The hardest part of divorce can be figuring out how to separate your life from your spouse. Children and personal property are often the biggest hurdles a divorcing couple will need to overcome to dissolve their marriage legally.
While it can be easy for a couple to acknowledge that shared custody is the best arrangement for their kids, seeing eye to eye about how to split up their property often isn’t as easy. Many couples wind up going through a contested divorce because they can’t figure out how to properly split their assets on their own.
What happens in contested property division cases?
Under Kentucky law, the judge presiding over a contested filing will have to find an equitable or fair way to split your property. Anything earned or acquired during the marriage not protected by a marital agreement will likely be subject to division.
Couples often have few options if they disagree with specific terms set in the property division order by the judge. If you need to protect certain property or feel strongly about specific terms, you may want to aim for an uncontested filing. Doing so requires that you settle the terms for property division with your spouse.
Talk with your lawyer, and get ready to negotiate
Paving the way for an uncontested filing doesn’t take much. Letting your attorney know that you and your ex would like to resolve things as amicably as possible as you start the divorce will ensure that the way that you approach things will allow for flexibility and compromise.
Understanding how the courts split your property and what kind of requests are reasonable lets you start negotiations with a realistic goal in mind. You also want to have an understanding of your household assets and income so that you can make a reasonable case for supporting the terms that you suggest.
Consider whether you will need outside help
In theory, your lawyer and your ex’s lawyer can work cooperatively to hammer out compromises that will work for your entire family. However, sometimes there are specific terms that people aren’t willing to be flexible on or unrealistic expectations are in the way.
Just because you can’t seem to reach a compromise directly does not mean your only choice is to leave a judge in control of your financial future. You and your ex, as well as your respective attorneys, can always sit down to talk things out in mediation or arbitration, both of which have benefits depending on your household needs.
Although both mediation and arbitration require that you pay an additional professional for their services, if successful, such proceedings could help keep the cost of divorce low and enable you to retain control over the property division process.