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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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  • "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.


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