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Will fault ever matter in a Kentucky divorce?

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Divorce

In no-fault states like Kentucky, spouses do not need to prove fault on the other’s part to obtain a divorce decree. As long as the court finds the marriage irreversibly broken, regardless of marital fault, it can order a final judgment of dissolution of the marriage. Marital fault, however, can affect other aspects of the divorce proceeding.

Fault can affect the division of property

Generally, fault does not affect the distribution of marital property in a Kentucky divorce – the state being an equitable distribution state. The court will divide the properties in a just and equitable manner unless it finds a reason to award a greater share to the other spouse.

Kentucky family courts almost never consider infidelity when dividing assets unless the misconduct is financially detrimental to the marital assets. What does this mean? Let us say one spouse commits adultery and in doing so, misspends the marital funds. This misconduct is financially detrimental to the marriage because the funds could have been used to benefit the marriage and the family but instead were used to support infidelity. In this case, the court may award a greater portion of the marital properties to the wronged spouse.

Evidence is necessary

While there is an exception to the no-fault rule, the wronged spouse has the burden to prove that the infidelity was indeed financially harmful to marital assets. They can do so by providing relevant documentation, such as household financial files and funds withdrawal records.

Proving marital asset misspending is definitely a challenge. If you are planning to assert a wasteful dissipation of marital assets during your divorce proceedings, it is essential to prepare your arguments and necessary documentation. Consulting with a divorce attorney may also help you determine your next step.