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Can you sell your work tools in the lead-up to your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2022 | Divorce & Separation |

Even if divorcing your spouse is the correct course of action, the end of your marriage is likely to affect your life in ways you may not expect. If you are thinking about using your divorce as motivation to change careers, it may be tempting to sell your work tools sooner rather than later.

Because your work tools may be marital assets, you must be careful. After all, if you sell or otherwise part with marital assets in the lead-up to your divorce, your spouse may be able to argue you have dissipated the marital estate.

Are your tools marital property?

According to Minnesota law, each spouse has an equitable interest in the marital estate. This means you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse should receive a fair percentage of everything you own. You can probably keep your separate property, however.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to determine whether your work tools belong exclusively to you or to both you and your spouse. If you purchased the tools with joint funds or even bought them during your marriage, your husband or wife may have a legal claim to part of their value.

What happens if you sell marital assets?

If your tools are indeed marital assets, selling them may be a costly mistake. Indeed, you likely owe your spouse a fiduciary duty that requires you to act in his or her interests, even if you have more advantageous personal opportunities.

Before you sell marital assets in the lead-up to your divorce or during your divorce proceedings, you must obtain permission from your spouse. Ultimately, failing to do so can make you financially liable to your spouse for his or her share of the assets.