Experienced St. Louis Property Division Attorneys
Divorce often presents significant legal hurdles. In addition to resolving all of the complex issues associated with child custody and alimony, couples must also manage the division of property. This can prove to be an overwhelming task as assets must be disclosed, debts examined, valuations undertaken and property classifications made. In fact, challenging economic times have only served to exacerbate this issue as many couples are now burdened by debt and unable to sell their property without experiencing a substantial loss, or even greater debt.
At the Law Offices of Susan L. Ward, LLC, we help clients overcome the legal challenges posed by a divorce and a tough economic market. For more than 17 years, our firm has practiced exclusively in the area of family law. Over the course of this time, we have earned a reputation among clients and the local legal community for providing compelling and steadfast advocacy. We take great pride in this recognition as being a premier Missouri family law firm.
Our firm utilizes a client-centered approach in all property division matters. This means we take the time to listen to a client's concerns, explain the law, discuss their options, and clarify a legal plan of action. It also means that we are available to answer questions and update clients on the status of their case.
Property Division in Missouri
Missouri is a "modified no-fault" state, meaning that in order to obtain a divorce, the parties must only plead irreconcilable differences. However, conduct of a spouse (such as an affair or financial fraud) is relevant to issues such as the division of property. Also relevant are incidents of domestic violence, injury, assault or harm caused by one spouse to the other.
As an "equitable distribution" state, Missouri takes into account a number of factors in deciding how to distribute property, including determining what is non-marital property, and what is marital debt. Additional factors the court will consider include:
- The value of any non-marital property
- Each spouse's economic circumstances at the time the property division is made
- Each spouse's contribution to the acquisition of the marital property
- Conduct of each spouse during the marriage
Please note, equitable distribution does not necessarily mean the property will be divided equally. Our experienced family law attorneys will guide you through the application of Missouri law to your situation and the factors that may impact your settlement or trial outcome.
Aggressive Property Division Attorneys
Our tough, no-nonsense lawyers are committed to protecting your assets. If necessary, they will work with forensic accountants to uncover and value any hidden assets, including:
- Pension plans
- Vacation homes
- Retirement plans
- Overseas bank accounts
These forensic accountants also provide important business valuation details regarding the value of, or earning potential provided to a spouse by any family-owned or closely-held businesses. We will protect the assets you owned before the marriage, as well as the assets that were managed as joint property after you were married.
Contact When Experience Counts
At the Law Offices of Susan L. Ward, LLC, we can help resolve your complex property division issues in an effective and efficient manner. Contact us today to schedule a convenient consultation.