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Divorce in Clark County
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Online Divorce in Clark County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Clark County, Kentucky, is a divorce document preparation service, not a law firm. Online Divorce is not eligible to provide legal advice. All the information below is for informational purposes only.
Those looking to deal with their dissolution of marriage in a quick and inexpensive way in the state of Kentucky can find it convenient and cheap to prepare their divorce paperwork online. Nowadays, more and more states require divorcing couples to submit their divorce documents either typed or completed online and printed out. Kentucky is one such state. It requires a Certificate of Divorce to be typed rather than hand-written.
Filing for a divorce is the first step on the way to a new life. Using OnlineDivorce.com, divorcing couples can take that first step in a fast and affordable manner without a lawyer and unnecessary expenses. As a divorce documents preparation service, OnlineDivorce.com assists divorcing couples to complete all the necessary legal forms required for their specific state and county where the papers will be filed.
Typically, online divorce is a suitable option for those couples who are ready to proceed with no contest on the major issues pertinent to the divorce, such as child custody, support, and property division. If both parties agree to cooperate and do not want to go to trial, they may have a do-it-yourself divorce. Filing for your own divorce is common for couples who want to cut down on legal expenses. In such a case, divorcing couples can limit the use of legal help and/or mediation to resolve any remaining issues and thus significantly reduce the cost of divorce.
To make sure that your divorce case can be uncontested, answer a questionnaire on OnlineDivorce.com and the necessary forms necessary for your particular case. By following the simple instructions provided by OnlineDivorce.com, you make this first step stress-free and efficient.
Before starting a DIY divorce, spouses are advised to peruse online resources about divorce and family law in their state. They need to get familiar with local rules and legal procedures and understand the step-by-step algorithm of how to get a divorce in Clark County, KY. Having learned the necessary steps and available options, spouses will understand how to finalize their divorce proceedings in an easy and affordable way.
Here is a short guide on key elements of a Kentucky divorce followed up by some Frequently Asked Questions.
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Valid grounds to get divorce in Clark County
As a “no-fault” state, Kentucky doesn't recognize fault-based grounds for divorce. This means that divorcing couples can simply state “irreconcilable differences” as their motive for getting a divorce.
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Following the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCJEA) adopted by Kentucky in 1980, Kentucky courts base their child custody decisions on the best interests of the child. Taking into consideration a number of factors, Kentucky courts prefer to award parents with joint custody which includes both legal and physical custody. According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 403 – Marriage Dissolution--Child Custody, sole custody is also available, depending on the circumstances of each parent and the child.
At the same time, joint custody does not translate into equal custody. Rather, parents work out a suitable parenting plan where they decide where the child lives and how they both take care of the child based on the best interests of the child.
Before awarding child custody, the court factors in:
Each parent’s willingness to have custody;
The child’s wishes to live with one or the other parent;
The mental and physical health of all the parties;
The child’s adjustment to the environment, home, school, and community;
The relationship and interaction of the child with his or her parents and other family members;
and the family’s history of domestic violence, if any.
It must be clarified with the clerk’s office of Clark County whether you should adhere to visitation standards. The non-custodial parent will get less visitation time than in cases where both parents split joint custody. Make sure you understand what you get if you agree to let go of physical custody. Before you start handling your child custody issues, make sure your case is not complicated, or else the arrangements may come out different than what you wanted. If you need consultation or legal advice but you cannot hire an attorney, try the Kentucky Legal Aid society.
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Rules for child support in Clark County
Under Kentucky law, both parents are expected to support their child(ren) financially until they reach the age of 18 or graduate from high school.
Kentucky courts carefully examine each parent’s income, each parent’s health and employment, child care expenses, and the child’s health to decide on child support payments. It is generally accepted that the custodial parent takes on the bulk of child care expenses, whereas the non-custodial parent provides health insurance coverage for the child and covers other possible expenses in addition to monthly child support payments.
The petitioner can request a child support order from the court even if he or she has not yet met the residency requirements and, hence, has not yet filed for divorce. Contact your Clark County prosecutor’s office to receive further guidance.
Rules for spousal support in Clark County
Kentucky courts can award spousal support, also referred to as maintenance or alimony, if the financial circumstances of the lesser earning spouse justify it. For example, if the marriage ended after 10 years and one spouse is not financially independent.
