Findings of Fact Required before maintenance can be awarded and child’s student loan debt assigned to a party – published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

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Wattenberger v. Wattenberger


Trial Court ordered the parties’ marital home to be sold to compensate former wife for her maintenance claim, with the net proceeds of the sale divided 65% to former wife and 35% to former husband. The record lacked an appraisal or valuation of the property and no findings were made to support the 65/35 split. Additionally, the Trial Court classified the parties’ emancipated son’s student loan debt as marital debt for which it held Former Husband accountable. The Trial Court made no findings to support assignment of this debt to former husband. The husband appealed arguing the trial court failed to make the findings of fact required by KRS 403.200(1) prior to awarding maintenance.

The Court of Appeals held that the findings of fact required to be made by KRS 403.200(1) must be made before a circuit court can legally consider the factors enumerated in KRS 403.200(2)(a)-(f). The Court of Appeals remanded the case for further findings of fact.

Digested by: Emily T. Cecconi