Divorce and Marital Property in Minnesota
Divorce is a complex and emotionally taxing process. One of the biggest causes of stress in a divorce is the division of marital property, especially when dealing with a family home.
A common question we get is, “Who gets the house in a divorce in Minnesota?” The answer to this question is often determined by a number of different legal considerations. Only a professional family law attorney can navigate you through this process properly.
Let’s look at all the legal considerations determining who gets the house in a divorce in Minnesota.
What is Equitable Distribution?
In Minnesota, the issue of who gets what property follows the principle of “equitable distribution.” This means the court will divide the marital assets in a way that is fair but is not always equal.
It’s important to note that the word equitable does not mean a 50-50 split. The court will determine the division by examining each spouse’s contribution, needs, and circumstances.
The Difference Between Marital and Non-Marital Property
Before anything can be decided on who gets the house during a divorce, it’s necessary to understand whether the home is marital or non-marital property.
Common practice is that any property purchased during the marriage is considered marital property, and anything acquired before the marriage is non-marital property.
However, we must point out that things can get complicated if one spouse owned the house before the marriage, but the other spouse contributed to mortgage payments or helped make any improvements. In such cases, the house can be considered both marital and non-marital property.
Factors That Determine House Ownership
Minnesota courts consider several factors when deciding who gets the house during a divorce.
- Length of marriage: A longer marriage often leads to a more equal property division. This is especially true if both spouses contributed to the marital property.
Marital vs. Non-marital Property: As stated above, the court distinguishes between marital property, which typically includes assets acquired during the marriage, and non-marital property, which is generally considered separate and not subject to division. If the house was owned by one spouse prior to the marriage or was acquired through inheritance or gift specifically to one spouse, it may be considered non-marital property and may not be subject to division. However, any increase in value during the marriage may still be taken into account.
Economic circumstances: Courts will often examine each spouse’s financial condition, earnings, and earning potential. If one spouse has a lower income or fewer prospects, the court may award them the house or a more significant share of the marital assets.
- Children’s needs: Children play a significant factor in determining who gets the home. The court may award the house to the custodial parent to minimize disruption to the children’s lives.
- Spousal Conduct: Although Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state, the court may still consider a spouse’s conduct during the marriage if it has impacted the couple’s financial situation.
Every Divorce Is Different
It’s important to note that the court has discretion in determining who gets the house or how its value is allocated. In some cases, the court may order the sale of the house and distribute the proceeds between the spouses.
Ultimately, the division of the marital home can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case. To fully understand how the division of property, including the marital home, may occur in your specific situation, it is recommended to consult with a family law attorney who can provide tailored legal advice based on the details of your case.
Choosing the Right Family Law Firm
Determining who gets the house in a divorce in Minnesota is a complex issue that requires careful consideration of various factors. It will be difficult to navigate this process alone.
You have enough to worry about during this challenging time. The legal experts at White & Associates can help you navigate the rocky landscape of divorce and ensure you get what you deserve.
If you’d like to learn more about divorce proceedings, we would love to sit down with you and discuss your options. You can get in touch online or call one of our legal experts at 763-241-0477.