You and your spouse planned ahead before your Missouri marriage by creating a solid premarital agreement. Now that you are divorcing, you have the confidence of knowing that your nonmarital property will remain separate from the division process. At Turken & Porzenski, L.L.C., our legal team often works with clients to negotiate for a fair division of property in their divorce.
Because your separate property will not be divided, you may believe that it will not be factored into the process. However, the courts consider many issues in determining what is a fair and equitable division, and your separate property may affect what you receive, according to the Missouri Revised Statutes § 452.330. Other factors include spouses' conduct and contributions to marital property during the marriage, which spouse will be the primary caregiver of the children and what each spouse's financial circumstances are.
How might these factors affect you? Suppose you have real estate that your great aunt left to you in her will. That is separate property, but the judge may determine that your spouse should have the option to keep the house if he or she wants it because you own another place to live and he or she does not. Or, if your nonmarital property will provide you with a much higher quality of life than your spouse, the judge may award your spouse a larger percentage of the marital assets to balance out your financial circumstances after the divorce, as this is one of the goals of property division.
More information about separate property is available on our webpage.