A divorce is typically the culmination of a longstanding conflict between spouses. And throughout the divorce process, there will be a number of potentially contentious issues to resolve, one of which is property division. On the surface, it may seem that men and women come to the settlement table fairly evenly matched. After all, each played a role in accruing the property and therefore they should each get their fair share in the division, right?
If you are in the process of getting divorced, you are likely aware that you have issues that must be resolved. In fact, a divorce could end up occupying a large portion of your time until the final decree is signed. This is because you are essentially reorganizing your entire life. And in addition to being time-consuming, working out the terms of a divorce can be emotionally taxing as well as expensive. And matters can become all the more difficult if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are in serious conflict.
If you got married without a prenuptial agreement, and regret not getting one, don’t worry. It is not too late to protect your finances in writing in case you ever must get divorced.
We have spoken before in this bog about prenuptial agreements, and how they give numerous Minnesotans reassurance that they will not lose valuable assets if they get divorced someday. While a prenup is a good idea for many couples, it is also a legal contract that must be properly negotiated, drawn up and executed. Otherwise, the prenup cannot be enforced in court and is not worth the paper it’s written on.
Like most states, Minnesota uses the “equitable division” standard when splitting up marital property during a divorce. It is important to remember that, in this context, “equitable” does not automatically mean “equal,” though in some cases that may be the result. Instead, the aim is for the division to be fair to both sides.
So, you have found “the One.” The person you want to spend the rest of your life with. The two of you have are deeply in love and cannot imagine ever being apart. Why would you ever consider a prenuptial agreement, let alone the possibility of divorce?
Detectives on television shows like “CSI” and “Bones” use a Hollywood version of forensic science to solve crimes, and this is likely the version most people are aware of -- examining a murder victim’s body and collecting DNA from the crime scene to help determine who the killer is.
There are a few things that every divorce that takes place in Minnesota has in common. The most obvious thing is that the parties are spouses, and at least one spouse no longer wishes to be married to the other.
As we discussed in this blog back in December, many pet owners in Minnesota feel nearly as close to their pets as they do to their children. But unlike with children, divorce law does not provide for “dog custody.” Instead, companion animals are considered to be personal property, and courts treat them accordingly, usually awarding them to one spouse or the other.
As the old saying goes, the only certainties in life are death and taxes. No marriage is guaranteed to last, but you can rest assured that you will have to pay taxes, whether you are married or divorced.