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Working your way through asset division

If you and your spouse have no children or concur about any custody and visitation arrangements, the next big item on your divorce checklist is property division. The goal of Kentucky family court is to ensure both you and your spouse leave the marriage with an equitable portion of the assets you accumulated during your marriage.

You and your spouse can streamline this process by doing a lot of the negotiating ahead of time. Of course, if you are divorcing, chances are that the two of you had a difficult time reaching agreements on some important areas of your life. However, you may find that working together to resolve this last major issue may allow you to end your marriage while retaining the potential for future cooperation, if necessary.

Picking your battles

Certainly, you and your spouse collected many special items. Perhaps a wedding gift, a present from your children or a collectible set of books is something you do not want to part with. Your spouse may be willing to negotiate unless that item is also special to your spouse or if he or she is determined to make you unhappy. If you decide to leave these decisions up to the judge, you may be disappointed. The court is concerned with financial not sentimental value.

Instead, here are some suggestions for a more successful property division:

  • Gain a working understanding of Kentucky laws concerning property division.
  • Commit to working with your spouse to reach an agreement without the need for court intervention.
  • Be willing to give and take instead of digging in to get your own way on every item.
  • Think of the items you surrender as an opportunity for a fresh start.
  • Consider using a mediator if you cannot reach an agreement.
  • Keep in mind your duty to be honest and forthright about your assets.

No matter how much you may resent your spouse or feel compelled to keep back some cash or other assets for yourself, this is never a wise move. Divorce attorneys are experienced at noticing the signs that a spouse is hiding assets, and if you are discovered, you may face serious legal and financial penalties. On the other hand, if you suspect your spouse is keeping martial property from fair asset division, your attorney can assist you in bringing the matter to light.

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