All possessions acquired by a married couple after their marriage date are considered "marital property" and thus subject to division if the couple gets divorced. Additionally, any debt accrued together also becomes subject to division during divorce (which typically does not include debt incurred under just one party's name). Common types of marital property subject to division upon divorce include real estate or automobiles acquired after marriage.
Even when comingled with marital property, non-marital property such as inheritances are not subject to division. However, the court will assume that any comingled property that cannot be traced is marital property. For example, if you cashed an inheritance check and then deposited that cash into a joint checking account -- but didn't retain any receipt or record of the inheritance -- it may be included with marital property.
As a rule of thumb, all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is considered marital property, except:
- Any property received in a will, inheritance, gift, or bequest;
- Any property acquired through an exchange with property that itself was acquired prior to the marriage (or through a will or gift);
- Any property acquired by either spouse following a legal separation;
- Any property specifically excluded from marital property by written agreement, such as a legally valid prenuptial agreement; and
- Any increase in the value of property (see 1-4 above) acquired prior to marriage, unless marital assets were used to increase this value (for example, the labor of the other spouse).
Missouri Marital Property Laws At A Glance
Learning about Missouri marital property laws before you make any major decisions will help to prepare you for your next steps. For more information on the specific marital property laws in Missouri, see the chart below.
Missouri Revised Statutes Section 452.330 (factors considered in disposition of property)
Missouri Revised Statutes Section 474.110 (abolishing dower and curtesy)
|Community Property Recognized?
|Factors Considered by the Court Before Property is Divided
The court has discretion to ensure a "just" result when dividing marital property, but must consider all relevant factors, such as:
- Economic circumstances of each party
- Contribution of each party to the acquisition of marital property
- Value of non-marital property set aside for each spouse
- Conduct of each party during marriage
- Custodial arrangements for minor children
|Dower And Curtesy
Dower and Curtesy abolished
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Missouri Marital Property Laws: Related Resources
Learn More About Missouri Marital Property Laws from a Lawyer
Figuring out how marital property might be divided on divorce is a good first step in any divorce process and can help you see the big picture before getting into the weeds. Contact an experienced family law lawyer in Missouri who can help you see that picture and plan for life after divorce, and also serve as a guide through the divorce process.