One of the most important aspects of the divorce process, and often the most contentious, is the distribution of marital assets. In Missouri, courts use a process called "equitable division" in order to determine who gets what assets after the marriage is ended. "Equitable" does not necessarily mean "equal," as is more fully explained on my Equitable Distribution page.
Probably the most important asset to most couples is the marital home. Determining who gets the home can be a difficult process, as is the valuation of how much the home is worth. With the help of experienced Missouri divorce attorney Joshua Wilson, you can rest assured that your matters will be handled with care and precision.
Determining Who Gets the Home
Many different methods may be used to determine who gets the marital home. First and foremost, it must be determined if the home is marital property. If the home was bought during the marriage, it is marital property. If instead, it was inherited by one spouse or purchased before the marriage, the property is non-marital property and belongs to the owner of the home.
Courts can determine who gets the home in various ways, but a few include the following.
- Outside of court in a separate settlement.
- Outside of court during mediation.
- Through valuation and sale of property, with proceeds of sale distributed between spouses.
- Assignment of home to one spouse as part of the equitable distribution process.
In either of the last two cases, a proper valuation of the home is crucial to making sure your rights are protected during the divorce process. Attorney Joshua Wilson has the years of experience needed to protect those rights.
Valuation of the Marital Home
The marital home is often the most valuable asset a couple has, so a proper valuation is incredibly important. Three home valuation methods are most commonly used during a Missouri divorce.
Market or Sales Comparison Approach
This method compares the marital home to other homes with similar properties that have recently been sold in the area. A comparable home (a "comp") should be as close in location and type as possible. Adjustments to the value of the home are made for any differences in the property. This method is best used for single-family homes, condos, and apartments.
Capitalization of Income Approach
This approach is based on the net income that the property will generate after it's sold. A present worth of the property is determined with that information. This approach is most often used with commercial properties.
The cost approach is based on the principle of substitution, which basically states that no careful person would buy a property for more than it would cost to buy property with equal land and a similar building. This method is less commonly used but is often used as a "check" on the other two approaches.
Consult a Missouri Divorce Attorney
Your marital home is an incredibly important asset and it should be properly valued to make sure your rights are protected. Experienced Cass County attorney Joshua Wilson is here to make sure your assets are protected as they should be.
Contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today at (816) 331-9968 for a consultation.