Last week this blog covered the factors that Minnesota courts may consider when determining how to appropriately divide a couple's property in a divorce. However, not all couples need to go before a judge to have such decisions made. Sometimes they may be able to reach an out-of-court agreement regarding the division of assets, which could save them time and money, and may be less stressful than litigation.
What types of property might a couple be dividing after a divorce? Of course, the family home, furniture, automobiles, jewelry and other pieces of tangible property need to be divided. However, there are less tangible types of property that also must be dealt with in the property division process. This property includes stocks and other investments, retirement accounts, checking and savings accounts and business assets if one or both spouses was a business owner. An attorney can help track down all of a couple's assets, so nothing is overlooked.
In addition, it is important to differentiate between marital and non-marital property. This is because marital property is subject to property division in a divorce while non-marital property is not. Some examples of non-marital property include property purchased or acquired prior to getting married, property purchased or acquired after the marital estate has been valued for divorce purposes and gifts and inheritances made to only one spouse. Again, an attorney can help individuals determine if their property is marital or non-marital.
Property division presents a lot of legal complexities, which is why it can be advantageous to have an attorney by your side when dividing property in a divorce. An experienced family law attorney can represent your interests and make sure the process is fair. The law firm of Terzich & Ort, LLP, has a webpage on property division that may be a good starting point for those who have decided to divorce and need more information about the property division process in Minnesota