In Minnesota, Fair and Equitable Is the Rule
In Minnesota, the law says that you are entitled to a fair and equitable division of marital assets. One common misconception that many divorcing couples have is that fair and equitable always means “equal.”
At Dwire Law Offices in Lakeville, Minnesota, divorce attorney Todd Dwire offers a free initial consultation to discuss property division issues that are part of divorce.
Equal or Equitable?
More often than not, marital debts and assets are divided equally because the two parties agree to a resolution. As a practical measure, the most palatable outcome for most divorcing couples is to share equally.
However, if the parties don’t agree to an equal division, the court has the discretion to divide assets and property disproportionately if the situation warrants. This is referred to as equitable division. For example, if one side was a substantial earner and the other side earned significantly less, the court may award a greater share of marital property to the lower wage earner or a greater share of the debt to the substantial earner.
Assets and Debts Will Be Divided
The distinction between marital and nonmarital property is important. Regardless of whose name is on an asset, if it was accumulated during the marriage, it is presumed to be marital property and must be divided. There are a couple of exceptions: If you received a gift or an inheritance during the marriage, that asset would be considered nonmarital property and not subject to division. Certain types of personal injury award settlements could also be considered nonmarital.
Likewise, debts accumulated during your marriage are presumed to be marital obligations, regardless of who incurred the debt. For example, if you have credit card debt that is in your name with a balance incurred during the marriage, that balance is presumed to be marital debt and will be divided equitably.
- Tax issues related to property division
- Dividing businesses
- Dividing retirement plans
- Bankruptcy in divorce
Preparing For Division Of Assets
To ensure your financial situation is resolved fairly and appropriately, it’s important to provide the following kinds of information to your lawyer:
- Tax returns
- Credit card information
- Bank account statements
- Mortgage and loan information
- Retirement plan/401(k) statements
- Assessment on all properties owned
- Information on any closely held businesses