Ed Shaw Law - Brainerd Attorney
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Coronavirus Impact and Assurance: Yes! We are still open for business!

As you are all aware, we are currently facing unique challenges due to the Coronavirus. While this is a serious crisis, it is important to keep it in perspective, and not allow it to prevent us from going about our business. We want to assure all of our clients that this office is prepared to serve your needs, regardless of what happens and how the virus affects Minnesota. In an effort to keep the office safe, we have stepped up prevention and sanitation measures in hopes to prevent disease transmission.

Because we are a paperless office, our entire staff is prepared to work from home if necessary. No matter what happens, we will continue to provide our clients with the highest quality legal services.  So far, not one client or staff member has become infected based on contact at this office and we will continue with safety protocols in an attempt to keep it that way. My office will continue to put the safety of our staff and you as our top priority. We do greatly appreciate your cooperation in conducting business in a safe fashion by utilizing current technology. Regardless of what happens, we will continue to take care of all of your legal needs.

Please rest assured, we will continue to take care of your legal needs in this challenging time, and your safety is our highest priority.

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.