Resolving property division for unmarried couples

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Unmarried Couples on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

In the past, many couples sought to legalize their union through marriage. But times have changed and more and more couples now live together without getting married. While peaceful and lifelong cohabitation of unmarried couples is always possible, National Center for Health Statistics data reveals that more than one-fourth of couples living together who have not wed will break up within their first three years of cohabitation. Going separate ways can produce several problems for these ex-couples.

One of the issues unmarried couples face during breakups is the separation of their shared property and finances. Unlike married couples, family law in Missouri does not cover the affairs of unwed couples, meaning all assets in long-term domestic relationships in the state remain the property of the individual. The problems arise when the assets being disputed revolve around savings and investment issues, as well as shared debts and taxes.

If you have a joint account with an ex-partner, it is best to divide your balance fairly and close the account to avoid financial disputes. As for joint credit cards, talk to your ex-partner about who is responsible for the individual charges, and then pay them off. You can also decide to simply divide all the charges into two so that both of you have a fair share of debt in your own accounts. If there are things that you cannot agree to divide, such as a car or a house, you can sell those properties and instead divide the earnings to avoid more arguments.

For unmarried couples in Missouri going their separate ways, property division can be a taxing problem. During times like these, it is important that you protect your assets and arrive at a fair agreement with your ex-partner so as to avoid property disputes that could further subject you to financial and emotional difficulties.

Source: Business Insider, “4 Ways Cohabiting Couples Can Protect Their Finances When They Break Up,” Megan Durisin, Jan. 9, 2014

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