Minnesota Marital Property vs. Non-Marital Claims- Who Gets What?

Blue Question Mark ManYou may have an idea of what property is yours or what property you are willing to share with your soon-to-be former spouse, but Minnesota law dictates how marital property and non-marital property differ.

The old saying what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine doesn’t apply in a Minnesota divorce. Any person alleging a non-marital claim in a Minnesota divorce has to prove the claim by starting with the character and nature of the alleged non-marital property.

Minn. Stat. Section 518.003, Subd.3b defines marital and non-marital property as follows:

Minnesota ” ‘Marital property‘ means property, real or personal, including vested public or private pension plan benefits or rights, acquired by the parties, or either of them, to a dissolution, legal separation, or annulment proceeding at any time during the existence of the marriage relation between them, or at any time during which the parties were living together as husband and wife under a purported marriage relationship which is annulled in an annulment proceeding, but prior to the date of valuation under section 518.58, subdivision 1. All property acquired by either spouse subsequent to the marriage and before the valuation date is presumed to be marital property regardless of whether title is held individually or by the spouses in a form of co-ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, tenancy by the entirety, or community property. Each spouse shall be deemed to have a common ownership in marital property that vests not later than the time of the entry of the decree in a proceeding for dissolution or annulment. The extent of the vested interest shall be determined and made final by the court pursuant to section 518.58. If a title interest in real property is held individually by only one spouse, the interest in the real property of the nontitled spouse is not subject to claims of creditors or judgment or tax liens until the time of entry of the decree awarding an interest to the nontitled spouse. The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property is nonmarital property.

Minnesota ” ‘Nonmarital property’ means property real or personal, acquired by either spouse before, during, or after the existence of their marriage, which

(a) is acquired as a gift, bequest, devise or inheritance made by a third party to one but not to the other spouse;

(b) is acquired before the marriage;

(c) is acquired in exchange for or is the increase in value of property which is described in clauses (a), (b), (d), and (e);

(d) is acquired by a spouse after the valuation date; or

(e) is excluded by a valid ante-nuptial contract.”

Proving Your Minnesota Non-Marital Claim 

It isn’t enough to just claim that certain property is non-marital.  You must show proof that your claim is valid.  Any party claiming non-marital property in a dissolution has the responsibility called the burden of proof to show through evidence that the claim is valid.

What this means is you must provide documents, statements, values of property and any other proof showing that you owned the item or account before marriage; and, that the item or account has not been mixed (commingled) with marital property.  If the item or financial account has been mixed with marital funds, then you must trace the non-marital property and demonstrate the value of the non-marital property within the marital funds.

Establishing non-martial property and tracing is difficult.  Maintaining good record-keeping and establishing separate non-marital financial accounts for non-marital funds and not mixing non-marital assets with marital assets is the basis for proving up a non-marital claim in a dissolution.

Kate Willmore

Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Divorce, Family Lawyer, Father’s Rights, Family Court Lawyer and Mediator

(320) 217-6030

Copyright 2015


About Kate Willmore, Esq.

Kate Willmore, Saint Cloud, Minnesota, divorce, custody and family attorney brings over 25 years experience to every client's legal matter. *** Licensed in Minnesota and in California

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