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The essence of identifying separate and marital property

Our team of legal professionals knows the difficulties of property division negotiation. The process itself can have long-term effects on your financial health, which is why it is imperative to focus on property division especially in determining property that is marital and which is not. Missouri is a dual-property state which means that property or assets identified as marital will be divvied up between the divorcing individuals, while separate property will not be subjected to division.

If a couple has a prenuptial agreement with instructions about how to divide property and assets or which property is separate or marital, a judge can honor that agreement as long as it is well-written and no sign of coercion between the two parties has been identified.

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, you and your spouse have to undergo the grueling process of identifying separate and marital property. Generally, marital property involves the house, bank accounts, cars and insurance accounts while inheritance, gifts from third parties and property or assets owned prior to marriage are considered separate property. Once both parties have identified the marital property, they can now proceed with the division of assets.

During property division, both parties must understand that Missouri is an equitable distribution state. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement regarding property division, a judge can intervene and divide the marital property as the court sees fit without invention from the divorcing couple. The division by the court will be presumed to be fair but not necessarily equal for both parties.

Knowledge is power. If you want to learn more about property division in Missouri, you can conduct independent research or you may go to our website that contains helpful tips and information regarding the legal process.

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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