Divorce can be Overwhelming and terrifying...
This is mainly because people do not know what to expect when they are facing a divorce. That is why having an attorney who can explain that process to you and develop a plan to meet your needs.
Kentucky Divorce Overview:
To obtain a divorce in Kentucky, one of the parties must have been a resident of the state for at least 180 days and of the county in which he or she files for divorce.
Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state. The only issue that needs to be alleged is there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship and there remains no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. However, Kentucky can consider fault in some instances such as child custody or spousal support.
"Equitable distribution" governs property division in Kentucky. The court does not start with any presumptions but usually falls back on an equal share of the marital property. All property owned by the parties is presumed to be marital property, but if a party can prove to the Court that they brought property into the marriage, inherited property or was gifted property, then this property is returned to that party before the Court awards marital property.
Maintenance or what most people define as Alimony is controlled by statute. The court may award temporary maintenance during the action or in the final judgment if the judge determines that the awarded party "needs" support and the other party is able to pay it.
Maintenance is suppose to be rehabilitative in nature, meaning that the Court is ordering support to allow the spouse with limited financial resources the ability to transition to supporting themselves. There is no set formula for calculating maintenance and no hard fast rules regarding the payment of maintenance. Be sure to consult with your lawyer to determine what your court and/or judge generally awards as spousal support, if anything.
When most people use the terms custody, they are actually referring to when do they have the children. In Kentucky, this is generally referred to as parenting time. There are only two options with regard to Custody in Kentucky and those are "sole" and "joint." Usually, parties are awarded joint custody, unless the Court finds that it would be more appropriate to award sole custody. Custody is essentially decision making ability for the child.
In awarding Custody, the Court is to consider the "best interest of the child" before it renders its decision. According to statute, "best interest of the child" is determined by evaluating the following factors:
- The wishes of the child's parent or parents, and any de facto custodian, as to his custody;
- The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parent or parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
- The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
- Information, records, and evidence of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720;
- The extent to which the child has been cared for, nurtured, and supported by any de facto custodian;
- The intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with a de facto custodian; and
- The circumstances under which the child was placed or allowed to remain in the custody of a de facto custodian, including whether the parent now seeking custody was previously prevented from doing so as a result of domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720 and whether the child was placed with a de facto custodian to allow the parent now seeking custody to seek employment, work, or attend school.
Child support in Kentucky is set based upon a specific formula and using the parents gross monthly income. The child support guidelines are outlined in KRS 403.212. Those Guidelines use the income of both parents, factors in other expenses such as medical insurance, maintenance payments, child care, and support for prior born children.
The Court may deviate from these guidelines if the parents income exceeds $15,000 per month, an equal parenting schedule, or other good reason brought before the Court.
Why do I need good representation?
It is important that if your marriage is coming to an end that you get legal advice from an attorney who understands what you are going through and can walk you through this process. Divorce often results in all members of the family going through tremendous stress and it is important that you have an attorney who can help you resolve your case.