Divorce can be difficult under the best of circumstances, and often the most contentious part is dividing up the assets and debts that you accumulated over the course of your marriage.
As you navigate the process of apportioning marital property, here are three tips to ensure a fair result.
1. Know the difference between marital and separate property
In Missouri, only assets classified as marital property are subject to division during divorce. This includes any asset acquired after your nuptials. Separate or non-marital property refers to anything you obtained before your marriage.
Usually, courts will consider all assets as marital property unless you can prove otherwise.
2. Know how Missouri divides property
If you and your spouse are unable to agree on how to split your marital property, courts will attempt to divide it equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. A judge will consider many factors when determining a fair apportionment, including:
- Your individual financial situations
- Contributions to the marriage
- Value of non-marital property
- Custody arrangements for children
- Your behavior during the marriage
3. Be honest about your assets
Though some people may try to hide assets to benefit themselves, doing so is illegal. Make sure to be honest about your economic circumstances.
You should also watch for indications that your spouse may be concealing marital property. Key signs include unexpected changes in lifestyle, large gifts to family members and missing financial records.
To help ensure you receive your fair portion, you should educate yourself on the division process and maintain records of all your assets and liabilities.