Divorce is a stressful, difficult, life-changing event that can seem turbulent without the help of a seasoned professional attorney to navigate the differences between you and your soon to be ex-spouse.  Understanding the process makes it easier to navigate with your attorney and make sure you are getting what you need in the divorce settlement.  Separation on your way to divorce can mean shortages of money, late bills, and losing access to personal property causing a bumpy path for you to follow.

Equitable distribution.

When it comes to division of property, Missouri law requires an “equitable distribution of the assets and debts between the parties.  This means the judge does not have to divide the property 50:50, but instead the court will try to divide the property in a fair, i.e. an “equitable” manner. “Equitable” does not always mean “equal” because the can take many factors into consideration when determining the equitable distribution of property.

Division of property.

The division of property will be made after the court’s formal review of the marital property and debts, and equitable distribution will be a factor for division of property as the court deems just after consideration of all factors including: 1) The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse with custody of the children; 2)  The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker; 3)  The value of the nonmarital property set apart to each spouse; 4)  The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and 5)  Custodial arrangements for minor children.

Marital property and exceptions.

According to Missouri Statute Sections 452.300 to 452.415 regarding “marital property.”

Included in Marital Property is: All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and prior to a decree of legal separation or dissolution of marriage regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in some form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, and community property.

Exceptions to marital property acquired subsequent to the marriage include: 1)  Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent; 2)  Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent; 3)  Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation; 4)  Property excluded by valid written agreement of the parties; and 5)  The increase in value of property acquired prior to the marriage or pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (4) of this subsection, unless marital assets including labor, have contributed to such increases and then only to the extent of such contributions.

 Use of property.

When you get a divorce in the State of Missouri, the judge divides your property based on the particulars of your case.  During the divorce process which can take time if one party cannot agree with the other about settlement, the judge can order a spouse to let the other spouse use personal property and real estate, for instance staying in the family home may be something the judge sees in the best interest of the children.

Hire a lawyer.

For the best possible outcome regarding your divorce and division of property, speaking to a knowledgeable attorney like Barbara Behren will put your mind to rest and allow you to get on with your life, while she works with you to settle the particulars of your divorce.

75 W. Lockwood Ave., Ste. 222
Webster Groves, MO 63119

Phone: 314-499-6999
Fax: 314-433-3983