If you are facing divorce, you likely have serious concerns regarding the potential complications this process can have on your life. You may fear the possibility of losing your home, your savings and your financial stability. While divorce will bring significant changes to your life, there are things you can do to protect your interests. One of these things includes having an understanding of Missouri property division laws.
In some situations, it is possible for both spouses to agree on the terms of their property division order. You and the other party may be able to come an agreement regarding the most appropriate way to divide your marital property. However, if an out-of-court settlement is not possible, state laws will determine what happens, and a court will decide on the specific terms of your final property division order.
Dividing marital property fairly
A divorce requires the division of all marital property. This includes anything bought, accumulated, collected or acquired after the marriage. In addition to the division of marital property, a couple will also have to divide all marital debt. This is all debt in both names accumulated after the marriage. One notable exception is that inherited assets, even if comingled, are not subject to division. When deciding on how to divide marital property, the court will take the following into consideration:
- The contribution of each party to the accumulation of marital property
- The economic status of each spouse
- The conduct of each party during the marriage
- Custodial arrangements for minor children
- Value of non-marital property set aside for each spouse
The court has the discretion to decide what happens to all marital property. Understanding the factors a court may take into consideration may be helpful as you prepare to defend your interests in court. In some cases, the pursuit of an out-of-court arrangement may prove best for the long-term interests of each spouse.
Your best future
The goal of any property division settlement is long-term stability. Whether you wish to retain specific assets or you want to seek an out-of-court settlement that is satisfactory to both parties, you may benefit from first seeking an understanding of Missouri property division laws. When considering terms or pursuing a specific outcome, it is in your interests to consider how your decisions could impact you long-term.