In general, things go more smoothly when people get along. Ironically, spouses usually separate due to being on different pages and wanting to go other directions. Regardless, the agreement has a lot to do with how quickly you can get through the divorce process.
In Kentucky, and like many other states, the waiting period for a divorce is 60 days. Couples without children are able to finalize a difference shortly after filing their separation period. If you and your spouse do have minor children, the process will probably take longer.
Aside from the waiting period, another major factor is whether your divorce is contested or uncontested.
Uncontested is generally faster than contested
A contested divorce basically means you and your spouse disagree on certain aspects of the divorce. This could be a small disagreement or a large dispute. Either way, the process is typically longer and more expensive.
On the other hand, an uncontested divorce is an opposite. If you and your spouse are on the same terms, the court will need to see a martial settlement agreement. Depending on your situation, the agreement generally includes the following:
- Alimony: Negotiating alimony with your spouse is not the most appealing conversation. However, if you are trying to save on time, try to come to an agreement without excessive court involvement. You can do this by evaluating both you and your spouse’s separate assets, income, benefits, and expense information.
- Custody: Talking about your children is a delicate situation, but custody is extremely important. Sit down and discuss with your spouse about what is best for your child. Who should have physical custody? Would your child benefit from living in a certain neighborhood, or close to school? Make it about them, not you.
- Child Support: Child support and alimony often go hand-in-hand. You want to discuss how much the non-custodial parent will need to pay the primary caregiver, which is the parent who has physical custody. Usually, the parent with physical custody is already paying out-of-pocket for most of the child’s expenses. Therefore, the other parent needs to provide additional financial support.
- Property division: Marital property is another hot topic. Try to figure out what the separate property is, and set that aside. This includes anything you or your spouse owned or inherited prior to the marriage. Usually, there is no reason to fight over such personal property.
Filing a no-fault, uncontested divorce can help you avoid unnecessary fees and delays. An attorney can assist couples in making smart legal decisions and give a third viewpoint on other dilemmas. Overall, it may benefit you and your spouse to amicably discuss the process.