You feel relieved to have finally filed for divorce. You have been waiting a while to make the move, and now, you feel that you can truly move on with your life without your soon-to-be ex. At the same time, you are worried about how the property division process will go.
The reality is, the property division process can be complicated in Missouri, especially for couples with a large number of assets to split. However, the more you understand Missouri property division law, the more confident you may feel going into this process. Here is a rundown on how Missouri courts handle the splitting of assets during divorce.
Splitting marital assets in Missouri
Any possessions that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage are marital property. Because Missouri is an equitable distribution state, the court handling your divorce in Missouri will divide these possessions in what it considers to be a just manner. This means that either you or the other party may end up with more possessions, depending on the role you played in attaining them.
A common example of marital property that a judge will split during your divorce proceeding includes any cars you acquired during your marriage. Real estate falls under this category as well.
How the court handles inheritances
If you have received an inheritance from your great-aunt, for example, it is separate property rather than marital property. As a result, it is not subject to property division during divorce. This is true in Missouri even if you comingled the inheritance with your marital property — as long as you have a way of tracing it.
For instance, you may have cashed the check you received from your great-aunt and deposited the money into your joint bank account. If you retained the receipt or a record of your inheritance, the court will not treat it as marital property.
Your rights during divorce property division
The best situation when handling property division during divorce is for you and the other party to reach an agreement on how to divide your marital property. This will help you to avoid further court intrusion. However, if you cannot see eye to eye in this area, a judge will have to get involved and divide your property for you. Either way, an attorney can help you to pursue your fair share of assets, keeping your best interests at the forefront of the divorce proceeding.