During a Minnesota Divorce, Each asset on the marital balance sheet should be assigned a present value – if possible (including Real Estate, Retirement Accounts such as a 401K, 403B or 457 Plan, Brokerage and 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 for the parties to the case.
Equitable does not necessarily mean equal (check Black’s Law Dictionary). In Minnesota Divorce cases, the division of Assets and Debts does not need to be mathematically equal, and you are not entitled, under Minnesota law, to “half of your half.” 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).
Financial Experts During Divorce
In Minnesota, the use of a CPA (in some case a neutral CPA pursuant to a Rule 706 Order) can provide valuable assistance with developing schedules to assist the parties with the division of assets and property during a Divorce. In some Divorce cases, other financial neutrals may be required in order to provide valuations of various assets and to provide tracing of non-marital assets (such as a 401k, 403b, 457, Related Qualified Plan, ESOP, IRA or Pension (including Pensions for Teachers, Nurses, Physicians, Nurse Practitioners, Carpenters, Professors, Electricians, Plumbers, Police Officers and Firefighter).
Minnesota Spousal Maintenance (Alimony) and Divorce
In Minnesota Divorce cases, Spousal Maintenance (also referred to as Alimony) is one of the most challenging and difficult financial issues; the outcome, if litigated, is often unpredictable, and the issue is frequently argued in Courts throughout the State, including at the Minnesota Court Of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court. An award of Spousal Maintenance is based upon need, and not upon an equalization of cash flow or available income. Equalizing “cash flow” (through software such as FinPlan) is not required, nor is it addressed by Minnesota Statue 518.552. Many attorneys use FinPlan as a determinative tool without proper financial analysis or understanding of what constitutes financial need.”
“Spousal Maintenance is Discretionary in Minnesota.
Judges across Minnesota have great discretion in awarding spousal maintenance, and the decision whether to award spousal maintenance is permissive. If a spouse is either unemployed or underemployed, a detailed vocational assessment of the spouse requesting spousal maintenance has become much more likely as a result of the 2011 Minnesota Court Of Appeals decision in Passolt v. Passolt.
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