There is usually no advantage as to which spouse filed the divorce first. However, when there are certain financial matters, a spouse is having an affair, or there is an abuse situation, I would consider it an advantage to file the divorce first. If the marriage is just breaking down and both parties need to move on with their life, it doesn’t matter who files first. In Kentucky, there are options on how to approach the handling of a divorce. One way is by collaboration in mediation. Mediation is now generally requested by the Court in all family court cases in Kentucky. It allows the parties to have a dispute resolution system that does not pit one against the other in litigation.
By using mediation, we can bring people together to talk about how to resolve division of property, allocation of debts, and custody issues at a table where they can speak to one another. Another mechanism of changing and resolving the dispute is by collaborative law. There are many divorce lawyers who participate in collaborative law and those lawyers declare not go in front of a judge. They will help resolve the divorce case just by meeting with the opposing party regularly until a resolution is reached. Not even 10 percent of all types of cases go to trial and have a judge make a decision. Lawyers who practice in the family law arena try to help their clients overcome the emotionalism and hostility between broken hearts to reach a resolution everyone can live with.
How Is The Process of Divorce Initiated In Kentucky?
In Kentucky, a divorce is started by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage in the county that you reside. You must be a resident of Kentucky for 180 days prior to filing this dissolution of marriage petition. As in all lawsuits, a divorce petition has to be served on the other party and it can be served on them by certified mail or in person by the sheriff.
In our justice system in Kentucky, we have a judiciary which is made up of elected judges. They are the ultimate deciders in all cases filed in Kentucky. After the divorce is filed in the county in which you reside and the other party has been given notice of the filing, and if there are minor children involved, there is a minimum of a 60-day cooling-off period before a court could even have a hearing to divorce you.
A primary issue that most people who are going through divorce face is the custody, support, and parenting time of their children. Custody is governed by the Kentucky Revised Statutes and is generally going to be joint legal custody in most cases. Courts look to a statutory standard called the best interest test for the children. It deals with several factors that have to be considered before a judge would make a determination as to what is in the children’s best interests, in reference to custody. People need to understand that custody is a term of adjudication. The court decree of dissolution will grant custody by the entry of an order of the court. Custody adjudication is either made by the parties, by agreement, or the court will make the decision if they can’t reach an agreement. Custody is based upon the best interest test and the factors to be considered are such issues as the wishes of the parents and why they are expressing those wishes, the wishes of the children and why the children are expressing those interests, the relationship between the parents and the child, the child’s interaction with their school and community, their medical situations, and everyone’s mental health.
The majority of all custody in Kentucky is joint legal custody, where both parents have rights and obligations for child-rearing decisions in matters of health, education, and welfare. What that means is not one parent over the other can make a decision about child-rearing needs because both parents are legally responsible and obligated for the best interests of raising the children. The custody determination of a young child is different than the custody determinations for an older child because the older child can express their wishes in a much more explanatory way than a younger child.
Joint legal custody does not necessarily mean 50/50 time with the children. That is a different subject because parenting time is really determined based upon when the parent can exercise time with the children. If a parent is working, they can’t have parenting time. If certain jobs require them to be on odd shifts or out of town, their actual time with the children would be affected. Joint legal custody is still the general rule for custody of children unless there are extraordinary circumstances, like incarceration, mental health, domestic violence, or sexual abuse. The decisions in child-rearing for the children are going to be made jointly but parenting time is going to be a practical matter as to what works with the parent’s schedules and the children’s schedules.
As children age, they become more active and their schedules become more filled with extracurricular activities. The court is not going to interrupt the children’s lives because a parent does not want to take them to extracurricular activities or is unable to take them to extracurricular activities. The court’s general thinking is that the children come first and the parents come second. The children did not ask to be born it is the obligation of the parents to make sure that their children are raised in a loving, caring environment.
For more information on Filing First For Divorce In Kentucky, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (859) 341-2500 today.