When most people think of divorce in Minnesota, their mind immediately goes to the distribution of marital assets: laying claim to the house, cars, cabin, and more. This process can become contentious if both spouses feel entitled to high value assets acquired during the marriage. Assets must be divided equitably, either through an agreement between spouses or at the court’s discretion.
There are challenges that come with the distribution of property in a Minnesota divorce, but it doesn’t need to be an unpleasant process. Here’s what you should know before you start to divvy up your assets.
Fair—But Not Equal Division
Minnesota follows the concept of equitable distribution. If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement with regard to your joint property, a judge will order the division along lines of fairness. However, equity does not mean “equal shares.” One or both spouses often end up dissatisfied with the judge’s ruling because they believe they haven’t gotten what they deserve. For this reason, it is extremely important that you hire a divorce law lawyer in Edina who can help craft an argument for equity that meets your property division needs.
It could be that you contributed more financially during your marriage and want your divorce agreement to reflect that. Or, you may be a stay at home parent who needs some time to get back on your feet, and you want to keep the house in the meantime. Whatever your needs when it comes to the marital assets, the right family law firm in Edina can help you prepare your case.
Notable Challenges During Asset Distribution
Edina MN family law attorneys see a few of the same issues with asset distribution happening over and over. For example, the process can be complicated if there is income disparity between the spouses, or if one party has significant premarital property that must be excluded from the divorce settlement.
In the case of the former, spousal support may come into play by the conclusion of the divorce. This is treated separately from asset distribution, but one can be used to negotiate the other if needed. Maybe you earn significantly less than your spouse but would like to keep your home, which is paid off. Your attorney may attempt to negotiate an agreement where you waive your right to spousal support in exchange for the home. As long as you and your spouse agree on the outcome, most areas of your divorce can be negotiated.
In-Court Divorce vs. Negotiations
As soon as you decide to get a divorce, you’ll have to consider whether you want to attempt mediation or would prefer to head straight to court. Both have benefits and potential issues. Taking your case to trial means a judge will be responsible for making important decisions that you may not like. These decisions will have implications for years to come. However, it may be the only way to deal with an uncooperative ex, and it could ultimately minimize your stress and heartache. In addition, sometimes a winning result can only be obtained by presenting the evidence to a judge.
Resolving issues via negotiated agreement allows you to have input and participate in the decisions that will affect you and your family. However, depending on the power dynamics of the marriage, it may be difficult for you to stand your ground. It’s never a good idea to be pushed around during negotiations, and it’s nearly impossible to get what you deserve without the assistance of an Edina, MN family law attorney. That’s why your first call should be to an attorney, even if you’re hoping to resolve your divorce in mediation.
Choose attorney Willow Anderson for impeccable legal representation during your divorce. Willow has over 20 years in the legal industry helping her clients navigate asset division and all other aspects of divorce. She’ll make the process work for you. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation: (612) 843-2355.