Property division proceedings were undoubtedly one of the last things on your mind the day that you and your spouse were married. Like most newlyweds, you probably thought that your marriage would last a lifetime. You were thinking of building a life together in Kentucky, perhaps, starting a family, setting financial goals and simply enjoying each other’s company. Now, you are on the verge of divorce.
Whether several years or several decades have passed since your wedding day, and whether your divorce has come as a surprise or had been brewing for a long time, the fact is that you will now be faced with many issues that must be resolved in order to achieve a fair settlement. It is important to know how to protect your assets, even if you and your spouse are on friendly terms and do not expect contention to arise between you.
Protecting your assets is easier when you take inventory
You can’t protect your assets if you aren’t 100% certain of what you own. Kentucky operates under equitable property laws, which means that the court will divide all marital property in a fair manner. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will receive a 50/50 split.
One of the first things you’ll want to do in order to protect your assets is to take a thorough inventory of all marital property, as well as separately owned property, before heading to court. This includes your marital home and any other real estate you own, as well as money, jewelry, artwork, retirement benefits and more. Your inventory should also include existing debts incurred during marriage, because you and your ex will each be responsible for a portion of it.
Make sure you have access to all financial information
You and your spouse might have jointly owned and separate bank accounts. It is imperative that you know exactly how much money is in each account. It is also wise to obtain information regarding credit card accounts, tax information, stocks, investments, etc., in order to determine what you may be entitled to in a settlement. Full disclosure from both parties is required.
If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets
It is understandable that you want to protect your assets in a divorce. If you believe that your spouse is trying to beat the system by stashing cash or providing fake loans so that people will hold money for him or her until you finalize your divorce, you may enlist support to further investigate the matter.
The court can help you protect your assets, and no family court judge is going to look favorably on someone who is committing perjury, which is what a spouse is doing if he or she is trying to hide assets.