Anyone navigating a divorce may experience financial upheaval and a change in living circumstances. A great deal of those changes can come about as a consequence a property division settlement. Those in Missouri considering divorce may benefit from knowing the facts about the property division process and how it may affect their future.

First of all, marital property must be determined, as opposed to separate property. Though there are exceptions, marital property is basically property acquired during the marriage. Inheritances and gifts received by one of the parties are typically considered separate property, even if they were acquired during the marriage. However, gifts exchanged between spouses during the marriage will likely be counted as marital property.

Debts are another matter and can play a significant role in the outcome of a property division agreement. Debts incurred during the marriage are normally subject to property division, depending on the type of debt acquired. Some of the factors that may play a role in how debt is divided may include how much each party contributed to the marital estate and possibly the age and health of each party.

Individual factors — the size of the estate, disputes over liabilities, and disagreements about marital versus separate property — can make the property division process of a Missouri divorce complicated. An experienced family law attorney can help with the entire process, including the negotiation and execution of a comprehensive settlement. With the right help, it’s possible to make informed decisions designed to achieve a fair agreement and to plan one’s financial future with accuracy and confidence.  

Source:, “Viewpoint: Things to know about divorce and finances“, Leslie B. Spoltore, May 26, 2016