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New Marital Property Case in KY

The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a decision on a new case regarding determination of non-marital equity claim in real estate wherein money was given by one party's parents to put as down payment on a home. Here is a summary: NON-MARITAL PROPERTY LAW AND NOT TRANSMUTATION: Husband's parents gave him alone money to put down on a house. So far, that sounds like a non-marital claim. But it all went awry for this Husband. The deed to the house was put in both names, and Wife testified that Husband agreed that the house would be "half hers". So the Circuit court (Owensboro, so no family court then; they just finally got family court effective 1-1-2017), and both levels of our appellate courts, held for the Wife. The decision at the Supreme Court was a 4-3 vote, with a dissent by Justice Noble. The Supreme Court continues to hold that Kentucky is still not a "Transmutation" state, and continued its long-standing position that non-marital property cannot be transmuted to marital, like in many other states. Rather they re-emphasized the "Source of Funds Rule" and the law that title of an asset does not determine the marital or non-marital nature of assets. But, similar to the principles of transmutation, the court held "...during marriage either spouse may 'gift' his or her nonmarital funds to the parties' marital estate including by expending those funds, as here, on the marital home with express representations to the other spouse that the home will be their joint, marital property." DIVIDING HOUSEHOLD GOODS BY LOT-HOW NOT TO DO IT: There are many ways to divide household goods. Don't do this: list all of the items out, put each item on a folded-up piece of paper, throw the pieces of paper all in a box, alternate picks from the box, and you get whatever you pull out. This was decided not to be an "equitable division" of these assets, because one party could have bad luck and draw out a lot of lower value items. For more inquiries regarding divorce law in Kentucky, see my BLOG. If you need to speak with an attorney, call the Bouldin Law Firm. For consultation or representation, contact [email protected] or call 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453.

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