What You Need To Know About Marital Property Division In Kentucky
A key decision in any divorce is the division of property between the divorcing spouses. At Aldridge & Birdwhistell, we work with the parties to negotiate a property settlement agreement that meets the needs of both parties. When an agreement cannot be reached, we provide the necessary representation to ensure that our clients’ rights to a fair distribution are adequately protected.
But parting spouses do not always agree. In these cases, they are required under the Supreme Court of Kentucky to disclose all information about their assets, liabilities, retirement and income. The court then makes an equitable division of the assets and debts.
Equitable Distribution In Kentucky
The judge in a Kentucky divorce is required to divide the marital property in “just proportions” to each spouse, which is known in legal circles as equitable distribution of the marital property. An equitable distribution is one that the court decides is fair, taking into account all the relevant factors.
The first step is locating and identifying every piece of marital property. Basically, marital property includes all money and any assets (or debts) that were acquired during the marriage. Some property may be considered separate property if it was gifted or bequeathed to one spouse alone, but even these monies and assets can become marital property depending on how they are treated.
We know the law and can help ensure that every piece of property is properly characterized as marital or separate. In addition, if one spouse is hiding assets, we can employ the investigators and experts needed to track down and recover hidden assets.
The Importance Of Accurate Valuations
Once all property has been located and properly classified as marital or separate, it is crucial that all the property be accurately valued, in order for the court to make an equitable (fair) distribution. Property valuation can be simple or complex, depending upon the assets involved. Complicated issues arise when one spouse is self-employed, owns a business or has exotic assets such as stock options.
Our attorneys are adept at high net worth property divisions or those involving complex assets.
Factors That Determine Property Division
In determining what kind of property division will be equitable or just, you might think that the court will consider any marital misconduct on the part of either spouse, but this is actually not the case. Instead, the judge looks at factors like the following:
- The contribution each spouse made to the acquisition of the marital property
- The contribution a spouse made to the marriage as a homemaker
- The value of the property set apart to each spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time of the property division
- Whether the family home should be awarded at least temporarily to the spouse with primary custody of the children
Get Experienced Legal Representation
In all aspects of property division, you can benefit from the advice and representation of knowledgeable and experienced Kentucky divorce lawyers. We can help. Call 270-872-0912 in Elizabethtown or 502-907-2899 in Louisville, or send us a message online for assistance. We also serve clients throughout Central Kentucky.