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Real Estate in Divorce
Real Estate Must be Listed in Divorce Forms
In your divorce forms, you must list all real estate owned by:
- your spouse
- you and your spouse together; and
- you or your spouse with other people (like a friend or relative)
NOTE: There are many ways to divide real estate in a divorce. The court forms for marriage dissolution (divorce) only give you 1 option -- one spouse gets 100% of the house, cabin, or other real estate, and the other spouse gets a lien. But, you can change the court forms. An attorney can explain other options, advise you about the law, and draft terms to meet your situation. If your divorce involves real estate, you should get advice from a lawyer on your legal rights and options.
What is Real Estate
- house two spouses own together
- house, condo, or other home purchased by one spouse alone, after separation
- house, condo, or other property purchased by one spouse alone, before the marriage
- second home, like a lake cabin
- timeshare in vacation property
- condominium or townhouse
- vacant land
- investment property, like rental apartments
- land and buildings owned by a business owned by one or both spouses
- property being purchased or sold on a contract for deed
- property owned by one spouse with other people
- property inherited by one spouse alone, or given as a gift to one spouse alone.
- "remainder interest" in property -- e.g., in an estate plan, a parent could leave her house to her children, reserving a "life estate" for herself. The parent has the right to live in the house during her lifetime, and the children have a "remainder interest" during her lifetime. The remainder interest must be included in the divorce papers.
- any other real estate that either spouse has an ownership interest in, no matter when it was purchased or received
Common Questions about Real Estate in Divorce
Top 7 Mistakes with Real Estate in Divorce
Talk to a Lawyer Before Signing Divorce Forms
Real estate is often the most valuable asset to be divided in a divorce. If you or your spouse own real estate, it is critical that you talk to an attorney before you sign the "Summons and Petition."
If you were served with a "Summons and Petition" (you are the Respondent) you should talk to an attorney before you sign the "Answer and Counterpetition", and before you sign a "Stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment and Judgment and Decree" (which is an agreement with your spouse on how to divide all assets and debts.)
Real Estate Forms
Real Estate Forms from the MN Dept. of Commerce include:
- Summary Real Estate Disposition Judgment
- Quit Claim Deed
- Contract for Deed
- and more...
NOTE: These forms are not published by the MN Judicial Branch. Talk to a lawyer if you have questions on how to fill them out or how to use them.
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