Timeline of a Divorce Case

The Three Steps of a Divorce Case

A divorce case involves three (3) major steps. The amount of time and documentation involved in each step can vary between cases, but below is an overview of the major milestones of a divorce case in Louisville and elsewhere in Kentucky.

Step 1: The Filing

  • One spouse decides he or she will be filing the initial paperwork
  • That spouse will be known as the Petitioner
  • The divorce petition outlines basic facts of the marriage (not all details nor the terms of an agreement)
  • The non-filing spouse (known as the Respondent) will either hire an attorney or can sign an Entry of Appearance & Waiver

Step 2: The Finances

  • Even in cases where the parties have no joint assets and/or agree on everything, financial forms must be filed so the Court can assess the fairness of any agreement
  • The KY Courts website provides financial disclosure forms for both simple and complex estates
  • Each party can complete their own disclosure, or the Respondent can complete a disclosure acknowledgment
  • In a contested divorce, this step could take many months as the parties engage in discovery and/or depositions (written or verbal questions to obtain more information)

Step 3: The Finalization

  • In cases where the parties are in agreement, the Property Settlement Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement are signed and filed with the Court for approval along with the decree of divorce
  • When the parties cannot reach a written agreement on their own or through their attorneys, the parties may be ordered to mediation
  • If mediation is unsuccessful, a final hearing or trial date can be given by the Court for each side to present their case for the Court to make decisions in its decree