There is no simple answer regarding which party will receive the marital home in a Missouri divorce. There are many factors that go into the decision, including whether or not the home is considered marital property at all. In addition to real property, the court is also tasked with dividing personal property as well.
Property division is often one of the most contentious aspects of divorce in Missouri courtrooms. A judge is required to equitably distribute these assets, and the outcome in these cases could leave both parties unhappy.
Given the value that comes with real property, it is crucial that you seek out legal counsel to assist with your divorce. Your attorney could put you in the best position possible to secure the marital home during the course of your divorce proceedings. Schedule a free consultation with the J. Rench Law Firm, LLC as soon as possible to learn more.
What Types of Property are Divided in a Missouri Divorce?
Your home is only one of the assets that might be divided during the course of your divorce. The property that could be covered by your divorce decree could include real or personal property.
Your home is considered real property. Real property includes land as well as the structures that are on it. Personal property are your other physical assets, including motor vehicles or jewelry.
What is the Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Property?
There are other ways to categorize the property owned by a married couple outside of whether it is real or personal. It is also vital that you understand the difference between marital and non-marital property as well. This distinction is important given that the courts only have the power to divide marital property. Non-marital property remains with the party that brought it into the marriage.
Marital property is property that is owned equally by both spouses. Typically, this property is obtained during the course of the marriage. Property can be marital even in cases where only one spouse is the named owner.
Non-marital property can take different forms. The most common example of non-marital property is an asset that is owned by a spouse prior to the marriage. However, there are some types of property that are considered non-marital even when they are obtained during the course of the marriage. Some common examples include the proceeds of a personal injury settlement or a family inheritance. If these funds are eventually intermingled with marital assets over time, they could also become marital assets.
How is Property Divided in Missouri?
There are generally two ways that property is divided in a Missouri divorce case. These options apply not only to the marital home but also any other property owned by the couple as well. Some couples divide their marital assets through a negotiated settlement. Others rely on the court to decide for them.
Negotiating a Settlement
If both sides can come to an agreement regarding who gets the house in the divorce, the court will rarely object. While the judge has an obligation to ensure an equitable division, they generally prefer the parties to reach these decisions on their own.
Litigating Property Division
When you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement, the only other option is for the court to decide. The process of litigating these issues can be costly and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee the outcome will be to your liking. During your hearing, it is up to the court to divide your marital property based on what is equitable.
The J. Rench Law Firm, LLC Could Help With Property Division Challenges in Missouri
If you are facing a dispute over your marital home, the J. Rench Law Firm, LLC might be able to help. We understand what is at stake during every phase of a Missouri divorce case. With our help, you could obtain the fair outcome you deserve. Call right away to schedule your initial consultation.