States are either considered as community property states or equitable distribution states. Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, which means that, in the case of a divorce, a judge will decide on the fairest way to distribute marital property. Ensuring a fair distribution of property is no easy feat and, very often, both parties may feel they were done in.
In coming to a decision on the fair distribution of assets, there are four issues you will have to handle. Firstly, it must be established what the assets of both spouses are. Secondly, these assets must be divided into two categories — marital- and non-marital assets. Thirdly, each asset must be valued, and lastly, the two parties, with the help of their lawyers, must devise a way to divide the marital property according to Minnesota divorce laws.
While no-fault divorce laws ensure that the grounds for divorce is not considered when marital assets are divided, courts mostly do take financial misconduct into consideration. In principle, this means that, if one of the parties suddenly starts spending irresponsibly or is lavishing a new boy- or girlfriend with expensive gifts and trips, that person may expect to pay for the irresponsible behavior. In such cases, the person may be required to repay the money spent or be awarded a smaller portion of the marital assets.
What is fair may not always seem fair, but courts have to ensure an equitable division of marital property. However, it is imperative to obtain advice from a Minnesota divorce lawyer in order to ensure the protection of one’s rights to a fair division of marital property. The lawyer can provide advice on many aspects, from the separation of joint bank and credit accounts to dealing with the feelings of hostility one may encounter.