RIF is an acronym many in Missouri may be familiar with. It stands for Reading is Fundamental. The organization got its start 50 years ago as a way to improve childhood literacy by getting books into the hands of kids. It promotes the idea that reading is "fun" on one hand, and essential to overall well-being on the other.
Divorce is a challenging period of emotional highs and lows. It’s a significant change that presents both freedom and rejection, not to mention the physical assets and property division that are a key part of the process.
More and more couples are making the decision to draft prenuptial agreements prior to walking down the aisle. In fact, a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reveals that members experienced a recent increase in prenups of 63 percent. Many Missouri residents understand that these marital contracts can be a powerful financial tool, and can make reaching a divorce settlement far easier if that need should arise. Instead of feeling uncomfortable broaching the topic, many couples are eager to discuss the matter with a family law attorney.
For many Missouri spouses, the division of marital wealth is the predominant topic within their divorce. Most spouses focus on the manner in which marital assets will be divided but pay relatively little attention to issues of debt. When it comes to the property division portion of a divorce, debt plays an important role. It is imperative that spouses understand how the law stands in regard to separate versus marital debt.
When preparing to divorce, many Missouri couples are concerned about the timing. Often, this concern is based on how their children and extended family members will react to the news, or how to avoid a negative impact during the holidays. A far more practical timing issue, exists, however, of which many couples are unaware. For those who are nearing their 10-year anniversary, the timing of divorce could mean a financial benefit of tens of thousands of dollars.
Couples who obtain a divorce in Missouri may wish to reflect on how their new status will affect their credit. Joint accounts and shared liabilities can continue for years after the marital union they were based on has been dissolved. Attention to detail at the time of dissolution can save serious impact to credit ratings and prevent payment on debt unfairly owed.
Missouri couples who are getting a divorce may find it difficult to settle disputes regarding the division of marital property, especially if the couple has a pet in the mix. Determining who gets to keep the family pet may be an emotional process for all parties involved, and if a couple cannot come to an agreement, the judge will have to make the decision for them.
Some Missouri residents may benefit from learning more about what happens to inheritances when a couple files for divorce. Whether or not an inheritance is subject to property division depends on whom the asset was given to and how the asset was utilized upon receipt.
Missouri is not a community property state, so courts will follow the principles of equitable distribution when determining property division during divorce proceedings. When making this determination, a judge will consider several different factors including the value of the property, how much each spouse contributed to the purchase of the property and each spouse's economic circumstances.
In determining the division of property in a divorce, Missouri follows the legal principle of equitable distribution, meaning that marital assets are divided in a way that the judge deems fair. Equitable distribution does not necessarily entail an equal division of assets. Couples may avoid having a court be the one to determine the division of property by drafting and signing their own divorce settlement agreement. If they are unable to reach an accord, the court will need to go through several steps to determine how to fairly divide the couple's property.