Top Minnesota Divorce Issues – Depletion vs. Dissipation of Property

Although Depletion and Dissipation of property carry different meanings, in Minnesota the terms are generally used synonymously by the Court, and by Divorce lawyers.  Dissipation is defined by Minnesota case law as “wasting or expending funds foolishly.” Volesky v. Volesky, 412 N.W.2d 750 (Minn. Ct. App. 1987).  Spouses have a fiduciary duty to one another during marriage.  A Court may make adjustments to the balance sheet and to the marital property division if a spouse has been found to have dissipated or depleted assets.  The issue of Dissipation and Depletion can also apply to the marital standard of living (especially if a spouse starts to spend excessively during the time leading up to a dissolution action in the hopes of creating an artificially high marital standard of living).  Proper financial due diligence will provide the data points necessary to either support or discredit such a claim during a divorce.

Property Division and Divorce in Minnesota

Equitable does not necessarily mean equal (check Black’s Law Dictionary).  The division of Assets and Debts does not need to be mathematically equal.  Minnesota Statute 518.58, subd. 1, states that the District Court is required to make a “just and equitable” division of assets (the same rule applies to the division of marital debts).  See also Lynch v. Lynch, 411 N.W.2d (Minn. Ct. App. 1987).

We Determine Present Value Calculations For Each Asset

During a Minnesota Divorce, Each asset on the marital balance sheet should be assigned a present value (including Real Estate, Retirement Accounts such as a 401K, 403B or 457 Plan, Brokerage Accounts, Bank Accounts, Investments, Pensions, Automobiles, Businesses, Partnerships, S-Corporations, Intellectual Property, Antiques, Collectibles and other Assets).  In some case, the asset value is merely speculative, which can present additional issues when dividing property.  In certain divorce cases, an expert (such as a CPA or ASA) may be used pursuant to a 706 Order to provide a neutral valuation for an asset or assets.

We Practice Exclusively in Divorce and Family Law

Located in the historic Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis, Lake Harriet Law Office provides outstanding legal representation exclusively in the areas of Divorce and Family Law.  We represent clients throughout the Twin Cities.

Please call 612-750-4843 or complete the Contact Us form to schedule an office consultation.

Randall A. Smith – Managing Attorney

Chinyere Olwulehie – Student Attorney

Jessica Duz – Student Attorney

Published On: March 22, 2018Categories: Family Law Updates

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