In Missouri, assets divided during a divorce are subject to equitable distribution. This means that marital assets will not be automatically split 50-50 in the event of a divorce. If spouses cannot come to an agreement as to how assets should be split, the decision will be the responsibility of the courts.
The courts use certain information about the marriage in question and the specific situation to decide how assets will be distributed. They will seek to establish a distribution that is fair to both parties, even if it is not equal. The following are some of the factors that the courts will take into consideration when dividing assets.
The value of nonmarital property
Each spouse will be able to keep possessions that are not considered marital property. These assets include gifts and inheritances. If, for example, one spouse has a large inheritance that they are able to keep, they may receive a lower settlement when it comes to marital assets.
The contribution of each spouse to the accumulation of assets
If one spouse was the primary earner, this may be a reason for them to receive the lion's share of assets. However, nonfinancial contributions to the marriage, including child-rearing, will be weighed up against this.
The ability of each spouse to earn an income
If one spouse does not have the skills or the capacity to earn a meaningful income in the future, they may be awarded more marital assets to compensate for this.
If you want to ensure that you get a fair share of the marital assets, it is important to understand the intricacies of Missouri law.