Dividing Marital Property or Property Dispute?
Let Our Experienced Minneapolis and St. Paul Family Lawyer Protect Your Property
A community property state such as Minnesota handles the division of property via equitable distribution. The division starts out as a 50-50 property split, then, based on the circumstances of the parties, the split is moved as required by the guidelines given to the Court. A qualified Minneapolis and St. Paul family lawyer can advise clients of their rights regarding property division.
Property Not Subject to Equitable Distribution
There is certain property that is not subject to equitable distribution. This includes inheritances and non-marital property. Non-marital property is property brought into the marriage by one of the parties. Once this property is brought into the marriage, it cannot be co-mingled, or it becomes marital property.
Property division can be complex, especially when non-marital property like a home is co-mingled. During a divorce, the party that brought the property into the marriage may be entitled to a special award, if a portion of that property is co-mingled. A qualified St. Paul and Minneapolis family attorney at Steven H. Snyder & Associates can help a party to a divorce determine non-marital property and help protect the non-marital property in property division matters.
Division of Assets and Liabilities
If at all possible, property division, including liabilities, should be done via a settlement agreement. The Court will divide assets and liabilities based on a percentage (equitable distribution) it works up from property division guidelines. This may mean that retirement accounts either go to one spouse only or are divided.
If the parties can work out an agreement, they may keep their individual retirement accounts, even though those accounts may be marital property. Property that is difficult to divide like the marital home, may be awarded to one of the parties if the other party has enough assets to make the distribution equitable.
Liabilities are handled a bit differently and affect how the assets are divided.
- Credit cards are usually divided evenly. If there is more than one credit card, each party may take one of the credit cards. If there is only one credit card, the parties may use an asset to offset the debt that one of the parties takes. If the parties choose to sell the marital home and there is equity, the equity may be used to pay off all marital debt so there is no debt to divide.
- Large debt like a mortgage or car payments is generally given to the spouse that takes the asset belonging to the debt. If a settlement is worked in this manner, only the equity on these large assets is divided out.
A qualified St. Paul and Minneapolis family attorney helps parties work out a settlement, if the parties prefer to create their own property division schedule. Spousal maintenance is also considered during property division, and certain assets may be used as lump sum spousal maintenance. To protect your property, contact our Twin Cities family law firm now.