How Does Property Division Work In Missouri Divorce Cases?

When a couple decides to end their marriage, one of the primary concerns is property division. Property division refers to the process of dividing the marital assets and debts between the two parties. In Missouri, property division is governed by laws that aim to ensure a fair and equitable distribution. Here’s everything you need to know about property division in Missouri divorce cases.

Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution

In some states, the concept of community property governs property division in divorce cases. Under community property laws, marital property is divided equally between the two parties. However, Missouri follows the principle of equitable distribution. This means that the property is divided based on what the court deems fair, not necessarily equal.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property

In Missouri, only marital property is subject to division in divorce proceedings. Marital property refers to any assets or debts that were acquired during the marriage, regardless of who obtained them. In contrast, separate property is not subject to division. Separate property includes assets that were owned by one of the parties before the marriage, inheritances received by one party during the marriage, gifts given to one party, and any monetary or property awards received through a legal judgment or settlement.

The Property Division Process

In Missouri, the property division process typically begins with each spouse disclosing their assets and debts. This includes providing financial statements and inventory of all assets and debts, as well as any supporting documents like bank statements, tax returns, and property deeds.

Once the assets and debts are identified, the court will consider several factors to determine a fair and equitable distribution. These factors include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The financial needs of each spouse
  • The contributions each spouse made to the marriage
  • Each spouse’s earning capacity and future financial prospects
  • The value of each spouse’s separate property

Ultimately, the court will aim to divide the property in a way that provides for each spouse’s financial well-being post-divorce.

What Happens If the Parties Agree?

It is possible for the parties to agree on their own property division arrangement outside of court. This is known as a property settlement agreement. However, the court must still review and approve the agreement to ensure that it is fair and complies with Missouri law.


Property division in Missouri divorce cases can be a complex process. To ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive a fair distribution, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney. Your attorney can provide guidance and representation throughout the property division process and help ensure the best possible outcome for you.

Scroll to Top