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How Source Funds Can Impact Property Division For Your Missouri Divorce

In Missouri, the courts apply the equitable distribution rule when determining how property and assets are divided between divorcing spouses. Judges attempt to divide property equitably, or fairly, but not necessarily equally - the marital estate is not split 50/50. Instead, judges take into account a variety of unique factors when deciding what is "fair."

As a dual-property state, Missouri courts will equitably distribute all property that is considered marital property. Marital property may include property obtained during the course of the marriage. Non-marital property, or separate property, may include property owned by either the husband or the wife before the marriage. If a party proves to the court that the property is non-marital, then the court will set aside the non-martial property to the party who met the burden of proof.

Courts Assume That All Property Is Marital Property

In general, Missouri courts begin with the assumption that all property that was accumulated during the marriage is marital property. For either spouse to be awarded non-marital property, he or she must prove to the court that the property is non-marital.

One method that is used to separate marital vs non-marital property is to apply the “source of funds” rule. Using this rule, parties can determine whether an item is considered marital or only partly marital, as well as to what extent.

Missouri Source Of Funds Rule

Section 452.330.2(2) of the Missouri Revised Statutes refers to the source of funds rule, states that if one spouse uses property that belonged to him or her before the marriage to acquire new property after marriage, the newly acquired item is considered separate party of that particular spouse. An apt example of this is where a man uses money acquired from selling a piece of art that was acquired before his marriage and then uses those funds to purchase other art during his marriage. The art he buys after marrying would be his separate property and not subject to being divided as marital property between he and his wife should they divorce.

To apply the source of funds method, the court must decide if separate or marital funds were used to pay for that item. The property will then be designated as either separate or marital property in proportion to the percentage of the source fund, whether it is marital or separate.

Contact a St. Louis Divorce Lawyer

You should consult with a divorce attorney if you are considering a divorce and need to ensure that property and assets you brought into the marriage remain your separate property after the divorce. The Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. can help you classify your property as marital or separate and establish the source of funds. Call (636) 552-4841 for a free consultation today and speak with a St. Louis Divorce Attorney. The Galmiche Law Firm, P.C. serves St. Louis County, St. Charles County, St. Louis City, Lincoln County, Jefferson County, Franklin County and surrounding areas of Missouri.