Uncontested Divorce2023-11-21T16:59:24+00:00

UNCONTESTED DIVORCE

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorces are those in which the parties are in agreement on every potential issue, ranging from division of marital property to the calculation of child support. These divorces are preferable to contested divorces, in that they involve far less time, cost, and conflict between the parties. In fact, the parties typically need not ever appear in court to complete an uncontested divorce. If this describes your situation, Mr. Stotts can ensure that your divorce is completed quickly and efficiently. Contact us at (502) 383-1550 or schedule a consultation.

What are the grounds for divorce in Kentucky and what does a no-fault state mean?2023-09-26T21:46:54+00:00

Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state. In a no-fault divorce, the parties seeking a divorce do not have to prove that one spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. The only requirement for obtaining a divorce in Kentucky is to demonstrate that the marriage has experienced an “irreconcilable differences.”  which means that the couple’s marital relationship has broken down to the point where there is no reasonable chance of reconciliation.

In a no-fault divorce, the court will not consider allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct when deciding on issues such as property division, spousal support, child custody, or child support. Instead, the court focuses on equitable distribution and the best interests of any children involved.

What documentation and information do I need to gather for the divorce proceedings?2024-05-29T15:11:00+00:00

Gathering the necessary documentation and information is a crucial step in preparing for divorce proceedings. Here’s a list of some important documents and information you may need to gather:

  • Marriage Certificate: Proof of your legal marriage.
  • Financial Records: W-2 forms, tax returns, bank statements, investment account statements including retirement account information (401Ks, IRAs, pensions, etc…).
  • Real Estate Documents: Deeds, mortgage statements, and property tax records for all real estate owned.
  • Loan Statements: Information on outstanding debts, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and personal loans.
  • Business Records: If you or your spouse own a business, gather financial statements and business-related documents.
  • List of Personal Property: Make an inventory of valuable assets such as vehicles, jewelry, artwork, electronics, etc.
  • Real Estate Information: Details about any properties owned, including purchase price, current value, and outstanding mortgage balance.
  • Ownership Documents: Titles or deeds for properties and vehicles.
  • Debts and Liabilities: Make a list of all outstanding debts, including credit cards, loans, and other liabilities.
  • Expenses: Create a detailed budget that outlines your monthly expenses, including household expenses, childcare, education costs, and medical expenses.
  • Child information: Gather any information related to your children’s schedule, school activities, and extracurricular involvement, child expenses, health insurance, or any other child-related expenses.
  • Legal Documents: Any existing court orders or legal agreements related to the family, such as restraining orders or protective orders.
How long does it typically take to get a divorce in Kentucky?2023-09-26T21:44:23+00:00

The divorce timeline in Kentucky can vary depending on the circumstances. Kentucky imposes a minimum waiting period of 60 days before a divorce can be finalized. You and your spouse must have been separated for at least 60 days, which means that you do not have sexual relations although you may occupy the same home.

If one or both of you are contesting any aspects of the divorce, such as spousal maintenance or child custody, the process will take longer, as these issues will have to be litigated and decided by a judge. There may also be a delay if the wife is pregnant. The law states that if the wife is pregnant at the time the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, the court may continue the case until the pregnancy ends. Additionally, if one spouse does not want the divorce and denies that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court must make a finding on the matter. If there is any doubt, they may continue the case for 30 to 60 days and request that you participate in conciliation to see if the marriage can be salvaged

What does attorney-client privilege mean?2023-09-26T21:43:25+00:00

Attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects the confidentiality of communications between an attorney and their client. It ensures that clients can speak candidly with their lawyers, providing all relevant information without fear that these communications will be disclosed to others. This privilege is a fundamental element of the attorney-client relationship but it does not, however, apply to anything you say that gives them a reason to believe that you intend to commit an act of fraud or a crime.

How will a divorce attorney help me?2023-09-26T21:41:28+00:00

A divorce attorney plays a crucial role in guiding you through the divorce process and advocating for your rights and interests. Navigating a divorce can be complex, and having a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side can help make sure your rights are protected.

