St. Paul Lawyers Assisting High-Net-Worth Clients in Property Division

The attorneys at Bowden ♦ Cyr, PLLC have significant experience representing high-net-worth clients in family law matters. When substantial assets are involved in a divorce, property division can be extremely complex. We thoroughly understand both the legal and financial aspects of identifying, characterizing and dividing property upon divorce.

Characterizing Non-marital & Marital Property

When it comes to property division, Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, which means property is to be divided equitably, though not always equally, between divorcing spouses. In order to devise a fair distribution of property, a court's first step is to identify a couple's property (including assets and debts) and characterize it as non-marital or marital property. Non-marital property includes any real or personal property acquired by either spouse before, during or after the marriage that:

  • Is acquired as a gift, bequest, devise or inheritance made by a third party to one but not to the other spouse;
  • Is acquired before the marriage;
  • Is acquired in exchange for or is the increase in value of non-marital property;
  • Is acquired by a spouse after the valuation date; or
  • Is excluded by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

On the other hand, marital property consists of all property acquired at any time during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on the property. These assets will be divided between the spouses, and may include real property, personal property, businesses, automobiles, savings accounts, stocks, bonds, pension plans, retirement plans, and other items of value.

The family lawyers at Bowden ♦ Cyr, PLLC help clients characterize assets, making claims to non-marital property when appropriate and identifying any and all marital assets and liabilities that may be subject to property division.

Dividing the Marital Property

Once all of the parties' assets have been identified and characterized, a court must divide the marital property, typically taking into consideration one or more of the following factors:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Any prior marriage of either party
  • 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
  • The contribution of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation in the amount or value of the marital property
  • The contribution of a spouse as a homemaker

If a court finds that either spouse's resources or property are so inadequate as to result in unfair hardship after divorce, it may (in addition to marital property) apportion up to one-half of non-marital property to prevent the unfair hardship.

Contact an Experienced, Caring St. Paul Family Law Attorney

If you have significant assets and are facing divorce, please contact Bowden ♦ Cyr, PLLC to discuss property division in your case. You need skilled and experienced legal counsel to protect your interests and your future security.