With lenient rules for allowing for divorce in Kentucky, the courts routinely grant divorce wishes for couples wanting to end a marriage. The laws of the state allow for divorce when the parties cannot find a way forward.
However, language in Kentucky laws also directs the courts to preserve the integrity of marriage whenever possible. This philosophy led a judge to reject the divorce request, at least temporarily, of a couple in 2021.
Judge orders additional counseling
WLKY News reported on a judge who ordered a couple to undergo reconciliation counseling instead of granting the divorce. The judge based her decision on the belief that the couple could work things out, even after they had spent $13,000 on counseling and attorney fees. Both the husband and wife in the proceeding articulated that they tried counseling four times and they doubted more counseling would work.
The judge based her decision on a determination that the couple did not yet meet the definition of an irretrievably broken marriage. The judge stated in her ruling that the couple could work things out through better communication and a more mature emotional relationship. The couple retained a degree of cordiality in the proceedings and expressed a desire to put the needs of their child before their own needs.
Attorneys react with surprise
The lawyers in the case for both sides found the ruling surprising. The unexpected decision did not conform to the expectations of either of the attorneys in the case. Another wrinkle to the case came in the judge’s ruling that the couple could not introduce anyone with whom they have a dating interest to their child.