Going through a divorce inevitably means that you will have to divide any property that you have acquired during your marriage. This can be one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce since the consequences of the asset division process will affect you and your children’s financial future in the years to come. This is why you must pay close attention to the asset division process before taking action to file for divorce.
If you are planning to file for divorce in Minnesota, you will be subject to Minnesota marital property laws. States across the U.S. fall into two general categories when it comes to asset division. States either recognize marital property laws or follow the legal theory of equitable distribution.
What are the Minnesota marital property laws?
Minnesota does not recognize community property law. Instead, the state follows the legal theory of equitable distribution. This means that assets acquired during the marriage are not automatically split equally between spouses. Instead, the courts will determine the fairest way to distribute assets based on the specific circumstances relating to the divorce.
How do Minnesota courts decide what is fair?
The Minnesota courts will take many things into account when deciding on the fairest way to distribute assets. They will consider the actions that each spouse has taken to generate assets during the marriage. They will also take into account the non-financial contributions that each spouse has made to the marriage. For example, if one spouse does not have a job, they will have not contributed financially to marital assets. However, if they devote their time to raising the children and maintaining the home, they are making an invaluable contribution to the marriage and making it possible for the other spouse to earn an income.
It should also be noted that debts, as well as assets, will be subject to division. If one spouse is deemed to be responsible for the accumulation of marital debt, the debts may be disproportionately assigned to them at divorce under equitable distribution law.
If you are contemplating divorce in Minnesota but you are uncertain about how the distribution of assets may affect you, take the time to fully understand the law.