The Dos and Don’ts of Addressing Property Division in Divorce

Pie.jpgIf you are getting divorced, it can be very difficult to know what to expect and what steps you should take to protect yourself, especially when you have never been in this situation before.

While this can be overwhelming, there are some general dos and don’ts that can make it easier to avoid common missteps and keep your focus on securing your fair share of the pie.

To get started, consider these dos and don’ts specifically related to the subject of asset division:

When it comes to the division of your marital property, DO:

  • Collect any relevant documentation regarding bank accounts, taxes, income, assets, and expenditures;
  • Make lists and take pictures of your personal property ( e.g., cars, ATVs, boats, animals, household goods, and equipment);
  • Review your prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, if you have one;
  • Understand Minnesota equitable division laws; and
  • Prepare to negotiate.

To avoid any potential legal issues or financial penalties, among other things, DO NOT:

  • Hide, conceal, or attempt to undervalue assets;
  • Base decisions on unreliable or unsolicited advice;
  • Discount the possibility of spousal support;
  • Expect your divorce settlement to be the same as someone else’s; or
  • Forget about debts, non-marital property, and co-mingled assets.

If you are involved in or considering divorce, we hope these basic suggestions and reminders will help you take a responsible, realistic approach to the division of your property. Too often during a divorce, people base decisions on misinformation, or they act without understanding the legal process. These actions can turn out to be costly mistakes that create more problems than they solve.

Understand, too, that you do not have to go through this difficult situation alone. You can have an attorney by your side to help you navigate the system and pursue a fair settlement that allows you to focus on the future.