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.