How to Get Legally Separated in Kentucky

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Legal separation in Kentucky is similar to divorce proceedings. The main difference is that a legal separation doesn't end the marriage. Some couples chose to go this route other than divorce either because the couple thinks that some time away could result in reunification or because one or both spouses has a moral or ethical objection to divorce, but cannot live with the other spouse.

Live apart from your spouse for at least 60 days. You must live apart for 60 days before starting legal separation proceedings. One spouse must be a Kentucky resident for at least 180 days.

Determine whether you want to permanently leave your spouse, or just can't live with your spouse. If you and your spouse agree on issues like finances and child custody, you don't have to petition the court. But if you and your spouse can't agree on these issues, you should petition for legal separation.

File a Petition for Legal Separation at your county courthouse. Hire a lawyer to help you fill out this form if it's confusing. Pay the filing fee, which varies by county. The other spouse will be served either through mail or by the authorities with a summons and the petition.

Write up the terms of the separation, including custody and finances if both parties agree. This document is then filed with the court. If the parties don't agree, a judge will hear the case or the couple will go through mediation.

Make a motion to enter a Decree of Legal Separation to the judge. This states that the couple is married, but separated. The couple cannot move for a divorce for 365 days.


About the Author

Kristine Brite worked as a community journalist and public relations specialist before moving onto freelance writing. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Indiana University and has six years of professional writing experience.

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