Is Legal Separation Recognized in Kentucky?
In Kentucky, legal separation is similar to divorce, except for the final product. When two people want to take a break from their marital obligations but are not sure whether divorce is the right move, they can opt for legal separation which will protect their rights, liberties, and divide responsibilities, as they make up their minds on the way forward.
Under the law, the party seeking separation must file the Kentucky Marital Separation Agreement then serve the summons and petition to the other party. If both husband and wife agree with the contents of the agreement, they must file the same with the court for further action. Only after the judge has made the decision will the couple be issued with a Decree of Legal Separation that will be valid for 365 days from the day the court order came into effect. The parties will remain married, and they are not allowed to file for dissolution of marriage until 365 days lapse.
For parties to enter any decree, they have to be living separately or apart for at least 60 days. Living apart includes living under the same roof without cohabiting, as per KRS 403.170. This period is meant to allow the couple to ‘cool off’ and maybe to resolve their issues before deciding to enter a decree that will end a marriage.
Is Legal Separation the Better Option?
There are usually many reasons for a couple to opt for legal separation, among them religious and ethical beliefs. If a couple agrees that divorce is not the right thing to do and are willing not to remarry at least for the period they hold this view, marital separation is the only other solution. Some are held together by things they may have little or no control of, including shared health insurance.
For some, there is s little hope somewhere that the marriage can be salvaged, and so they could use the year to try and work things out. Sentiments may make one want to stay legally married but living separate lives.
Parties to a legal separation are expected to agree. If one feels that a divorce would be the right idea, the court will usually grant a divorce. The Marital Separation Agreement in Kentucky is designed with the idea that a couple is in agreement. If there is dissent, the court will not enter a separation decree.
Requirements for a Separation Decree
They do not differ too much from those of marriage dissolution. Both parties have to agree to the decree, and they have to prove that the marriage is broken in a way that only separation can fix it. If they opt for dissolution at the end of the set period, they will only issue the court with new documents to support the decision. The couple is also expected to be living apart for the stated 60 days before filing. The court will accept separate agreements submitted by a couple that is already separated or was on the verge of separating.
After 365 days since entry of the decree, one party can go ahead and seek a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. No other proceedings are necessary, and the court may decide to adopt the separation decree as is if it was fair. Should the parties reconcile, they will enter an order for resumption of marital relations which will most likely nullify the separation decree. The law is not clear on the steps to take in case of reconciliation, but some cases have set the precedence.
Should you wish to proceed with a legal separation in the state of Kentucky, we offer templates and online samples of Marital Separation Agreements that make the process that much faster.
Whether you live in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green, Owensboro, Covington or any other city of Kentucky, you can use our legal forms easily.