Emotional separation is only one aspect of a divorce. On top of that, you may also have to divide your assets. As Missouri is an equitable distribution state, courts typically determine property division by what’s fair rather than what’s equal.
Defining marital property
In Missouri, most property is marital property. During a divorce, spouses must divide this property among the two of them. Since couples often accrue many things over their years together, they may have to split things like:
- The family home.
- Any furniture the couple purchased together.
- Items like a luxury television or a piece of artwork.
- Any vehicles the family owns.
- Retirement assets that accrued during the marriage.
- Other shared investments.
- Credit card and other types of debt.
- Money from joint bank accounts.
- Profits from a business (can vary based on provisions in a prenup).
- Family pets.
Any assets that accrued outside the marriage cannot be legally deemed marital property in most cases. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For instance, if you received inheritance money from a family member, a judge may perceive the money as marital property if there’s no evidence it belongs to you.
Other exceptions you should know
Some instances may disqualify certain assets from their marital property status. Those can include:
- Assets accrued after the marriage dissolves.
- Property a spouse receives through a will or as a gift.
- Property obtained before the marriage that increased in value, unless marital assets contributed to that increase.
Establishing who gets what is never easy
Splitting apart from your partner can be emotionally exhausting, especially if your divorce is contentious. In times like these, you may want an experienced and aggressive legal professional on your side. They can help advocate for your needs and work hard to get the most out of your divorce settlement.