A Kentucky judge threw both a divorcing couple and their attorneys a major curveball early last month when she declined to grant their petition for a dissolution of their marriage.
Years ago, it wasn’t that unusual for couples to find ending their marriage a challenge. Today, however, “no-fault” divorces have become the rule — not the exception. So what happened here?
Kentucky’s law has some wording that leaves room for interpretation
Every state has its own laws regarding no-fault divorces. In some states, couples merely need to agree to end their marriage. In others, they must live separate and apart for some length of time before they can divorce.
In Kentucky, the court (in the person of the presiding judge) must find that a marriage is “irretrievably broken” in order to grant a petition for dissolution — and that simply didn’t happen this time.
The judge was seemingly taken aback by the fact that the couple has agreed to set aside their differences in order to be good co-parents to their daughter — which is an admirable act. It was also enough to apparently make the judge question whether counseling could preserve the marriage. Despite the fact that the couple has tried it before, she ordered them to give counseling one more try.
Should you worry about your divorce petition being denied?
Probably not. The judge’s ruling isn’t without a legal basis, but it is unusual enough that it drew attention all over the nation. The vast majority of people who want to end their marriage are able to do so without significant problems.
Whatever your concerns, it’s easier to work through the divorce process when you have experienced legal guidance.