What Is The Process Of How A “Typical” Divorce Would Proceed In Kentucky?
The process for divorce starts with making the decision to actually file for divorce. This is an important step as you likely want to be sure a divorce is what you want before you file. Once the decision is made, you then file a petition. There is typically a court fee for that. Once the petition is filed, then the other side has the chance to respond within 20 days. If there’s another attorney on the other side, then the petitioning attorney and the other attorney would start to discuss the case. They’ll look to see if there is any common ground, and if it is something that can be worked out. Obviously, divorce is complicated. In divorce, the issues can include assets that are in contest, child support, visitation, and custody. All of those things make the situation more complicated.
There are various motions that can be filed at that time. Status quo is one of them that I like to file. It basically tells the other side that they cannot dispose of any marital property. For instance, if there is a joint bank account, then they shouldn’t be going out to use that money to buy a new car. That money needs to sit there until we are able to divide the money and decide who’s getting what. And so, that motion can prevent the spouses from disposing of jewelry or other assets. In certain circumstances, it becomes a big deal. But, there are other motions that can be filed. A lot of times, you can file a preliminary statement of assets.
Then, there’s a period of time that is spent in negotiating. If you can’t resolve it before mediation, then you’re going to go to mediation. You don’t have to accept whatever is done through mediation, but you do have to attempt to try to resolve your case. If you still are not able to resolve your case in mediation, then there’s typically more discovery in which you have to disclose witnesses and evidence. Then, you can have your trial.
What Are The Options Couples Have When Moving Forward With How They Could Proceed With A Divorce?
In Kentucky, when it comes to divorce, you’re going to go to mediation if you cannot agree. The vast majority of divorces are able to reach an agreement. If both sides can agree, mediation is a better method for preserving assets. If parties are not able to agree, litigation might be the next step. Sometimes, litigation is necessary. In litigation, the judge makes the decisions on the pending matters. When parties cannot agree, a judge might liquidate everything so that the spouses can split the money since the cars, entertainment center, and other property cannot be split. So, if there are things that are important to you, it is a good idea to really try hard to come to some agreements in order to preserve those things before going through litigation.
Agreeing when there are minor children is in everyone’s best interest. It’s already a difficult situation for the children, and it makes the experience easier for them when their parents can agree on things. Unfortunately, there are times when agreements can’t be made in mediation. When you do a mediation, you are expected to try to resolve matters in mediation. I’ve never had it happen, but, in theory, the mediator can write a letter to the judge saying that one side isn’t trying. If that’s the case, you’re not going to make the judge very happy because the entire idea behind mediation is to lessen the load on the court system. They want you to put forth a good faith effort. I always tell my clients that this is about agreement. It is less about the law and more about what you want. If you don’t agree with something, I just ask that you listen, consider, and put forth a good faith effort because that’s going to be expected of you. But, I know that there are times when you just have to go to trial. So, at that point, the judge is going to look at making some sort of equitable distribution based on the case law and what we have to work with.
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