If you are going through a high-asset divorce in Missouri, taking inventory of your assets should be placed high upon your must-do list. While you may not feel the need to tackle this task immediately upon filing, memory can fade in regard to everything that should be considered and oversights can result in costly mistakes down the road.
According to the Office of State Courts Administrator, the first thing you need to do when listing assets is to ascertain which fall under the umbrella of marital property. This includes anything acquired by either of you during the marriage. Non-marital property includes property and assets acquired prior to the marriage, an inheritance or gifts, assets obtained after a legal separation was filed and increases in the value of assets that were procured prior to the marriage. There can be tricky exceptions in both categories, so it is a good idea to have a professional sort through your list to identify gray areas.
Begin your list by noting any real estate that you and your spouse may hold. This can include your marital home, vacation properties, business and rental properties and undeveloped land. Next, consider your personal property. It can be easy to overlook items in this category, so be as detailed as possible. Valuable assets can include artwork, collectibles, weapons, home furnishings, electronics, motor vehicles, furs, jewelry and anything else in your home that may appreciate in value.
List out any financial assets such as retirement funds, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, annuities, trusts, college funds, offshore accounts and any other accounts or investment options where money may have been placed over the course of your marriage. Finally, take inventory of any business assets that you or your spouse have. This can include business partnerships, sole proprietorships, any practices and professional degrees.
If you are unsure whether an item would be considered for asset division, it is best to include it in your initial list. Take time to engage in an in-depth search for forgotten or hidden assets.
This post is to be used for informative purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal counsel.