Who Keeps What in a Divorce?
No one enjoys the divorce process, but the struggle becomes a reality for many couples here in Kentucky. When divorce is unavoidable, there are many things that need sorting out, including the division of shared property and assets. The laws that dictate the division of marital property vary state-to-state. If you are going through a divorce in the state of Kentucky, this post is an informative resource to help you understand how the process works.
Divorce Rates in Kentucky
Many people are aware of the common statistic that nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. What most people here in northern Kentucky may not know is that the divorce rate here in the state is actually higher than the national rate. “Divorce rate” is the percentage of divorced people per 1,000 residents. Here are the numbers according to the 2013-2017 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau:
- The overall divorce rate in the United States was 10.9%
- The divorce rate in the state of Kentucky was 13.1%
That’s a lot of people in Kentucky who have either gone through or are currently going through a divorce, which includes many people here in the Shepherdsville area. When a couple is legally dissolving their marriage, the division of assets often becomes a sticking point. This makes knowing how the state handles the division of marital property an important matter.
How is Marital Property Divided in Kentucky?
Not every state in the country handles marital property division the same way. Under Kentucky State law, the division of property is not always a 50-50 split. Instead, property division is handled through what is called “equitable distribution.” An important thing to note about equitable distribution is that the division of assets is required to be fair, even if it is not technically equal. If property division is not agreed upon by the couple outside of court, then a judge or mediator will be asked to distribute property based on the following factors:
- The value of assets awarded to either spouse
- The length of the marriage
- The level of contribution each member of the marriage made to acquire the property (this includes consideration of a stay-at-home spouse)
- The circumstances regarding the custody of children and living in the family home
There are distinctions between what is considered “marital property” and “separate property,” which determine what property you have that will not be allowed to be divided between you and your spouse.
What Property is Ineligible for Division?
If you have assets or property that is solely yours, you have the right to retain it after divorce. Understanding what property is separate from the marital property will help you to go into meditation and hearings with valuable knowledge. In Kentucky, marital property does not include:
- Inheritances left to you individuallyProperty that was owned prior to the marriage
- Property acquired during a legal separation
- Any property or assets specified in a prenuptial agreement
Notably, any income from or increase in the value of “separate property” is also considered separate property. For example, if you owned real estate prior to your marriage and you later sold the property, then the income you received from the sale would also be considered separate property and not subject to marital property division.
Shepherdsville, Kentucky Divorce Attorney
If you are facing a divorce, you should receive fair and equitable treatment. The future of your family and finances depend on the decisions you make today. You can put yourself in the best possible position to take control of your future by hiring the right divorce attorney to handle your case.
When you are going through the difficult and life-changing process of divorce, utilizing the services of an experienced divorce attorney can make all the difference. If you are in the north-central Kentucky area and are in need of legal representation, the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates in Shepherdsville, Kentucky is your best bet. Call me today!