Marital assets can turn into complicated issues during divorce. However, understanding the legal side of marital assets can help you make more informed financial decisions if you’re separated, thinking about a divorce, or are in the middle of the divorce process. Therefore, let’s explain what’s considered marital property and share common types of marital assets that spouses’ are entitled to in a divorce. Lastly, at the end of this article, you’ll find an infographic on marital assets that you can pin and save as a reference during your divorce.
Legal Definition of Marital Property in Minnesota
When we say, marital assets, we’re talking about marital property. (We’d like to quickly point out that we use the terms, marital assets and marital property interchangeably throughout our website.) The legal definition of marital property in Minnesota is listed below.
However, as you can see, the legal definition isn’t very ‘user-friendly.’ Instead, barring a few circumstances, you can think of Marital Property as any property acquired during the marriage.
* – Notable exceptions include property gifted to or inherited by one spouse but not the other, property obtained in exchange for non-marital property, or property excluded by an antenuptial agreement. For non-marital property, you still have to be able to provide proof, in order for the property to not be considered marital property. In addition, the ‘burden of proof’ falls on the spouse who is trying to claim that the property is ‘non-marital property.’ Even then, in certain circumstances, the court can still award up to one-half of non-marital property to the other spouse.
8 Common Marital Assets in Divorce
To give you an idea of the types of marital assets that exist in a divorce, we’ve put together a list below. Although this is not an exclusive list of marital assets, the list should get you started thinking about and eventually, taking an inventory of your own marital assets in your divorce.
Typical Examples of Marital Property can include (but is not limited to):
- Real Property/ Real Estate:
Most often this will be the home the couple shared, but it also can include other real estate, such as a cabin up north, land or additional property owned by the couple.
For example, Stocks or Mutual funds. Similar to real estate, it doesn’t matter who holds the title on the investments.
3. Bank accounts:
For example, Checking and Savings accounts. Again, this is regardless of whether the accounts are jointly owned or not.
4. Insurance policies:
Particularly in cases in which the policy has a cash value.
5. Retirement accounts:
These can include 401(k)’s, 403 (b)’s, IRA’s, and Pensions, among others. Again, this is regardless of whose name is on the account or benefit.
6. Business interests:
Most typically when this is an issue, it’s a family-owned business.
7. Personal property:
This can include cars, trucks, boats, motor homes, and any other recreational vehicles.
Division of Marital Assets in Divorce
In any divorce in Minnesota, a court is required to make a property division that is “fair and equitable”. However, family law in Minnesota permits judges to have a wide discretion regarding what is “fair and equitable”. In addition, be cautious of hidden and overlooked assets in your divorce. Learning about the types of assets that get hidden during divorce, how to uncover hidden assets, what to do if you believe assets are being hidden, and what happens when assets are hidden encourages more financial stability and security for you and/or your family’s future. Lastly, you’ll want to check out these 5 common myths regarding marital property division in divorce to avoid making the same costly mistakes.