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How Do Assets Get Divided in a Divorce?

How to divide property and marital assets in a divorce? It’s an important topic to understand if you are considering separating from your spouse. Get the facts from Masterson Law.

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Summer Masterson-Goethals
Masterson Law
(417) 522-1280
1771 S. Fremont
Springfield, MO 65804

How Do Assets Get Divided in a Divorce?

A person rarely intends for the relationship to end when they get married, but if it does, they likely wonder: “How does marital property gets divided in a divorce?”

Divorce laws and estate laws vary by state. Suppose you want to understand better what your rights and responsibilities are. In that case, it is best to discuss marital property division laws with a reputable attorney like Masterson Law, who knows the law on divorce.

To ensure your equity, assets, and debts are not unfairly distributed, it is important to have good advocacy and representation. The right family law firm will provide expert legal advice about the distribution of marital property owned by a couple.


How Are Assets Divided in a Divorce?

Community property consisting of all profits and assets accumulated throughout the marital relationship, including whatever was obtained with those incomes, are usually subject to equitable distribution. All financial obligations sustained throughout the partnership, such as debts, are generally considered communal responsibilities.

However, the State of Missouri is not a community property state but an equitable distribution state. That means the court will first divide property as separate and marital property. Further, a Missouri judge would divide marital property by equitable distribution in a way considered equitably (fairly) but not necessarily equally.

When considering how the division of property and debts go in a divorce, it is wise to consult a firm knowledgeable in divorce laws. An attorney can help you understand how it may affect your family’s property division.

At Masterson Law, we work diligently to ensure clients understand their rights and legal responsibilities. With our help, you can be confident that your assets will be fairly divided. Contact us today to discuss your case and get the most equitable outcome possible.

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Divorce Splitting Assets Such as Real Estate

When children are involved, the spouse who invests the most time with the kids or takes the main responsibility for their medical care generally stays in the marital home with them.

In community property states, if you do not have children and your home is specifically owned by one partner, the one with the mortgage or lease in their name may be considered the legal owner. They may then have the right to ask the other to leave, or they may have to follow tenant notification rules and give the other spouse time to move out.

If you are getting divorced in Springfield, MO, and are interested in how to separate property or have other divorce questions, consult a local and reputable Missouri family lawyer. Masterson Law can help you protect your rights and get the best resolution for yourself and your family.

We understand the emotional and financial aspects of the divorce process and will do our best to provide you with the information and support you need.

Divorce Splitting Assets

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Navigating the Division of Assets in Divorce

To further complicate the division of assets and debts in a divorce, if you do not have children and you and your spouse own the home together, neither of you has a legal right to kick the other out.

You can request the other individual leave; however, you can not enforce it. If you and your partner do not decide on suitable property distribution, the court will choose for you throughout the divorce proceedings or with the assistance of your attorney.

If your partner alters the locks or security system or prohibits you from entering the house, you can call the authorities. The police will most likely direct them to let you back in. When you both own the house, you can only insist your partner leave if your partner has committed domestic violence resulting in a mandated restraining order.

A dedicated family law firm knowledgeable in marital property division will advise you on the specific divorce laws relevant to you and your circumstances.

Division of Assets in Divorce

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Keeping Assets Separate in Marriage

Some couples prefer to keep their assets separate in marriage by maintaining different homes or separate property or bank accounts. This is less common, but it simplifies divorce proceedings.

Personal property is also referred to as non-marital property, meaning that it belongs to only one spouse. Courts usually don’t divide separate property during a divorce; it stays with the person who acquired it.

Additional assets that are likely to be automatically bequeathed to one spouse over the other consist of the following:

  • Injury awards received by that partner

  • Pension earnings before the marital relationship

  • Presents and inheritances offered specifically to that partner

  • Privately owned business if both partners did not operate it

  • Residential or commercial property acquired separately

But if residential or commercial property is acquired with a mix of community funds, as long as a partner can prove that a variety of funds were used to purchase or maintain them, it would be considered marital property. Individual property blended with joint property usually ends up being community property.

Some divorces are complicated scenarios best untangled by a dispute resolution lawyer with experience in property distribution laws.

In divorce proceedings, the courts seek to establish equitable division, meaning a fair and just division of jointly acquired marital property. Equity does not always indicate a fifty-fifty split since the court might consider both spouses’ economic contributions in determining a more equitable division.

Masterson Law recognizes the challenges associated with marital asset division and has experience helping clients protect their financial interests in divorce. We will work with you to ensure that your divorce agreement is fair and equitable.

Keeping Assets Separate in Marriage

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What Items Are Considered Assets in a Divorce?

There is a fairly standard list of items that are considered assets in a divorce, which is true in most states. This list includes a home or real estate, bank accounts, retirement accounts, and family businesses. Other items that may be counted as assets include vehicles, life insurance policies, household goods, and more.

When deciding how those assets are divided, weighing the pros and cons is good. Do you want a lengthy and expensive court battle?

It is a winning scenario for a separating couple to choose to divide their home and financial obligations themselves (with or without the assistance of a neutral third party like a mediator).

This is usually much less expensive than leaving it to the judge. If a couple can not agree, they can take their case to court, which uses state law to divide the residential or commercial property. If children or large estates are involved, it is necessary to take the matter to court.

Regardless, getting a consultation with a divorce attorney is a good idea to know your rights and responsibilities.

What Items Are Considered Assets in a Divorce

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What Are Marital Assets and How Are They Divided?

Marital property includes all assets acquired during the marriage, such as bank accounts, investments, real estate, and retirement accounts. It is important to note that these assets are usually presumed by the court to be owned jointly.

Rather than offering the property to one party, the court may use a property equitable distribution concept and award each spouse a percentage of the overall worth of the sale of the property.

Each partner will get personal effects, possessions, and financial obligations whose worth amounts to their portion. It is unlawful for either partner to conceal properties to protect them during the divorce process.

So, it is important to know the divorce laws in your state. A legal representative or financial advisor can help you understand what is at stake and how best to handle your situation. It is also important to consider the tax consequences of dividing property in a divorce. Every situation is unique and requires careful consideration.

Check with your legal team to understand how best to move forward with the division of assets in your divorce.

Final Considerations Regarding the Divorce

During difficult divorces, people are sometimes pushed to the brink and make unwise choices. Whatever you do, do not lie or declare that domestic violence has happened to remove your partner from the house, retaliate, or increase your portion of the marital assets upon divorce.

When a judge believes this has occurred, the individual making the accusation might be further penalized and asked to leave their family’s home. It will also likely prejudice the judge against them throughout future settlements. If you are a victim, the regional domestic violence hotline is available to help, and your attorney can assist you.

For additional information, advice, and representation, contact Masterson Law.

What Are Marital Assets

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