When a couple decides to file for divorce, one common concern is who will keep the assets you and your spouse own. Like most states, Kentucky follows an equitable division of marital property. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal. Instead, it aims for a fair and just division by considering significant factors.
What factors affect an equitable division of marital property?
If you cannot reach a settlement regarding an equitable division of marital property, the court will have to intervene and decide for you. They will base their decision on the following without regard for marital misconduct:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of the marital property
- If one spouse sacrificed their career and took on the role of homemaker to contribute to the acquisition of marital property
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s financial circumstance before and after the division of property
- The value of property each spouse will receive
It does not matter whose name is on the title of the property. If you bought it during your marriage, it is marital property. Remember, only marital property is subject to the equitable division process. You will retain ownership of all your separate property even after the divorce. The same rights apply to your spouse.
What is separate property in a marriage?
Everything you owned before you married your spouse is separate property. Everything you receive by gift, bequest, devise or descent while married is separate property and will not be subject to the marital division process. However, your separate property may become marital property if you commingled your assets with your marital property.
What are commingled assets?
Commingled properties are separate and marital assets you and your spouse mixed throughout your marriage. For example, if you put your savings in a joint bank account or use assets from your joint bank account to pay for the mortgage on a property you owned before the marriage, these can become marital property.
It would be best to identify all your property and distinguish them from separate and marital. That way, you can see what really belongs to you and what you will have to divide with your spouse fairly. Knowing and classifying your assets can ensure the division is equitable.