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!
NOTICE: Many states require attorneys to notify email recipients that email is not a secure method of communication, that it may be copied and held by any computer through which it passes, and persons not participating in the communication may intercept the communication. If you would like to discontinue this method of communication, please advise, and no further e-mail communication will be sent to you. The information contained in this message is confidential, attorney privileged, and intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by email or telephone and permanently delete the original email and all copies of it.
Sign up to receive a 10-part series of useful information and legal advice about the divorce process.