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Do you know what counts as your marital property?

Until a marriage begins to fall apart, many spouses see no reason to concern themselves with which of them legally owns what. After all, part of the appeal of marriage is the "what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine" aspect of the relationship. Unfortunately, this often makes things much more difficult when it comes time to separate property in a divorce.

If you have concerns about protecting your property in a divorce, it is wise to familiarize yourself with Kentucky's laws governing marital property. In general, the law considers property used, bought or maintained with both spouse's money to be marital property, unless it is specifically protected as non-marital property. Marital property is the property that the law considers mutually owned by both spouses, and therefore both spouses can rightfully claim a portion of it during divorce.

If you own a home, a business or investments that you hope to protect from a divorce, you must consider your next steps very carefully. You don't want to hide assets, which is illegal. You may have other options for keeping the two categories separated, and an experienced attorney can help you identify and implement these protections.

For instance, you may still have time to set up a post-nuptial agreement that protects certain property by designating it non-marital. You may also have grounds to argue that certain property is non marital because of how and when you obtained it, as long as you manage to keep it separate. Proper legal counsel can help you examine your assets and determine how to protect them in the face of property division during divorce.

Source: Findlaw, "Managing Marital Property - Do's and Don'ts," accessed Oct. 12, 2017

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