Overview

Property Division during a divorce can be relatively straightforward, or it can be more complicated, depending on the value and number of assets the divorcing couple has. Generally, property acquired by one spouse prior to marriage is non-marital property that will not be subject to division during a divorce. Retirement plans, pensions, investments, and business assets may be subject to division depending on a number of factors. Our attorneys can help you understand how property is divided and advise you how to move forward strategically.

Division of Marital Assets and Debts
In Minnesota, a court must make a just and equitable division of marital assets (including debt) without regard to marital misconduct during a divorce. In other words, how a party conducts him/herself during a marriage will not typically impact his/her share of the marital property.
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Marital and Non-Marital Property in Minnesota Divorce Proceedings
The court distinguishes property in a divorce proceeding in two categories: marital and non-marital property.
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Business Valuations
If a business is owned by one or both of the parties, it is a good idea to get a business valuation from a private expert. If the business was acquired during the marriage or if it was operating during the marriage, it is a marital asset regardless of who actually owns the business on paper.
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Retirement Plans / 401k Plans
If one spouse earns retirement benefits during a marriage, the other spouse has a marital interest in those assets. In other words, retirement accounts are subject to division following a divorce even if the account (e.g. pensions, 401(k) or 403(b) plans, traditional IRAs, and Roth-IRA) is only in one spouse’s name.
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Pensions
If you or your spouse has a pension, it might be subject to division during a divorce. Pensions are structured so that the recipient receives a set amount of money per month after retirement. This is different than a 401(k) plan, for example, where the recipient has access to a lump sum at retirement age.
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Investments
If you or your spouse have any investments, they may be subject to division during a divorce regardless of whose name is attached to the investment. Investments come in many forms, including, bonds, stocks, and real estate.
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