April 20, 2024

We see a lot in the media about divorce settlement – we see dramas played out on TV, and we hear about the process in country and pop songs.

The reality is often much different.

If you’re wondering what you might get as a wife in a divorce settlement, you want to see some real input from seasoned professionals who know the law. 


You want to know, on average, what to expect.


So, let’s look at some of the main things that wives receive in divorce settlements in the state of Minnesota.


What About Child Custody in a Divorce?


This is often one of the most charged parts of the divorce case and one where there are lots of questions. 


You may think that the mother always gets custody because of traditional rulings. But things have changed somewhat.


Courts look at the fitness of both parents in child custody proceedings. They also look at things like child preference, where people live, and other relevant factors.


So don’t assume that as a wife and mother, you’ll get full custody. Talk to a professional divorce lawyer, like those at Martine Law, about your chances and how to find an equitable solution for your family.


Mother Seeking Child Support


Depending on custody, the wife in a divorce settlement needs money to raise the children.


Wives often receive child support in orders from Minnesota courts ruling on divorce proceedings.


Whether the other party pays and how he pays depends on other factors and negotiations. 


But the bottom line is that if you’re a wife with children and have custody, you’re likely to get certain amounts of money to raise your kids.


A Look at Alimony


Does a wife get alimony?


Well, she might, depending on salaries and income and other financial analyses. 


But the court has to look at different mitigating circumstances, including: 


  • How long the couple was married
  • Who was the breadwinner or earned the most
  • What the couple usually relied on for things like housing and healthcare


Then, the court will decide whether the wife in a divorce gets alimony or not.


So keep all of this in mind when you’re thinking about alimony payouts. 


Who Gets The House (And Other Property) in a Divorce Process? 


Let’s start with the house because it’s one of the most common assets.


First of all, professionals point out that there is no “standard dissolution of marriage” in Minnesota.


In plain English, every case is different.


So you want to look closely at how assets like a house are divided.


Once again, the courts are splitting up property using a number of different rulers or classifications.


The first one is whether some asset is declared ‘marital property’ or ‘separate property.’


Then, the court will go back to the larger financial picture to figure out an equitable split.


So, as a wife in Minnesota divorce proceedings, you might get the house or not, partly based on how many other assets there are to divvy up. 


Going Through Your Bank Accounts (For Family Law Purposes)


If there’s a lot of cash squirreled away in your former spouse’s bank account, you may get some of it. No one is likely to get all of it unless it’s considered separate property. If you had your finances together and paid into an account together, a split is going to be the most common result.


What About Retirement Accounts?


The same holds true for required retirement accounts, regardless of whether it’s a regular IRA or a Roth IRA.


Even if somebody has a personal 401(k) or retirement account when they are married, if the court finds that their income is supportive of the other person, retirement accounts can get split up, too. In other words, they’re subject to classification as either marital property or separate property. 


The Albatross of Debt in a Divorce Agreement


It’s a dirty word, but you got to hear it if you’re involved in a divorce settlement, and the couple holds any significant debt.


Yes, like assets, debt gets split up between the two partners.


This is one you might not think about right away, but as you go through the couple’s joint financial situation, you may have questions about things in the negative column of the ledger. Professional lawyers find that debt has to be handled equitably, again, according to need, history, and the obligation of each former partner. 


All of that credit card debt, student loan debt, and other obligations have to be figured out because, in many cases, they were being paid jointly, and the couple was considered a single entity for financial purposes.


What About the Boat? 

A boat is going to factor into marital assets the same as a house. If you have high-end motorcycles, expensive RVs, a car collection, or even a stamp collection or coin collection, substitute any of those for the boat. 

All of the assets, especially major ones, have to be considered. One of the spouses might have something that wasn’t especially commonly used but is considered joint property when dividing up the marital holdings. 

Turning to the Professionals: Talk to a Qualified Divorce Attorney

During many divorce settlements, there is some consternation about assets and/or debt. Each of the severing spouses is wondering exactly what’s going to happen, and they may be in conflict about one or more of the above points.


If this is something that you’re going through, turn to the divorce lawyers at Martine Law in Minnesota. We are problem-solvers and dedicated, attentive, professional divorce attorneys who are here for our clients to help them access their rights under the law. Let us answer all of your questions.