A divorce attorney can:

  • Preparing and filing the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or responding to your spouse’s petition
  • Collecting, reviewing and accounting of marital assets and liabilities
  • Identifying separate vs. marital property
  • Reviewing a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to determine how it may affect property division
  • Negotiating a marital settlement agreement
  • Assessing whether you may be required to pay spousal maintenance or entitled to receive it
  • Putting together a parenting plan that is in the best interests of your children
  • Acting as a go-between for you and your spouse if personal contact is inadvisable
  • Representing you in court to resolve any disputes regarding child custody, spousal and/or child support, and property division
Can you get a divorce without an attorney?2023-09-26T21:39:04+00:00

Yes. However, an experienced Kentucky divorce attorney can help you foresee these consequences and prevent them. Decisions you make during settlement negotiations or at trial can have outcomes that you may not want or have intended so talking to an attorney is always advisable.

Does adultery affect divorce proceedings in Kentucky?2023-09-26T21:37:51+00:00

No. Kentucky does not usually consider adultery in matters such as spousal maintenance or property division.

What is the difference between divorce and annulment?2023-09-26T21:36:49+00:00

A divorce dissolves a valid marriage, recognizing it as legally valid until the divorce is finalized, while an annulment declares that the marriage is invalid and treats it as though it never legally existed. If you are considering either option, it is important to seek legal advice to understand the best course of action for your specific situation.

How do you modify a divorce agreement?2023-09-26T21:35:51+00:00

Modifying a divorce agreement typically involves making changes to the terms of the original divorce decree or settlement. Circumstances may change after a divorce, and modifications may become necessary to address new developments or ensure the agreement remains fair and appropriate. With child support or custody orders, such changes could include:

  • Job loss
  • Illness or disability
  • Relocation

With child support orders, the standard is a “material change in circumstances,” which is generally a 15% deviation from the support guidelines. If you are the parent receiving the support payments, you may go to the Child Support Division of the local county attorney’s office for help. If you are the paying parent, you may file a petition to change the child support order in the same court that issued the original order.

What is the average cost of divorce in Kentucky?2023-09-26T21:34:49+00:00

The cost of divorce in Kentucky can vary widely depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, whether it’s contested or uncontested, the level of cooperation between the parties, and the attorney’s fees. A straightforward and uncontested divorce in Kentucky can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars but on the other hand, a contested divorce, where disagreements exist over significant issues, can be more expensive because of the need for attorneys, court appearances, and witnesses. A contested divorce may cost several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars, or even more, depending on the complexity of the case and the length of time it takes to reach a resolution.

What does it mean that Kentucky is an “equitable distribution state”?2023-09-26T21:33:48+00:00

The term “equitable distribution state” refers to how a state handles the division of marital property and assets in a divorce. Kentucky is an equitable distribution state, which means that when a couple divorces, the court will divide their marital property and debts in a manner deemed fair and equitable, though not necessarily equal. It is important to remember that equitable distribution pertains to property division, not child custody or support matters. These issues are handled separately, and the court considers different factors when making decisions related to children.

This division applies to all property acquired during the marriage and does not usually include:

  • Property that each spouse owned before marriage
  • Assets that each spouse received personally as a gift or inheritance from a third party
  • Property identified as separate in a fair written agreement
  • Other than the assumption that separate property will remain yours unless it was commingled with marital property, there is no set formula determining who gets what.
How will our property and assets be divided, and what factors are considered in this process?2023-09-26T21:32:31+00:00

It is important to understand that property division involves more than just physical assets like real estate and vehicles. It may also include financial assets, retirement accounts, investments, business interests, and debts. When dividing marital property in Kentucky, a judge will try to be as equal as possible, but mitigating factors may result in a split that is less than 50-50. These factors can include:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The couple’s standard of living
  • The current financial situation of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s income
  • Each party’s physical and emotional health
  • Each party’s financial contributions during the marriage

The court will then calculate the financial value of all marital property and distribute it with the goal of being as fair as possible.

How is debt divided in a divorce?2023-09-26T21:30:58+00:00

In Kentucky, debt division in a divorce typically follows the same principles as the division of assets. Debts incurred during the marriage are generally considered marital debts and are subject to equitable distribution.

