What factors affect property division in a Kentucky divorce?

Divorce should not be viewed as an opportunity to air lingering grudges against your spouse. Indeed, if a couple cannot agree to the terms of a separation agreement, a court will be forced to make the determinations regarding property division. In Kentucky, that means equitable distribution, or what the court determines to be fair. Notably, fairness does not necessarily require a 50-50 split.

Kentucky law also allows for a no-fault divorce filing, typically citing an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Accordingly, a spouse’s cheating will not influence a court’s determination of fair property division. However, a court will consider other subjective factors in determining equitable distribution. 

For example, the contribution of each spouse in acquiring the asset or property is a factor. In that determination, a spouse’s contribution as a homemaker may be considered. The length of a marriage will also influence the court’s property division. A court may also inquire about the financial circumstances of each spouse. Finally, extra considerations may also apply to some types of property awards, such as whether a child would benefit from awarding the family home to the custodial parent.

A court may also make determinations regarding property that is excluded from the marital estate. Inheritances are generally not considered marital property. Property acquired before the marriage is also generally excluded. However, any increase in an asset's value may affect that exclusion, regardless of how the property was acquired. To the extent that a value increase resulted from a spouse’s efforts during the marriage, a portion of the asset's value may be due the other spouse.

Finally, keep in mind that our family law and divorce attorneys are experienced in a variety of settlement and negotiation techniques. Even when emotions run high, our attorneys can work to keep parties on task and achieve a property division proposal that is fair and likely to be approved by a court.

Source: FindLaw, “Kentucky Marital Property Laws,” copyright 2016, Thomson Reuters

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