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Marital vs. separate property: What you should know

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2022 | Property Division

During a Kentucky divorce, the topic of property division often comes with strong emotions. You may have difficulty parting with items you have accumulated throughout your marriage. Yet, not all property needs to be divided in the final divorce settlement.

Whether you negotiate property division through mediation or you leave the final decision in the hands of the court, it is important to understand how the process works. Identifying the difference between marital and separate property can ensure you receive all you deserve in the settlement.

What is marital property?

Marital property involves all property and assets amassed during the marriage, according to Brides. While you may instantly think of the family vehicle, home or bank account contents as marital property, there are some other, less commonly thought of items that may qualify as well. These include the following:

  • Intellectual property, such as copyrights, patents and trademarks
  • Loyalty rewards points
  • Gifts exchanged between spouses
  • Term life insurance policies
  • 401k plans, stocks, retirement accounts and money market accounts
  • Memberships to exclusive golf courses and country clubs

It is important for each person to disclose all property in their possession.

What is separate property?

Some property may stay with its original owner. Separate property includes items that you acquired before you were married, such as a home or car. You may also keep any personal injury compensation, inheritance money or gifts given to you by a third party without having to divide it in the final settlement.

It is important to avoid combining this property or assets with marital property, as it may lose its separate status. For instance, if you deposit your inheritance money in a joint bank account, the money may become marital and eligible for division.