One of the biggest challenges couples face when they divorce is diving their assets. It isn’t easy to decide who will keep the marital home and who will keep specific furniture, a country club membership or a vacation condo.
Property division in divorce
Many divorcing couples don’t realize how property is divided in divorce. In fact, many believe states automatically divide assets 50-50 between divorcing couples. However, most states, including Missouri, practice equitable property distribution. With equitable property division, Missouri divides a divorcing couple’s property in a fair, equitable manner. So, in dividing a couple’s property, courts evaluate:
- What each spouse’s age and health status is
- How long a couple has been married
- If one partner makes significantly more than the other
- What each spouse’s earning potential is
- What the financial needs of each spouse is
- If infidelity or abuse led to the divorce
As a result, many times property division in Missouri divorces doesn’t end up a 50-50 split between spouses.
Setting priorities when dividing property in divorce
Before you begin to negotiate dividing property with your spouse, you first need to account for all your assets. You should work closely with your divorce attorney to track all your assets and establish your property’s worth. This can be a difficult process if you and your spouse own multiple properties and have significant investments and lots of valuable items.
You also should think about what assets you are willing to give up and which ones you really want to keep. You may need to give up more of your shared investment assets or retirement funds to your spouse if you want to keep the marital home.
Dividing your assets in divorce isn’t a simple task. You will have to compromise, and it likely will be difficult to let go of some items. But this is part of the divorce process, and when it’s complete, you will be one step closer to getting a fresh start on your own.