Kentucky Divorce Laws, Attorneys & Family Lawyers KY


Kentucky has the 5th highest divorce rate in the country. It is 5.5% per 1,000 of the total Kentucky population. Kentucky State follows lenient divorce laws. The Kentucky family court laws have no-fault divorce grounds upon which the court grants divorce to either the spouses. The grounds which the petitioner brings to the court for dissolution of marriage, under fault divorce laws, must be substantiated with evidence otherwise the court may dismiss the case.

Annulments in Kentucky are rare. It is in general not liked because it is considered a matter of dishonor if marriage is proved illegal or null and void.

Kentucky State lawyers can help you in finalizing your divorce process.

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Divorce Grounds in Kentucky

Kentucky has a divorce rate much lower than the other states of the US. The divorce rate of Kentucky is 5.5 per 1000. There is only one valid divorce ground in Kentucky.

Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage

Irretrievable breakdown is the only divorce ground in Kentucky. Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage stands for a marital relationship’s breakdown beyond any prospect of reconciliation. You and your spouse can file for divorce if so is the case under this divorce ground in Kentucky.

Incase you or your spouse declare or deny your spouse’s claim of marriage’s irretrievable breakdown, the divorce court will look into the matter to establish for itself the validity of the divorce ground.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for detailed information regarding divorce grounds in Kentucky.

Kentucky Divorce Laws

Kentucky has following divorce laws:


Kentucky divorce laws require at least one of the spouses to be residing in the state or stationed there at the time of commencement of action. 180 days of mandatory residence period is to be completed before filing for divorce in Kentucky.

Documents Required for Filing Divorce

Kentucky divorce laws find these documents essential for filing divorce;

  • Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
  • Decree of Dissolution of Marriage
  • Verification
  • Marital Settlement Agreement
  • Affidavit Regarding the Children
  • Request for Hearing
  • Notice of Hearing
  • Findings of Fact
  • Conclusions of Law

Distribution of Property

In a proceeding for disposition of property, Kentucky divorce laws are in favor of dividing the property equally. Each spouse is given a share of property which s/he deserves. Marital property is also divided, without regard to marital misconduct, in just proportions considering all relevant factors.

Change of Name or Restoration of Name

According to Kentucky divorce laws, the wife can take up her former name after the divorce is finalized.

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Mediation Counseling

In case one of the spouses has denied under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall consider the circumstances that gave rise to filing the petition and the prospect of reconciliation.

As stated in Kentucky divorce laws, at the request of either party, the order of mediation counseling shall be granted. Later the court shall find whether the marriage is irretrievably broken or not.


Alimony may be granted in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or a proceeding for maintenance following dissolution of a marriage by a court which lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse. The court may grant a maintenance order for either spouse in a situation if it finds that the spouse who forwarded the request:

  • Badly requires property
  • Lacks jurisdiction over he absent spouse

This also includes marital property which was assigned to him/her.

Child Custody

The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child and equal consideration shall be given to each parent and to any de facto custodian.

Child Support

According to Kentucky divorce laws, on a specific finding if the guidelines for child support are inappropriate, the court shall refute the guidelines and allow for an appropriate adjustment of the guideline award.

Contact a professional divorce attorney or divorce lawyer for comprehensive divorce laws information in your state.

Kentucky Annulment Laws

Annulment is the court’s decree that the marriage is void and never existed whereas divorce is termination of a legal marriage. To get annulment in Kentucky, you have to base your plea on a legal ground for annulment recognized by the Kentucky annulment laws. Following are the valid Kentucky annulment grounds:

Fraud & Duress

If you married your spouse under some threat or duress, you can file for annulment under Kentucky annulment laws.


Incest is the marital relationship between parent/child, stepchild; grandparent/grandchild; aunt/nephew; uncle/niece etc. Such marriages can be annulled under Kentucky annulment laws.

Mental Illness

If your spouse has some mental illness and it is adversely affecting your marriage, you can file for Kentucky annulment.


If your spouse was already married at the time s/he married you, your marriage won’t be recognized by the marriage laws of Kentucky. You and your spouse both can get annulment according to the Kentucky annulment laws.

Underage Marriage

Kentucky marriage laws have set marriageable age and any marriage under the age of 16 is considered illegal. If you enter into a marriage before the age of 16 without court’s order or the consent of parents, it can be annulled under the Kentucky annulment laws.

Kentucky Divorce Laws Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long must I be a resident of the State of Kentucky before being able to file for divorce?

    You must be a resident of the State of Kentucky for either 180 days or 6 months (whichever is longer) before being eligible for filing divorce.

  2. Can I divorce my spouse even if my spouse doesn’t reside in Kentucky?

    Yes, Kentucky divorce law doesn’t require your spouse to reside in Kentucky.

  3. Is Kentucky a No-Fault State?

    Yes, Kentucky dissolves marriages without requiring fault on part of any spouse.

  4. How long will it take for me to divorce my spouse?

    There is no such thing as a quick divorce. Marriages can be quick but, divorce is normally a slow process. Some divorces take a few months while others take more. There have been divorce cases that took years to finalize due to the complexities of these cases. It really depends on how quickly you can reach a divorce settlement.

  5. Is there any filing fee for divorce in Kentucky?

    Yes, there is a filing for divorce which varies from county to county.

  6. How do Kentucky divorce lawyers charge their clients?

    Kentucky divorce lawyers either charge by the hour or they charge a predetermined fee.

  7. How much can my divorce cost me?

    According to national statistics, on average a divorce costs $18,000.

  8. Can I represent myself?

    Absolutely, it is your legal right if you decide to do so. However, I strongly recommend against doing so. A Kentucky divorce lawyer will represent you and your interests better.

  9. Do we need to hire two different Kentucky divorce lawyers to represent us in court?

    Yes, it is required that both spouses be represented separately.

  10. Does Kentucky legally recognize a common law marriage?

    No, the State of Kentucky doesn’t legally recognize common law marriages.

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