What Can I Keep, and What Must be Divided? by Adam J. Blahnik

Minnesota Divorce and Property Division: What Can I Keep, and What Must be Divided?
 by: Adam J. Blahnik

So you find yourself either contemplating divorce, or in the middle of a divorce in the State of Minnesota, and need to know what your rights are with regard to all the personal and real property owned by you or your spouse. This article will touch on the “ins and outs” of property division in divorce proceedings consistent with the laws of the State of Minnesota. There are two competing doctrines amongst the various Sates in this country on how property rights are vested to married couples, – “common law property” states and “community property” states. Minnesota is considered a common law property state (or “marital property” state) when it comes to property rights during the marriage. In the United States, there are ten States that are considered “community property” states, which include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. This article deals specifically with common law property rights within the State of Minnesota.

As a Minnesota divorce attorney, it is critical to meet thoroughly with divorce clients to ascertain all the property interests owned by the divorce clients and the “character” of those property rights. All property will be classified as either “marital property” or “non-marital” property. There is a presumption in the law that all property is marital. Thus, it becomes the burden of the party attempting to classify the property as non-marital to come forth with the necessary proof and evidence to consider the property non-marital.

So – what the heck am I talking about? What do I mean by marital property? . . . and non-marital property?

Per Minnesota divorce laws, all marital property shall be divided equitably between the divorcing spouses. Marital property consists of all property owned by the spouses that is not otherwise classified as non-marital property…

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