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There is a lot at stake in a divorce, especially if you and your spouse share high assets. If there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation, you or your spouse may file for divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown. 

The court determines whether an irretrievable breakdown has taken place. Kentucky statutes outline the governing principles the court must follow and what happens if you or your spouse dispute that an irretrievable breakdown has taken place. 

What happens if one spouse denies an irretrievable breakdown? 

If your spouse alleges an irretrievable breakdown but you do not believe that it has taken place, you can deny it under oath. In that case, the court will make a determination by considering all relevant factors. The court may issue a continuance, in which case a further hearing will take place between 30 to 60 days later. You or your spouse can request a conciliation conference, or the court may order one. The court can suggest that you and your spouse undergo counseling, but it cannot order it. The court also has the option of making a finding of irretrievable breakdown without a continuance or additional hearing. 

When can the court issue the divorce decree? 

Even if both spouses agree that there is no reasonable prospect of reconciliation, or one spouse does not deny the other’s assertion to that effect, there are requirements that the court must meet before making a finding and issuing the divorce decree. For example, you and your spouse must live apart for at least 60 days before the court can issue a decree. Living apart does not necessarily mean keeping separate residences. You can live apart if you remain under the same roof but do not cohabitate sexually.