When married couples buy homes together, they picture raising their children there and possibly growing old in that space together. Few people stop to question what might happen if their marriage ends in divorce.
When the strain on the marital relationship becomes significant enough to be unignorable, spouses struggling to make things work in Missouri may start thinking about what divorce might mean. In many cases, their marital home is one of the biggest sources of concern when contemplating a divorce.
People don’t want to move their children out of their current school district or lose what they have invested in the property over the years. How do couples divorcing in Missouri handle their homes in the property division process?
There are different solutions for different families
There is no one ideal answer for handling the marital home in a Missouri divorce. Equitable distribution rules apply, which means that the way the couple handles the home, combined with their solutions for their other marital resources and debts, will need to be fair for both spouses. That will at least be the standard a judge applies when making choices about property division matters.
What is fair and appropriate can be very different based on a family’s circumstances. Sometimes, having the parent with primary custody of the family’s children keep the home will be the best way to make things stable for the kids. Other times, couples might agree to sell the house so that they can each have a bit of the equity to establish themselves independently after the divorce. There are even rare scenarios where people agree to joint ownership after a divorce.
Spouses have the option of reaching their own settlement or of asking a Missouri family law judge to make the determination based on their analysis of the marital circumstances. People often need to spend some time thinking about what they want from life in the future so that they have an appropriate strategy guiding their negotiations throughout the divorce.
Learning the basics of how Missouri handles family law matters can benefit those contemplating divorce and the impact that the end of their marriage would have on their finances.