A Strong Advocate For The Division Of Marital Property
Dividing property can be one of the most complex and contentious aspects of a divorce. Clients who come to the Law Office of Barbara J. Gislason often have many questions about what property, cash, and investments they will be left with when the divorce is finalized. With more than 30 years of experience practicing family law in Minnesota, Barbara has the skills and resources required to efficiently guide you through the property division process.
Because there are disputes about whether assets are marital or nonmarital, and disputes about how to calculate the value of experts, Barbara works with a variety of professionals to help with legal issues such as tracing or securing an actuarial value for a pension. Experts are also used to deal with complex retirement assets.
Navigating Complex Property Division Issues
Minnesota is an equitable division state, meaning all assets acquired during the marriage, referred to as “marital assets,” will be divided fairly between the divorcing couple. The court has considerable discretion on this topic, and Barbara will work hard to achieve a positive result for you. Only a lawyer with extensive experience handling divorce cases in Minnesota will be familiar with the complexities of the property division laws in our state. Barbara has represented more than 3,000 clients in a range of divorce and family law matters, making her uniquely qualified in this legal field.
Barbara diligently analyzes your finances and assets to determine the value and extent of all marital assets. She may work with outside experts, including forensic accountants, actuaries, and appraisers to identify premarital assets and uncover any hidden assets.
Examples of common marital assets include:
- Real estate, including the marital home
- Cars, trucks, boats, and other motor vehicles
- 401(k)s, pensions, and IRAs
- Pets/companion animals
Dividing property can be especially challenging if you and/or your spouse are facing unique financial issues, including when your home, after the payment of mortgages, has negative equity, also known as being “under water,” or if a parent has passed away and you stand to inherit assets that are currently tied up in probate, or if involved in a business dissolution (or anything related to business). In these special circumstances, hiring a knowledgeable family law attorney is critical to ensure that the division of marital property is equitable.
Pets and Companion Animals
Most people are unaware that the award of a companion animal, such as a dog or cat, is not addressed in Minnesota statutes or the judge made common law, and courts may treat animals as property. Barbara is a foremost expert on this subject in the country and can help you understand the hierarchy for how decisions are made if you have this kind of case. She encourages the courts and ADR/mediation providers to consider the best interests of both humans and companion animals, together with traditional criteria.