Jump to Navigation

Who owns what regarding property division during a divorce?

During a divorce, one of the most contentious issues that may arise is over the division of property and assets. In the United States, there are two ways each state handles property division: common law property or community property. Most states, including Missouri, are common law property states. What are the differences between common law and community property division?

With community property, all property earned and collected through the course of a marriage is considered community property. This is regardless of which spouse actually earned the property. This means that if a marriage fails, the value of the property is split evenly in half. This includes all property, estates, earnings and debts earned and accumulated during the course of the marriage.

In common law property states, such as Missouri, the property is earned and collected by each spouse is owned by that spouse. If deeds or titles are written with both names included, such as a home, business or vehicle, then both spouses are entitled to half of that property.

In either instance, if a spouse passes away while still married, the property is divided according to the will of the deceased person. If no will was created, the property goes into probate. If the other spouse shared the property and he or she can prove "tenancy by the entirety," the surviving spouse will receive the property. If the property was "tenancy in common," the spouse will not necessarily receive all the property.

Assets and property earned before a marriage are considered separate property, and are not shared between ex-spouses during a divorce. This includes property owned, received or inherited to one spouse or the other.

To make certain you're receiving a fair share of the marital property divided during a divorce, it might be helpful to seek legal advice and guidance regarding property division. Doing so will help ensure that you receive the property and assets you deserve.

Source: findlaw.com, "Who owns What in Marital Property", Accessed April 7, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Joseph J. Porzenski
Email Us  (spam free)

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

Subscribe to RSS Feed
FindLaw Network

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.