Property division: What if one spouse disposes of marital assets?

When it comes to a divorce, Kentucky is an equitable distribution state. The general rule for property divisions is that the spouses must divide their marital assets according to what the court will regard as fair. Divorcing spouses can work out the split themselves; otherwise, the court will do it for them. Sometimes, one spouse might be vindictive and attempt to spend down assets before the property division can take place.

However, there are measures in place to prevent such action. Divorce is a difficult time during which emotions can take over and cause people to do things they would not normally do. To ensure all the marital property is available for distribution, a court order to prevent disposal of assets typically accompanies the divorce papers.

When the Petition for Divorce is served on the Respondent, a Summons will be enclosed. This is a type of restraining order to inform the person who is the recipient of the divorce papers that he or she may not dispose of any marital assets. Furthermore, the summons will prohibit the cancellation of insurance policies or modifications of beneficiaries on policies until after the divorce hearing.

When a Kentucky resident who is going through a divorce suspects his or her soon-to-be ex is spending down marital assets, the most appropriate step might be to discuss the matter with an experienced divorce attorney. A lawyer will assess the circumstances and explain the available remedies. An attorney can take the necessary action to prevent excessive spending or disposal of assets and ensure the property division process is fair.

Source:, "Spending Down Assets After Divorce is Filed", Jodee Redmond, Accessed on Sept. 22, 2017

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