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Key aspects of equitable distribution during divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Divorce

In the state of Minnesota, when a married couple decides to part ways, they face the task of fairly dividing shared assets.

Equitable distribution ensures that both parties receive a just portion of the property and possessions acquired during the course of their marriage. In some cases, just does not mean equal.

Identification of marital property

Before the division can commence, it is important to distinguish between marital property and non-marital property. Marital property includes assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage, such as real estate or earnings. Non-marital property consists of assets owned prior to the marriage, such as an inheritance.

Equitable distribution principle

Minnesota adheres to the principle of equitable distribution, which means that the marital property is not automatically split 50-50. Instead, the court considers various factors to decide what is a fair distribution under the circumstances. Factors may include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial status, contributions to the marriage and future financial prospects.

Consideration of future needs

The court also takes into account the future needs of both spouses. If one spouse requires ongoing financial support due to health issues or other valid reasons, the division might tilt in their favor to cater to these needs. The goal is to promote a balanced economic outcome, especially when there is a significant disparity in earning potential or financial stability.

Around 689,308 divorces happen every year, and each unfolds differently. While the court can make decisions if the couple cannot agree on asset distribution, many couples find it beneficial to negotiate or mediate the division themselves to eliminate the sometimes unpredictable nature of court decisions.