In this article, you can find answers to three important questions anyone should ask before going through the divorce process in Kentucky…
Before making big decisions about things like moving out during the divorce process, it's crucial to consult with a legal advisor. Remember, the choices you make in the early stages of a divorce can greatly influence the outcome later on – and as the old saying goes, “Even little facts can have massive impacts.” Seeking legal guidance will be invaluable when it comes to protecting your best interests along the way.
As for property rights, leaving your shared residence doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll forfeit your claims to your family home. You still retain your right to your share of any equity built up in any property that you own.
However, if you and your spouse both want to continue living in the home after the divorce, your chances of being awarded the property may lessen if you've already moved out. In this case, if your spouse was to claim sole ownership and continue living there, they would still need to buy you out so that you receive your fair share of the property's value.
Also, if you have minor children and decide to leave them behind when moving out, it could negatively affect you in custody proceedings later on. In fact, the courts could even view this as child abandonment.
On this note, when it comes to leaving your home, your personal safety is a priority. If you're in a situation where you or your loved ones feel unsafe, it’s important to secure your well-being, even if it means leaving your residence temporarily. In these situations, the law states that the court should not hold it against you if you left your home because you reasonably feared for your safety or the safety of your children.
Outside of protecting you and your loved ones from dangerous situations, it’s best to avoid making any big decisions during your divorce without first speaking to an attorney.
While filing for divorce before your spouse doesn't offer significant legal advantages, it does allow you to set the course of the case. By being the one to file, you communicate to the court that you are unhappy with your current situation – and the truth is, doing nothing about a situation you're unhappy with carries its own risks.
Courts generally assume that if a particular arrangement has been in place for a while, it must be because both people agreed to it. So, if you've silently endured something that you thought was unacceptable, the court might assume you were okay with it, which could harm your case. What’s more, if your spouse files before you do, the court might assume that you only started objecting to the situation as a form of retaliation, which could weaken your position.
For this reason, filing first can be a strategic step, especially when you disagree with what your spouse is doing. This act alone can serve as a formal declaration to the court that you're dissatisfied with the status quo, making it harder for anyone to argue that you are acting vindictively.
In Kentucky, a separation period of 60 days is required before a divorce decree can be finalized. Fortunately, the legal definition of "separation" does not necessarily mean you and your spouse need to be living in different houses; rather, it means that you have stopped living as a married couple under the same roof.
In some jurisdictions, however, the 60-day count begins when the other party is served the divorce papers. (In uncontested divorces, this is usually not an issue as both parties often acknowledge receipt or waive the need for formal service on the same day the petition is filed.)