What does an equitable property division solution look like in a Louisville divorce? Many people believe marital property is split right down the middle between divorcing parties in Louisville. This isn’t the case and Kentucky Family Law doesn’t specify a 50/50 split. How do the concepts of “fair” and “equitable” apply in these cases?
Marital property in Kentucky means all assets and debts acquired by either or both of the parties from the date of the marriage to the date of separation are often considered to be “marital” property but not in all cases. The spouses are not presumed to have equally shared the experience of and contributed to the marriage. Therefore, each spouse is not necessarily considered to have equal “ownership” of the asset or debt. Marital property is to be divided equitably between the couple. “Equitably” in this context means what is fair in the eyes of the Court unless the parties agree upon another arrangement. If the couple wishes to negotiate their own fair property settlement the Court must still review it and ultimately approve it.
For example, if one of the spouse’s wants to keep the family home and there is an existing equity of $150,000 in the home, that spouse would often need to offset the home’s equity with roughly $150,000 worth of other marital assets.
An equitable property division solution is often designed to balance iniquities between the parties. For example, if one former spouse is a high wage earner and the other left their career to raise children there is a disparity in the potential for income and cost of living between the parties going forward. It is not unusual in these cases for the lesser earning spouse to seek an additional portion of marital property to enhance financial viability for the future. Of course, these decisions can also have an impact upon issues such as maintenance.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may override the presumption of whether an asset is marital property or separate property of one of the spouses. Every couple has their own perception of what is “fair” or “equitable.” This is why it is important to seek the experienced, proven counsel of the divorce and family law attorneys at Dodd & Dodd. We provide sound advice as you negotiate property division. We represent our clients in mediation and work to help our clients to work toward an agreed upon solution which accomplishes their goals. If the parties are unable to reach an equitable property division solution the Court will ultimately make the final decision on the division of marital assets and debts.
We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our former clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.