What is considered marital property in Missouri?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Wednesday, November 18, 2015.

When two people get married, they expect that they will spend the rest of their lives together, and they often begin to build that life by accruing assets. A new bed in which to sleep together, a new house to raise their family, a new car to take the children to soccer practice, these are all things that married couples might buy to accommodate their new life. But not all marriages last, and in the event of a divorce, the question of who gets what suddenly becomes significant.

In the event of a divorce, each party generally keeps the property that belonged to him or her before the pair were married. Courts will not divide these assets between the two parties, instead separating only the marital property based on certain circumstances. However, in Missouri, nearly all assets that are purchased during a marriage are considered marital property, even if one party purchased the item specifically for himself or herself. For example, if a man buys himself a Jacuzzi without his wife’s knowledge, even if the wife never once used the Jacuzzi, it could still be given to her as part of the asset division.

There are some properties that are exempt from this precedent of marital property, including assets received through inheritance, exchanging personal property that was possessed before the marriage, property that is exempted by written agreement between the couple, and a few other specific examples. Still, when it comes to marital property, it can be difficult to tell exactly who is going to get what.

One of the most effective ways to help you take a stand on asset division in your divorce is to enlist the aid of an attorney. The courts consider many different factors when it comes to asset division, and proving that you deserve a particular asset or set of assets can increase your chances of walking away from the marriage with those properties.

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