St. Louis Divorce Asset Division Attorneys
How to Prepare for Dividing Up Your Assets
An Awareness Guide for Spouses Going Through a Divorce
As a spouse going through divorce, you face several obstacles - most notably, getting through the legal process.
And that's where this guide will help you. As you can imagine, starting the proceedings unprepared or uneducated about your options is a mistake.
After you read the following information, you'll be able to make informed, intelligent decisions about your divorce. My experience as a Missouri family law attorney practicing exclusively domestic relations gives me unique insight into your situation. So I encourage you to also use me a source to calm your concerns.
I'm happy to answer your questions and evaluate your situation - without any obligation. Call me today at (314) 322-8515.
Of course, I know many people have reservations about working with lawyers. That's why my practice is dedicated to educating prospects and clients.
After all, when you know what goes on behind the divorce process and understand why certain events happen, you can better project problems and create a more predictable outcome.
Tonya D. Page
During a divorce, you and your spouse must assign value to your assets and debts.
If you accumulated significant property and financial assets during your marriage, this process can get overwhelming.
Normally, your best bet is to reach an agreement (and put it in writing) with your spouse on a fair division of property. However, you should never enter into an agreement without knowing all of the assets and values and without having an attorney review the agreement. If you can't come to a conclusion, a judge will make the decisions.
Missouri is an "equitable distribution" state, meaning marital assets must get divided fairly (but not always equally). To decide how property is divided, the law takes into account each person's financial resources (including any maintenance payments), how much each contributed to the marital assets, the needs of any children and their custodial parent, and the parties' behavior during the marriage.
The law also states property can only fall into two categories: marital or separate.
Any time you claim separate property - meaning you had it prior to the marriage or you received it as a gift or inheritance - you have to prove the asset is your own. For example, on an inheritance, you must show bank statements from the date you received the money to today. Any income earned on separate assets during the marriage is marital, so it may be necessary to do a tracing of the principal vs. interest earned.
If you have investments, a business or other financial assets or debts, dividing your property may require an expert. SEC regulations, tax consequences and other financial laws can make dividing up assets complex.
Complications are common on items such as retirement accounts, insurance policies and business valuations. Also, make sure you tell your attorney if you have antiques, collectables or artwork that requires appraisals.
An experienced St. Louis property division lawyer can spot tricky situations and call on tax, securities or other financial-planning experts to help you. An expert eye can also assist with negotiating or litigating a division of property so the settlement is as fair as possible for everyone.
Of course, you can't underestimate the importance of having a sympathetic advocate on your side during a divorce. In addition to legal advice, your attorney can fulfill this need, too.
Schedule your free divorce assessment today by calling (314) 322-8515.