For most people getting divorced, it is their first time encountering Kentucky’s divorce system. Even if some of your friends and relatives have gotten divorced before, you cannot really understand what it is like until you go through it yourself. This leads to myths and misunderstandings about how divorce really works in the Bluegrass State.
Here are five common misconceptions a lot of people have about divorce.
1. Child custody always goes to the mother
In 2019 Kentucky became the first state in the country to change its child custody laws to create a presumption that parents split custody 50/50. Thus, family law judges cannot automatically grant sole custody to the children’s mother, though judges can find that sole custody with either parent is in the children’s best interests if the parent presents compelling evidence.
2. Adultery can cost you everything
Kentucky is a no-fault divorce state. The reasons why you and your ex are splitting up generally do not affect your marital property rights. However, issues like infidelity may cause the other spouse to fight harder over property division out of a desire for “revenge.”
3. All the assets must be split up equally
Like most states, Kentucky follows the equitable property distribution system in divorce. The law does not require an equal split of marital property. Instead, these assets and debts must be divided fairly between the spouses, giving them more flexibility to negotiate a settlement.
4. You must get divorced in the state where you got married
Where you got married does not matter. You and your spouse can file for divorce in any state where you have established residency. You can file in Kentucky if at least one of you has lived in the state for at least the last six months.
5. Most divorces end up in court
Divorce cases that go to trial over child custody, spousal maintenance or property division often make the news, but they are rare. Spouses settle out of court the vast majority of the time.
If you still have questions about the divorce process, a conversation with a family law attorney can help.