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The 3 things that can happen to your lake cabin in divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Divorce & Separation |

Minnesotans who are lucky enough to own a cabin love to spend as much time there as they can. The fishing, boating, jet skiing and other fun that can be had at the lake create precious memories and are a good way to unwind after a long week at work or school. For many people, their cabin is one of their favorite places on Earth.

So if you are getting divorced, you naturally are worried about how property division will affect your cabin. Will you lose your cabin to your ex? What will it take to keep it in your family?

How real estate gets divided in a Minnesota divorce

Minnesota follows the equitable division rule for divorce, as most states do. In equitable division states, divorcing spouses must split their marital assets equitably, meaning fairly. This gives spouses a fair amount of room to negotiate a settlement the divorce court will accept because the law does not require an exact 50-50 split. “Marital property” means almost everything you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. It can also mean property you or your ex owned before getting marriages that became “comingled” with the other spouse’s property. Thus, even if one of you owned the cabin before getting married, if the two of you contributed to property taxes, repairs and other expenses, it might be considered marital property anyway.

When it comes to real estate like a cabin or other lakeside property, there are three common resolutions in property division:

  • One spouse gives up their share of the property in exchange for money or some other form of compensation.
  • The spouses sell the property and split the proceeds.
  • The spouses continue to own the cabin jointly and agree to share its use.

The first two options are by far the most common. Whether you get to keep the cabin may depend on how much you are willing to give up in exchange. When you tell your divorce attorney your top priorities for asset division, they will develop a strategy to help make those things possible, while also advising you on strategy.