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Division of Personal Property

Personal property encompasses a massive array of tangible and intangible things which are "movable" and not affixed to land, made up of both tangible items (things which can be held or touched) and intangible things (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, etc.)

With real property being the exception, a list of kinds of personal property would have to include:

  • Automobiles, motorcycles, boats, RVs, aircraft, trailers, motor homes, trucks or any other type of "rolling stock"
  • Stocks, bonds, portfolios, mutual funds, hedge funds and other investment accounts
  • Pension/retirement benefits, IRAs, Keogh accounts, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, etc.
  • Bank accounts (checking or savings)
  • Investment Accounts (money market accounts, CDs, etc.)
  • Bank safe deposit boxes
  • Life insurance policies
  • Business interests
  • Jewelry
  • Furniture, furnishings and appliances for the house
  • Personal items such as clothing
  • Bank accounts
  • Stock options
  • Copyrights
  • Inventions
  • Tools
  • Farm equipment
  • Livestock
  • Pets
  • Season tickets to sporting events
  • Frequent flyer miles
  • Lottery tickets
  • Debts or promissory notes owed to a party to the marriage
  • Memorabilia or collectibles
  • Franchises
  • Licenses

Is it marital or non-marital?

The first distinction which must be made is the nature of personal property.  Was it acquired before the marriage or by gift or by inheritance?  If so, it is probably non-marital in nature and will likely be restored to the rightful party.  If not, it will be presumed to be marital in nature.

See the linked articles above on protecting marital and non-marital assets.

What personal property exists?

The next key step is to disclose to the court and the opposing party all of the property, whether it's owned by one or both parties, whether it marital or non-marital, whether or not possession or ownership is in dispute.  This is generally done through the completion, exchange and filing of Verified Disclosure Statements, which must be submitted in every divorce case filed in Kentucky.   (See Protecting Marital Assets in a Divorce for a detailed discussion of the VDS.)

What is our personal property worth?

If the ownership or current Fair Market Value of one or more items of personal property are disputed, it may become necessary to have all or some of that property professionally appraised to determine what the item(s) could sell for in an auction or yard sale.

FMV does not equal the purchase price of an object or what it woud
cost to replace an item. It is the amount for which something could
be sold in a voluntary transaction between a buyer and seller,
neither of whom is under any obligation to buy or sell.


You and your spouse can save a great deal of money in legal fees, a lot of time and a huge amount of aggravation by resolving between the two of you who gets what as far as personal property goes.  If necessary, make an inventory of all the things that are important to either of you and then go down to list to decide which of you gets what.  It's a shame to spend the equivalent of your child's first year of college fighting over kitchen appliances, footstools and bed linens.

At a minimum, create an inventory of your household property and deliver the list to your attorney.  It will make a great starting point in negotiating who gets which pieces of furniture, yard equipment and household doodads.  If it's important enough to fight over, it's important enough to write it down on the inventory.