Kansas City Family Law Blog

What factors are considered with property division in Missouri?

When a Missouri couple decides to move forward with the end of a marriage, property division is frequently one of the most contentious issues that they must face. As rife for dispute the disposition of property is and how it is decided who will get what, there are laws as to how property and debts are handled in a divorce. Understanding what factors will be considered is a foundational aspect of dealing with the case.

When the couple is divorcing, the court will determine what is marital property and what is non-marital property. The same holds true for debts. The non-marital property will belong to the spouse who had it prior to the marriage or has a right to it based on it being non-marital property. The economic situations of the spouses when the property will be divided - including who wants the family home and will live there - will be weighed. The contributions from the spouses as to the marital property being acquired will be gauged and this will include contributions if one of the spouses was a homemaker. The value of the non-marital property will be set apart to the spouses. The court will consider the conduct of both parties while they were married. And the custodial arrangements, if there are minor children, will be factored in.

What are the two types of child custody?

Going through a divorce and witnessing the impact that event may have on the lives of one's children can be difficult for a Missouri parent to bear. It is often during negotiations related to the futures of their children that parents zealously fight for what they think with provide their kids with the best possible lives in the wake of divorce. Child custody is one of the biggest topics that a parent will have to address when their marriage comes to its end.

Child custody can be divided into two main categories: legal custody and physical custody. A parent who retains legal custody of their child after a divorce can stay involved in the important decisions that must be made regarding the child's upbringing. For example, a parent with legal custody can have a say in where the child receives their education, and if their child will attend church as a part of their inclusion in a system of worship.

Can a prenuptial agreement really benefit you?

As you are planning to get married, it can be beneficial to think about your plans beyond just the day of the wedding. It is prudent to consider financial roles, responsibilities and even what will happen in case of eventual divorce. One of the ways you can do this is to draft a prenuptial agreement.

Some Missouri couples fail to draft a prenuptial agreement, even if they think it could be beneficial because it seems to be planning for the marriage to fail at some point. In reality, it is not planning to divorce in the future, but instead, it is putting protections in place in case of contingencies down the road. If you are considering this step, it is smart to think about both the pros and potential cons of this decision.

Factors that are considered before a spousal maintenance award

Not every divorce will result in a Missouri court awarding spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is also called alimony or spousal support and is the payment of money from one ex-partner to the other for after their divorce is finalized. This post will examine some of the important factors that courts can use to decide if spousal maintenance is appropriate.

First, a court will look at whether a person asking for spousal maintenance is able to take care of themselves based on the property and income. If a person has not worked outside of the home because they have focused their attention on raising the couple's kids or maintaining their household, then it may be unrealistic for them to jump into a career after a divorce. A court will evaluate if there options for the person to gain educational or work-specific training that may facilitate their return to employment.

Mediation as a positive divorce alternative

If you are facing a divorce, the last thing you need is more stress and anxiety. You are likely weary and overwhelmed with the details of the process, not to mention the reaction of your friends and extended family since you shared the news. With so much drama around you, it is likely you are looking for any opportunity to reduce the level of stress related to your divorce.

You and your spouse have more alternatives than couples in past generations. Courts and marriage experts have learned that divorces do not have to be brutal battles and that people come through a divorce healthier if the contention is kept to a minimum. This is where divorce mediation comes in.

Is relocation in the best interests of your child?

Family courts in Missouri make child custody decisions based on what is best for the child. In many cases, parents present these decisions to the court after working it out beforehand, and often, parents share child custody as evenly as possible. More studies support the idea that shared parenting is an important part of a child's ability to thrive as an adult. You and your spouse likely considered these factors when you arrived at your custody agreement.

However, situations change, and you may be facing the choice of whether to relocate with your children. You may feel it is your right to move anywhere you want to, but if you have a court-ordered custody arrangement, a judge has a say in it, too.

The role of fault in a Missouri divorce

There are a multitude of reasons that the parties to a married couple may choose to end their union. They may find that over time they have grown apart, or the end of the union may be sudden realization based on the conduct of one or both of the parties. In Missouri, individuals do not have to plead fault to bring their marriages to their ends, but fault can play a role in a divorce if the legal matter is contested.

A no fault divorce is one in which blame for the end of the relationship is not assigned to one of the parties. In Missouri, a person may plead that their marriage is irretrievably broken in order to begin divorce proceedings. If their spouse agrees then the matter may proceed without issue. If, though, the spouse alleges that the marriage is not irretrievably broken and that it may have a chance to survive, the pleading party may use fault as evidence of the marriage's total demise.

How does Missouri define marital property?

When a couple decides to divorce, splitting property can be an awkward and complicated issue. Determining who has the right to what is not an easy task, particularly at the end of a long-term marriage.

Divorce courts in Missouri will look at the marital property of the couple and work to divide it in as equitable a fashion as possible. But what exactly is marital property?

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