It is a common misconception that the court will split things down the middle during a divorce case. The reality is that property division in St. Louis is far more complicated. While it is possible that you could get half of the marital assets, the law does not guarantee that you receive an even distribution.
According to state law, it is entirely possible that the court could award you half of everything. However, a judge is not required to divide property in this way. The court could divide property based on what a judge finds to be equitable—even if the split is not even.
Understanding how property is divided if you are considering divorce, especially if you own a small business. The law will play an important role in determining what property you end up, and what property you do not. Our firm is ready to help you ensure that you are treated fairly during the process of property division.
Not All Property is Divided in St. Louis
Before you consider the ways marital property is divided, it is helpful to understand what is not subject to division during the course of a St. Louis divorce. The court will only divide marital property, meaning that your individual property is not at risk. Individual property is generally the property you brought into the marriage, in addition to certain assets like personal injury settlements and inheritance.
Of course, disputes can arise over what is considered to be individual property. One of the ways a St. Louis divorce attorney could help is by ensuring your individual property is not considered to be marital property.
Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution
In the United States, each jurisdiction has adopted its own approach to the division of marital property during a divorce. These property division schemes fall into one of two categories: community property and equitable division.
In community property states like California, marital property is generally divided evenly between spouses. This is true no matter which spouse was responsible for bringing the majority of assets into the marriage. There are some exceptions that could allow for an uneven split, but in general, the courts will work to make the division of property as even as possible.
In equitable distribution states, the focus is not on splitting marital assets evenly. Instead, the purpose of this approach is for the court to split the assets in a way that is most equitable. This does not necessarily result in even division between the spouses. If the judge determines that fairness requires one spouse recovers more than the other, the court has the power to order an uneven division of assets.
Missouri is Not a Community Property State
Missouri is not a community property state. However, other jurisdictions have adopted this approach to the division of marital property. Under these laws, it is more likely that the property will be split 50/50 between the spouses upon divorce. In Missouri, whether or not you get half of everything is determined by what the court deems fair and equitable.
You have the power to impact the final decision of the court on this matter. These disputes are usually resolved in a hearing where both sides make the case for a fair outcome. Your attorney could help you make a viable case for a fair resolution in your divorce.
Talk to an Attorney About the Division of Property in Your Divorce Case in St. Louis
There is no guarantee that you will be treated fairly during the course of your divorce. The court has an obligation to divide marital property in an equitable way, but protecting your rights is never simple. An attorney could provide you with the best opportunity to secure a fair distribution of assets.
The J. Rench Law Firm, LLC understands what it takes to make the most of property distribution during a divorce. With our help, you could protect your rights under the law. Reach out as soon as possible for a confidential consultation.
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