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When can a court award non-marital property?

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2019 | high asset divorce |

Losing your property in a divorce is an unnerving prospect for Minnesota couples seeking a divorce. It’s not materialistic to worry about losing the things that you’ve worked so hard for.

Minnesota uses an equitable distribution property state where a court divides the marital property as they see fit. Less than 20% of the United States are community property states where courts automatically split the couple’s property 50-50. Equitable distribution allows courts to split your property fairly, including 50-50 or another split they deem fair.

What is marital property?

Marital property comprises things like real estate, property, and even appreciation on assets acquired during the marriage. State law considers property obtained before the marriage non-marital property. A court will generally not touch this kind of property.

Exceptions to the rules

It’s important to remember the word “fair” when looking at property division in Minnesota. While unlikely, it’s possible for a court to award non-marital property to make the division more equitable. Aside from property acquired before your marriage, non-marital property can include gifts or inheritance that someone solely gave to you.

A court will assess several factors when determining fairness such as length of the marriage, age, health and the earning power of the spouses. If a judge identifies a potential hardship, they may award non-marital property to balance out the division of property.

Defend your rights

While a court looks for what’s fair in the division of property, it’s important to remember that you have rights too. You must ensure that you retain and receive everything that the law entitles you to as you begin your post-divorce life.