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If you have lived in Kentucky for the last 180 days (six months) you are eligible to be divorced. Your spouse (husband or wife) cannot stop you.

There are two main types of divorce: uncontested and contested.


1. Property that is owned before you marry, including money that has changed formed. For example if you had $5,000 before you married and after you were married, you used the money to purchase a car that you still have, the car would be non-marital property.
2. Property that is not acquired through the efforts of either partner to the marriage is non-marital property. For example, property inherited by the husband during the marriage would be non-marital property.

Any property acquired through the efforts of either of the partners in the marriage during the marriage. Thus, any property earned or even won during the marriage is marital property.

The Court may award the custody of the children to either spouse if that spouse is a fit person to have custody. The law requires that neither the husband or wife be given a special preference. But in actuality, the wife has the upper hand, if she is a fit parent, and is likely to be awarded custody.

The non-custodial parent is usually entitled to visitation with the children. A parent must be very unfit to prevent visitation. Only in the most extreme cases will visitation not be awarded. On a few rare occasions, visitation may be supervised if the children are very small or supervision appears to be a good idea to the Court. The Court has adopted a visitation Rules and Regulations as a guideline. In addition a parent might be allowed to see the child one afternoon a week after school and every other holiday of the seven major holidays and a couple of weeks during the summer.

The non-custodial parent must pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support is based upon a table that considers the income of each of the parents and the number of children. In addition, the Court may order the non-custodial parent to pay all or part of the child's medical expenses.

The Court may award maintenance to a spouse who is unable to support herself or himself. The property and income of each spouse, whether the custodial parent is unable to work due to having small children, the education and training and especially the length of the marriage is considered in awarding maintenance. Most awards of maintenance are for a short time. However, maintenance can be awarded permanently if the health and age of the person awarded maintenance prevents the person from working and if the marriage is of long standing. A spouse who has spent many years raising children and maintaning a home so that she can no longer obtain employment is the sort of case in which permanent maintenance is awarded.

The Court may award custody, visitation, support, and maintenance temporarily until the entire case is decided. You may hear the term "Pendente lite" in regard to temporary support, custody, etc. This means that during the pendency of the action or while the lawsuit is going on.

Early in the divorce there may be a hearing to see who gets to drive which vehicle, who lives in the marital residence, who has custody of the children. As a general rule, the parent who has possession of the children is entitled the residence. Having obtained temporary custody or possession of property, the person is a step ahead in obtaining permanent custody or possession.

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Al Miller © 1990-2004
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