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Date: 12-03-2012

State's Office of Vital Statistics announces changes to divorce form;

Kentucky Press News Service

FRANKFORT - Obtaining forms for registering divorces with the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics will soon be made easier, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has announced.

In compliance with a new law enacted by the 2012 General Assembly, the Office of Vital Statistics is slated to make new electronic documents for reporting divorces to the agency available via the agency’s website by the end of the calendar year. CHFS officials report that a new electronic version of the document, primarily used by attorneys, will be accessible online beginning in this month for use in the completion of all divorce certificates filed with the agency. This new electronic form will be required for all divorces filed on Jan. 1, 2013, and later, according to a state news release.

“Making the divorce form available electronically will allow the document to be much more accessible to legal representatives of divorcing couples,” Kentucky State Registrar Paul Royce said in the news release. “We’re very happy to be able to accommodate the needs of the courts and are working to make sure they are aware of this important change to our recordkeeping system.”

CHFS is partnering with the Administrative Office of the Courts to make sure key audiences are aware of the change. Notifications will be sent to all circuit clerks in the state, as well as the Kentucky Bar Association and various attorney groups and associations.

“We’re pleased to work with the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics to help make the divorce certificate available in an electronic format,” Laurie K. Dudgeon, director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which provides administrative support to the state court system, said. “This new format will make it much easier to complete and file with Vital Statistics.”

Royce noted the current paper form will no longer be available as of Jan, 1, 2013 – the date the Office of Vital Statistics will begin accepting the new form. The Office of Vital Statistics will no longer accept the old form for processing as of that date.

“Any old forms submitted after Jan. 1 will be returned to the sender and required to be resubmitted on the new format,” said Royce.

Changes are due to legislation passed by the 2012 Kentucky General Assembly calling for an electronic version of the divorce form that could be completed electronically and downloaded from the Office of Vital Statistic’s website. At present, divorce forms are paper-based and must be obtained at local health department offices.

Under the new law, Senate Bill 57, the form can be obtained electronically by legal staff and printed for processing through circuit court clerk offices. The downloadable divorce form is identified as the VS-300.

Additionally, the dimensions of the form will change to a standard letter size paper and the revision date will be updated to (REV 01/2013). The revised document will also require attorneys to supply their address.

The new form, along with detailed instructions, will be available Dec. 3, 2012 at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/vital/.

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