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Can property be excluded from division in a divorce?

If you face a divorce in the state of Missouri, the marital property will be divided between spouses. However, just because a holding was acquired during the marriage, it does not automatically fall into the category of marital assets.

According to Missouri’s Office of State Courts, there are exceptions that allow your assets to be considered non-marital in nature, allowing them to be excluded from property division. If one spouse has received property as a gift or as part of an inheritance, it can be considered non-marital property. This also goes for an acquisition the spouse obtains during the marriage if the money or property used to secure it comes from gifts or inheritances received prior to entering the marriage.

If you and your spouse have already entered into a legal separation prior to the property being obtained, it may be considered for exclusion. In addition, assets may be considered non-marital property if both spouses had previously agreed to that status in writing.

If the value of any of the assets mentioned here increases, that, too, is considered to be non-marital. However, that is not always the case if one spouse can show that he or she played a part in building it. For instance, if your marital assets have been used in order to increase the value, or if the other spouse has been responsible for some of the growth due to using his or her own time, labor or skill set, part of that particular property may be categorized as marital. While the holding in its entirety may not be considered for division, the amount of value that was added may be.

This posting is meant to be an educational resource on the topic of marital property divison and should not be substituted for professional legal counsel.

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