What Is Marital Property?
In any divorce, the court is required to consider certain factors in dividing the marital property and marital debts of the spouses. Marital property is generally considered property acquired during the marriage. One of the factors a divorce court is required to consider in dividing marital property is a spouse’s contributions to marital property.
High-Asset Divorce Cases
This is an important factor, especially in high-asset divorce cases, where one spouse may have contributed significantly more money to purchase assets because that spouse has greater income or revenue. A spouse may have also entered the marriage having significantly greater pre-marital assets, including bank, brokerage, investment, and retirement accounts. A spouse may have used some of those pre-marital assets to purchase marital property.
Arguments regarding contributions to marital property are frequently complex. A great deal of preparation is necessary to make a credible and persuasive argument in a divorce that one spouse should receive a larger share of the marital property. The effort and work to prepare for such an argument are often necessary to overcome a court’s perspective that the marital assets should be divided equally.
Missouri Marital Law
Judges frequently believe that an equal division of marital property is the same as equitable or fair division. But Missouri law expressly requires a court to consider a spouse’s contributions to marital property before dividing the marital property.