Division of assets is a tricky aspect of a divorce. The courts consider numerous factors beyond the value of the properties. Most states, including Kentucky and Indiana, follow the concept of equitable distribution of property in asset division. But what does this mean for each spouse and their respective shares?
What does equitable distribution mean?
With equitable distribution, the courts aim to divide marital properties fairly and equitably between parties. It is important to note that fair and equitable do not necessarily mean equal. While there are instances when equal division happens due to applicable circumstances, that is not always the case.
So, what do courts consider fair and equitable? It depends on the circumstances of each case. There is no fixed rule since many factors are at play and may differ from one divorce case to another.
Factors affecting final share
Before dividing assets, properties and debts, the courts must establish each party’s fair share. The courts consider the following when determining the equitable share between former spouses:
- Each party’s age and health condition
- The lifestyle and spending habits during the marriage
- Each party’s employment opportunities
- Each party’s educational background and training
- Each party’s earning capacity and financial need
- Each party’s contribution to homemaking
- Debts and liabilities
This is not a closed list, and other factors may come into play. In a few states, marital misconduct can also qualify as a factor. However, Kentucky and Indiana’s courts do not give weight to infidelity when deciding on asset division. An exception would be if the misconduct involved misusing marital assets.
Understanding how the courts determine asset shares can give parties a grasp on how they will be awarded their respective shares. While there is no assurance on how much each party would get, knowing that the courts follow a fair process could give parties peace of mind.