Kentucky Divorce Procedures

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Marriage is a three-way contract in Kentucky. The contract is done between the wife, the husband and the state. So if you want to break this contract, you have to take the refuge of law. When you decide that you want a legal barrier that will separate the two of you, you must seek divorce. While filing for a divorce case in Kentucky, it is important that you follow Kentucky divorce procedures.

Resolution Options in Kentucky

There are 4 different options to resolve your marital issues:

  • Litigation: This is the old process where you and your spouse have to attend trial sessions if you are unable to resolve your disputes on your own
  • Arbitration: In arbitration, both the parties hire and empower an arbitrator who will make decisions regarding all the divorce terms and issues. The spouses have to follow the arbitrator's decisions that will be enacted by the state court through entry of the decision as an order of the court.
  • Collaboration: If you are seeking a hassle-free divorce, you might choose this option. Here, the attorneys representing both parties are trained in a special way to handle such cases, and arrive at a conclusion that is fair and just for both parties. Both the spouses and their attorneys need to sign a Collaborative Law Participation Agreement, in which they agree to abide by the Principles of Collaborative Law.
  • Mediation: Mediation is a process where both the parties discuss their issues with a third-party, i.e., the mediator, before going for a trial. Note that the ultimate decision regarding all the divorce terms will be taken by the spouses and not the mediator.

Procedures regarding venue for filing the Petition for divorce

The Kentucky Statutes Title 35 Chapter 452.470, related to the divorce procedure, mentions that the venue for filing the Petition for divorce is the Circuit court of the county, wherein either of the divorcing partners generally live.

Kentucky Divorce Procedures regarding temporary orders

The Kentucky Statutes Title 35 Chapter 403.160 states that while the divorce procedure is in progress, either or both divorcing partners can approach the court for issue of temporary orders about child support and/or maintenance. Till the case is pending, the court may be requested to issue a restraining order or temporary injunction.

Contents of Petition as per Kentucky Divorce Procedure

  • Petition should state that the marriage has been irretrievably broken. Besides, it should also include:
  • The residence, social security number, occupation and age of each divorcing partner as per KRS 403.135
  • Duration of residence of each divorcing partner in Kentucky
  • Details regarding the marriage, like date and location of registration
  • Date of separation of the parties
  • The names, ages, addresses, and social security numbers of the minor children of the marriage
  • Status of pregnancy of wife in accordance with KRS 403.135
  • If any arrangements have been made regarding the support, visitation, and custody of children and spousal support
  • If any relief is being sought
  • The Petitioner should certify the status and existence of any domestic violence protective orders ( this is applicable if any party alleges abuse and domestic violence as defined in KRS 403.720)
  • In case of the previous point, the Petitioner may substitute the address of the party and any minor children by the attorney's address

Procedure regarding Service

The service may be done by certified mail or special bailiff or sheriff. As per the statutes, the Respondent is allocated twenty days from the date of service to file a Response (also called as Answer), where the intention is to provide the Respondent with an opportunity to utilize the services of a lawyer regarding this issue.


KRS 403.735 is dedicated to Hearing. The court reviews the Petition and schedules a date, time, and location for a hearing, if the allegations mentioned in the Petition fail to quote an imminent peril of abuse and/or domestic violence. After scheduling the hearing, the court issues a Summons for the adverse party.

Some rules of Divorce Procedure effective from 12th July 2006

  • Both the divorcing partners or any one of them can commence the divorce procedure
  • In case one of the divorcing partners initiates the process, the other partner must be served as per the Rules of Civil Procedure and this partner has the right to file a verified response
  • The defenses to divorce and legal separation that existed previously and were inclusive of lapse of time, insanity, recrimination, collusion, connivance and condo nation have been abolished
  • Excluding the divorcing partners, the court may include additional parties for the exercise of its authority
  • When the petition is filed, if the wife is pregnant, then until the pregnancy is terminated, the court may continue the case

Following Kentucky divorce procedures will ensure that you get a smooth divorce which will show you the path towards a secured future, thereby cleansing away all the bad memories and frustration of your past relationship.

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