Much of the property in a married household is referred to as "marital property." Both spouses have equal ownership of this property before a divorce or legal separation is finalized. Marital property includes most all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage and before a legal decree of divorce or separation by a Missouri state court.
At Lance A. Riddle Law Office, Attorneys at Law, we guide our clients and protect their interests through the process of property division. Based in Warrensburg, attorney Lance A. Riddle is skilled in representing clients throughout Johnson County and surrounding areas through:
- Division of the marital home and other real property
- Division of assets such as vehicles, boats, furniture and jewelry
- Division of family businesses, including farms
- Division of checking, savings and stock trading accounts
- Division of retirement benefits such 401(k), 403(b), IRA, pension and military pension plans through qualified domestic relations order (QDRO)
- Division of marital debt
Many people are not aware that retirement benefits are marital property, or they forget about much of the property listed above to which they are entitled in divorce or legal separation.
A qualified and thorough family law attorney will ensure that your property rights and interests are protected.
Exceptions to marital property should be discussed and analyzed by a family law attorney. Such exceptions, called "nonmarital property," may include gifts, inheritance, certain business property and income, property excluded by a legally valid prenuptial agreement, debt acquired prior to marriage or the increased value of property acquired prior to marriage.
We can also help and advise in keeping property and assets segregated through proper estate planning and asset protection methods.
Fair And Equitable Property Division
The court will examine your property division agreement, considering a number of factors such as:
- The contributions of each spouse to the acquisition and maintenance of marital property
- The standard of living during the marriage
- The economic circumstances and career opportunities of each spouse
- The conduct of each spouse during the marriage
- The value of nonmarital property each spouse will possess after the property division
- Child custody, child support and spousal maintenance (alimony) agreements
Homemakers are not placed at a disadvantage in consideration of these factors, but the court will rule based on the judge's determination of what is fair and equitable, which does not imply an even division of property. It is critical to retain a skilled lawyer to represent your best interests throughout the process.
Contact Us To Speak With Attorney Lance A. Riddle
Please call our office at 660-747-6600 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your divorce or legal separation.