KENTUCKY DIVORCE MADE EASY. DOCUMENTS DONE RIGHT!
KENTUCKY 3STEPDIVORCE TM - KEEPING YOUR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE SIMPLE
This easy to use online divorce is a "do it yourself (without a lawyer)"
solution for any uncontested divorce (with or without children) that
will be filed in the state of Kentucky. An uncontested divorce is one in
which you and your spouse are in agreement and eliminates the stress and
expense of settling your divorce in court.
With 3StepDivorce TM you can complete and print your Kentucky divorce forms (including a marital settlement agreement) instantly. Follow our step-by-step filing procedures to file your uncontested divorce in Kentucky in a timely, professional, and hassle free fashion. The online software is designed to give you full control of your divorce and also avoids the use of third party data entry, thus helping protect your personal information and privacy. If you're not ready to file for divorce, learn more about getting your Separation Agreement or learn more about the basics of divorce in Kentucky and how to do your own divorce in Kentucky . Also, If you have any questions try visiting our Kentucky Divorce Online Help Center .
Online Divorce FAQ: Kentucky
Filing for divorce can seem overwhelming. Like starting almost any other legal proceeding, it takes finding the right forms, filling out the forms properly, and understanding the court’s requirements for the next steps you’ll need to take.
Traditionally, most people have hired a lawyer to take care of all the legal matters in their divorce. But more and more couples are turning to a much cheaper option that’s still easier than figuring out everything on their own: filing for divorce online.
If you want to know more, read on for answers to some of the most common questions about online divorce in Kentucky.
How Does Online Divorce Work in Kentucky?
Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ takes care of the divorce paperwork for you. Once you sign up for the service, you’ll answer some questions about your situation. Based on your responses to the questionnaire, Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ will fill out the forms the state requires to start the divorce process, along with instructions for adding any further information that’s needed. You’ll be able to print out the forms yourself immediately or, if you prefer, get hard copies by mail.
Can I File for Divorce in Kentucky?
Kentucky has three basic requirements for divorce in the state: a residency requirement, a judge’s determination that your marriage is beyond repair, and a short separation requirement.
What Are the Residency Requirements for Divorce in Kentucky?
Before you may file for a Kentucky divorce, either you or your spouse must have been living in the state (or been stationed there in the military) for at least 180 days up to the filing date. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.140(1)(a) (2022).)
What Are Kentucky’s Requirements for the No-Fault Divorce Ground?
Unlike some states, Kentucky has only one legally accepted reason (or “ground”) for divorce: that your marriage is “irretrievably broken.” However, unlike most other “no-fault divorce” states, Kentucky requires more than simply stating that your marriage is beyond repair when you file for divorce. Instead, a judge must hold a hearing and find that there’s no prospect of reconciliation. If one spouse has denied that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the judge may pause the divorce proceedings for 30 to 60 days and suggest that the couple seek counseling. If one spouse requests it, the judge must order them to attend a conciliation conference. After this reconciliation period, the judge will resume the hearing and decide whether the marriage is truly broken irretrievably. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.170 (2022).)
Does Kentucky Have a Separation Requirement for Divorce?
Before the judge may sign your final decree of divorce (or “dissolution of marriage”), you and your spouse must have lived apart for at least 60 days. The law makes clear that the two of you could be staying in the same residence during that time, as long as you aren’t having sexual relations. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.170(1) (2022).)
Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Divorce in Kentucky?
Many Kentucky residents are finding that they can file for divorce and get through the process without the expense of hiring a lawyer if they’re filing for an “uncontested divorce” in the state. That means that they’ve agreed with each other about all of the legal issues in their divorce, including:
- how to divide their property and debts
- alimony, and
- child custody, visitation, and child support (if they have minor children).
If you still have disagreements with your spouse about these or any other issues involved in ending your marriage, you’ll have to file for a traditional, contested divorce. Because that will involve legal battles and presenting evidence and arguments at court hearings, it would be risky to pursue a contested divorce without a lawyer to navigate the process for you—especially if your spouse has an attorney.
Can I Use Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ in My Situation?
You may use Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ as long as you have an uncontested divorce and meet the state’s residency requirement. You’ll need to have a written marital settlement agreement, signed by both you and your spouse, that covers all of the issues in your divorce. Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ will guide you through the process of creating this agreement, based on your answers to the questionnaire.
Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ can also help if you aren’t ready to file for divorce, but you want a separation agreement with your spouse. For instance, you might want to work out arrangements for support, custody of your children, who has to move out of the family home, and how to take care of the bills while you’re separated but still legally married.
What If My Spouse and I Can’t Agree on the Issues in Our Divorce?
Just because you haven’t been able to agree with your spouse about everything in your divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through an expensive and time-consuming contested divorce. You could try divorce mediation. If you’re able to resolve your disagreements with the mediator’s help, you can then use Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ to prepare the written settlement agreement, along with the other divorce paperwork.
Can I Get an Online Divorce in Kentucky If I Have Children?
Generally, you can use Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ even when you have minor children with your spouse, as long as you agree on all of the issues related to your kids, including legal and physical custody, a parenting (visitation) schedule, child support, health and dental insurance, and tax deductions. Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ will allow you to address these issues in your settlement agreement. We provide a standard parenting schedule, but you’ll have an option of customizing the schedule to meet your individual needs.
However, you won’t be able to address custody-related issues with Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ if the affected child or children don’t meet the “home state” requirement. Usually, that means the child must have lived in Kentucky with a parent (or a parent figure) during the entire six-month period before you file for divorce (or since birth if the child is younger than six months old). If you don’t meet the six-month rule, you should speak with an attorney to find out whether you might qualify for one of the complicated exceptions to this rule. (Ky. Rev. Stat. §§ 403.800(7), 403.822 (2022).)
