Even if the custody of your children is of primary concern in your divorce, decisions about property division are likely not far behind. After all, dividing property goes beyond who gets what. An unfair or unbalanced settlement can leave you struggling for years after the divorce is finalized.

Nevertheless, dividing your marital property does not have to be a battle. If you and your spouse are able to communicate with relative civility, you may be able to work your way through many issues of asset separation without the interference of the court.

We can work it out

In the eyes of the court, the division of your marital assets will be based on their financial value. The judge is not overly concerned with items of sentimental attachment. This is why negotiating with your spouse can get you farther than allowing the court to make these decisions. An item of sentimental worth to you may be a source of compromise between you and your spouse, and keeping a spirit of cooperation may prove more advantageous than a spirit of contention.

For those items for which you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement, the assistance of a mediator may help. In fact, if the judge in your case recommends mediation, you may find it a wise decision. Many divorcing couples find that mediation saves them money and allows them to leave their marriages in a much more positive frame of mind.

Divorce laws vary in each state

Knowing the laws for asset division in Minnesota is the first step to getting your fair share. Like many states, Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, and your attorney can help you understand how this applies to you.

However, one law common to all states is that hiding assets is illegal. The consequences of violating this law can be damaging, including the penalty of paying for the costs of discovering the hidden assets. You may also lose those assets to your spouse, and you will certainly lose face before the judge. If there is an asset you can’t live without or if you are concerned about losing funds you have saved, you should discuss this with your attorney before stashing anything out of the reach of the legal process.