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The basics of Minnesota marital property laws

After being married for more than 30 years, you and your spouse have accumulated significant assets. Sine you were married, the two of you purchased various properties, including your main residence and a vacation home on the lake. In addition to these assets, there are also various investment accounts, retirement funds, cars and even your spouse’s consulting business.

When longstanding marriages fail, high asset divorces such as yours can be very complicated. While an experienced divorce attorney can guide you through the process, it is important to understand the basics of marital property laws in Minnesota. Very often, those that have been married for a long time do not understand that they have joint ownership of marital property.

In general, marital property includes all property, real estate and other holdings that you acquired during the years of your marriage. Certain items fall into the category of separate property and aren’t included in the items divided in the divorce settlement. Separate property includes anything that you obtained prior to your marriage, gifts given to you while you were married and inheritances that only came to you.

State property laws

Some states adhere to community property laws. Under this system, the court usually divides marital property in half. Other states, including Minnesota, follow the principles of equitable distribution. Under this system, the court decides how much is fair for each party to receive. For example, the judge might rule that you will receive a larger portion of the joint property than your spouse. The court considers certain factors such as your respective sources of income and the length of the marriage.

Since you and your spouse own multiple pieces of real estate and retirement accounts, you need to have your assets properly valued by a financial professional. If your future ex started the consulting business after the two of you were married, it is part of your jointly owned marital property. A financial professional has to value the company in order to ensure that you get your fair portion of it.

High asset divorces can be very complex, especially since they require the participation of attorneys, accountants and other financial advisors to help you determine your overall worth. When dealing with a complex divorce, it is important that you understand your rights and options. Contact a local Minneapolis attorney experienced with high asset divorces to help you through the process.