Division of assets during a divorce proceeding is one of the most complicated and stressful elements of reaching a resolution. R. Leigh Frost Law LTD is a St. Paul divorce lawyer that works to get you your fair share of the assets that you and your spouse accumulated through the course of your marriage.
Types of Assets
In the state of Minnesota, there is a distinction made between marital and non-marital assets at the time of a divorce. Marital assets are any kind of wealth or property that has been purchased or accrued during the years that you and your spouse were together. This includes even those items that are only in one party’s name.
On the other hand, non-marital assets include assets that were previously purchased by one party or the other before marriage. Special exclusions can also include inheritances that were only left to one party or gifts that were explicitly given from one spouse to the other.
R. Leigh Frost will help you determine which of your assets fall into each category so you can have a clear view of what needs to be divided.
While the law does not state that property division needs to be exactly equal in the case of divorce, this is the most common goal for both parties. There is also no law regarding marital misconduct and its effect on either party’s fair share of assets.
To achieve a balanced resolution, a valuation process is conducted to determine the future value of all properties, investments and other funds, along with the current value and the value at the time of separation. Each asset is then given to either the wife or the husband until both sides have an equal amount of assets and the list is exhausted.
Division of Debt
The process of asset division must also include division of debt. This is a three-step process that also affects the valuation of all other assets being divided. First, any debt prior to the marriage, or educational debt will stay with whichever party incurred it. Next, unsecured debts such as credit cards will typically be split down the middle. Lastly, debts that are secured by an asset such as a home or a car will be assessed against the valuation of those assets to determine the actual equitable value. This is the number that is used to determine whether the division of assets is equal or not during the property division process.
In most cases both parties of the divorce proactively work towards reaching an agreement on the division of assets before their case goes before a judge. The use of a mediator or other legal professional to manage the conversation and offer constructive advice is often helpful in successfully settling the property division. This process is time consuming and can run down the clock to your court date if you aren’t able to come to an agreement, and when judges get involved in the division both parties typically lose out.
If you are unsure of how to proceed with the valuation and division of your marital assets, or you have questions about which assets fall under the marital umbrella, hiring a St. Paul divorce lawyer will get you the best results. Failure to properly assess your assets and debts can leave you with far less than you are hoping for.
Division of assets is a primary concern in every divorce proceeding. It requires proactive research into the available assets and careful recording of how you intend to split properties and debts. The right divorce lawyer will help you get the money and personal possessions you deserve by structuring your divorce settlement.
R. Leigh Frost Law
To learn more about how R. Leigh Frost Law, LTD can help you with asset division in St. Paul, call today or contact us online. Our team of legal experts is happy to schedule a consultation and answer any questions you may have about the division of assets and the divorce process.