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How the division of motor vehicles works in divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Divorce & Separation |

One of the major parts of a divorce is separating property. Minnesota uses the concept of equitable division, which is a subjective way to divide assets.

If a couple cannot agree, the court will take on division and separate property in a fair manner. When doing so, there are some considerations the judge will make according to the law. These include the incomes, assets and abilities of each party. It also includes need, which can greatly impact the division of motor vehicles and recreational vehicles.

Specific considerations for vehicles

When a judge is dividing vehicles as assets in a divorce, he or she will look at factors such as who contributed to the preservation of the property. The law assumes that a couple has equal ownership of an asset purchased during the marriage, so acquisition rights are even between the parties. But if one person put more time and effort into maintaining the asset, then the judge may use that to give the person more rights to the property.

The exception for nonmarital assets

If a vehicle is a nonmarital asset, meaning one spouse bought it prior to the marriage, then it is typically safe from division. But there is an exception. If one spouse will have such low income and means after the divorce, the law allows the court to divide the nonmartial property. The spouse who will face financial hardship may be entitled to one-half of all nonmartial property, which may include vehicles.

In most cases, people can assume the court will handle vehicles by dividing them in a fair way to ensure nobody suffers hardship.