When couples divorce, dividing the property and debts involved can lead to serious conflict. At Ritchie, Soper & Schutt, LLC, our attorneys work hard to find creative solutions for our clients — solutions that aggressively protect their interests while taking their goals into account.
Missouri is an “equitable distribution” state. This means that, when couples are unable to reach an agreement on their own, courts try to divide the marital property and debts equitably. Equitable does not always mean equal — division of property in this way is usually based on a set of factors, including the ones listed below:
Courts divide marital property only. Spouses may each keep their own nonmarital property — generally assets or things owned before the marriage or inherited during the marriage. During property division in a divorce, one of the greatest conflicts often arises in determining what is marital property and what is not.
Marital property is usually defined as all property acquired during the marriage by either spouse, with a few exceptions. These exceptions can include property that was received as a gift by one spouse, property that was acquired by exchanging that gift for something else, or property excluded by a valid prenuptial agreement.
There are also serious tax consequences that should be taken into consideration in most divorce cases. Our attorneys will work closely with your accountant or tax professional to make sure these matters are not overlooked in the negotiation or litigation process.
At Ritchie, Soper & Schutt, LLC, teamwork is a driving factor in our legal practice. Each case is assigned to a knowledgeable paralegal who works directly with a lawyer to resolve your family law issue. Paralegals maintain close contact with you, so you can trust that there will always be someone there to answer questions about your case — someone who knows you and the challenges you face.
The use of paralegals is also a cost savings to you. They perform many tasks at a much lower hourly rate than our attorneys, allowing our attorneys to focus on the more complicated matters for you and our other clients. While paralegals or legal assistants cannot give legal advice, they are trained to share general information and to assist you in filling out various documents, gathering information, and preparing your case for settlement or trial in an organized manner.
Contact Ritchie, Soper & Schutt, LLC, at our St. Joseph location by calling 816-387-8200; our Liberty location by calling 816-792-5100; our Columbia location by calling 573-442-6633; or call us toll free at 888-345-4LAW (4529). You may also complete our online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation with an attorney regarding property division.