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Divorce Laws in Kentucky

In order to obtain a divorce in Kentucky a couple must have been separated for at least 60 days. Separation can take place while living under the same roof as long as there is no sexual cohabitation.

If a spouse objects to divorce, in Kentucky, the court must determine if the marriage is irretrievably broken, and may ask the couple to seek counseling and come back to court after a period of one month but no more than two months later.

Residency and jurisdiction
At least one spouse must live, or be stationed by the military, in Kentucky for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

Fault or no fault and grounds for divorce
Kentucky is a no fault only State and will only grant a divorce on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

Division of property
Kentucky is an "equitable distribution" State meaning the property is not divided 50/50 but rather in a manner that the court deems fair to both parties. Kentucky does not consider marital misconduct when dividing property. Factors that the court must consider include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Contribution to marital property including contribution as a homemaker
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse
  • Child custody when awarding the family home, even if temporarily

Spousal support
Spousal support, in Kentucky, may be temporary or permanent. A spouse may be awarded support when lacking sufficient property and employability to be self-supporting or if child custody makes it inappropriate for that spouse to be employed. Factors that the court must consider when determining spousal support include:

  • Length of marriage
  • Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage
  • Financial resources of the spouse seeking support
  • Time necessary to achieve employability
  • Physical and mental health
  • Age
  • Ability of spouse from whom support is sought to pay support while still meeting his or her needs independently

Child custody and support
In Kentucky parents’ conduct is not considered in determining custody unless their conduct in some way affects the child. Domestic violence may or may not be considered depending on whether or not it has affected the child. Parents who have left the family home to escape domestic violence, or the threat of domestic violence, are not penalized for abandoning their children.

The court may award joint custody to the parents or to the parents and a third party. Factors that the court must consider in determining custody include:

  • Wishes of the parents
  • Wishes of any other party who currently has custody of the child
  • Wishes of the child
  • Relationship of the child with parents, siblings, and other significant parties
  • Child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
  • Mental and physical health of everyone involved
  • Domestic violence
  • Care, nurturing and support of the child by an outside party
  • Intent of the parents in placing the child with an outside party
  • The reason why the child was placed with an outside party other than the parents’ intent, such as a court order

Kentucky follows the Income Shares Model for calculating child support.

If you are considering or facing divorce in Kentucky, contact an experienced Kentucky divorce attorney today.

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Disclaimer: Divorce law information contained throughout this page is intended to generally inform you about divorce law in Kentucky and introduce you to divorce lawyers throughout the U.S. The information regarding divorce and divorce law is not meant to be taken as legal advice. If you like to speak with an experienced divorce attorney, click on the link to your state to find an experienced divorce lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.
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