People often fear that getting divorced means they’re going to “lose everything.” In some cases, it’s specifically because their partner told them they’re going to take as much as possible when they filed for divorce. People often say things like this in the heat of the moment, when they’re feeling stressed, emotional and irrational. 

No matter what they said or what you may have seen on TV, you do not have to worry about losing everything in your divorce. That’s simply not how it works. 

To prevent this, some states are community property states, meaning that the court just divides the assets 50/50. Minnesota is not. However, if that’s why you’re worried about losing everything, you still shouldn’t be. It may not be a 50/50 split, but that doesn’t mean it’s a 100/0 split, either. 

Under Minnesota divorce laws, the court simply “decides what is equitable (or fair) for both parties.” You and your ex should get a fair split of your marital assets. Items that are separate property should stay with the person who owned them.

Of course, every case is different, so there is no one definition of what is fair. Courts will look at things like:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Both spouses’ earning abilities
  • Both spouses’ current financial standings
  • How child custody is divided 
  • Income levels and financial needs

This does make the whole thing a bit more of a complex process. There are so many details to consider and they are all very important when trying to illustrate to the court what should count as fair and just. It may help to work with an experienced team that has been through this many times.