Dividing assets can be one of the most challenging issues during a divorce. Things can get even more complicated when there is confusion over what is marital property and what is separate. Commingled assets are especially problematic, as many people in Kentucky mistakenly believe that certain assets remain separate regardless of how they are treated.
Separate vs. marital property
Separate and marital property are generally easy to distinguish. Separate property is anything that was owned prior to marriage, while marital property includes most things acquired after saying “I do.” There are some exceptions to this of course, and some of the following might still be considered separate property even if acquired during the course of a marriage:
- Personal injury settlements
The confusing part is when the line is blurred between separate and marital property. For example, an inheritance given to one spouse would be considered separate property. However, if that spouse deposited it into a marital bank account and generally treated the funds as jointly owned, then it could actually switch to being marital property. A better approach would be to put this money into a personal account and treat it as separate property.
No one wants to hear that something he or she believed was separate property is actually jointly owned by a soon-to-be ex-spouse. The reality is that commingled assets are not an uncommon issue, and many divorcing couples in Kentucky are surprised by just how complicated property division can really be. Working closely with an attorney who is familiar with this process can make things easier for some.