If your spouse’s name is on the house, is it marital property?

On Behalf of | Feb 24, 2022 | Property Division |

When going through a divorce, you may have concerns regarding where you will live after the process is final and what will happen to the family home. A spouse may not want to give up the home, and there could be contentious legal battles over this valuable asset. If you want to stay in your home or want to ensure you get your fair share of all marital property, you may find it helpful to learn more about your rights according to Missouri property division laws.

One critical factor in determining what will happen to the marital home is whether or not it is a marital asset. If it is, it is likely subject to division between the two parties. It is also helpful to understand how dividing this asset will work if your spouse’s name or both of your names are on the home. This information may be helpful in your fight to protect your interests and secure a fair outcome.

What counts as marital property?

In most cases, marital property includes all assets accumulated over the course of the marriage, and this could include the family home. However, identifying marital assets is not always a simple process, and there are several factors that could make this more complicated as you try to decide what will happen to the home. Some important things to consider include:

  • If you and the other spouse cannot decide what should happen to the home, the court’s application of state property division laws will be the deciding factor.
  • If you or your spouse owned the home before marriage, it may be separate property, which means it would not be eligible for division.
  • If both names are on the house and both parties contributed financially, it is possible that it counts as marital property.
  • If both names are on the house and only one spouse contributed to that expense, that spouse may argue that he or she should get more out of a sale or that it should be a separate asset altogether.
  • One spouse may decide it is best to buy out the other spouse’s share in the home in order to continue living there.

Defending your property rights is one of the most important aspects of any divorce. Before you agree to settlement terms or make any other decisions that could impact your financial future, you may benefit from an assessment of your case and explanation of your legal options.