What is a Divorce?

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What is a divorce?

Divorce, also called dissolution, means ending your marriage. In a divorce, the court will divide your property and debts. If you and your spouse have children together, the court will also make custody, visitation, and child support orders.

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Do I have to prove that my spouse did something wrong?

No. In Kentucky, we have no-fault divorce. That means you do not have to prove anything to get a divorce. But the spouse who asks for the divorce must say that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. That means that your marriage cannot be fixed.

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What if my spouse does not agree to a divorce?

You can still get a divorce even if your spouse does not want it. Tell the court you believe your marriage cannot be fixed. Your spouse does not have to agree. Your spouse can ask the court to order counseling for you and your spouse, but the court does not have to do this.

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How much does it cost to get a divorce?

It depends. Most people have to pay:

  • Fees to file your papers at court,
  • Parenting class fees, if you and your spouse have children together, and
  • Lawyer fees, if you use a lawyer.

Some counties, such as Trigg County, also require that one of you get a letter from a minister or certified counselor saying that your marriage is irretrievably broken. The minister or counselor may charge a fee.

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How long does it take to get a divorce?

It depends on your situation. Most couples have to wait at least 60 days after they separate before they can start a divorce case. If you have children together, you must go to a divorce education class before you can ask the court to start your case. The divorce process takes at least 60 days, once you start a case.

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How can I help my children during the divorce?

It's good to get support during a divorce, especially if you have children. The court will order both parents to go to a divorce education class called Helping Children Cope with Divorce.

You can also look for a family therapist who can help you and your children. This is very important if there was domestic violence in your marriage.

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Can I get divorced if I do not know where my spouse is?

Yes. But first you must show the court that you have tried to find your spouse. Then you must file court papers to ask for a warning order attorney. You will have to pay a warning order attorney fee.

If the court approves, it will assign a warning order lawyer (in Kentucky) who will try to find and notify your spouse about the divorce. If the lawyer cannot find your spouse within 50 days, you will still be able to finalize your divorce. But you must wait out the 50 days, or until the lawyer files the report.

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What if I want to remarry?

You cannot get married again until the judge has signed your final divorce order.

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Reviewed March 2009