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Coronavirus Impact and Assurance: Yes! We are still open for business!

For the last year, thanks to the hard work of all of our staff, and you, our clients, no one who works at this office has gotten Covid while working here, and we have not spread a single case to any of our clients, while getting all of our client's legal needs taken care of. With the spread of vaccination the end is in sight, normal times where we can meet our clients in person in the office are just around the corner.

During the transition we will be having some in person, in office appointments for clients who have already been vaccinated, and for whom the CDC recommended period of time has passed since their last shot. Of course, for anyone who would prefer a phone or video appointment for safety, convenience, or any other reason those types of appointments are always available.

The weather is warming up and outdoor-in person appointments are now available. The updated CDC guidelines indicate that masks are not needed for vaccinated people outside if not in close quarters; although as a precaution we will continue to practice social distancing. If you have not had your vaccination, masks will continue to be a requirement.

Through the transition safety of all staff and clients will continue to be our top priority, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Please see our blog for more info on pandemic response.

What happens to the family farm in divorce

| Jan 19, 2018 | Blog

Central Minnesota is home to lush farmland and ranches. Many farms have been handed down for generations in a family line. These properties are more than home; they are your livelihood and the foundation of your identity. It makes sense that you hold the family farm dear to your heart and want to protect it.

In divorce, you and your spouse will have to divide assets, including property. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that each spouse can claim, say, 6 of the 12 acres you own. The asset division process is actually more complicated.

Minnesota’s law does not follow a 50-50 rule to determine which assets each spouse will keep. Instead, it is known as an “equitable division” state that uses equitable division. This means that marital assets are split fairly instead of equally. If your divorce goes to trial, a judge would examine a few key factors about your farm.

Inheritance is always an important element. A woman who received the land from her late father would have a much stronger claim to keep it than her husband. Even after a couple is married, inheritance is usually separate from marital property.

However, if she put her husband on the deed along with her own name, he could also stake his claim to the land. In this case, the couple has joint legal ownership.

Farmland is a special asset that often blends home and business. Because this kind of property provides income, a judge would also consider any financial losses of the spouse who does not keep the land. A rancher who tends to the animals while their spouse works in an office would probably incur a greater cost without their ranch.

The trouble that many divorcing farmers find is that they inherited land, but both spouses made money with it. This is called “co-mingling” and can make it difficult to secure the land during divorce. Plenty of complex issues like this can arise, which is why divorcees with these special properties should seek legal guidance. Simple, peaceful farms and ranches may unfortunately turn into the exact opposite during the asset division process.

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