The concept of equitable distribution describes the division of assets between divorcing spouses. For Missouri residents, their asset division is based on factors such as property ownership, contributions, custody orders, and other considerations. State laws also factor into the equitable distribution of marital assets.
In divorce/family Law cases, the court orders marital property division. When there’s no prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, what is equitable in court might differ from what the spouses think. One spouse might come into the marriage with assets, while the other might have less at first but increases contributions later in the union. The fair and equitable distribution principle considers tangible and intangible assets as marital equity.
Separate bank accounts
Before transferring funds from a shared account, ensure that the funds are rightfully yours. For instance, if you get direct payroll or other direct income, that income is a great place to start. Transferring money that’s not entirely yours could incur additional fees, taxes and liabilities.
When dealing with a divorce/family law situation, it’s wise to have court-ordered documentation before adding, closing, or pulling any money from joint accounts. To avoid inequity, it helps to allow the court to decide what is or isn’t common marital property. When divorce is acrimonious, the added benefit of professionals helps reduce stress and confrontation.
Past present and future obligations
When children are involved in a divorce, the primary custodial parent may receive a larger share of the assets under the fair and equitable distribution principle. For example, one spouse might be the family breadwinner while the other is the caretaker. These roles contributed to the family and are viewed equally as marital contributions by family court judges.
When the family unit divides, it might be more equitable for the caregiving parent to remain in the home and the earning parent to continue to pay the expenses. This course of action can be offset by the higher-earning spouse receiving a portion of the acquired assets. The family court decides the case, and each ruling depends on the case components.