I recently got married. I want to know is the property that I own considered community property.

I have found out that my new husband has several financial debts, including taxes owed. I want to be sure that my property that I owned before the wedding is not subjected to community property

Saint Louis, MO -

Attorney Answers (2)

Margaret P. Murphy

Margaret P. Murphy

Family Law Attorney - Clayton, MO
Answered

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.

Saundra Janelle McDowell

Saundra Janelle McDowell

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Lees Summit, MO
Answered

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!
Saundra McDowell

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