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Commingling assets could put them at risk in a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2021 | Complex Property Division

When divorcing in Kentucky, one of the most challenging tasks will be to divide your marital assets. That process is one of the primary reasons that many divorces escalate and become expensive (and time-consuming) legal battles. 

Things can be even worse, however, if you happen to commingle your assets with those of your spouse during your marriage.

Courts may view commingled wealth as marital property

Commingling is the term used when you mix your separate assets with your marital assets making it hard to distinguish who owns what.

Kentucky law considers assets you owned before your marriage to be your separate property. It also treats inheritance as separate property, regardless of whether you inherited it before or during the marriage. Separate property usually is not divided during a divorce — but determining what actually counts as separate property can be more difficult than it seems.

What you did with your assets could lead a divorce court to decide that those assets became marital property through commingling and that you must divide them with your spouse after all. For example, imagine that you transferred an inheritance into your joint bank account with your spouse or used some of your personal wealth to pay a downpayment on the family home. It could cause you to sacrifice a portion of those assets to your spouse during the divorce because they have become commingled with the marital assets.

There may be other factors involved

Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements alike can factor into the division of marital property. Both can carve out exemptions to the rules when it comes to commingling and your marital assets. Absent one of those agreements, however, you may have a difficult time determining what really is “yours,” “theirs,” and “yours together.”

When thinking about divorce and the division of your property, it is vital to seek legal help. You need to understand your individual situation fully. Entering divorce proceedings uninformed could result in the unnecessary loss of your personal wealth.