Kentucky Divorce Laws

Divorce residency requirements in Kentucky

To be able to apply for dissolution of marriage in the state of Kentucky you must ensure that the Circuit Court holds jurisdiction over the case. The courts may agree to dissolution, providing you meet with the requirements, which are as follows:

  • One spouse has been residing in the state, or they were stationed in the armed forces within the state for a period of no less than 180 days preceding the filing of the petition.

Usually the filing will take place in the state, which the filing spouse resides.

Grounds for divorce in Kentucky

The dissolution of marriage will only be agreed upon under certain terms and conditions. In Kentucky, this is if the marriage has reached the point of irretrievable breakdown. They will consider the following:

  • The court will decide if they believe the marriage is irretrievable.
  • Should they find evidence there may be a chance of reconciliation they may order counselling sessions. Kentucky Statutes – Title 35 – Chapters: 403.140

Property division factors

Kentucky is an equitable distribution state so the first factor taken into account if the courts are deciding property division is what property is classed as being marital. Any property classed as marital will then be given value and this sum of money is divided equitably. The following is taken into consideration:

  1. The contribution of each spouse to the marital property
  2. Value of any property set apart to each of the spouses
  3. The duration of the marriage
  4. The economic circumstances of each of the spouses with thought being taken into account of the spouse who has been given custody of the child. Kentucky Statutes – Title 35 – Chapters: 403.190

Child custody issues when divorcing

When the courts are considering child custody issues, they will take the considerations of the child into account before anything else. Equal consideration is also given to both of the parents. All relevant factors will also be considered which includes:

  • The wishes of the parents of the child
  • The wishes of the child themselves as to the custodial parent
  • The relationship between the child, parents and any siblings
  • How well the child might adjust to their surroundings including school and community
  • The mental and the physical effect on the child
  • Any evidence of domestic violence including records and information
  • The intent of either parent to place the child with a de facto custodian

The Kentucky courts will also consider visitation rights for grandparents if they believe that it is in the best interests of the child for them to have continued visits. Chapter 405, Section 021 (KRS §405.021). however certain factors may be considered which include:

  • The wishes of the parents and the child
  • Interaction between the child and grandparents
  • The child’s adjustment to such as community
  • Parents may have the right to choose whether grandparents have visitation rights or not

Child support issues

Both or either of the parents may be asked to contribute towards child support. The courts will follow certain guidelines when considering child support and these are presumed to be correct but may be adjusted with the following circumstances in mind:

  1. Any extraordinary medical or dental needs of the child
  2. Any financial resources of the child
  3. The combined incomes of the parents that in excess of the Kentucky child support guideline amounts
  4. Any agreement that spouses had already agreed upon
  5. Any other circumstances which the court deems to be extraordinary
  6. The court may ask that spouses contribute towards health insurance of the child.  [Kentucky Revised Statutes; Title 35, Chapters 403.210 to 403.212