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A closer look at equitable distribution of property in a divorce

Equitable distribution of property is the process that is followed in Minnesota and a number of other states for the division of property upon divorce. Equitable distribution of property provides that when a couple is divorcing, property division is conducted according to equitable principles. Under equitable distribution of property, marital property shared between the couple will be divided equally when they divorce.

It is helpful to understand when approaching the divorce process that equitable distribution does not necessarily mean equal distribution down the middle in the traditional sense. Equitable distribution focuses on a fair division of assets between the divorcing couple, which may lead to an equal division of property or may focus on what a fair division of property, given the situation and circumstances of the divorcing couple, looks like. Property division can be complex and may sometimes cause anxiety for the divorcing couple, which is why the family law legal process provides guidelines for the division of marital property when a couple divorces.

Property division can be one of several concerns divorcing couples face. Additional concerns can include alimony or child support and child custody concerns. Understanding how the family law legal process looks at these concerns, addresses and resolves them can help couples better work together to reach divorce-related settlement agreements concerning issues that may be in question, including property division, child support and child custody concerns.

The property division process in Minnesota seeks to achieve outcomes that are fair for the parties involved. The better informed couples are prior to seeking a divorce, the smoother the divorce process may be when as the couple proceeds through the divorce process.

Source: Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute, "Equitable Distribution," Accessed March 7, 2016

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