Many misconceptions exist about property division in terms of how it is handled and what is subject to division. At Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer, we will take care to make certain you understand what your rights are and what is at stake when dividing property during a divorce. You will benefit from the more than 100 years of combined experience our attorneys bring to family law cases.
What Is Subject To Property Division?
The terms "marital property" and "nonmarital property" are defined by Missouri statute. Generally speaking, "marital property" is that which is acquired during the course of the marriage, and "nonmarital property" is that which is acquired prior to the marriage, or by inheritance, or as a gift during the marriage. While the task of characterizing property in a divorce as either marital or nonmarital may seem simple, it can be fairly complex.
Our skilled Missouri divorce and family lawyers know how to look beyond the surface to ensure that your assets are properly characterized. Accomplishing this task with attention to detail will ensure that all marital interests are uncovered, and that all separate property is protected.
50-50 Division Is Only The Starting Point
Generally speaking, the process of dividing the estate begins with the identification of all marital and separate property. From there, our divorce attorneys will review your estate asset by asset to ensure that the value of each item is properly calculated. Next, the process of allocating the assets between the spouses commences. In most cases, a generally equal division of the assets is the starting point. From there, certain factors must be taken into consideration to determine whether a less balanced division is more appropriate.
For example, gross marital misconduct or a significantly disproportionate contribution to the marital estate may sway the ratio of division away from approximately equal. Our experience and knowledge will ensure that you understand all of the variables at play in dividing your marital estate.
Practical Advice On Property Division Decisions
Aside from the question of the percentage of the marital estate to be awarded to each spouse, the method by which that is to be accomplished must also be settled. Knowing all of the options will be key to a successful outcome.
Our attorneys will take the time to advise you regarding the details of property division: Is it in your best interest to retain the marital home? Is it appropriate to seek to retain income-producing property? Should you request a portion of your spouse's pension or is it more advantageous to present-value that asset? What potential arrangements can be made to address marital debts to best protect your credit? No matter what the concern, we take great care to devise a strategy that makes sense based on your needs.
Contact Our Columbia Property Attorneys
To schedule a consultation about property division, call us at 573-355-5172 or 866-936-2599 or send us an email. We are happy to meet at your convenience.