The answer to this question is not always as straight forward as it appears. In the State of Missouri the Court should first determine a property’s “character” prior to making a division. In accordance with Missouri Statute 452.330, property shall be characterized as either “marital” or “non-marital”. How your property is divided will depend on this characterization.
Generally, property which is owned prior to the marriage and then brought into the marriage will be considered non-marital property. If the Court determines that 100% of the value of the property is non-marital, it likely will be awarded, in its entirety, to the spouse who brought the property into the marriage. However, there are many circumstances where the Court may find that property which was once non-marital has been converted into marital property during the marriage. Likewise, there are other circumstances where the Court may determine that there exists a marital interest in a portion of property which is otherwise non-marital. Under these circumstances your spouse can be awarded a portion of the value of the property you brought into the marriage.
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