What factors affect how property is divided in a Missouri divorce?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Missouri residents who are going through a divorce often have many questions and concerns about how property, personal belongings and assets will be divided. Missouri is an equitable distribution state meaning that a judge will seek to distribute marital assets based upon what he or she believes to be fair. In this case, it’s important to note that fair does not necessarily mean that assets will be distributed equally. Rather, a judge will take numerous and relevant factors into consideration when making such decisions.

Factors that are likely to be evaluated by a judge prior to a divorce settlement include:

  • Length of a marriage
  • Individual contributions made to a marriage by each spouse
  • Economic circumstances of each spouse, including rights to non-marital property and assets
  • Existing child custody agreements
  • Conduct of both parties at the time of a divorce

In many cases, it’s in an individual’s best interests to come to an agreement with a soon-to-be ex-spouse about the division and distribution of marital assets outside of court. During such negotiations, a divorce attorney can provide valuable advice and insight into how certain divorce-related decisions and concessions may positively or negatively impact an individual’s life and financial standing.

By nature, divorce is often a contentious, adversarial and highly emotional process and many individuals find it challenging to work out matters related to child custody and the division of marital assets and property directly with a soon-to-be ex-spouse. For these reasons, it’s best to turn to a divorce attorney who will work tirelessly to ensure that a divorce settlement is in and serves to further an individual’s best interests.

Source: Missouri General Assembly, “Missouri Revised Statutes: Chapter 452 Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce, Alimony and Separate Maintenance: Secton 452.330.1,” Aug. 28, 2015

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