Through the divorce process, you are essentially preparing to live on your own. This means that in addition to cutting emotional ties, you will break apart anything that links you and your spouse together financially.
Whether you’ve been married for a couple years or a couple decades, it’s not uncommon that you share a home, bank accounts, debts, furniture, vehicles and other assets with your spouse. Couples seeking a divorce in Kentucky will end up with a share of these marital assets once their settlement is final. The pool of property you get to keep is based on an equitable distribution system and includes separate property.
What is equitable distribution?
Through equitable distribution, all marital property is subject to division and a judge will grant each spouse a fair portion of it. This means that instead of each spouse getting exactly half of what they once shared, there are a few different factors that can impact their award of assets.
These factors include:
- The length of the marriage
- The total amount of property each party plans on keeping after divorce
- The economic circumstance of each spouse after they cut ties
- The contributions each spouse made to keep up the household — including working a job or as a stay-at-home parent
- The custodial parent’s wish to keep the family home
How does the court handle separate property?
It’s possible that you have separate property in addition to joint marital assets. Separate property includes property you acquired prior to marriage, gifts and inheritances. These kinds of personal assets usually remain untouched through the property division process, unless you mix them with marital property. For example, maybe the family home was originally yours, but once you got married, both of you contributed to mortgage payments. This would make the home marital property.
If you plan to file for divorce, a good starting point to prepare would be to identify the sources of all assets. Doing that and receiving professional legal consultation will may aid in claiming separate property that’s rightfully yours.