Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Errors that couples make concerning property during a divorce

Divorce can sometimes get ugly since it can dredge up painful emotional experiences for the participants. For this reason, many people, including those in Minnesota, may try to settle a divorce as quickly as possible in order to get it over with. But this method can lead to costly mistakes that can seriously affect that person later on. One area where this can be especially true is the real estate portion of property division. Here are two common mistakes that people make with regard to real estate while divorcing.

A very common mistake made during a divorce is for one partner to believe that they are no longer responsible for a property's mortgage because their ex was awarded the property. Just because the former spouse has control of the property doesn't mean that he or she will automatically take the other spouse's name off the mortgage. Even worse, the court that granted the divorce cannot make the spouse take the ex spouse's name off the mortgage. This means that if the spouse who owns the property fails to make the mortgage payments, the bank that owns the mortgage may try to make the other spouse pay.

Another real estate mistake is failing to include any real estate properties on the divorce Summons and Petition document. The Summons and Petition is a basic divorce document that one spouse and his or her attorney fills out and gives or serves to the other at the beginning of the process. Failing to include any real estate in the Summons and Petition may mean that a divorce cannot be finalized or that the property may not be able to be sold. It could even mean that one spouse can get more of a share of that property than the other. Any property omission on a Summons and Petition document has to be corrected and submitted to the court.

There are a myriad of issues that must be ironed out during a divorce in order to make sure that the process is equitable to both parties including spousal support, child support and property division. Any Minnesota resident who is going through a divorce may want to speak with a divorce attorney in order to fully understand these potentially complex topics.

Source: mncourts.gov, "Top mistakes with real estate in divorce", Accessed Aug. 24, 2015

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