Taking into consideration the incomes, earning abilities, marital property, health, and contribution to the marriage of each spouse, the court can award temporary or permanent maintenance. In some cases, the court may order maintenance just through the process of the divorce. In other cases, the judge may award post-dissolution maintenance to allow the lesser earning spouse to get back on their feet and start supporting themselves. The latter type of maintenance is rarely ordered for longer than 5 years. In some cases, however, it can last for half the length of the marriage.
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Property division in Clark County
How is property divided in Kentucky? According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 403.190 (Disposition of (Marital) Property), the court will divide assets fairly and equitably.
Even though Kentucky is an equitable distribution state, under the Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act (UDCPRDA), marital property can be divided using community property laws if one of the spouses used to live in a state with community property. Divorcing couples do not lose their pre-existing property rights when they move to Kentucky and file for divorce there.
When deciding what to give each spouse, the court makes a decision based on each party’s contribution to the marital property, each spouse’s economic circumstances through the process of the divorce, each party’s earning capacity, and whether either party wasted or destroyed marital property.
For example, if one spouse brings their own house into the marriage and has made payments and repairs for the house, the court will not give half of the house to the other spouse, because he or she did not contribute to it during the marriage.
The divorcing couple can decide how they want to split marital property on their own and write it down in a marital settlement agreement. If they choose not to split half and half, they need to explain to the judge what motivates that decision. The judge may allow it if he or she finds it reasonable and fair.
Whereas cars are not marital property, real estate, land, furniture, bank accounts, and retirement accounts are included as marital property. Therefore, dividing retirement accounts can be complicated and requires the help of an attorney.
Getting a divorce on your own is a great option for an uncontested divorce, but throughout the process, you may find some issues that you and your spouse may struggle to settle. In such a case, mediation is an option. Mediation can be done with or without the participation of divorce attorneys for each spouse.
In any case, self-representing petitioners are recommended to pursue self-help resources, like the Kentucky Legal Aid website, and learn more about divorce-related matters.
Mediation shall proceed only if both spouses agree. It is not up to the mediator to convince either party that mediation is necessary.
How to file for divorce in Clark County | Step-by-Step
Make sure you meet the requirements. Clark County, KY requires that one of the spouses meets the state residency requirements. To do so, you must be a resident of Kentucky for at least 180 days and a resident of Clark County at the moment of filing. However, if the petitioner has not lived in Clark County for at least 3 months, the respondent can challenge the venue and the court will transfer the divorce case to a county where one or both of the parties reside or dismiss it altogether. If neither of the parties has lived in the state for at least 6 months, they cannot file in Kentucky. They need to wait until they have been a resident of Kentucky for 180 days and then file for divorce. If the petitioner meets the residency requirements and files in Kentucky but the respondent has never lived in the state, the Kentucky court will finalize the divorce but will not be able to divide marital assets. If the respondent lived in Kentucky during the marriage and then moved out of the state and the petitioner meets the residency requirements, the Kentucky court can both finalize the divorce and divide marital assets. It is very important to note that the finalization of the divorce can only be granted after the divorcing spouses have been separated for at least 60 days. Also, the wife cannot be pregnant at the moment of filing; otherwise, the spouses must wait until the baby is born before they can file for divorce.
Find your local court and obtain court forms to fill out. If you do not know the address of your local family court division, visit the Kentucky Judicial Branch website or the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. You will need to fill out three forms: the Petition, case Data Sheet, and Certificate of Divorce. Either get printable forms from OnlineDivorce.com or obtain them from a court’s clerk.
Fill out the court forms. Note that the Certificate of Divorce form cannot be hand-written; it must be typed and printed out on 25% Cotton Bond Paper with a visible watermark (the paper is widely available). If you have trouble filling out the forms, seek help from local court staff or use the services of an online divorce forms preparation company like OnlineDivorce.com. Remember to make two copies of each document and have all documents signed in front of a notary.
File your divorce papers and pay the filing fee. To file the divorce paperwork, you must visit the courthouse and get a number for the case. The court clerk stamps and files the papers and gives you back the two copies. You will also have to pay a filing fee, which is $153 in Clark County, KY. If you cannot afford the filing fees, you can request a fee waiver. If the judge grants your request, you will get an exemption from paying the filing fees until the divorce is finalized.
