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Your decision to get a divorce has probably come after considerable thought and stress. Now that you have arrived at this point, you want to move forward on the quickest and most trouble-free path you can available. Fortunately, getting divorced in Kentucky can be a straightforward process, particularly if you meet the requirements for an uncontested divorce – where you and your spouse are in agreement about issues like property division and what will happen with your children. If this is the case, you may qualify to file your divorce without a lawyer. If qualified, you’d simply need to fill out the correct divorce forms and submit them to your county clerk to begin the process. Completing Kentucky’s divorce papers online with CompleteCase.com can make this process even easier, giving you the correct divorce paperwork for your circumstances and helping you make sure those forms are completed correctly- start to finnish.
If you and your spouse are not in agreement on issues related to your divorce, divorce mediation may be beneficial. If your situation is even more complicated, you’ll likely want to seek the assistance of a divorce attorney.
The following information will help you to understand the basics of divorce in Kentucky, and how you can begin moving forward with your own divorce.
According to information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the divorce rate in Kentucky in 2011 was 4.4 out of every 1,000 residents. This rate places the state in the middle for divorce rates in the United States. Kentucky's divorce rate has declined from 5.8 for every 1,000 in 1990.
Kentucky is a “no-fault” divorce state, meaning that you do not have to place fault for the end of the marriage on your spouse to get a divorce. You can simply state that the marriage is “irretrievably broken”. No-fault divorces are preferred across the United States, as they are often faster and cheaper than fault-based divorces.
Kentucky requires that either you or your spouse have been living in the state for 180 days before you can file for divorce.
The Kentucky divorce papers you fill out out will vary depending on your circumstances, such as if you have children or not. The Kentucky Court of Justice offers certain divorce forms on its website however, it does not contain every potentially required form. The Legal Aid Network of Kentucky also offers information and forms for divorce on its website. You will probably find the Legal Aid website more helpful. It is advisable to read over all the information you find on the site. The more you know during your divorce, the better you can look after your interests.
One of the services offered by Legal Aid is a Self-Help divorce section, where you can find some divorce papers and assistance in filing for your divorce. Here you will find some of the standard forms for divorce in the state, including the “Petition for Divorce”, the “Summons” and the “Certificate of Divorce”.
If you find any of this information confusing, understand that this is normal. Unless you have legal training, the number of available forms and the legal terms can be overwhelming. For many people, getting online divorce forms from CompleteCase.com is an easier option. At CompleteCase.com you will have guidance in choosing the divorce documents that are right for your situation, and assistance in completing those forms. You can rest a little easier, knowing that you are submitting the right paperwork and avoiding the potential delays that come from submitting the wrong documents.
When you have completed all of the required Kentucky divorce papers online or otherwise, you will want to print an original set as well as two additional copies. You will need a set of documents to present to the clerk, a set for your records and a set to present to your spouse. Before you leave to go to the court and file, make sure you call the county clerk. Verifying with the clerk that you are bringing all required documents and that you are bringing a form of payment that the court accepts for the state filing fee.
Avoid signing your divorce papers until you can do so in front of a notary. The court will only accept notarized forms. Most courts have a notary on hand, but you will want to verify this before you go to file.
Take your divorce papers to the courthouse and tell the clerk that you would like to file. The clerk will accept your filing fee, stamp your documents and file them. The clerk will also stamp your other sets of documents, one of which you will serve to your spouse.
Keep in mind that if you cannot afford the filing fee, you may be able to get it waived. Ask the clerk for an “Affidavit and Motion to Proceed In Forma Pauperis”. If it is accepted by the court, your fees will be waived.
Upon filing, the clerk should let you know that you have 45 days to serve copies to your spouse. It is advisable to begin the serving process immediately, as sometimes there can be delays.
The easiest way to serve the papers is to take them to your spouse directly. Have him or her sign a form verifying receipt of the summons, and take this form to the clerk to complete the filing process.
If you and your spouse are not on good terms, or you would rather not serve him or her, you can either send the documents from the courthouse by registered mail, or hire a sheriff to deliver them. If you hire the sheriff you will need to pay a fee. Check back with the sheriff after the documents have been served to get a signed document verifying delivery. You will need to file this form with the court.
