When you feel the desire to get married, you want to be all in. You want to state to the world that this is the person for you and you are for them. You are in for their successes and their failures, and you may be willing to stake your assets to protect them.
But what if it’s time to consider your assets to protect yourself? Divorce is never something that people think about when they are sure about marriage, which is why it is often difficult to separate out the property or money that people threw together to build a life. But it is not as hard as it sounds.
First of all, there is a difference between separate property and marital property in Missouri and most other states. If a person can prove that they possessed an asset before a marriage, then it is most likely separate property that will revert to their control after a divorce.
Marital property is where couples get into the weeds. This may include separate assets that were then improved or otherwise increased in value during a marriage, possibly with both spouses’ contributions. It generally includes any new assets during a marriage, like a house that a couple bought together.
An attorney is often very helpful in working out these issues before a divorce brings property issues to court. Legal representation is handy to both spouses if they can manage it, but neither wants to be left to defend their own interests when emotions are involved in something as personal as a divorce.