Mankato Property Division Attorney
During a divorce, one of the main areas of conflict between couples is the division of property. The common misconception is that each spouse is entitled to 50/50 of the marital property in the divorce. However, in Minnesota, the division of property is required to be “equitable,” which means the distribution of the assets and debts does not have to be equal. The arrangement must be considered fair to both sides, which can be challenging when each side has a different idea of fair results. The equitable division of property depends on the specific facts and circumstances of the marriage.
At Knutson + Casey, we have helped many divorcing couples walk through the division of their property. Our firm understands that divorce and the division of property can create a lot of confusion and deep emotions. We have the experience and compassion to provide you with the information and clarity you need for your unique situation. Our Mankato property division lawyers work hard to reach a collaborative agreement between both parties while ensuring that your financial interests are not jeopardized.
Understanding Marital and Non-Marital Property in a Mankato Divorce
Property is separated into two categories during a divorce: marital and non-marital property. In Minnesota, divorce proceedings typically focus on the equitable division of marital property (assets and debts). However, before the equitable division of property is determined, there needs to be a clear distinction between marital property and non-marital property.
Property, debts, and assets that were acquired throughout the duration of the marriage are presumed to be marital property. However, the acquisition of these items must have been completed before the valuation date of the divorce. The valuation date is when the court indicates the separation of marital property. Generally, this is the date of the Initial Case Management Conference.
Any property or debt that falls into the category of marital property is eligible for division regardless of whose name is associated with the asset or debt. Some assets, such as inheritance, can be more complicated matters that are discussed during the Initial Case Management Conference.
When determining what fair and equitable division of property entails, the following are considered:
- Duration of the marriage
- Previous marriages
- Age of the spouses
- The spouses’ occupations
- Health condition of the spouses
- Each spouse’s source of income
- The amount of income each spouse receives
- The employability of each spouse
- Spouse liabilities
- Estate information
- Opportunities for future capital assets
- The value and amount each spouse contributed for the acquisitions, appreciation, depreciation, or preservation in the value of the marital property
- Each spouse’s contribution as a homemaker
When discussing the distribution of property, a spouse can make claims that certain properties are non-marital, even if those properties were acquired during the marriage. The claimant spouse must prove that the property falls under non-marital status.
If a spouse can prove that specific property is non-marital, that property won’t typically be subject to division in a Mankato divorce. Property acquired before, during, or after the marriage can be considered non-marital under the following conditions:
- Assets, property, or debts were obtained before the marriage
- Third-party gifts, bequests, or inheritance that were given specifically to one of the spouses
- Assets, property, or debts obtained after the valuation date
- Assets, property, or debts that can be subject to valid antenuptial or post-nuptial agreements remain non-marital
It’s important to note that in Minnesota, the law states that non-marital assets can lose their non-marital status if the following apply:
- Commingling of assets: If spouses mix non-marital and marital funds to the extent that it becomes difficult to identify the non-marital funds as separate from the marital funds, those funds may no longer qualify as non-marital.
- Marital improvements: If spouses spend any amount of shared money on improving non-marital assets during their marriage, those assets turn into marital assets because they increase in value with marital funds.
- Active appreciation of assets: Active appreciation is when the value of non-marital assets increases as a result of actions taken by one of the spouses during the course of the marriage.
In some instances, assets can fall into both marital and non-marital, which can complicate the process. A Mankato property division attorney has the knowledge to help you come to the best possible agreement with your spouse to ensure your best interests are protected. While it may seem like a challenging case to take on with many moving parts, a qualified lawyer will know how to move each part of the process for a favorable outcome.
Contact a Skilled Mankato Property Division Lawyer at Knutson + Casey Law Firm
Going through a divorce is a difficult process, and many complexities may arise as the division of property begins. It’s important for both parties to remain informed on their rights and responsibilities regarding the division of their property. At Knutson + Casey Law Firm, we understand that divorce proceedings can be emotionally and legally complicated, but when you work with our firm, you can be confident that there are skilled and knowledgeable professionals in your corner fighting for your best interests.
A divorce attorney advocates for your legal rights and ensures that you are being treated fairly by the court and that your interests are being adequately represented. You may be tempted to sacrifice assets that you are legally entitled to in the interest of moving the process along. However, you should not have to give up your assets. Our skilled property division lawyers can steer you away from irrational and emotional decisions to keep you on the path to achieving the fairest possible division of property for you and your future so you can move forward with the new chapter of your life.
At Knutson + Casey Law Firm, our goal is to help you through a difficult time and help you secure the best outcome possible for you. Schedule a consultation by filling out our contact form or calling (507) 344-8888.