Kentucky is an equitable division state when it comes to allocating marital assets and debts. While a couple must divide these items fairly, that does not necessarily mean an equal split.
Before negotiating how to divide property in the divorce, review the answers to these common questions about Kentucky law.
Can a couple agree on a property division arrangement?
A divorcing couple can negotiate a separation agreement independently to divide assets and debts. However, the Kentucky court can override this agreement if it treats one spouse unfairly.
How does the court determine a fair arrangement?
When spouses cannot agree on property division, they can ask the court to decide on their behalf. When establishing a fair arrangement, the judge will consider:
- The value of the couple’s marital assets
- How long the marriage lasted
- The financial circumstances of each party
- The custody arrangements, where applicable
- The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition of marital assets and debts, including financial contributions as well as raising children and caring for the home
- Whether reckless activity such as gambling or substance use on behalf of either party contributed to marital debts
- Whether either spouse contributed to the other’s education
What constitutes separate property?
Some assets and debts belong solely to one spouse or the other. In Kentucky, so-called separate property includes:
- Assets established as separate in a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
- Property one spouse acquired when he or she exchanged or sold separate property
- Property gifted to or inherited by only one spouse
- Property either spouse acquired prior to the marriage
However, if separate property increased in value significantly during the marriage, the other spouse may receive a portion of the appreciated amount. This commonly occurs when one spouse purchased real estate before the marriage and the couple lived in the home together during the marriage.
When divorcing spouses own a substantial amount of marital property, professional valuation can ensure that each receives a fair share of assets and debts.