Dividing assets at the end of a marriage can be difficult, especially if you are unsure about the laws that regulate the process.
The state of Minnesota applies the concept of equitable distribution when considering asset division in divorces.
What does equitable distribution mean?
Equitable distribution in a divorce allows the marital property to get divided equitably. In most circumstances, marital property is anything acquired during the marriage. This allows both parties to receive assets in a just and equitable split. This concept also applies to debt. There are some instances in which an asset acquired during the marriage is not necessarily considered marital property, like an inheritance or gift.
Non-marital property is usually exempt from the equitable division rule. This type of property is any asset acquired prior to marriage or after the marriage becomes dissolved. Assets gained after the valuation date can also fall into this category.
How does a court determine what is equitable?
As a starting point, a court will usually begin with an even split of assets. In some cases, this equal division is also considered equitable. If it is not, the court will look at a number of factors to determine what adjustments need to occur. These include things like:
- Length of the marriage
- Duties and contributions of each spouse
- Prior marriages, if any
- Employability and income potential
- Age and health of each spouse
This process of equitable distribution attempts to award each spouse with the portion of the marital estate that they deserve.