The breakdown of a relationship can be emotional draining and stressful, particularly if the parties are locked in a war of words. The end of a relationship can often be acrimonious, especially if one spouse blames the other for the breakdown. In addition to the emotional and practical issues that need to be resolved, couples will also need to address financial issues when they decide to divorce.
Who Gets to Stay in the Property?
The primary concern for many divorcing couples is, ‘who gets to keep the house?’. However, there is no universal answer to this question. In Minnesota, marital property should be distributed fairly but this doesn’t necessarily mean that each spouse will get an equal share of any assets.
Instead, the length of the marriage, the earning potential of each spouse and even the health of both parties can have an impact on how property is divided. Due to this, each situation needs to be dealt with carefully and with great attention to detail.
Remember – when the courts talk about ‘marital property’, they aren’t only referring to houses or buildings. In fact, any type of asset can be considered marital property, including cash or funds in bank accounts.
What is Non-Marital Property?
Assets which were owned by one spouse prior to the marriage or which were acquired following the breakdown of the relationship are not typically included in divorce proceedings. Even assets which were acquired during the marriage can be designated as non-marital property, providing they were received by only one spouse. This means that they won’t be divided as part of the martial estate.
However, one spouse may try to argue that marital property is actually non-marital property in an attempt to keep it. Of course, a strong rebuttal from the other party and proof of when the asset was acquired can result in their argument being rejected by the courts.
What Will You Receive?
People often want to know what they will be entitled to following a divorce but answering this question can take time. In order to determine what is a fair settlement, the entirety of the marital property needs to be identified, assessed and valued. Only once this has been done, can you establish how much you might receive and in what format. One spouse may keep the marital home, for example, while the other may receive funds to the same value.
In addition to this, the well-being of any children you have will be of paramount importance. If you and your spouse share children, the parent with primary custody may be allowed to reside in the marital home until the children are no longer minors, for example.
Getting a Fair Settlement
Divorce laws in Minnesota and across the whole of the U.S. can be complex and complicated, which is why it’s important to access legal advice. If you’re planning to separate from your spouse, or if your relationship has already broken down, it’s important to get independent legal advice. By working with divorce lawyers, you can ensure that your interests are properly represented and that you get a fair settlement following the completion of the proceedings.