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How is property divided in a Minnesota divorce?

There are several states, like California and Texas, in which marital property is split 50-50 in a divorce. Minnesota is not one of those states

In Minnesota, shared possessions are considered “marital property” and are divided equitably, if not exactly evenly.

Determining marital property

All debts and assets – including real estate, bank accounts, investments and so on – are considered marital property if they were obtained with comingled funds. If they were obtained before the marriage, or with funds that were specific to one spouse like a gift or inheritance, then they are considered separate property and can remain with the spouse.

For example, if you buy a car before the marriage, pay the loan from an account only in your name and with funds that were specific to you, then at the time of the divorce this car could be considered separate property.

However, if you received an inheritance and rather than keeping it separate, you deposited it into a joint checking account to be used by both spouses, then it is marital property.

It’s important to remember that debt can be weighed the same way. If a student loan is in one spouse’s name and the payments are made from one spouse’s account, then they could be considered separate. However, if the payments were made from a joint account, then the debt could be considered marital property.

Equitable distribution

Rather than divvying up marital assets 50-50, in Minnesota judges try to divvy up marital assets in an equitable fashion that is most fair for both parties.

Some of the factors involved in equitable distribution include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Age, health, income, skills, employability, liability and needs of each spouse
  • Contribution of one spouse to the education or increased earning power of the other spouse
  • Each spouse’s sources of income, including disability or pension income
  • The standard of living established during the marriage
  • Tax ramifications of the divorce and retention of the properties.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For the best advice, get in touch with a qualified, experienced attorney who can give you good counsel.

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