If you and your spouse are in agreement about all important matters in the divorce, it may take 60 days or less to complete the process. If you are not in agreement, you can expect the divorce to take quite a bit longer.
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It's great to have an option like this when dealing with an amicable, uncomplicated divorce - no need for attorneys when there's nothing to hash out.
By Deborah Sharp, USA TODAY
Couples can find a mate, fill out a bridal registry and plan a honeymoon on the computer. Now they can also divorce online.
A Web site started last year by a Seattle attorney gives the unhappily wed in Washington, California, Florida and New York the option of dissolving their marriages online. Texas is next, and several other states are being considered.
The site is the latest twist in a do-it-yourself trend. Changing trends in the USA Average age of first marriage Divorce year male female Divorced Americans Divorces granted 1970 23.2 20.8 4.3 million 0.7 million 2000 26.8 25.1 19.9 million 1.2 million Sources: U.S. Census; National Center for Health Statistics
No national figures exist on self-representation. But some experts estimate that as many as half of 1.2 million couples divorcing annually in the USA do so without a lawyer representing at least one of the parties.
The Web site, www.completecase.com, differs from the many self-help sites offering advice, referrals or downloads of documents needed to file for divorce in a particular state.
For $249, the Web site prompts couples with questions on everything from dividing financial assets to deciding where the kids celebrate birthdays. The software then uses their answers to fill out the documents that a couple can download and submit to a court.
Requirements vary by locale as to whether a couple must show up in court or can mail in or fax their divorce filing. But in all cases, a judge must still sign the order ending a marriage.
Randy Finney, a family law attorney for 11 years and the founder of the Web site, says it was designed for uncontested divorces. It's not for couples with convoluted finances or for those fighting over child custody and who gets the dog.
"The decision to get a divorce comes way before the decision about how to get a divorce," says Finney, 35, who is happily married. "I don't think anyone takes their wedding vows so frivolously that they're going to get a divorce just because they can do it for $249."
Not everyone is thrilled with the notion of cyber-divorce.
Judges and lawyers fret that couples who use the Web site may believe they've had legal counsel when they haven't. And leaders in the movement to save marriages complain that point-and-click divorce further undermines the institution's supposed sanctity.
"I can only think of one use of the Internet that's worse and that's pornography," says Dennis Rainey, executive director of FamilyLife, a religious group based in Little Rock. "We're trying to do all we can to call people to keep their wedding vows."
FamilyLife has joined with 30 other organizations since 1999 in drawing 175,000 spouses nationwide to "I Still Do" ceremonies that affirm marriage.
Despite the marriage celebrations, about one-fifth of American men and women have been divorced at least once.
A study released last month by the U.S. Census shows about 90% of Americans will marry at some point. For men, 54% married just once. For women, 60%. Serial marriage is rare: Only 3% of Americans have married three times or more; 13% have married twice.
Finney estimates his Web site has helped 1,000 couples unhitch. Stacey Kiss of Seattle is among those who traveled to virtual Splitsville. The self-described "Internet junkie" says it took her and her husband of seven years about three hours one night to click through the Web site's detailed questions.
"We never got along on anything through our entire marriage, but we still managed to come to an agreement," says Kiss, 36, a hospital business-services manager. "Why drag it out and make it complicated?"
She says the online split was cheaper and easier than her first, traditional divorce. Now single, Kiss says she's comfortable with dot-com divorce, but she draws the line at cyber-dating.
"I like surfing the Web," she says, "but not for men."
Ernesto Gomez and his wife Blanca had been planning to get a divorce for three years. They had already separated and worked out custody and child support for their two kids. But they had stalled on filing because they didn't want to deal with the hassle and expense. Hiring a lawyer, they were told, would cost at least $1,500. Using a free service offered by the court would involve numerous meetings spread out over several weeks.
So when Gomez heard an ad on the radio for a service called completecase.com that would let him fill out the paperwork online for just $249, he decided to give it a try. Four days after he logged onto the site, he had the papers completed and filed in court. "CompleteCase gives you step-by-step instructions. You can't miss anything," says Gomez, a distribution-center manager in Miami.
