court will enter a decree of dissolution or separation when it finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, and one of the parties involved in the action has been a resident of Kentucky for at least 180 days. Section  403.170 of Kentucky Code further defines the term irretrievable breakdown, stating the court will find a marriage to be so when both parties, under oath, claim it to be and the parties have lived separately and apart without cohabitation for at least 60 days. In other words, to file for divorce in Kentucky, you do not need to prove fault, but will need to prove:

  • Residency; and
  • Living separately from your spouse.

The petition for dissolution of marriage should be filed in circuit court.

Does Fault Affect Any Elements of a Divorce Settlement?

Fault is not usually considered in making determinations about a divorce settlement and may only come into play when it is relevant to the outcome of the case. For example, when dividing property, the fact that one spouse had an affair may not make a significant difference in the court’s decision; the court is required to divide property in a manner that is equitable. However, if one spouse wasted marital funds on the affair and was financially irresponsible as such, then the court might find it fit to consider this when determining how much each spouse should be awarded.

The same is true for something like cruelty or domestic violence and a child custody arrangement – it is unlikely that a court will award custody to a parent who has a history of abusive tendencies, violence, or mental illness.

Regarding alimony, fault and marital misconduct are not factors listed under Kentucky Code that the court is to consider when making a decision about spousal support. However, there is precedent for a court to consider fault, not when determining whether spousal support should be awarded, but in determining how much spousal support is appropriate.

Annulment in Kentucky

The only time that certain acts of fault may have a true effect on a dissolution of marriage case is if the marriage is void and prohibited, and therefore eligible for annulment. These include marriages that take place between kin or are bigamous/polygamous, as well as when a party is mentally disabled, a party is a minor, or if the marriage was entered by coercion or fraud.

Contact the Law Offices of John H. Ruby & Associates for Legal Help During Divorce Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Kentucky and aren’t sure where to start or what you’ll need to prove, you should begin by calling an experienced Kentucky divorce lawyer like those found at the law offices of John H. Ruby & Associates. We know the law, and are skilled at guiding clients through the legal process and protecting their best interests along the way. Please reach us today for your initial consultation by calling 502-895-2626. You can also use the form found on our contact page to send us a message requesting that we contact you.