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The marital home may be the most important asset in a divorce

With divorce marking the end of a marriage, divorcing individuals are often very concerned about their future, especially their finances. Like divorcing couples elsewhere in the country, Missourians who are splitting frequently concentrate on property division, because the outcome can greatly affect their future. Properties obtained during a marriage such as the marital home, vehicles, artwork, retirement accounts and bank accounts are all likely to be subject to division.

The marital home often becomes the focal point for both spouses when assets are being divided. For spouses who want to split the home, they can sell it and divide the sale proceeds. For those couples that decide one of them will continue living in the home, the spouse who will stay must prepare for obstacles such as refinancing the mortgage. A refinanced mortgage is the best way not only to get payments down but also to remove the other spouse's name from the property deed. If that spouse's name is not removed, he or she will still be tied to the property because the lender considers that the loan is still being shared by a couple.

Fighting over the marital home is thus not always the best option during property division. Instead, divorcing individuals can look into other assets like retirement accounts -- a 401(k), for example -- that can help in maintaining a newly divorced spouse's standard of living.

Property division does not have to turn divorce into a battle if both parties are honest during the process, especially when disclosing all assets. The success of property division depends on the cooperation of the divorcing parties and their legal professionals.

Source: Foxbusiness.com, "How to divide your house in a divorce," July 14, 2014

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