Gomez is not the only one turning to the Internet to simplify the process. Other services, like divorcewizards. com and divorcesyourself.com also offer quickie online divorce kits, usually for $300 or less. No lawyer is involved unless a client chooses to pay extra for a consultation by phone or e-mail.
Brian Lee, president of legalzoom.com says his site has handled more than 30,000 divorces since its launch in 2001. Though people still have to convey their forms to the court, the process of filling out the paperwork can take less than an hour, thanks to simple online questionnaires that hand-hold customers through the process.
Online divorce is not an option if the couple can't agree on the terms. Even when they can, not everyone thinks it's a good idea. "Instant divorce is the last thing we need," says Mike McManus, president of the marriage advocacy group Marriage Savers. Instead of a divorce, McManus says, couples often just need time to cool off before working out their differences.
Still, such services are spreading. Utah and California offer do-it-yourself sites that let you fill the forms out online (for $20 at utcourts.gov/how to; free at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp) Traffic on the California site rose from 6,800 page views in May 2002 to nearly 17,000 in May 2003. --By Anita Hamilton
The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; Nov 19, 2001; MARTIN MILLER;
Abstract: Californians can legally split from their spouses over the Web site http://www.completecase.com and never have to set foot in a courthouse or lawyer's office. Legal papers can be completed within anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the split, according to Randolph Finney, a Seattle-based family law attorney who founded the site.
For Californians, once the judge signs the documents, they are "legally binding and enforceable," says Finney, but per state law the divorce doesn't become finalized for six months.
Full Text: (Copyright, The Times Mirror Company; Los Angeles Times 2001 All rights reserved)
The circle of online life is now complete. You can date online; you can marry online; and now you can divorce online.
Californians can legally split from their spouses over the Web site http://www.completecase.com and never have to set foot in a courthouse or lawyer's office. Legal papers can be completed within anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the complexity of the split, according to Randolph Finney, a Seattle-based family law attorney who founded the site.
For a flat fee of $249, the site walks divorcing couples step-by- step through such issues as community property and calculating child support payments. When the online form is completed, the applicant simply signs the papers and mails them to the courthouse.
But it's not for everyone. It works only for those couples who are parting amicably and filing for an uncontested divorce. "If you can't agree on who gets the kids, our site is not for you," says Finney, a married 35-year-old.
The site debuted earlier this year, but only to residents of Washington state. Last month, California was added, and soon Florida, New York and Oregon are expected to be added. So far, the site has helped process hundreds of divorces, says Finney.
The site has drawn critics who denounce the online divorce as yet another blow to society's bedrock institutions. The very ease of the process, some contend, makes family and marriage as disposable as an old appliance. Indeed, a similar site in England was recently condemned by the pope as immoral because it made divorce too easy.
Naturally, Finney disagrees. "I think our Web site has the opposite effect," he said. "If you're going to get divorced, let's do it in a civil manner. I really don't believe having something available that makes it easier and costs less money is going to encourage divorce."
The inspiration for the project came from his law practice, where he primarily handles divorces. It took about a year to get the site up and running. "On almost a daily basis, I would get clients who said they needed a divorce but didn't have the money or the patience with the legal process to pursue it," he said. "These people are really stuck between a rock and a hard place."
For Californians, once the judge signs the documents, they are "legally binding and enforceable," says Finney, but per state law the divorce doesn't become finalized for six months. "It isn't quite as fast as a Las Vegas divorce," he says.
Your case registration has been submitted successfully.
The next step in completing your divorce petition is to pay the case processing fee.
After your payment is processed, your personal login will be accessible. Logging in will allow you to answer the additional questions required to complete your divorce.
When completing the online questionnaire, help and explanations are provided for each question. Should you have any questions during the process, you may call our support line to speak with a divorce specialist.
We provide a 100% guarantee that the forms provided by CompleteCase.com will be accepted by the court. If the forms are not accepted due to the fault of CompleteCase.com, we will make any changes requested by the court or judge (without charge), or a refund will be issued. Verification of any denial or rejection may be requested.
Based on the information provided you are not qualified to use CompleteCase.com to complete your divorce online at this time.
We recommend contacting a licensed Family Law attorney to help you with your situation.