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When it comes to real estate in divorce—the details matter

Most Minnesota residents would likely count a family home among their most valuable assets. It's no wonder then that, in cases where an individual is going through a divorce, questions related to a previously shared home and the division of real estate often weigh heavily on one's mind.

For many people, the divorce process is difficult and emotionally-charged. At times, strong emotions can cloud an individual's judgment and, with one's own financial security and that of his or her children at stake, it's wise to turn to a divorce attorney for advice and assistance.

This is especially true when it comes to the division of marital assists and real estate. When it comes to real estate and divorce it's important to keep in mind that "a spouse has a 'marital interest' in all real estate owned by the other spouse." This means that, barring a prenuptial agreement, even property purchased prior to a marriage is fair game in divorce proceedings as are any properties or land where only one's spouse's name appears on the deed.

When listing property and real estate to be divided in a divorce, it's critical that all properties are accounted for and that the correct legal descriptions of each are included in divorce papers. Additionally, divorcing spouses are discouraged from making any type of verbal or other side agreements with a soon-to-be ex-spouse. Not only may such agreements not be in an individual’s best interest, but they also may not be legally binding or enforceable.

Real estate matters in divorce proceedings can be complex. This is often especially true in cases where a couple owns several properties or in cases involving large amounts of mortgage debt. For these reasons, individuals going through a divorce are advised to turn to a legal professional who can fight to ensure that an individual receives his or her fair share of marital real estate assets.

Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, "Top Mistakes with Real Estate in Divorce," April 20, 2015 

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