Family Court Did Not Err in Its Valuation and Division of Marital Property – Published Opinion from Ky. Court of Appeals

Paoli v. Paoli

Marion Circuit Court

After a hearing and order in a dissolution of marriage action, Husband appealed arguing that Family Court erred in its valuation of the marital items of personal property divided between the parties. The only party who presented testimony regarding the value of the personal property was Wife, which was what Family Court accepted. The Kentucky Court of Appeals held that Family Court did not abuse its discretion in the valuation.

Husband argued that Family Court erred in its division of cash located in the parties’ safe-deposit box. There was conflicting evidence regarding the amount of cash in the safe-deposit box. The Court of Appeals held that it could not find that Family Court erred by finding Wife’s testimony more credible.

Husband argued that Family Court erred in its division of the parties’ joint income tax refund because an equal division was not proper as it was generated from income he solely earned. The Court of Appeals held this was not error. All income earned during the marriage is marital property. A relevant factor in dividing marital property is the contribution of each spouse, including contribution of a spouse as a homemaker. Family Court clearly considered the contribution of Wife as a homemaker and Husband as a wage earner. Husband made the same argument regarding equal division of his retirement accounts without success for the same reasons.

Husband argued that Family Court erred in awarding Wife one-half the equity in the marital residence because he was the sole wage earner. There was conflicting evidence regarding the value of the marital residence, but Family Court ordered that Husband could either pay Wife her interest or sell the marital residence and divide the proceeds equally. The Court of Appeals held that this was not in error.

Digested by Nathan R. Hardymon

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