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Family Law FAQ’s

Family Law FAQ's - Gwin Steinmetz & Baird

Some common questions our Family Law attorneys get regularly are set out below.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Family Law team of Callie E. or Tracey Clemmons Smith

In the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

  • What are the pros and cons regarding which spouse initiates a divorce? Are there any differences or advantages to have the other party initiate?

You may find contrary information on the internet, but there is NO advantage to who files.  The Petitioner (first filer) usually gets to go first at Trial, but most cases never reach Trial, as they resolve at Mediation. 

  • If one party truly does not want a divorce is there anything that can be done to prevent it or delay it from being finalized?

In general, the answer is NO.  Requesting reconciliation is the only real option, but if one party wants a divorce, even if the Court orders reconciliation, once the period of reconciliation expires, the Court can enter the Decree.  The only other option is just delay.  That works for a while, but the other party generally catches on and forces speed via Court Orders.

  • Although Kentucky is a “no fault” state, are there any differences if there is a reason other than “irretrievably broken” such as infidelity, abuse, excessive drinking, etc? 

No, the Court does not consider fault in the division of assets and you do not list any other “reasons” in a Petition.  The Court will only consider the things you have listed in the event of those impacting the Children (ie. Custody and parenting schedule, living arrangements, etc.). 

  • What sort of proof may be required to establish a reason other than “irretrievably broken”? 

See above.  Unless this relates to children, or the “at fault” party requesting maintenance, etc., you don’t need the proof.  Since you are the innocent party, and the party that would be getting maintenance your “fault’ is neither there nor relevant.  His “fault” would not likely impact anything but a dissipation claim (assuming he is diverting funds, etc.).  Dissipation of funds is an entirely different answer.

  • Would counseling sessions be a requirement to set up as “proof” if there is a mental issue such as depression / stress and or anxiety or additional unusual behavior?

See above.  You don’t need this proof.  If you are thinking of annulment grounds, that is a different answer altogether.  Is that what you are concerned about at this point?

  • I have been currently setting up a spreadsheet of our expenses, joint as well as separate finances and realized that we have various insurance policies what if the beneficialies are changed right before or during the divorce proceedings – would this be allowed? 

It can and does happen.  They can be changed back, of course, and generally I request a “status Quo” Order keeping all beneficiaries in place until an Agreement or Court Order.


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