Division of property represents one of a few sensitive issues to address in divorce. Each separating spouse has a similar goal of protecting their assets – non-marital and marital.
Minnesota is an equitable distribution state regarding property division This does not mean that the equal division of assets, rather they get divided fairly and reasonably.
Length of marriage and income
If disagreements on property division surface, then a judge will have to step in. In such a scenario, critical factors in property division include:
- How long the marriage lasted
- The amount contributed to the shared marital assets
- The employment status, income and future income of each spouse
When it comes to dividing assets, the key is whether those assets are marital versus non-marital. Marital assets get divided in a fair and equitable way. Non-marital assets are not. The spouse who owned those assets before the marriage maintains his or her claim on these assets.
Marital assets, non-marital assets and commingled assets
Marital assets – those divided equitably — may include the family home, investment real estate, retirement accounts and other investments, joint checking and savings accounts, loans, credit card debt, a family-owned business along with vehicles and valuable collections.
Non-marital – those not divided – may include retirement assets accumulated before the marriage, equity in a house or business that one spouse owned before the marriage, and an inheritance or a gift received by one spouse while married.
You do not want to “taint” non-marital assets by commingling them with marital assets. If you do this, those assets become marital assets. For example, if a spouse inherits money and then deposits the funds in a joint account, they become marital property.
An attorney is a reliable advocate
Ensuring that you secure your fair share of marital assets is not that difficult as long as you rely on the insight and guidance of an experienced family law attorney. An attorney is your ally and will provide a thorough explanation of property division matters.