Courts will take various factors into account when dividing marital debt, such as each spouse’s liabilities and debts and their overall economic situation. They will also look at the reason why the debt was incurred (for example, one spouse will not likely be held accountable for the other’s recklessly-acquired gambling debts)

Who gets to keep the house in a Kentucky divorce?2023-09-26T21:29:43+00:00

There is no legal standard indicating which spouse keeps the marital home, but if you and your spouse cannot agree, the court will make that decision after taking certain factors into account. For example, if you will have primary custody of the children, a judge may conclude that it is in their best interests to stay in familiar surroundings and award the home to you while giving your spouse marital property of comparable value.

What are the potential tax implications of our divorce settlement?2023-09-26T21:28:47+00:00

Divorce settlements can have various tax implications for both parties involved. It’s important to work with a qualified tax professional who can help you understand the tax implications of your divorce settlement. Proper tax planning can help you avoid unexpected tax liabilities and ensure that the settlement is structured in the most tax-efficient manner.

Here are some examples of tax implications to be aware of:

  • Alimony/Spousal Support: alimony or spousal support payments are generally considered taxable income, and they must be reported as such on the recipient’s tax return. The paying spouse can usually deduct alimony payments from their taxable income.
  • Child Support: Child support payments are not tax-deductible for the paying parent, and they are not considered taxable income for the receiving parent.
  • Property Division: The transfer of property as part of the divorce settlement may have tax consequences.
  • Capital Gains Taxes: When selling or transferring certain assets, such as a family home or investments, capital gains taxes may apply.
  • Dependency Exemption: The dependency exemption for children can impact the parents’ tax situation.
  • Filing Status: Your marital status as of December 31 of the tax year will determine whether you can file as married or single. Filing status affects the tax brackets, deductions, and credits available to you.
  • Retirement Accounts: The division of retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s or IRAs, may trigger tax consequences depending on how the distribution is handled.
Does Kentucky have alimony?2023-09-26T21:27:32+00:00

Yes, Kentucky has alimony but in Kentucky it is called maintenance.

How is eligibility for spousal maintenance determined in Kentucky?2023-09-26T17:25:30+00:00

The basic eligibility requirements to receive maintenance in Kentucky are:

Inability to support oneself financially through gainful employment. This may occur if the spouse has custody of a child whose needs prevent them from working outside the home.

Lack of marital assets after division to meet the spouse’s reasonable needs.

How is spousal maintenance calculated?2023-09-26T17:24:17+00:00

Unlike child support, there is no formula for calculating maintenance in Kentucky. If you are eligible for maintenance, the court will consider several factors when establishing the payment amounts which could include the following:

  • Your age and health
  • How long you were married
  • Your financial need
  • Your income, if any
  • Any circumstances that prevent you from working full-time
  • The value of your assets
  • How long it will take you to receive the training and education needed to pursue sufficient employment
  • Your spouse’s ability to pay

The court will also decide whether to award you rehabilitative or permanent maintenance. Rehabilitative is the most common type: it is designed to give you time to acquire the training and education needed to obtain suitable employment. Although the common rule for duration is half the length of the marriage, it is typically limited to five years. Permanent maintenance is comparatively rare and awarded only under the following circumstances:

  • You were married for at least 10 years
  • You don’t have an income or, if you do, it is significantly less than what your spouse earns and/or
  • You have a medical condition prevents you from working
Can a prenuptial agreement impact the divorce proceedings?2023-09-26T17:22:10+00:00

Yes, a prenuptial agreement can impact divorce proceedings. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that a couple enters into before getting married, outlining the division of assets, property, and other financial matters in the event of divorce or separation.

A prenuptial agreement can impact property division, debts and liabilities, asset protection, but they cannot address matters related to child custody, child support, or other child-related issues.

What are the types of child custody in Kentucky?2023-09-26T17:21:01+00:00

There are two types of child custody in Kentucky:

Legal, which refers to the ability to make key decisions for the child, such as where they go to school and what healthcare they receive

Physical, which refers to where the child stays overnight.

Both types can be held by one parent or shared in a joint custody arrangement. In 2018, Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill that makes joint custody a default in Kentucky unless circumstances recommend otherwise, such as domestic violence committed by one parent against the other parent and/or the children.

How do you modify a child custody agreement in Kentucky?2023-09-26T17:20:07+00:00

In Kentucky, you cannot generally change a custody order for the first two years after it goes into effect unless there are compelling reasons to grant the change, such as the child being in imminent physical, mental, moral or emotional danger. You will have to file a petition to modify child custody in the same county circuit court where the original order was made.

