It is very important to note that all assets will be considered part of the marital estate by the court unless they are able to be proven otherwise by one of the parties, by a preponderance of the evidence. All documents of title, receipts, bills of sale, or canceled checks that prove an asset is non-marital must be provided to the judge as evidence. If the property is not proven to be non-marital in nature, then it may be required to be included when the couple is dividing property.
Many married couples and individuals in Minneapolis, MN are unaware of the fact that the law states non-marital assets can lose their non-marital status in the following manners:
- Co-mingling of assets: If non-marital and marital funds are mixed together to the extent that it has become difficult to identify the non-marital funds versus the marital funds, those non-marital funds may no longer be considered non-marital.
- Marital improvements: Spending any amount of money that was earned by either spouse during the course of the marriage on improving a non-marital asset can turn that asset into a marital one by increasing the value of that asset with marital funds.
- Active appreciation of assets: Active appreciation happens when the value of a non-marital asset increases due to an act taken by either one of the spouses during the course of the marriage.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney When my Spouse and I are Diving Assets?
While you may not be required by the court to be represented by an attorney when dividing assets or during any particular phase of the divorce process in Minnesota, it would certainly be a mistake to therefore assume that this means that you do not need one. The laws that regulate dividing property in a divorce are complex and subject to change suddenly, without any real warning. An experienced divorce attorney is prepared for these changes and remains knowledgeable of the laws that must guide you and your spouse through the process of dividing property.
Your attorney has been hired by you to act as an advocate for your legal rights and will be there to make sure that you are being treated fairly by the court and that your interests are being adequately represented. Often, one spouse will be tempted to sacrifice assets that they feel they are entitled to simply in the interest of moving the divorce process along more quickly. He or she may then later feel a deep sense of regret over the loss of their property. A skilled divorce attorney can steer you away from these types of irrational decisions and keep you on a guided course that will result in the fairest possible division of property for you and your future interests, so that you may move on and begin a new chapter of your life.
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