There are two central pieces of the equitable distribution puzzle in Northern Kentucky as a divorce unfolds.
- The Division of property.
- The Division of debt.
They also tend to be the most overlooked after the divorce is complete. Divorce decrees will tell how these divisions are to be completed and give a time limit to them being completed. Unfortunately this does not always happen as agreed. Spouses may delay in refinancing home loans or auto loans out of the other spouses name which might not seem like a big issue until a payment is missed and both parties credit scores take the hit. Assets may be required to be divided and one party might be waiting on the money to purchase a new home after the divorce. What if the ex spouse does not comply with the courts ruling and produce the money when it is needed? It is important to understand things don’t always go as planned and additional legal action may sometimes be necessary.
At our office, we’re committed to assisting our clients with their questions and concerns over these processes whether they are going through mediation, negotiation, collaborative law, or a traditional litigated case. When developing a strategy for equitable distribution, we review factors like inheritances or gifts, the value of the property aligned with each spouse, any property received prior to the marriage, and the contributions of each spouse towards the marriage property.
Property and debt division will depend on the circumstances of each individual divorce. For example, some couples may agree that there is no marital or shared property/divorce. More often than not, however, there will be some items to discuss.
There are three different stages to property division in a divorce.
- The court first must be able to determine which assets are marital and not marital.
- The non-marital property will be officially assigned to the appropriate party.
- The remaining property will be divided equitably.
Most property obtained and acquired over the course of the marriage will be included as marital property with limited exceptions.
The first stage of the property division process is very important, since it determines what property is marital or non-marital. We can provide you the proper guidance in order to ensure that all of the non-marital property is kept in your possession to protect your interests in the distribution of marital property. Under Kentucky law, the court must divide marital property under what’s known as “in just proportions”. All relevant factors can be explored by the court, although adultery or other marital misconduct cannot be considered.
The official consideration and settlement of assets also includes any debts accumulated during the marriage. Since this can influence the financial standing of an individual after the divorce. The division of property may also bring forth serious tax consequences for either party, so seeking assistance and guidance during equitable distribution is important.
The final decision regarding property and debt issues is generally concluded with a marital settlement agreement or the details may be outlined in the official Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. It’s important to remember that the equitable distribution of divorce does not mean that assets or debts are divided equally; rather the court takes a “fair” approach towards analyzing and distributing assets. Each stage of the property and debt division process can be important for determining what happens after the divorce decree is issued, so don’t underestimate how valuable an experienced lawyer can be in obtaining an agreeable outcome.