When a couple living in Minnesota decides to divorce, the spouses have to formally separate their lives. Dividing property and debts will be a major part of that process. You may have shared bank accounts and income for years, if not decades. You may both be on the ownership paperwork for all of your biggest assets.
You will have to reach a mutually-agreeable decision about dividing your assets or go to court and have a judge apply equitable distribution rules to your property. Unfortunately, some people will engage in intentional misconduct in the hope of depriving their spouses of their fair share of marital property.
What are two of the more common ways that one spouse may try to unfairly reduce with the other receives in the divorce?
They dissipate or waste marital property
You have to divide what you share, so some people will try to diminish the pool of shared assets before going to court. One spouse might give property away to their family and friends, possibly with the intention of getting it back after the divorce. They might sell it for unreasonably cheap prices, depriving their ex of the fair market value of those assets.
On the other hand, they might spend all of the money in a shared checking account or go out and make so many purchases with shared credit cards that there is no available financing left. If you can show that your spouse intentionally wasted your shared assets, the courts might factor that information into their property division rulings.
They try to hide marital property
Whatever each of you earns during the marriage belongs to both of you as part of your marital estate. The same is true for the belongings either of you buy, even if you don’t want to physically keep them.
You have a partial interest in all of your shared marital property, but your ex may try to hide assets from you and the courts. They may put money in a bank account that they don’t tell you about or move physical property to a storage unit or a family member’s home. Identifying and putting a price on hidden assets can help you hold your ex accountable for trying to hide that property from you and the courts.
Watching carefully for signs of financial misconduct can help those preparing for property division as part of a pending Minnesota divorce.