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Division of Marital Property in Minnesota and California

Dividing Marital Property in Minnesota and California

Property Division: When spouses discuss how to divide their assets and/or debts, there are issues that they commonly feel should be considered.  For example, if one spouse had a house before the marriage, and the couple still owns that house, couples often agree that the pre-marital value of the interest in the house should return to the spouse who brought it in to the marriage – and they usually feel that payments they’ve made on the house during the marriage, as well as improvements they’ve made to the house should somehow be divided equally.  The law pretty much agrees with this analysis, but there’s always room to either argue about it legalistically or to discuss it in a way that feels constructive and fair to both spouses.  If you disagree about how to divide your assets or debts, the best way to figure it out is to have a good conversation with the help of a transformative mediator.
Common Issues:

  • He’s the one who ran up those debts, so he should pay them!
  • I’m the one who was careful to save for my 401k, so I shouldn’t have to give away half of it!
  • We were partners in this marriage, so everything should be divided equally!
  • She’s going to get a huge inheritance, so I should get more of the marital property!
  • I worked a lot harder and brought a much higher income into the marriage, so I should get more of our assets!
  • I should stay in the house with the kids until they’re done with college!
  • We can’t afford for her to keep the house – we need to sell it!
  • Our downpayment was a gift from my parents – I should get credit for that!
  • The gift was to BOTH of us – we should share it equally!
  • I have no idea what his business is worth!
  • My business is worth nothing – it dies if I quit – it’s just my job!
  • She has a much higher income, so she’ll be fine.  I should get more than half of the assets!
  • The divorce was HER idea – I shouldn’t have to give up half of my pension because of HER choices!

All of these points could be made by lawyers in a courtroom, or they can be made by you in a constructive conversation.  Stepping up and having the conversation yourself is the healthiest and most effective way to work through these sorts of issues.