Serve your spouse. Serving your spouse is a crucial stage of a divorce, and the court cannot move forward with the divorce process unless the other spouse is served. Having kept one copy of the divorce papers for yourself, you must serve your spouse the other copy as soon as possible. Under Kentucky law, you have 45 days to serve the spouse after the initial filing. Otherwise, your divorce case will automatically be dismissed. There are several options on how to serve your spouse. You can deliver the papers by certified mail, through a sheriff or personal process server, or even through a relative or friend. Choose the cheapest, most reliable, or fastest way, but just do not do it by yourself or through your children. The address of delivery is either your spouse’s home (if he or she goes pro se) or at his or her attorney’s office. However, if you both agreed on an amicable divorce, there is no need to serve. Arrange a service waiver and have it notarized.
Wait for the response. Your spouse has the right to file a response and/or a counter-claim to your divorce petition. He or she will pay the filing fee when filing the response with the court or will get a fee waiver. If they fail to file a response, the petitioner (you) have the right to apply for a default judgment.
File financial disclosure. Under Kentucky law, each party is required to disclose their financial information to the court. The court requires the couple’s financial information in order to make informed decisions on child support, alimony, and temporary orders.
Attend a final hearing or wait for a divorce decree. After all the above-mentioned steps are taken, the couple either signs a settlement agreement or requests the court to schedule a final hearing. The easiest way to get an uncontested divorce is to sign a marital settlement agreement where the spouses settle all divorce-related matters either before they file for divorce or during the waiting time after filing. The judge will review the couple’s settlement agreement and upon approving it will issue the final decree of divorce. At the final hearing, one or both spouses will be requested to answer the judge’s questions. If the paperwork is in order, he or she will sign the final decree. After that, the couple is officially divorced and will get the divorce decree by mail.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney
fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels
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Filing fees for divorce in Clark County
In Clark County, KY, the filing fee ranges from $113 to $153 depending on whether the parties go pro se or are represented by attorneys.
Qualifying for in forma pauperis, you can request to have the filing fees waived.
How long will it take?
In Clark County, KY, the divorce process cannot be shorter than the 60 days required for the spouses to live separately. Also, keep the 45-day timeframe to serve the other spouse in mind.
Thus, the average timeline for an uncontested divorce in Kentucky is around 90 days.
The length of the divorce process depends on the couple’s individual circumstances. For example, if the spouse refuses to sign a settlement agreement or some points of contention cannot be resolved throughout the waiting period, it will take longer for a divorce to finalize.
On average, couples with children require more time to settle. Couples without children of the marriage can get their divorce decrees sooner.
Filing for divorce in Clark County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Clark County, KY A divorce can involve several types of expenditures, depending on the circumstances of the case. One expense that is common in all cases is the filing fees. But this expense can be waived if the family has a low income. Another common expense is the fee to have documents notarized. Beyond this, expenses will vary depending on the services used. Attorney fees are typically the highest expense. Lawyers are often paid by the hour, so the more complex and longer the case, the higher the cost. For uncontested cases, some law firms offer a flat fee price. Additional costs could include mediation fees, fees for parenting classes, appraiser fees for marital property, and financial services related to retirement funds and other family finances.
How to file for divorce in Clark County, KY without a lawyer? It isn’t too difficult to file for divorce in Kentucky without a lawyer. In addition to self-help resources on local circuit court websites, divorcing spouses can get qualified help with completing their paperwork from OnlineDivorce.com.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Clark County, KY? The bare minimum for any divorce is:
Petition for Dissolution
Case Data Sheet
Certificate of Divorce
The necessary forms beyond that will depend on the individual circumstances of your case.
Can I file for legal separation in Clark County, KY? Yes, Kentucky recognizes legal separation as a viable alternative to divorce. However, both spouses must agree to legally separate. If one spouse disagrees to be legally separated, the court will not approve it. A legal separation can be converted to a divorce not earlier than after 12 months.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce? Kentucky has no waiting period to remarry after a divorce is final.
Divorce in Clark County online
Get your completed divorce forms and save thousands in legal fees
Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
Divorce Courts in Clark County, Kentucky
Clark County Family Court
Nora J. Shepherd
Jeffrey M. Walson
Paula S. Joslin
34 S. Main Street, Winchester, Kentucky 40391
8:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Two-hour and 30-minute parking are available around town square. There is a Municipal lot at the corner of Broadway and Highland. Jurors should park in this lot.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing times - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
based in other countries? No wonder some clients are provided with outdated divorce forms that will
be rejected by the court. The result? Those people lose their time and money because these
unprofessional services do not keep their state forms up-to-date.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service, some sites post reviews by non-existent "customers".
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