Missouri is what is called a modified no fault state. Further, Missouri does not have what is called community property, we term it as separate and marital property. Any property or debt you had prior to marriage is separate. Whatever property or debt you accumulate during marriage is marital. Issues start to arise when you "comingle" the funds, or use separate property to pay for marital items, or vice versa.
My colleague is absolutely correct. If you want to make sure your non-marital property (property you owned before the marriage) does not become marital, you need to keep it separate in every way. If you live on the property with the spouse, it can be considered marital. If any of his labor or your labor goes into the property to up the value during marriage, it can be considered marital (or portions of it can be), if you put any of your marital money into the property during marriage, it can be considered marital. You may think about having a post-nuptial agreement completed between you and your spouse to keep the property separate. An attorney can draft this up rather quickly for you both to sign and get notarized. This would be the best way because it is so hard to keep non-marital property non-marital when you are married and his debts could come back to hinder you both later.
Hope this information helps!
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