Ending a marriage is difficult for many reasons, but one of the biggest challenges people face during the process is dividing assets. Dividing assets is the point at which many divorces become especially contentious because both spouses are often motivated to exit the process with as much property as they possibly can.
This motivation, combined with the complexities of state property division laws, can turn even the most amicable divorce into a bitter one. Below, we briefly examine a few common issues that slow down and even aggravate the resolution of property disputes.
- Spouses cannot agree on how much property is worth. Property valuation can be an enormous challenge, especially when the property is a business or an investment. The assignment of a fair value is crucial to arriving at a fair settlement. If you cannot agree, or if you do not trust the other party’s representation of value, you may need to retain one or more expert appraisers to settle the question.
- A spouse disputes whether certain property is eligible for distribution. Generally speaking, only marital property is eligible for division in a Minnesota divorce. However, there are instances when nonmarital property may be apportioned, which can lead to fights. There can also be disputes about whether specific property should be labeled marital or nonmarital. If you cannot come to an agreement on these matters, the judge will make the decision for you.
- You are worried about hidden assets. Hiding assets during a divorce is unwise and unlawful, though not unheard of. If you have concerns about your soon-to-be ex hiding money or property, of if you are accused of such behavior, then property division discussions can become especially volatile. Conducting a thorough investigation into your marital finances will be critical in addressing any concerns about hidden assets.
These same issues could affect the other disputed issues in your divorce, so don’t hesitate to discuss any of these concerns with your attorney. Doing so can make it easier to keep your divorce moving forward.