Divorce is a challenging time on many levels, especially emotional and financial. If you are the primary or sole breadwinner in your household and your wife does not work or does not earn as much as you, then the financial aspect of divorce can be particularly critical.
You may wonder how you and your wife can divide your assets in the divorce process when the contributions the two of you have made seem so lopsided. If you are unable to come to mutual agreements and there is hostility between the two of you, you may worry that your wife will try to take more than her fair share of your assets.
Asset division in divorce in Minnesota
In the state of Minnesota, the law views assets not as community property, but rather under the principle of equitable distribution. This means you must split your assets fairly rather than equally. It may seem fair to you to take a much larger share because you earned it. However, a judge may not see it that way. Coming to a mutual agreement with your wife may be your best option, so it is important to approach negotiations with a list of assets you are willing to compromise on or let go of. If you are unable to reach a settlement, a judge will determine what he or she believes to be fair. Consequently, you will have less control over the decision making.
Strategic ways to move forward
Especially if you own a business or share a business with your wife, division can be particularly difficult. Business valuation is a critical step in determining how much your business is worth, so neither of you place inflated or deflated value on the asset. Considerations for settlement include issues surrounding your spouse’s involvement in the business, whether directly or indirectly through moral, emotional or financial support, and removing your spouse from business operations. You may be able to concede other marital assets such as the family home and retirement accounts in exchange for complete control of the business.
Given the high stakes involved, you should not leave your strategy to chance. Men can be particularly vulnerable when it comes to asset division in divorce because in Minnesota the law assumes that each spouse contributed equally to building assets during the marriage. You should seek out the counsel of an attorney who has particular experience helping men in cases like yours. Your financial future is on the line, and you need to be sure that you can proceed in a strategic way that offers you the best possibility for conserving your wealth for the years following your divorce.