If you’re getting a divorce in Edina, there are two ways your marital assets may be divided: through mediation between spouses, or by a judge in court. Many divorcing couples just can’t make mediation work; they’re not on the same page about who deserves what. If that’s the case for you and your spouse, you’ll end up having your assets analyzed by a judge who will then determine an equitable distribution of those assets.
The court uses the principle of “equitable distribution” during divorces to ensure assets are divided fairly and sensibly. Equitable distribution is defined as the fair division of marital property; it is determined by considering the needs of each party and the facts of the case. It is also determined on a case-by-case basis, so what is determined equitable for one couple may not be suitable for another.
Read on to learn about how equitable distribution may apply to your divorce and what criteria the court might use to decide who gets what.
What Gets Split Up in a Divorce?
Here are some of the assets the court considers when determining how to equitably distribute a married couple’s property in their divorce:
- Real estate, including the couple’s primary residence and any vacation homes
- Cars, recreational vehicles, boats, ATVS, and other vehicles
- Home furnishings and other household goods
- Personal property such as jewelry, clothing, electronics, and just about any other material goods the couple owns
- Savings accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments
As you can see, essentially everything you own will be scrutinized from a financial standpoint when you’re going through a divorce. It’s vital to have an Edina divorce attorney who can ensure you receive the assets to which you’re entitled, whether you’re trying to determine that in mediation or in the courtroom.
Below are some common assets along with an explanation of how the court might decide to distribute them.
The Family Home(s)
All real estate must be divided in a divorce, but the criteria by which they’re divided may be different. A primary residence and a vacation home have some glaring differences: children may live in the primary residence, you may commute from the home to your job every day, and both spouses may not have another place to stay if they are no longer welcome in the home.
These factors can motivate couples to promptly negotiate an arrangement where one spouse stays in the home and the other is awarded money to find alternative accommodations. But if the court is left to decide who gets the home, it will primarily consider the children in the home and which parent has custody. Discuss your situation with your Edina divorce law lawyer to discover the specific criteria applicable to your case.
You may assume that since you’ve been contributing to your retirement accounts for years you are entitled to them in the divorce. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case. The court will consider the distribution of tangible marital property and may order one spouse to pull money from their retirement accounts for the other spouse to ensure the distribution of that property is made equitable. The implications of dividing your retirement vary based on what types of plans you have, so it’s best to discuss specifics with your Edina family law attorney.
Your savings may be used to satisfy other aspects of your divorce agreement. For example, one party may need to “buy out” the other party if they want to remain in the family home. In such a situation, a judge would first determine the savings to which each party is entitled. Then, he or she would order the party staying in the home to pay the equivalent of half the home’s value out of that party’s allotted savings. Things get more complicated when some savings (or other assets) are not considered marital assets, but your high asset divorce attorney in Edina can further explain that process if it’s applicable to your divorce.
Do you still have questions about how your marital property will be divided after your divorce? Beth Barbosa’s experience as a divorce attorney, particularly in high-asset divorces, will allow her to provide you with the best assessment of how your divorce will likely shake out. Beth will negotiate a fair and equitable distribution of your marital assets and ensure you receive the property you’re entitled to in your divorce. Contact Beth at (612) 564-0137 to get started.