Couples have certain rights to marital property which is why it is important for them to understand how property is divided if they decide to divorce. Marital property generally includes property, assets and income acquired during the marriage that may be subject to the property division process if the couple decides to divorce.
Unlike marital property, which is divided during the divorce process, separate property is not divided during divorce. Separate property includes property the spouses entered the marriage with, gifts, inheritances, personal injury awards and property excluded through a legal agreement such as a prenuptial agreement. In Kentucky, property that is subject to division, or marital property, is distributed according to equitable property distribution rules.
Equitable distribution rules call for property to be divided fairly but not necessarily in half. The family law court will endeavor to distribute property in a manner that is equitable and that sets the spouses up for a positive financial future and outlook whenever possible. Factors the court will consider when making property division decisions include each spouse's contributions to the marital property, including the contributions of parents that remain in the home; the desirability of having the spouse who has primary custody of the children remain in the family home; the circumstances of each of the spouses; the length of the marriage; and the value of the property awarded to each spouse.
Each of these considerations is important to reach a property settlement agreement that is as fair as possible to both of the divorcing spouses. When couples understand how the property division process will work, they can work together and with the family law court to reach a fair property division settlement agreement.