The primary objective in a Minnesota divorce when it comes to finances should be to achieve economic security for both parties to the extent possible. Where such security is not possible, a workable plan may allow piece of mind before, during after the stress of the process. It is sometimes helpful to think of the process as divided into preparation, negotiation and agreement.
The first stage is preparation for negotiations. Living expenses should be reduced to numbers and projected out into the future, with allowances made for inflation. Income earned from work may be an important source of funds toward living expenses following divorce. The value and ownership status of all marital assets should be determined. If necessary, they should be professionally evaluated or appraised.
Settlement negotiations will typically determine the specifics of property division and the amounts of any additional payments. property division need not be equal. The parties may take into account, for example, an unequal future earning potential in deciding to favor one over the other. There may be advantages to owning one type of asset over another as well. If one spouse needs cash and the other doesn’t, it may make sense for the former to take control of a savings account and the latter stock investments or other less-liquid assets.
If liquidity is not a concern, tax-deferred investments may be the best to own after the divorce. The divorce agreement should be designed to protect both parties and to anticipate future costs, such as education or medical expenses for the couple’s children. An attorney with experience handling divorce cases can often help a client plan for and negotiate a settlement agreement.