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How is real estate divided in a Minnesota divorce?

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 71.9 percent of Minnesotans owned their own home during the period of 2016-20. That means that when a Twin Cities couple gets divorced, they will probably have to figure out what to do with the house.

This is an integral part of the average property division settlement. Your home is one of the most valuable assets you own. If you bought it during your marriage, it is almost certainly marital property, which means it belongs to you and your spouse. Since both of you own the house, you need to come up with a solution that satisfies both sides.

Every divorce and property division negotiation is unique. But in Minnesota, divorcing couples tend to turn to one of two answers: selling the property or having one spouse keep it.

Sell the house

Your house likely contains a lot of memories and emotions for you. But practically speaking, it might not be possible for you or your ex to afford the mortgage, property taxes, maintenance costs, etc., on your income alone. Depending on your circumstances, a better solution might be to sell the home and split the proceeds. You can use that money to help pay for your new place.

One ex keeps the house

Many divorcing couples who have children prefer to keep the kids in the same house to help maintain stability in their lives as much as possible. If this is a top priority for you, or you have some other reason for keeping the house, you and your ex might find a way to make this work. You would have to buy out your ex’s share of the house. You might give them a larger share of other marital property like retirement savings or pay them spousal support for a certain period of time. However you work it out, the solution must be “equitable” or fair to both sides.

One size does not fit all when it comes to divorce and property division. Whatever you do with the family home should be an outcome that leaves you with at least a reasonable portion of its value. After all, you worked hard to help buy the house and make it a good home for your family.