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What do Kentucky laws say about property division in divorce?

If you consider getting a divorce, concerns about the process and how it will affect you in the future go along with that decision. Like most people, not knowing what your financial future will look like when the process ends could cause you a great deal of fear and anxiety.

Kentucky, just like every other state, has specific guidelines as to how the law treats assets during divorce. This week's column explores that topic.

Equitable distribution or community property law? Which applies

Two different types of property laws that states follow exist: equitable distribution and community property. In equitable distribution states, the marital estate does not necessarily include all assets. In community property states, the marital estate includes all assets unless you provide evidence to prove otherwise.

Equitable distribution does not mean an equal division of shared property. It simply means that each party will walk away with assets of approximately equal value. For example, if one spouse wants the marital home or another valuable piece of real estate, the other spouse might receive more in other monetary assets. Kentucky adheres to equitable distribution laws.

Who decides who gets to keep what?

You and your spouse retain the right to determine your own property division settlement through private negotiations or mediation. If you and your spouse fail to reach an agreement out of court, a judge then decides who gets to keep what. In order to do this fairly, a judge will take into consideration the following:

  • Contributions of each spouse
  • Economic circumstances of both parties
  • Marriage length
  • Property value

In the end, regardless of whether you negotiate your own terms or you need court intervention, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse should leave the marriage with an equitable share of your marital property.

Get help with your property division settlement

You probably understand that the decisions made now greatly affect your post-divorce life. As such, you need to make sure your final settlement truly serves your best interests. You might not know where to start, what to fight for or what to let go of when going through the divorce process in order to make that happen. In addition, you need to determine the true value of each asset since other factors such as taxes, future maintenance and repair costs and other considerations could affect your decisions.

You would probably benefit from enlisting the help of a family law attorney to guide you through every aspect of your divorce filing. This includes helping you negotiate or litigate the property division settlement that you deserve.

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