In Kansas, a married couple’s assets and debts are subject to an equitable distribution upon divorce, which means the couple’s assets and debts will be divided fairly but not always equally. Property you acquire before marriage is not divided with your spouse except to the extent you convert it into marital property. Unfortunately, you can do that even without realizing it. The attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. understand how Kansas law treats premarital assets and our attorneys are skilled at protecting such premarital assets during divorce. The attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. can also counsel you on how to avoid the problem by taking precautionary measures against the mixing of premarital and marital property.
It is possible for property that you bring into a marriage to be treated as marital property and subject to a division of assets in a divorce. This can happen if you:
If the parties to the divorce cannot decide who owns what, the judge might decide that some or all of these assets are marital property. The attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. understand the complexities that can arise in such a situation and help you resolve them. If you come to us before or even during the marriage, we can advise you how to protect your premarital assets from becoming marital property, such as by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. During a divorce, the attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. can seek to mitigate against a determination that your conduct may have converted premarital assets into marital property.
Even if some or all of your premarital assets are treated as marital property, and must be divided between you and your spouse, that does not necessarily mean that you will get only half. Kansas divorce judges take a number of factors into account in deciding how to divide property, including the amount of separate property that each spouse owns. To the extent property you owned before marriage is treated as marital property, it generally will not count against you as separate property in the judge’s decision.
Instead of leaving the decisions to the judge, you and your spouse can decide to assign some or all of the premarital assets to you without selling or dividing it, though you might have to give your spouse a larger share of the other marital assets to make up for it. You and your spouse must also decide how to divide your marital debts. If you are better able to pay a mortgage on a premarital asset, your spouse may be willing to let you keep the asset rather than assume part of the debt.
In all respects, the attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A. we will use their best efforts to help you avoid the loss of property you brought into the marriage. We will negotiate with your spouse’s counsel to work out a fair distribution of assets and debts. If it’s necessary to go to court, we will build the strongest possible case for a judgment that lets you keep most of your premarital assets.
The attorneys at The Henry Law Firm, P.A., in Overland Park, Kansas, can advise you on how to protect the assets you owned before marriage against division in a divorce. Call us at 913-381-5020 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.