Dodd & Dodd Attorneys, PLLC

Dodd & Dodd Attorneys, PLLC Louisville Kentucky

(502) 584-1108

What is the Difference Between Marital and Separate Property

When Separate Funds are used for Marital Purchases Prior to a Divorce

What is the difference between marital and separate property in a Jefferson County or Louisville divorce? Why does the distinction between separate property and marital property matter?

The short answer is found in the division of the property during a divorce. Marital property is generally divided equitably between the parties under Kentucky law. Separate property is not subject to division during a divorce, per se.

Generally speaking marital property relates to any asset acquired by the couple during their marriage, or any asset supported by marital funds. Separate property is an asset one of the parties owned prior to the marriage, as well as some forms of inheritance, as long as it is kept totally separate and distinct from marital funds and assets. The difference between marital and separate property is at the heart of many disputes during a Jefferson County or Louisville divorce.

For example, if one spouse owns a business prior to entering the marriage and the other spouse owns a house these assets enter the marriage as “separate” assets. If the spouse who owns the business keeps it entirely separate from commingling with marital funds and doesn’t use any marital property or money to support it, the business will remain a separate asset.

However, lets say a house owned by the other spouse was a rental property. During the course of the marriage the property needed repairs and updates and marital funds were used to accomplish these things. The rental house then becomes a “blended” asset – part separate property and part marital property.

The issue which is often disputed is how much of the value of the asset is “separate” and how much of it is part of the “marital” assets of the couple. These calculations can become quite complex, and determining the actual value of the separate property before the infusion of marital capital, and the growth in value or equity after requires expert analysis.

The experienced divorce attorneys at Dodd & Dodd provide sound advice and counsel in these matters. We are often asked: What is the difference between marital and separate property in our unique situation? How will our assets ultimately be divided? How will the marital property interest in the business be offset so that the company doesn’t have to be sold? Are our retirement assets going to be marital property, separate property or a combination of the two?

We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our former clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced divorce and family law attorneys.