As you and your ex begin the divorce process, you learn that a large part involves separating your property, assets and debts from one another. You also find out that going to court to settle your divorce means a judge will have a final say in the division of your marital property. But, reviewing state laws surrounding marital property can help give you a better idea of what to expect.
In Kentucky, the courts follow equitable distribution laws, meaning that the division isn’t just 50/50. Instead, the judge uses fairness as a guide to determine the percentage of the marital estate each party will receive. Your marital estate includes anything you’ve acquired through the course of your marriage, like a family home, cars you share or joint bank accounts.
If you can get along or work together with your soon-to-be ex, then you might be able to add a sense of predictability to the property division process. You can do this by creating a draft of how you’d like to divide assets within your separation agreement. The court has the authority to reject or rearrange what you propose. But it will probably be fair if you were able to put your differences aside and not hide any assets.
Equitable but not equal
As a judge splits your assets, they will review several factors that may create an uneven division. This can include the length of your marriage, who will become the custodial parent, and how much each spouse contributed to marital property acquisition.
The judge will also steer clear from splitting up any property that you never shared with your spouse in the first place. Any individual gifts or inheritances you’ve received and assets you entered the marriage with are known as separate property and aren’t subject to division.
There are so many moving parts involved in marital property division. But an experienced attorney can help devise a separation agreement that gives you solid financial base to begin your next phase of life.