Know the Laws: Kentucky
UPDATED January 4, 2017
Basic information about Kentucky divorce laws.
In Kentucky, a judge can grant you a divorce if either you or your spouse lived in Kentucky (which includes being stationed in Kentucky as a member of the armed services) at the time the divorce petition was filed; and for at least 180 days (6 months) before the divorce petition was filed.*
* KRS § 403.140
Grounds are legally acceptable reasons for a divorce. The only ground in Kentucky is that the marriage is irretrievably broken, which means that there is no reasonable prospect of you and your spouse reconciling (getting back together). The judge can grant you a divorce if:
However, if either spouse denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the judge will consider:
After considering these things, the judge will then decide whether your marriage is in fact irretrievably broken or the judge could continue the hearing for 30-60 days and request that you and your spouse seek counseling. At the next hearing, the judge would then decide whether or not your marriage is irretrievably broken.**
* KRS § 403.170(1)
** KRS § 403.170(2)
The judge cannot grant the final divorce decree until you and your spouse have lived apart for 60 days but ”living apart” can include living under the same roof without any sexual activity.*
In addition, the judge must have considered, approved, or made a provision for child custody, child support, spousal support, and property distribution if the judge has jurisdiction (power) to make those decisions.**
* KRS § 403.170(1)
** KRS § 403.140(1)(d)
Alimony is financial support paid by, or to, your spouse. A judge can grant you alimony if s/he finds that you do not have enough property or assets to meet your needs and one of the following is true:
If the judge decides to award you alimony, s/he will determine how much to award, and for how long to order it, after looking at the following factors:
* KRS § 403.200(1)
** KRS § 403.200(2)
Legal Aid Network of Kentucky has a lot of divorce resources, including:
The Kentucky Court of Justice also has information on divorce, including filing fees.
WomensLaw.org is unrelated to the above organizations and cannot vouch for the accuracy of their sites. We provide the following links for your information only.