The following is a summary of Minnesota property division laws, and is by no means intended to be an all-inclusive description of what to expect in your particular case. In some cases, the exact text of the statute may have been simplified and/or modified to provide for easier understanding. For a more specific understanding of the laws, you should consult the full Minnesota Code and/or consult with an attorney about how the law might apply to your particular situation.

What is Defined as Marital or Non Marital Property.

Marital property” means property, real or personal, including vested public or private pension plan benefits or rights, acquired by the parties, or either of them at any time during the existence of the marriage relation between them, but prior to the date of valuation of the property. All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and before the valuation date is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in a form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, or community property. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property is nonmarital property.

Nonmarital property” means property real or personal, acquired by either spouse before, during, or after the existence of their marriage, which

  1. Is acquired as a gift, bequest, devise or inheritance made by a third party to one but not to the other spouse;
  2. Is acquired before the marriage;
  3. Is acquired by a spouse after the valuation date;
  4. Is excluded by a valid antenuptial contract; or
  5. Is acquired in exchange for or is the increase in value of property which is described above.

-From 518.54 of the Minnesota Statutes.

Property Division Guidelines.

The court shall make a just and equitable division of the marital property of the parties without regard to marital misconduct, after making findings regarding the property division. The court shall base its findings on all relevant factors including the following guidelines:

  1. The length of the marriage;
  2. Any prior marriage of a party;
  3. The age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, needs, opportunity for future acquisition of capital assets, and income of each party;
  4. The contribution of each in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property;
  5. The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker.

It shall be conclusively presumed that each spouse made a substantial contribution to the acquisition of income and property while they were living together as husband and wife. The court may also award to either spouse the household goods and furniture of the parties, whether or not acquired during the marriage. The court shall value marital assets for purposes of division between the parties as of the day of the initially scheduled pre-hearing settlement conference, unless a different date is agreed upon by the parties, or unless the court makes specific findings that another date of valuation is fair and equitable. If there is a substantial change in value of an asset between the date of valuation and the final distribution, the court may adjust the valuation of that asset as necessary to effect an equitable distribution.

If the court finds that either spouse’s resources or property are so inadequate as to work an unfair hardship, considering all relevant circumstances, the court may, in addition to the marital property, apportion up to one-half of the property otherwise excluded, to prevent the unfair hardship. If the court apportions property other than marital property, it shall make findings in support of the apportionment.

-From 518.58 of the Minnesota Statutes.


This information has been summarized from the Minnesota statutes. You can find the full-text version of these and other Minnesota divorce statutes online here: Minnesota Divorce Laws.




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