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Kentucky's property distribution laws in divorce

Although most people do not enter into a marriage anticipating its demise, issues such the distribution of assets in the event of a divorce can definitely make living in one state more advantageous than another. Each day across Kentucky, court battles are waged and won regarding property disputes that arise out of divorce proceedings given the state's common law approach to the division of assets.

The idea of property not only refers to a home or a piece of land, but to personal property as well. As such, assets such as money held in a bank, jewelry, furniture and cars are also seen as property that stands to be split in a divorce.

Kentucky has equitable distribution laws in place, meaning that all marital assets are supposed to be split 50-50 in the case of a divorce. Marital property includes that which was obtained during the course of the couple's marriage, even if title to a particular asset is held in only one of the spouse's names. Any property given to the couple together as a gift or inherited by both is also considered a marital asset.

Non-marital property is property that one of the spouses already owned at the time the marriage occurred. It can also be a possession that can proven was gifted to them in their individual capacity as well.

While a judge ideally will divide marital assets 50-50, there are certain mitigating factors that may impact the judge's decision. These include financial solvency of the spouses, whether children are in the picture, who intends to remain living in the home and how much one spouse versus another contributed to the upkeep of the home during the marriage.

If an agreement cannot be reached on the value of assets, an appraisal may be ordered to do so. Alternatively, some amicable couples and their attorneys might be capable of working out settlements outside the courtroom that both parties see as equitable.

If you're facing a divorce and you are concerned about what falls into the category of marital property and how fairly they are going to be distributed, an attorney can help. He or she will be able to help you understand what assets you may lay claim to with the goal of helping you reach a swift dissolution of your marriage.

Source: Legal Aid Network of Kentucky, "Property in a divorce," accessed Jan. 05, 2017

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