PLM Family Law

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Avoid common mistakes to make property division an easier process

Both Minnesota and North Dakota are equitable distribution states. In a divorce, the goal is to divide marital property fairly though that may not mean a 50-50 split.

Just the thought of going through the property division phase of your divorce may seem daunting but avoiding common mistakes will help you manage the process with greater confidence.

Lacking financial knowledge

If your spouse managed the financial side of your marriage, it is time to educate yourself about what there is and what you might expect to have following the divorce. Start by making a list of all your marital assets and debts. Include basic information such as bank accounts and retirement accounts, credit card statements and car loan information. Itemize your expenses and list income sources. Your divorce attorney will want a copy of your list but keep one for yourself.

Keeping up the familiar lifestyle

Because of the divorce, your lifestyle is about to change. You may have to downsize and learn how to live on less. The financial information you gather is not only necessary as you approach property division, but it will also help you plan a post-divorce budget.

Assuming status quo

Remember that major changes happen as you go through life. When working out the details of your settlement agreement, consider how your life might change as the result of unexpected events such as the loss of your job, some form of disability or the deep depreciation of an asset.

Failing to remain engaged

The divorce process can be long and exhausting. The temptation to tune out may become overwhelming at some point. But remain engaged or you may miss a small but important detail. Ask questions, voice your thoughts and remember that you will soon enter the next chapter of your life.