If you are currently pursuing a divorce in Minnesota, you’re probably worried about your financial future. Spousal maintenance is a huge concern, of course, but property division also threatens to harm your financial status. Who gets the house? How will you divide retirement assets? Read on to learn more about property division proceedings in the state of Minnesota:
What Is Marital Property? How Is It Divided?
Minnesota courts refer to all assets acquired (by either party) while married as marital property. This is in accordance with the presiding philosophy that marriage serves as full partnership—and that a homemaker’s contributions hold value.
Factors influencing marital property in Minnesota include:
- How long the spouses were married
- Whether the spouses were previously married
- The income (both the amount and sources) of each spouse
- Contributions as homemaker
- Contributions to marital property
Spouses can influence property division outcomes by seeking valuation services or providing documentation of their non-financial contributions to the relationship (such as caring for children).
What Is Non-Marital Property?
Non-marital property includes that acquired through the owner’s efforts before marriage, and anything given as a gift prior to the union. Inheritances from third parties that occurred prior to marriage also qualify as non-marital property. Although non-marital property is typically not divided between spouses in divorce, it could be impacted if it was commingled while the partners were married. Occasionally, spouses are able to designate property gained while married as non-marital, but this requires a preponderance of evidence.
What Is Commingling?
Non-marital property may not be deemed as such if it is commingled. For example, if a non-marital inheritance was deposited in a joint bank account, it could become difficult to trace, making it less likely to remain separated from equitably distributed property.
Dividing Property Through Mediation or Collaboration
Some couples prefer to reach financial arrangements through alternative dispute resolution. This approach sometimes allows divorcing spouses to arrive at creative solutions, which may also draw in spousal maintenance proceedings. For example: one spouse may agree to forgo future maintenance payments so as to secure real estate ownership.
Property division can be one of the most frustrating aspects of divorce in Minnesota. Seek a favorable outcome with assistance from the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.