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4 common questions about splitting assets during divorce

Figuring out how to split assets is one of the more complicated tasks of divorce. Some property has taken years of labor and love to get to where it is today. Tempers can rise when assets close to our heart gets taken away. It can help to know the rules during separation and how property will be split in the end. The following four questions are commonly asked by divorcing couples about splitting their assets.

1. What can I take when I move out before the divorce is final?

Anything that you have purchased during marriage, even with your own money, is considered marital property. Marital property will be split during your divorce. This means that when one of you inevitably moves out during separation, it can be tricky to get all of the items that you need. Big items such as furniture, the TV, and the bed will all be taken into account during the divorce settlement. Anything that you take out of the house will either be taken out of your property share, or can be taken back if the court decides to split property a different way.

2. Can they hold onto my personal property during separation?

If you purchased something before marriage, received it as an inheritance, as a gift, or if the item is subject to a prenuptial agreement then it is rightfully yours. They should not be allowed to hold onto this property. If your spouse tries to hide or lock it away then contact an attorney right away. You can get a court order to receive your property if necessary.

3. Who gets to keep the house?

All assets are added together and split fairly between spouses in a divorce agreement. No matter whose name is on the deed, the house is considered part of those joint assets. If one spouse wants to keep the house then they can buy the other out. The spouse who moves out could receive payment in the form of other assets. If there are not enough assets to cover half of the house price then you might consider selling the house and splitting the earnings.

4. Will everything be split 50/50?

Assets should be split fairly in divorce, not necessarily 50/50. If you can both agree how to split property in a fair manner then you could work on an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is ideal, being easier, quicker, and more cost effective. If you cannot agree how to fairly split everything then you could allow a judge to decide in the equitable distribution method. In Missouri a judge can decide how to split martial property based on factors such as:

  • Each spouses' financial circumstances
  • Personal contribution financially and as a homemaker
  • The value of non-marital property for each spouse
  • Spousal behavior
  • Custody agreements for children

Deciding how to split property can become complicated between estimating item prices, dividing the house, adding in savings, and during the many unforeseen circumstances that pop up in separation. It is important to contact an experienced attorney for divorce. An attorney can provide options and answers for coming to an agreement that you are both satisfied with.

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