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There may be any number of reasons why couples in Richmond choose to divorce. Yet as the laws regulating divorce have changed over the years, so too has the perception of the reasons why people separate. Most have likely heard the term “no-fault divorce” yet not have a strong understanding of what it means. A review of the shifting philosophy of what constitutes grounds for divorce in Kentucky may help to better define it. 

Section 403.050 of Kentucky’s Domestic Relations Code details the state’s “divorce from bed and board” law. The years past, one had to prove that their spouse was at fault for ending their relationship before a divorce could be granted. If such proof could not be found, one could then be granted a divorce from bed and board (which equates to a legal separation). Although this law remains on the books, it is no longer cited. 

The reason for the abandonment of the divorce from bed and board is due to Kentucky becoming a no-fault divorce state. In Section 403.170 of the state’s Revised Statutes it says that today, the claim that a marriage is irretrievably broken is all that is needed to qualify for a divorce (for the purpose of this statute, “irretrievably broken” is defined as there being no possibility of a reconciliation). One partner in a marriage does not need to be deemed as being at fault for the breakdown of a marriage in order for a divorce to be granted. 

One spouse may object to the claim that their marriage is broken. If this happens, the court will then consider whether or not the marriage is indeed salvageable and either grant the divorce petition or order counseling (in which case, a follow-up hearing will then be held to reconsider the matter).