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How may divorce affect a couple’s shared debts and assets?

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Firm News

Marriage dissolution in Minnesota involves discussing a fair division of your marital debts and property. The Minnesota Judicial Branch’s website notes that a divorce decree may include the debts owed by either you or your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Loans incurred during your marriage, for example, fall within the North Star State’s classification of “marital debt.” Divorce proceedings may require an accounting of individual or joint accounts opened after your wedding date. Accounts not belonging to your marital estate may require proof that you opened them as separate property.

What determines separate property and marital property?

Assets and debts that an individual had before your wedding date qualify as separate property. As reported by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, a financial award from a personal injury lawsuit also counts as a spouse’s separate property. The individual with separate money, however, may use it to “buy” shared marital property during divorce.

Nearly all of the assets that you or your spouse acquired during marriage generally classify as marital property. As noted on, the court may review how couples agree on dividing valuable items such as furniture, boats or real estate. When purchased with a loan, however, the court may need to see how couples agree on paying it back.

Who may take the mortgage and keep the home?

According to, a spouse may keep a residential property by refinancing the mortgage and assuming the payments after the divorce. The other spouse will no longer have responsibility for the mortgage. That spouse may, however, still have rights to a portion of the home’s equity value. The spouse keeping the home may use part of his or her equity to “buy out” the other spouse’s fair share.

You may wish to carefully consider your post-divorce needs before submitting a property division plan.