Even if a couple enters into a prenuptial agreement before marriage, the process of planning a divorce may prove that the agreement is invalid. If the agreement is not written fairly, one spouse or the other may successfully challenge it and secure different terms.
Here in Kentucky, we use equitable distribution guidelines to govern how couples split their assets and liabilities when they choose to divorce. Unlike several other states like Texas, New Mexico and California, which require spouses to split up their marital property evenly, spouses in Kentucky enjoy some flexibility in their property division negotiations.
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 own a pet, you understand that they are as much a part of the family as you or your spouse or your children. In fact, to many spouses, pets are the de facto children in the marriage. This can make divorces especially difficult when it comes time to decide who should keep the pet in a divorce.
If you and your spouse have decided its time to draw up papers and move forward with your divorce, reaching fair agreements about property division can be one of the most difficult aspects of the process. Even more difficult than determining who keeps the car and who gets the record collection is who legally has the right to keep a family pet. For many divorcing couples, a pet is much more like a family member than a piece of property, and this can lead to spouses entering into a sort of custody negotiation over an animal companion.
If you and your partner live together before or instead of getting married, it is wise to consider creating a cohabitation agreement that outlines who gets what pieces of property and how you'll divide commingled funds if you split up. Unfortunately, many people confuse cohabitation agreements with prenuptial agreements, which is a risky mistake to make.
When you set about negotiating a fair division of property in divorce, you may worry that your inheritance is in danger of getting divided like the rest of your property. Fortunately, inheritances generally enjoy an extra layer of protection from property division, but there some important exceptions to consider.
When two people divorce, the split will always be personal — after all, you're dissolving a serious relationship. However, the law is innately impersonal, and treats your marriage like a business relationship. Because of the official nature of your personal relationship with your spouse, some parts of the process can be surprisingly complex. One of the most common areas of difficulty that divorcing couples encounter is what to do with a mortgage.
Many couples, swept along by the tide of expectation and hopeful feelings, do not enter into marriage with a solid grasp on exactly what being married does, and what marital property is. In the eyes of the law, marriage is very much a business contract, meaning that the person you marry generally may have a right to at least a portion of your belongings, especially those you acquire after being married.
No matter what kind of marriage you may have, or how long it has survived, a divorce will mean determining a fair division of assets that must be approved by a court before the relationship can be legally dissolved. Kentucky, like most states in the union, operates on the "equitable division" system, meaning that assets and liabilities that are deemed to be marital property are to be divided "fairly" rather than "equally."