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How do the Minnesota family courts divide marital property?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2023 | Family Law

Although people think of divorce as an intensely emotional process, the main focus is on tangible matters. Couples share their resources and income when married, so a divorce in Minnesota will necessitate addressing numerous practical matters.

Spouses need to separate their lives from one another, which will involve dividing their resources. In Minnesota, the income spouses earn during marriage and whatever property they acquire, with certain exceptions, will be subject to division in divorce proceedings. 

If the divorcing spouses don’t reach their own settlement, a judge will decide what happens to their belongings. What are the rules for litigated property division in a Minnesota divorce? 

Minnesota is an equitable division state

Like a majority of other states, Minnesota now has an equitable distribution rule for marital property. All of the debts and assets that make up the marital estate are subject to division, and a judge will try to figure out a way to split everything in a way that is fair or equitable. 

Considerations ranging from the length of the marriage and the income of both spouses to custody decisions and people’s health can influence how a judge divides the marital estate. A judge has the authority to award assets to either spouse or to order their liquidation. 

There is never any guarantee about someone’s ability to protect specific assets unless they have a marital agreement with their spouse. Otherwise, the judge’s understanding of the situation will largely determine the outcome of property division proceedings. 

Learning more about how the courts handle property division can help people prepare the most compelling case possible for their divorce hearings.