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Understanding property division and how it impacts your nest-egg

The divorce process requires a lot of decision making. Whether you and your spouse are separating amicably through an uncontested divorce, or are going to court for a contested divorce, you probably have questions. Your kids are your number one priority, but you also have questions about your property.

There are plenty of things that you and your spouse purchased together. You both had plans for the money in your bank account and your retirement funds. Now that you are getting divorced, you need to understand how all your property and assets will be handled.

What do Kentucky laws say?

Kentucky follows equitable distribution practices when splitting property. You may have heard the myth that this means your assets will be divided directly down the middle, but that’s not exactly true. In this case, the word “equitable” can be translated to mean “in the fairest way”.

Several factors impact property division including:

  • What property is marital and what is separate
  • How long you’ve been married
  • Fiscal security of each spouse
  • Contributions made by each spouse throughout the marriage
  • Visitation and custody arrangements

What happens to the nest egg you were counting on?

It’s likely that you and your spouses’ retirement accounts are marital property. If either you or your spouse were acquiring the money while you’ve been married, that money would be marital property. Funds earned prior to marriage could be considered separate property. Traditional IRA and Roth accounts are usually divided through a trustee transfer. Workplace plans, including pensions or a 401 K plan are handled differently. For these plans, a qualified domestic relations order must be completed.

What Should You Do?

You may feel uncertain how to proceed. It will be important to carefully examine all of your assets and their value. You must be thorough and diligent when working through these processes. Consider tax implications and what matters most to you. You can enlist the help of professionals, such as a forensic accountant and legal advisor to make sure everything is done correctly.

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