Parenting time and custody may seem like natural areas of contention, but sometimes, the nastiest divorces spiral out of control due to disagreements regarding property division. This ordeal can be frustrating even when spouses part on amicable terms. In the interest of clarity, we’ve highlighted a few of the specific aspects of property division worth considering as a Minnesota resident in the midst of divorce:

The Role of Equitable Distribution

Minnesota divorces abide by the concept of equitable distribution, in which the division of marital property may not always prove exactly equal — but it should be fair.

Equitable distribution can allow for a more flexible approach to property division, but it comes with its own share of complications. It takes considerable time to delve into the many factors that can make a particular distribution ‘fair.’ Key elements may include:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The income of each spouse
  • How custody and parenting time are handled

Personal Versus Marital Property

Further complications can arise when attempting to determine what, exactly, constitutes personal property — and which assets qualify as marital property. While this concept may initially seem straightforward for items owned prior to marriage, it can quickly grow confusing when business assets or commingling come into play.

Distribution of Property During a Pending Divorce

If the court gets extensively involved in property division, the sale of the couple’s home or other marital assets could be ordered during the divorce process. This may be deemed necessary by the court — but it could bring even more chaos to an already stressful dissolution.

As you deal with the complications of property division, look to the team at the Brown Law Offices for support. We can help you secure a fair division of assets that takes your long-term needs and preferences into account. Reach out today to get started.

Photo of Cynthia Brown Cynthia Brown

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served…

Cynthia Brown is a founding partner with the Brown Law Offices, P.A. She is an honors graduate of the University of South Dakota and William Mitchell College of Law. Cynthia was admitted to practice in 1998.

After graduating from law school, Cynthia served as the law clerk to the Honorable Timothy R. Bloomquist, retired Chief Judge of Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Upon completing her clerkship, Cynthia practiced with a well-known firm in Cambridge, Minnesota. She founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003.

Cynthia has handled a wide variety of family law matters throughout the Twin Cities, and greater Minnesota, including divorce, custody, child protective services, orders for protection and harassment restraining orders. Many of her clients have also asked her to provide guidance concerning their estate planning needs.

Early in her career, Cynthia served as a prosecutor, public defender and criminal investigator. In addition to her family practice, Cynthia routinely represents clients facing criminal charges such as DWI, assault, theft and criminal sexual misconduct.

Cynthia founded the Amigos de Guatemala Foundation in 2007. She is a former Board Member and President of the Foundation, which provided educational, health and financial resources to underprivileged Guatemalan citizens. Her interest in serving the impoverished began with a medical mission trip to Honduras in 1994.

When she is not practicing law, Cynthia enjoys scrap-booking, soap-making, ATV riding and spending time with family.


Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Child Protective Services
  • Restraining Orders
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Bar Admission
  • Minnesota State Bar, 1998
Education
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 1998
  • University of South Dakota, 1995
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Panel Attorney, Anoka County County Family Law Clinic
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper
  • Author, Family Law Forum
  • Author, Divorce Magazine