Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Missouri

Q: What is considered Community Property given this information. Please include tax law and any legal code in your answer.

Primary states involved: Arizona, Missouri

Man: Resident of Arizona

Woman: Resident of Maryland

Woman: Employed in the state of Missouri, owns house in Missouri where she lives (currently domiciled)

Couple: Domicile in Missouri

Marriage License and Certificate Acquired In: Arizona

Will my income earned from my employer in the state of Missouri while we live in the state of Missouri be considered community property because our marriage license was issued in Arizona?

Will any houses we buy in Missouri be considered community property because our marriage license was issued in Arizona?

Will any property I have already inherited or will inherit be considered community property because our marriage license was issued in Arizona?

Please answer in laymans terms but please reference legal code.

1 Lawyer Answer
Jennifer L. Rench
Jennifer L. Rench
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: I see that nobody has answered your question, but I am going to attempt to give you some information.

I am not entirely sure from the question what your mean when you say "community property", but Missouri isn't what is legally known to be a community property state so we don't use those terms here.

In Missouri, the court characterizes the property as either marital or separate (or sometime a part of a piece of property can be separate and the rest marital), then the property is valued, and then the property is divided "equitably". Equitably does not necessarily mean the same thing as equally, although that is many times where you end up. Section 452.330 defines what is marital and gives our courts factors to weigh in making decisions about how marital property shall be distributed between the parties.

Property inherited during the marriage is considered separate and not marital, however depending on what kind of property it is there could be a marital component. For example, if you had an investment account that was made up of separate money, but that account earned interest and dividends (which is income) and that income was reinvested into the account, there would be a part of that account that is marital.

In Missouri, income earned during the marriage is considered marital. Doesn't matter where it was earned.

The fact that you were married in Arizona has no relevance. If you are divorcing in Missouri, the laws of Missouri apply.

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