What factors does the court consider for custody agreements?2023-09-26T16:42:00+00:00

When determining custody agreements, courts prioritize the best interests of the child. Although different jurisdictions may have varying factors, but in general, courts consider several key elements to make a decision that promotes the child’s well-being. Some common factors include:

  • Child’s Wishes
  • Parent-Child Relationship
  • Stability and Continuity
  • Parental Ability and Willingness
  • Parental Fitness
  • Parental Involvement
  • Home Environment
  • Siblings and Extended Family
  • Substance Abuse or Domestic Violence
  • Parental Relocation
  • Joint Custody

It’s crucial to remember that custody decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of promoting the child’s well-being and ensuring a stable and loving environment for their growth and development. The wishes of the parents

If the child is under three years old, Kentucky courts will also consider applications from a de facto custodian, which is any person who has lived with the child for six months and been their primary caregiver and means of financial support. For children over three years, a de facto custodian must have lived with the child for at least one year. These parties can be given the same consideration as a child’s parents when determining a custody arrangement.

What is child custody evaluation and will a court order one?2023-09-26T16:40:50+00:00

A child custody evaluation is a comprehensive evaluation to assess the best interests of the child or children involved in a divorce or custody dispute. A child custody evaluation is carried out by a neutral third party, such as a social worker, clinic psychologist, and family therapist. The evaluation could include:

  • Interviews with the parents, children, and other important adults, such as grandparents
  • Psychological testing of the parent
  • Observing each parent’s interactions with the children
  • Interviews with relevant parties such as relatives, neighbors, and teachers
  • Examining appropriate records

The evaluator(s) will use the information collected from these observations to create a report for the judge presiding over the case. The report details their findings and recommendations regarding custody.

How do courts determine the duration of child support?2023-09-26T16:39:34+00:00

Child support in Kentucky terminates when the child reaches 18, unless they are still in high school or have a significant physical or mental disability. If an 18-year-old is still in high school and unmarried, they are entitled to support until they turn 19 while a disabled child is entitled to support until they turn 21.

What documentation do I need to gather for the divorce proceedings?2024-06-18T14:24:52+00:00

Gathering the necessary documentation and information is a crucial step in preparing for divorce proceedings. Here’s a list of some important documents and information you may need to gather:

  • Marriage Certificate: Proof of your legal marriage.
  • Financial Records: W-2 forms, tax returns, bank statements, investment account statements including retirement account information (401Ks, IRAs, pensions, etc…).
  • Real Estate Documents: Deeds, mortgage statements, and property tax records for all real estate owned.
  • Loan Statements: Information on outstanding debts, including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and personal loans.
  • Business Records: If you or your spouse own a business, gather financial statements and business-related documents.
  • List of Personal Property: Make an inventory of valuable assets such as vehicles, jewelry, artwork, electronics, etc.
  • Real Estate Information: Details about any properties owned, including purchase price, current value, and outstanding mortgage balance.
  • Ownership Documents: Titles or deeds for properties and vehicles.
  • Debts and Liabilities: Make a list of all outstanding debts, including credit cards, loans, and other liabilities.
  • Expenses: Create a detailed budget that outlines your monthly expenses, including household expenses, childcare, education costs, and medical expenses.
  • Child information: Gather any information related to your children’s schedule, school activities, and extracurricular involvement, child expenses, health insurance, or any other child-related expenses.
  • Legal Documents: Any existing court orders or legal agreements related to the family, such as restraining orders or protective orders.
What is the difference between a contested and uncontested divorce? 2023-09-26T16:34:27+00:00

In a contested divorce, the spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more key issue such as child custody, division of assets, spousal support, or child support. Contested divorces usually require the involvement of attorneys and the court system to resolve the disputes.

For an uncontested divorce, the spouses are in agreement on all essential issues related to their divorce. They have reached a settlement on matters such as child custody, property division, spousal support, and child support through negotiation or mediation. Since both parties are in agreement, there is no need for a trial, and the divorce process tends to be faster, less expensive, and less emotionally taxing.

In order to file for an uncontested dissolution of marriage in Kentucky, the petitioner (the spouse who does the filing) must have lived in the state for at least 180 days. If this requirement is satisfied, you and your spouse must be separated for 60 days (meaning that you have not had sexual relations) before it can be finalized.

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