How does Minnesota court divide property in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Divorce |

Dividing assets is a crucial but sometimes painstaking part of divorce proceedings.

Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, which means asset division is fair but not always equal.

Factors to consider for marital property

When determining the division of property, the Minnesota court will consider whether each spouse has previous marriages, how long their marriage lasted, whether either spouse was a homemaker and what financial contributions each spouse made during the marriage. Additionally, the age, occupation, employability and needs of each spouse play a role in asset division.

Real vs. personal property

Minnesota family law recognizes two types of property in a divorce: real and personal. Real property includes tangible assets connected to land, such as real estate. Personal property refers to everything not considered real. This includes bank and retirement accounts, vehicles, clothing and jewelry. When determining how to divide assets, Minnesota law treats real and personal property the same.


Judges must also divide debts during a divorce. For example, debt accrued by one spouse during the marriage technically belongs to both spouses.

Gifts and inheritances

Gifts and inheritances can become complex. For example, if one spouse receives a monetary gift from a family member during the marriage and spends it on a marital asset, such as the house. The court may subject that gift to a tracing, meaning the spouse claiming the gift must provide proof that they used it on the house in order to receive credit.

In a perfect world, ex-spouses could come to an agreement and simply have it substantiated by the court.

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