Pennington & Cherne, PLLC
320-200-9805

How do courts handle property division in a divorce?

One main issue of contention for many married couples in Minnesota who are going through a divorce is finances. On television, one spouse misleads the other about accounts and does things to destroy marital property to keep the other spouse from receiving anything. In real life, those kinds of tactics are unlawful and can affect your divorce settlement. 

You may not feel you have much wealth or assets to share with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. In a divorce, all marital assets are subject to be distributed equitably. That means that if you and your partner do not have a valid prenuptial agreement or cannot decide on how to handle most property division issues yourselves, a judge will split them as fairly as possible. 

Asset and property division during divorce 

Keep in mind that the courts cannot award your spouse any of your personal assets. There are exceptions, such as personal assets acquired before the marriage that your spouse made contributions to during the relationship. 

Courts must use a variety of factors when determining what is fair in the distribution of your marital assets. These factors include: 

  •        How long your marriage lasted
  •        Current income
  •        Debt
  •        Responsibilities for children 

To avoid losing certain assets to their partners, some people resort to lying about their finances. They may make unusual loans to friends and relatives, invest more funds into their business than usual and hide money in separate bank accounts their spouses know nothing about. 

Hiding assets is wrong and extremely unlawful, and doing so can compromise your character, freedom and divorce settlement. You must provide full disclosure of all assets you have so the courts can provide a fair ruling on the distribution of your assets. If you do not and your soon-to-be-ex-partner learns about them, she or he may petition the courts for a divorce decree modification. 

Divorces do not always result in the equal division of property. To help improve the chances of your assets being divided favorably for your situation, take some time to review your finances and negotiation strategies.

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Pennington, Cherne, & Gaarder, PLLC
630 Roosevelt Road, Suite 101
P.O. Box 1756
St Cloud, MN 56302

Phone: 320-200-9805
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