The following is a summary of Missouri property division laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Missouri Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

Marital Property vs. Nonmarital Property.

For purposes of sections 452.300 to 452.415 only, “marital property” means all property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and prior to a decree of legal separation or dissolution of marriage, regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in some form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, and community property. The exceptions are as follows:

  1. Property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
  2. Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage or in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
  3. Property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation;
  4. Property excluded by valid written agreement of the parties; and
  5. The increase in value of property acquired prior to the marriage or pursuant to subdivisions (1) to (4) of this subsection, unless marital assets including labor, have contributed to such increases and then only to the extent of such contributions.

Property which would otherwise be nonmarital property shall not become marital property solely because it may have become commingled with marital property.

-From Section 452.330 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

Property Division Guidelines.

In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court shall set apart to each spouse such spouse’s nonmarital property and shall divide the marital property and marital debts in such proportions as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors including:

  1. The economic circumstances of each spouse at the time the division of property is to become effective, including the desirability of awarding the family home or the right to live therein for reasonable periods to the spouse having custody of any children;
  2. The contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of a spouse as homemaker;
  3. The value of the nonmarital property set apart to each spouse;
  4. The conduct of the parties during the marriage; and
  5. Custodial arrangements for minor children.

-From Section 452.330 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

Property Settlement Agreement.

To promote the amicable settlement of disputes between the parties to a marriage attendant upon their separation or the dissolution of their marriage, the parties may enter into a written separation agreement containing provisions for the maintenance of either of them, the disposition of any property owned by either of them, and the custody, support and visitation of their children.

In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation, the terms of the separation agreement, except terms providing for the custody, support, and visitation of children, are binding upon the court unless it finds, after considering the economic circumstances of the parties and any other relevant evidence produced by the parties, on their own motion or on request of the court, that the separation agreement is unconscionable.

If the court finds the separation agreement unconscionable, the court may request the parties to submit a revised separation agreement or the court may make orders for the disposition of property, support, and maintenance in accordance with the provisions of sections 452.330, 452.335 and 452.340.

-From Section 452.325 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.

 

This information has been summarized from the Missouri statutes. You can find the full-text version of these and other Missouri divorce statutes online here: Missouri Divorce Laws.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GENERAL PROPERTY DIVISION LAWS.

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IMPORTANT: Help Yourself Divorce is a paralegal service, not a law firm. Please don’t rely on this information for legal advice. Seek help from an attorney if you need legal advice.

 

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