Of the various topics that arise during the divorce process, property division is one that frequently has the most misconceptions associated with it.
With this in mind, here are a few examples of some common property division myths and the truths behind them.
MYTH: Property and assets will be divided equally
The term you need to know for property division is “equitable,” not equal. This means in cases where the judge determines a property division arrangement for you, you shouldn’t necessarily expect a 50/50 split, but one that the court considers to be fair and equitable. For example, the property division process might seem kinder on the surface to one spouse than the other, but this could be to account for that spouse’s lower earning potential.
MYTH: A title will decide whether an asset is considered marital property
Titles are irrelevant to determining what is or is not marital property. Most property accrued during the marriage is considered marital property, regardless of what the title says. Exceptions include inheritances or gifts specifically to one spouse.
MYTH: Businesses cannot be considered marital property
Business interests can be classified as marital property, making them subject to the property division process.
MYTH: Property acquired while separated cannot be considered marital property
Separation is not the same as a divorce; a couple is still legally married while separated, meaning any property accrued during that separation likely will still count toward the “pot” that will be divided in the asset distribution process.
MYTH: Retirement accounts are not subject to asset division
Any of the funds in the account that were accrued during the course of the marriage are subject to the asset division process, as they are considered marital assets.
For more corrections to common misconceptions associated with the asset distribution process, contact an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.
"Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.
"With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.
"Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.
"I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.
"Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties.Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.
"I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.