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Obscure Kentucky law requires women to pay abuser's legal fees

Many states still have strange laws on the books. For instance, it is legally required in Kentucky for citizens to bathe at least once a year. Hopefully most of us are meeting more than the minimum legal requirements.

As amusing as the bathing law may be, sometimes outdated, obscure laws can be damaging. Such is the case with an old provision to state law regarding divorce and domestic violence. The provision in question requires women who are seeking to divorce an abusive spouse to pay for their legal fees.

Correcting the law

Thankfully, there is legislative momentum to remove this provision. After Jeanette McCue testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the abuse she endured from her ex-husband and the legal fees she was subsequently required to pay, the committee voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 68.

This bill, sponsored by Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville, requires the state to pay the legal costs of an inmate convicted of abuse in cases when the spouse who was the victim is seeking a divorce. The bill is currently on its way to the Kentucky Senate for action.

Hopefully the Kentucky legislature and Gov. Matt Bevin will take this bill through to law, providing financial relief for victims who are seeking to leave a harmful marriage. These divorces can be complicated and emotional, but victims do not have to face them alone. A family law attorney can serve victims with a full range of services and providing compassionate representation throughout all stages of the divorce.

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