Sainte Genevieve Family Law Blog

How does Missouri divide property in a divorce?

Divorce comes with a long and unpleasant to-do list. At the top of the list is probably figuring out child custody. After dividing your parenting time with your ex, you next have to worry about the division of your property.

You may wonder what exactly this entails and which assets you should fight for. Although much of it depends on your personal circumstances, understanding the basics of Missouri law is a good place to start.

3 reasons to consider divorce mediation instead of litigation

Getting a divorce can be a scary thought. How will you deal with all the toxicity? If you are concerned about hostile court battles, you may want to consider mediation instead. When you mediate your divorce, you and your spouse try to resolve issues together with the help of a third party. 

Even if you are not sure about your willingness to compromise yet, you should heavily consider mediation, because it comes with a variety of benefits. Here are the ways that mediation can help your divorce go more smoothly than you think is possible. 

How to protect assets in a divorce without hiding them

The division of property in a divorce is normally highly contentious. With so many factors that determine equitable distribution, you may not receive as much as you hope for, nor the things you wanted.

Unfortunately, this leads to many spouses hiding assets before or during divorce. This illegal act can cause you to lose even more, but you may not know what else to do to protect important assets. The good news is you have options that do not entail breaking the law.

Spousal maintenance in Missouri

Couples about to begin the divorce process often have concerns about several important topics, including spousal maintenance, which is also known as alimony. Areas of concern typically include establishing who can get maintenance, how courts determine appropriate amounts and whether it is possible to make changes later depending on circumstances.

Missouri law allows judges a wide range of discretion in making decisions about maintenance. Unlike child support, the law does not provide specific calculations.

Divorce mediation in Missouri

People often approach divorce proceedings thinking they have a choice between agreeing on everything and filing for an uncontested divorce, or having to battle out any disagreements in the courtroom. Many states, including Missouri, promote divorce mediation as an alternative way to resolve disputes without engaging in financially and emotionally draining litigation.

A divorce mediator acts as a neutral third party to facilitate discussion and compromise concerning contentious issues. Even couples who have trouble communicating can benefit from mediation. Working with a mediator can allow the couple to deescalate emotional tension and stay focused on productive discussion.

Helping children deal with two homes

Divorce is difficult for everyone, and the transitional period immediately following a separation or divorce can prove especially taxing for any children involved. In addition to adjusting to the obvious change of their parents no longer being with one another, children of divorced couples typically must also learn to adjust to living in two different homes. While there is no magic formula for minimizing the emotional impact your divorce may have on your child, there are some key steps you can take to help ease the transition and make both parents' residences feel like home. Consider taking the following actions.

The impact of divorce on a family-run business

If you own a small, family-run business, you have put countless hours and effort into building a client base and turning a profit. Despite the amount of time and energy that you have invested in your family business, a divorce could impact your ownership rights and your role in the business.

Missouri laws state that marital property and assets are distributed between the two parties in a manner deemed most appropriate by the court, including jointly owned businesses. Small business owners must be careful to protect their interests by working with a lawyer experienced in complex property division matters.

Creating a co-parenting plan for your family

Co-parenting is almost never easy. It requires strength, patience and creativity. Thankfully, because you are invested in your child's wellbeing, you are already approaching your co-parenting relationship from a solid foundation. Even if your child's other parent is not the most cooperative, attentive or calm person around, your commitment to do what is best for your child will help to make your co-parenting relationship as productive as it can be.

Whether you are an unmarried parent or you are currently in a relationship with someone other than your child's other parent, you have the ability to give your child the support and guidance he or she needs. However, it is important not to shy away from accepting help and support when it is available. Navigating a complex co-parenting relationship is stressful and you do not have to do it alone.

Missouri moving away from traditional concepts of child custody?

Missouri and a few other states are considering legislation that could change the way in which child custody arrangements are made. Current Missouri law (found in Missouri Revised Statutes Section 452.375.1) bases custody on the legal standard of the "best interests of the child," and provides guidance for family court judges making child custody determinations in the form of factors to be considered before custody is set.

The factors include, among other things:

  • The wishes of the parents and the child
  • The child's current living arrangement
  • The child's relationship with both parents and with any siblings or other family members
  • The child's adjustment to his or her current home, school and community situation
  • Mental and physical health of all parties involved


Sainte Genevieve Office
705 Sainte Genevieve Drive
Sainte Genevieve, MO 63670

Phone: 573-303-3015
Fax: 573-303-5354
Sainte Genevieve Law Office Map

St. Louis Office
3636 S. Geyer Road
Suite 100
St. Louis, MO 63127

Phone: 314-238-7257
St. Louis Law Office Map