Answering Your Family Law FAQ
How long must I wait before the divorce will become final?
That will depend on whether or not there are any minor children born of the marriage.
If there are children, KRS 403.044 requires that the final decree cannot be entered until sixty (60) days after the filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Circuit Court.
If there are no children born of the marriage, then you must be living apart from your spouse for a period of sixty (60) days. KRS 403.170 defines living apart to mean, shall include living under the same roof without sexual cohabitation.
Based on that statute if there are no children, and your spouse signs the papers you could be divorced in a matter of a few weeks.
What happens if my spouse will not sign the papers?
If your spouse refuses to sign the papers then we can proceed with the dissolution of marriage. In those cases we will redraft the papers and have your spouse served and proceed to prepare a case to present to the Judge to make a decision on the issues.
After the papers are signed and the decree is entered, can the terms of the divorce be changed?
Issues concerning the division of property and debts in a majority of cases cannot be changed or amended without the consent of all parties.
Issues concerning the children will always be available for the court to review. This includes custody, visitation and child support.
What is an uncontested divorce?
Divorces can be classified under two categories, contested and uncontested.
The basic classification for an uncontested divorce is if both parties agree on all issues, custody, visitation, child support, division of property, division of debts, maintenance, and both parties will sign all the paperwork necessary.
Everything else can be classified as a contested divorce. A contested divorce requires a great deal more time and effort in that the case has to be prepared to be presented to the court, which will make a decision on the issues. Naturally, it cost more to do a contested divorce than it does to do an uncontested divorce.
What is meant by no-fault divorce?
Years and years ago, before the court would grant a divorce decree the court had to be presented with proof as to who caused the marriage to break up. In the mid 70s states across the country adopted what they regard as a no-fault divorce. Basically the court makes a finding that the marriage is irretrievably broken which means that there is a determination that there is no reasonable prospect for reconciliation. See KRS 403.170.
Once the court finds that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court will then consider the issues of custody, visitation, child support, division of property and debts, and the division of maintenance and attorney’s fees and any other matter which may properly come before the court.
Do you have a payment plan?
At our office, for an uncontested divorce the total fee is $750.00. We require $300.00 down and the balance before we finish.
For contested divorces the fee is determined on a case by case basis. We will need to meet with you to discuss your case and outline the various issues and outcomes and discuss a payment plan. There is no charge if we do not take your case, so in other words, it does not cost anything to come in and sit down and talk about your case.
We do accept checks, cash, Visa and MasterCard for payments.
What do I need to bring for the initial meeting?
- Your, your spouse’s and your children’s social security numbers
- A list of all of your property and if uncontested, how you and your spouse have decided to divide the property between the two of you.
- A list of your bills
- A list of your debts.
- Write down how you wish to divide bills and debts with your spouse.
- Copies of both your and your spouse’s pay stubs or LES.
You may also want to bring a list of questions that you may have so we can address each and every one of them during that initial visit.
My spouse has custody of my child, how much child support can I expect to pay?
Child support can be set in two ways. The first way is by you and your spouse coming to an agreement on the amount of Child support. This is where you and your spouse agree on a sum that you will pay for child support.
The second way is what the court would use and it is called the State Guidelines. We would take your gross monthly income and your spouse’s gross monthly income, and factor in other costs such as work related daycare, court ordered support for prior born children and the cost of healthcare for the children. With that information we can compute exactly what the court would tell you to pay for your child support.
I have custody of my child and wish to move.
If a party who has custody of a child and wishes to move more than 100 miles from the child’s other parent or to another state (like from Hopkinsville to Clarksville), the parent shall give notice at least 60 days prior to the move to the other parent. This gives the other parent an opportunity to object to the move. It also gives the parties an opportunity to try to work out any agreement they may come to concerning visitation.
If the non custodial parent is against the move, he or she can bring an action for the change of custody of the child and the court, after hearing proof, will decide the case based on the best interest of the child. The rule further states that “[N]o relocation of the child shall occur unless the court enters an order modifying the status quo”
My spouse has custody of my child but will not let me see my child.
KRS 403.320 provides that a parent not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable visitation rights. If your spouse will not let you see your child, then after proper notice a hearing would be held before the court and the Judge would enter the appropriate order setting forth the exact times and dates for visitation.
I have custody of my child but I am on orders to be deployed overseas. How will this affect me and the custody of my child when I return?
KRS 403.340(5) provides that after you return from deployment custody of the child will be returned to you. If your spouse wishes to contest custody at that time, he or she cannot use the fact that you were deployed against you in that hearing on custody of the child.