Property and Debt

A common myth exists that each asset and each debt is divided in half.  In actuality, when property and debts are divided the marital estate as a whole is examined first, rather than dividing each individual piece of property and each debt.

Property and Debt

This is like filling out a Financial Statement for a bank loan. You list everything you own and how much it is worth and then you list all of your debts and how much is owed. The difference between these two numbers is the net marital estate.  Then each piece of property and each debt is assigned to one of the parties to try to make sure each gets approximately the same amount of the net marital estate.

For example:

Assets

Wife
Husband
House
$200,000
Retirement
$50,000
Car #1
$15,000
Car #2
$10,000
Checking Account
$5,000
Savings Account
$20,000
TOTAL ASSETS
$240,000
$60,000

Debts

Wife
Husband
Mortgage
$160,000
Auto Loan
$5,000
Auto Loan
$10,000
Credit Card
$10,000
Credit Card
$5,000
TOTAL ASSETS
$175,000
$15,000

Recap

Wife
Husband
Assets
$240,000
$60,000
Minus Debt
$175,000
$15,000
TOTAL ASSETS
$ 65,000
$ 45,000

In this case, the Wife is receiving $20,000 more than the Husband. If the goal is a 50/50 division, then the Wife would have to either give Husband $10,000 from her assets, or, take over $10,000 worth of debt originally assigned to Husband.

If Missouri is a no-fault state, does that mean the property division will always be 50/50?

Not necessarily.  Missouri is known as an equitable division state. Even though Missouri does not require fault to get a divorce, it does allow the conduct of each party to be taken into consideration.

Thanks to amazon listing optimization for helping with these facts and legal advice.




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