In early September, Doug and Nicole Potts were stunned when Family Court Judge Monica Meredith said that their marriage was not irretrievably broken as the couple claimed, which is required by state law for marriage dissolution. Despite the couple’s 13-year marriage, $13,000 in marriage counseling fees and a current separation, the judge said they should go back for more marriage counseling.
Strong working relationship the issue
Like many dedicated and conscientious parents, the couple set up a strong working relationship for raising their child. The judge claimed that she was impressed with how the couple co-parented their child, and thought that they may be able to still work it out by seeking counseling until mid-October. Moreover, despite establishing separate living arrangements, the couple was forbidden from introducing new partners to the young child in the meantime.
The judge cited the court’s obligation to safeguard family relationships. She added in her decree: “Frankly, the Court observes these parties to be two people who have lost the ability to communicate with one another about their emotional relationship and, perhaps, have let their pride become a wall between them.”
The judge also did not make the ruling her final order, which means that there is no way at this time for the couple to appeal her decision.
Everyone is surprised
News of the judge’s unexpected decision made national news with several outlets. The couple was interviewed, explaining that they were stunned by the judge’s ruling. Even the couple’s lawyer did not expect this ruling. One filed a motion to have the ruling set aside and enter a decree.
Ruling could set precedent
Judge Meredith’s decision could greatly impact couples filing for divorce in Kentucky if it is regarded as a valid precedent. Couples with working relationships but loveless or broken marriages must now contend with this unusual ruling regarding behavior that typically is celebrated during divorce proceedings. Watch this page for more.