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What factors are considered when dividing property in Minnesota?

Couples getting a divorce may find that it is more complicated than they may have initially expected. Not only will decisions regarding child custody, spousal support and child support need to be made, but the couple will also have to divide their marital property -- that is, property gained during the course of the marriage or paid for with marital funds.

Under Minnesota law, marital property will be divided via equitable division, meaning that it will be based on fairness and may not necessarily be an even split. The court will look to various factors when dividing property.

For example, how long the couple was married will be a factor, as may any previous marriages one spouse or the other was in. Each spouse's age and health may also be considered. In addition, the court may consider each spouse's job, income and employability. If a spouse was a homemaker, their contributions will also be a factor, and it will be presumed that they made a substantial contribution to the other spouse's acquisition of income while married.

The court has the option of awarding certain pieces of household goods or furniture to one spouse or the other. In other cases, the spouses may agree to sell certain pieces of property such as a house or automobile and divide the proceeds.

Sometimes, couples can reach an out-of-court settlement regarding their divorce legal issues, including property division. However, sometimes they cannot reach an agreement and must turn to the court for a decision. When this happens, it is important to have a solid understanding of how the laws regarding property division will affect their divorce. A Minnesota family law attorney can be a good resource for information in such situations.

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