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Answers To Frequently Asked Family Law Questions

On this page, you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive from clients. After reading, please feel free to contact us and get answers to your own questions in a free consultation.

Do I have to pay alimony in a divorce?

Kentucky law allows for an award of Maintenance in a divorce when the spouse seeking maintenance can show that they 1) lack sufficient property to provide for reasonable needs and 2) are unable to support themselves appropriate employment or circumstances make it inappropriate for the caregiver to seek employment. If the court finds those two things exist, it uses several factors to determine the amount of maintenance to be paid and the length of time it is to be paid.

How much does it cost to file for divorce?

The filing fees vary based on the specific facts of your case and method of service. They are typically between $180 and $220.

What happens if partway through the process we decide we want to halt the divorce?

The process can be paused by simply not litigating the divorce any further. If the case is inactive for a period of time, the court may dismiss the action.

Who gets custody of the children?

Custody has a different legal meaning than the way most people use it in everyday language. In Kentucky, there are three components to child-related issues. Legal custody, the parenting plan and child support. There is now a legal presumption that joint custody and an equal parenting schedule are in the child/children’s best interest. This is a presumption and can be overcome. Child-related issues are very fact-driven.

Do grandparents have visitation rights?

In Kentucky, grandparents can request access to visitation with their grandchildren, even before the divorce takes place. However, judges will begin with the presumption that parents are acting in their children’s best interests (when they deny grandparent visitations). The burden of proof is on the grandparents to refute this presumption and demonstrate that continued contact with grandparents is in the children’s best interests.

In short, courts want to give the most weight to the decisions parents make for their kids. But if you can show that continued contact with your grandkids will serve their best interests, a judge may grant you visitation rights.

Will I have to go in front of a judge?

Most cases go to mediation prior to being scheduled for a hearing. If your matter is resolved at mediation, then you likely will not have to go before a judge.

How do they determine how much I will have to pay for child support?

Child support is calculated in Kentucky pursuant to the statutory guidelines. The guidelines take into consideration the parties’ gross income, any work-related child care cost and any health insurance premiums paid on behalf of the child/children.

How long will the entire process take?

The short answer – it depends. Each case is different. In Kentucky, there is a 60-day separation requirement before a divorce can be finalized.

What is a no-fault divorce?

Kentucky is a no-fault state, which means the fault is not required to obtain a divorce nor is it typically relevant in the proceedings. The fault is a factor when addressing a maintenance award.

What if my partner/spouse doesn’t want a divorce, but I do?

In Kentucky, either party may get a divorce. One party cannot prevent the decree from being entered; they can, however, make it more difficult and lengthen the process.

Do I have to be legally separated first?

Legal separation has a very specific meaning in Kentucky. You can file for divorce the moment you separate. Separation is defined as “sexual cohabitation.” You do have to be separated for a period of 60 days before the divorce can be finalized.

What if I don’t know how to contact my partner/spouse?

A divorce is a legal proceeding, which means they have to be properly “served.” The court can appoint a warning attorney whose sole responsibility is to get them served. There has to be proper service to finalize property issues in a divorce.

Is adoption difficult?

It can be if it is without the consent of a parent. If you have had a child in your care and wish to adopt, please schedule a consultation to determine if you qualify. It is not necessary to file a parental termination case for all adoptions.

Contact Us For Answers To Your Questions

Simms Russell Law, PLLC, is pleased to offer free initial consultations to prospective clients in and around Louisville. To discuss your legal needs with one of our attorneys, send us an email or call 502-362-2600.