Thoroughbred horses that are born, raised and trained to run in the Kentucky Derby are generally considered personal property, which means they may get divided under the state’s equitable distribution system. Some people in the Bluegrass State may mistakenly interpret the term “equitable” as referring to an equal or 50/50 distribution. In reality, however, it typically means your property gets distributed by what the court considers fair. According to U.S. News, Kentucky has the third-highest rate of divorce in America, which means there may be a higher rate of disputes over what constitutes splitting property fairly.
If you or your spouse own a business rearing and training horses, you may be required to classify it as marital or separate property. Marital property means that both spouses acquired the business together, and may have been involved in its management. Showing financial statements and demonstrating how one spouse managed the business alone might be enough to prove that the business is one spouse’s separate property. In this case, keeping all the horses is fair because that spouse needs them for the business to continue. On the other hand, if your only income while married came from your spouse’s thoroughbred business, you may need to negotiate a plan to receive payments for child support or alimony from that business since you may no longer have a right to its income.
Unless there is a signed prenuptial agreement, property and assets that were obtained during your marriage may be mutually owned by both spouses. A couple may decide between themselves who takes complete ownership of a particular property and their agreement might be finalized during the divorce procedure.
This information on dividing property and assets during a Kentucky divorce is for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.