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.
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