Trust Our Experienced Divorce Attorney
Making the decision to divorce is rarely easy. Once the decision is made, you need legal guidance and an understanding of what lies ahead once you begin the process. If you and your spouse share children and assets, child custody and the division of marital assets are the most important aspects of the divorce process you’ll go through.
At Flakne Law, we can help you not only know what to expect but protect your legal rights throughout the separation and divorce process. We offer comprehensive family law services and can be your divorce attorney during this challenging time.
Divorce vs. Separation
A divorce is a legal action between two married people that terminates their marriage. Separation simply means living apart from your partner. You do not need to file court papers to separate, and you’re not required by law to live with your spouse. That being said, separating from your spouse may affect your legal rights.
It’s best to talk to a lawyer before separating, if possible. It’s important to note that in Minnesota, unlike some other states, you do not need to be separated before you get a divorce. A legal separation, however, is a major change in the status of your marriage. To obtain a legal separation, you must file a petition in District Court in the county where you or your spouse lives. The legal separation process differs from that of a divorce, but takes just as long as divorce and may cost just as much, if not more.
There are limited reasons for seeking legal separation, but it can make sense in certain financial situations or when religious beliefs or moral values against divorce come into play. A divorce attorney can help you make sense of all your options when choosing to separate or divorce from your spouse.
Will Spousal Support (Alimony) Be Awarded?
Spousal support payments, more commonly known as alimony, are made from one spouse to another under a separation or divorce order. These payments are meant to help an economically disadvantaged spouse continue to enjoy a similar standard of living after the marriage ends.
If your dissolution is a high asset divorce, our attorneys are well-versed in maintaining your privacy and swiftly designing mutually agreeable solutions. Temporary or permanent spousal support can be awarded and will depend on the length of the marriage and other applicable statutory factors.
Unless spousal support is predetermined by a legally enforceable premarital or post-marital agreement, it will be decided by the court in accordance with several factors recognized by Minnesota state law. Today, temporary spousal support is usually favored by the courts until the economically dependent spouse becomes self-sufficient.
When and how much alimony is paid is determined by all relevant factors that must be addressed by the court, including marital property, ability to provide self-support, financial resources and other factors.
How Are Assets Divided?
Distribution is the process of dividing up what you own and defining what you owe once you’ve agreed to divorce. Splitting up your joint assets is a difficult task, but it must be done. Almost everything you and your spouse acquire during your marriage is considered martial property and is subject to distribution. This includes the family home, family pets and other physical assets, as well as non-tangible things such as retirement benefits.
Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, meaning the court decides what is a fair, reasonable and equitable division of the assets. It doesn’t mean you will automatically receive half of everything. On the contrary, the court might decide to award either spouse anywhere between 0 to 100 percent of the marital property.
How Does the Court Decide What’s Equitable?
Many things are factored into the court’s decision regarding equitable distribution. It can include how long the marriage lasted, what each person brought into the marriage, how much each person earns, the responsibilities taken for the children, tax consequences, debt and more.
The essential things you should remember about equitable distribution are that everything you acquired during the marriage is subject to division—it doesn’t matter whose name or money was used to acquire it. These include any debts acquired during the marriage.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney About Your Case
When facing a divorce, the best thing you can do, aside from educating yourself, is to get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney. At Flakne Law, we will take the time to sit down with you, assess your situation and help you develop a divorce plan that’s specifically tailored to your individual situation and needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at (952) 888-9304, or you can also use our contact form to get in touch.