Depending on one’s situation, a divorce can be a nightmare. But, if one’s divorce is amicable, can there be nightmarish consequences? For one couple, recently, their amicability was punished by a judge who denied their divorce filing.
The court proceeding
The court proceeding was in the Bullitt County Family Court in Kentucky. Prior to this denial, the couple had been separated for about a year, spent over $13,000 on marriage counseling and the husband was already dating someone. Both the spouses agreed that the marriage was over and reconciliation was not possible. However, the family court judge disagreed.
She had a “gut feeling” that couple may be able to reconcile because of their demeanor with each other in court. As a result, she found that the law enabled her to deny the divorce, and mandate that the ex-couple go back to marriage counseling. In addition, she ordered that the couple would have to try to make the marriage work in earnest, and could not just go through the motions.
Why would the judge do this?
The judge seemed to base her motion and order on the interactions between the couple in court. According to their attorneys, both spouses agreed early on to conduct the divorce amicably with the best interests of their children at heart. This meant that each interaction in front of the judge was cordial and not contentious. Normally, this would speed up a trial. But, here, it through a wrench in the entire process.
Do other divorcing couples need to worry about this?
For, Omaha, Nebraska, divorcing couples, probably not. But, for those in Kentucky, maybe because this could set a precedent to deny divorce requests based on the gut feelings of judges. Here though, and throughout the country, it is highly unlikely this will become a trend, especially as the amount of negative publicity increases. Though, as any attorney will tell their client, judges can do just about whatever they want, which is why it is so important to consult with one prior to filing anything.