Minnesota law calls for a “just and equitable” division of property during a divorce. Although this is not the same thing as an equal division of property, the Court typically starts with the presumption that each party should receive 50% of the marital property during a divorce.
A balance sheet is a list of all of the assets/liabilities owned by the parties. This includes, but is not limited to: real property, mortgages, motor vehicles, checking/savings accounts, investment accounts, retirement plans, personal property, etc. The approximate value of each asset/liability is then assigned to either Husband or Wife. At the bottom of the balance sheet, each party’s total will be reflected. From there, an “equalizer” is calculated. The equalizer is the amount of money that needs to be transferred from one party to the other in order to create an equal (50/50) division of the assets/liabilities owned by the parties.
The balance sheet is a helpful tool for use by both you and your attorney in preparation for mediation, motion hearings, trial, and various other stages throughout your divorce. The balance sheet can also be used to help visualize the outcome of a proposed property division during settlement discussions. This is a helpful tool to ensure that you and your attorney are on the same page regarding assets, liabilities, values, relevant facts about specific assets, and who will receive certain assets and be responsible for certain liabilities.