What Happens to Property and Debt in a Divorce?

When a couple gets divorced, the assets and debts accumulated throughout the marriage must be divided into separate ownership. Although some couples are able to settle the division of property and debts on their own, many others need assistance with this process. Family law attorneys and/or mediators can help couples reach a mutually acceptable resolution, also called a settlement.

What is equitable distribution?

In Minnesota, the law dictates that there must be an equitable division of all assets in a divorce case. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the division will be completely equal. One spouse, for example, may have greater claim to certain assets or debts than the other. The distribution of assets and debts may be agreed upon through a variety of methods, including mediation or litigation in front of a judge.

As part of the division of assets, it may be decided that each spouse will receive a certain percentage of an asset or debt. For example, if a couple owns a home, one party may receive 40 percent ownership of the equity while the other receives 60 percent. Additionally, this principle may be applied to the value of all assets, where one spouse receives a certain percentage of everything owned by the couple together and the other party receives the remainder. The parties may also be awarded 100 percent of certain assets and debts with several others split, still reaching an equitable division of the property. Not every assets needs to be divided between the parties to reach an equitable division of the assets and debts.

For further guidance on how property and debt are divided when a marriage ends, consult a skilled Minneapolis divorce lawyer with Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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