Minneapolis Property Division Attorneys

Minnesota Property Division

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There is a distinction between marital property and nonmarital property.  Marital property is subject to division between the parties, whereas a party's nonmarital property is subject to division only in very limited circumstances.

Marital property is defined as all real or personal property, including vested pension benefits, that the parties, either separately or together, acquired any time during their marriage relationship.  In other words, all property acquired after the marriage is presumed to be marital, regardless of whether the spouses hold title individually or jointly.  Each spouse is deemed to have common ownership in all marital property.

The presumption that property is martial is overcome only by introduction of evidence to show that the property is nonmarital.  The burden of proof is on the person making the claim that the property is nonmarital.

Nonmarital property is real or personal property that falls into any of the following categories:

  1. Property acquired as a gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance made by a third party to one but not the other spouse;
  2. Property acquired before the marriage;
  3. Property acquired by a spouse after the valuation date;
  4. Property excluded by a valid prenuptial agreement;
  5. Property acquired in exchange for nonmarital property; or
  6. The passive increase in value of nonmarital property.

The Court must make a just and equitable division of the marital property of the parties.  In Minnesota, it is not required that the Court evenly divide the marital estate, however the Courts generally attempt to make an award granting each party a substantially equal portion of the marital assets.

The Court also has discretion to divide the debts between the parties.  The Court considers the purpose of the debt and which party has the greater capacity to pay the debt when deciding how to apportion responsibility for the joint obligations.  The Court may award property to one spouse and assign the responsibility for paying the underlying debt to the other spouse.

Following the divorce it may be necessary for the parties to sign documents of conveyance for specific property.  For example, a Quit Claim Deed my be necessary in order to transfer title on the homestead, or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order may be required in order to transfer money from one parties retirement to the others in order to avoid taxes and penalties.

Contact our Minneapolis, MN divorce attorneys at 763-746-4045 to schedule a consultation.