How Will My Online Divorce in Kentucky Deal With Child Support?
In Kentucky, both parents have an obligation to support their children. And like all states, Kentucky has child support guidelines for calculating how much support the parents should pay, based largely on their incomes and custody arrangements. Any time the amount of child support deviates from the guideline, the judge must find that applying the guideline would be “unjust or inappropriate” under the circumstances. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.211 (2022).)
3StepDivorce™ provides the Kentucky Child Support Guideline Worksheets, so you can easily calculate the state's guideline level of support. You and your spouse may agree to an amount of child support that differs from the guideline amount (unless your child is receiving public assistance), but the judge will need to review and approve your agreement.
In your settlement agreement, you and your spouse may include child support provisions that aren’t legally required, such as a parent’s contributions to private school tuition or the cost of a child’s college education. You may also agree on some specific questions like which parent will claim the children as dependents on tax returns.
Will We Be Able to Change the Amount of Child Support After Divorce?
After your divorce in Kentucky is final, you (or your spouse) may request a change in the amount of child support, but you’ll need to show that there has been a substantial and continuing change in circumstances that would affect the amount of child support under the guidelines. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.213 (2022).)
You can make a written request with your local child support office (part of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services) for a review of your current support order. If they find that your circumstances have changed enough to warrant at least a 15% increase or decrease in the amount of support, they’ll file the modification request with the court for you.
If you want to save the time and expense of a court battle over a request to modify child support, you and your spouse may agree to a modification on your own. As a general rule, you should submit your agreement to the court so that it can be enforced as an official court order.
How Will Online Divorce Handle Property and Debts From Our Marriage?
When you fill out your questionnaire for Kentucky 3StepDivorce™, you’ll answer a series of questions about your separate and marital property and debts, including how you’ll divide your marital property and allocate responsibility for payment of the marital debts.
What About the Family Home?
If you own a home with your spouse, your agreement can spell out what will happen to it when you get divorced. Here again, the questionnaire will include a few questions about the property and how you’ve chosen to deal with it, such as:
- selling the house and splitting the proceeds
- transferring ownership to one spouse, with the other spouse receiving money or other assets in exchange for that spouse’s share, or
- continuing to own the property together while allowing one spouse to stay in the house for a period of time (and, if so, how you’ll handle paying the mortgage and other ongoing costs).
What About Retirement Accounts?
In your Kentucky 3StepDivorce™, you may also agree on whether and how you’ll divide any retirement accounts that you and your spouse have, including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), and defined-benefit pensions.
If you started contributing to the retirement plan before you were married, you’ll start by figuring out how much of its current value is marital property and how much is your separate property. There are experts and firms that will do this for you (for a fee, of course). The service is usually known as a pension appraisal or valuation. You’ll almost always need this kind of expert help when you’re dealing with a defined-benefit pension.
Once you know the marital value of your work-related retirement accounts, the easiest way to handle the division of the assets is not to split them but to transfer other assets as an offset. Here’s how that works: Say you have a 401(k) through your job, and the marital portion of the account is worth $100,000. If you and your spouse agree to divide that portion down the middle, and you have other marital assets to divide (such as a regular savings account), your spouse could receive an extra $50,000 from those assets while you keep the entire 401(k). That way, you don’t have to hire another expert to prepare the kind of special order that’s needed to tell the 401(k) administrator how to divide the account.
The rules are different for IRAs. You may simply agree to have your spouse’s share transferred to another IRA account in that spouse’s name. (You’ll have to submit a special form to the bank, along with a copy of your divorce decree.)
Can I Get Alimony With an Online Divorce in Kentucky?
You and your spouse may waive any right to alimony in your Kentucky divorce, or you may agree on the specifics of alimony payments: who will pay, how much, and for how long. Your agreement may also state whether a court could modify alimony at any time in the future, and it could cover related issues like health insurance and life insurance.
How Do I File My Divorce Papers in Kentucky?
When you get your completed forms with Kentucky 3StepDivorce™, your next step will be to bring the paperwork for filing with the Family Court in the county where either you or your spouse usually lives. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 452.470 (2022).)
How Much Is Kentucky’s Filing Fee for Divorce?
In Kentucky, the court fees for filing divorce papers vary by county, typically ranging from about $150 to $250.
What If I Can’t Afford to Pay the Divorce Filing Fee?
If you don’t have the money to pay the divorce filing fee in your county, you can ask for a waiver by submitting a Motion for Waiver of Costs and Fees and to Proceed in Forma Pauperis. If you qualify, you won’t have to pay any court fees during your divorce case. If you receive a notice that you don’t qualify for a waiver, you’ll have 30 days to pay the fees.
How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in Kentucky?
If you and your spouse have minor children, Kentucky requires a 60-day waiting period (starting when you serve your spouse with the divorce papers) before you can get a court hearing to finalize your divorce. (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 403.044 (2022).) If you don’t have kids and didn’t separate from your spouse until you filed for your divorce (or shortly before), you could also run into the 60-day separation requirement before a judge may sign the divorce decree (as discussed above).
In practice, it could take somewhat longer than 60 days to get your final divorce, depending on how busy the court is and whether all of your paperwork was in order.
How Can I Get More Help With Kentucky Online Divorce?
Kentucky 3StepDivorce™ provides unlimited, live, person-to-person support for customers. If you have any questions about how uncontested divorce works, call our Kentucky Divorce Online Help Center at (888) 665-6782 (toll free), Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm (Pacific Time).
Please keep in mind that we are not lawyers and so cannot give out legal advice. If you have questions about Kentucky law or need legal advice, we recommend that you contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.