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Enforcing property settlements after a Minnesota divorce

Does your ex still have some of the property awarded to you in your property settlement? Is he or she refusing to give that property to you?

There are a few options available to people for recovering property after a Minnesota divorce. First, you may ask for a writ of execution from the court. Through a writ of execution, you can ask the sheriff to enforce the decree by accompanying you (for a fee) to retrieve the property. In order to obtain a writ, you will need to give the court as much evidence as possible about the property, including the location of the property.

You may also take action to have the court hold your ex spouse in contempt of court if he or she is not following a court order. You can give your ex spouse a Financial Disclosure Form, which he or she must fill out and return to the court in 10 days. If the form is incomplete, the court can order your ex to come to court and you can write an affidavit asking for an Order to Show Cause. You will want evidence that your ex has acted in contempt of court by hiding assets or not filling out the Financial Disclosure Form correctly.

If your spouse is withholding assets during or after your divorce, you may also use depositions or private investigations to uncover the assets. Then, you can use the evidence uncovered during the depositions or investigations to request immediate payment.

These are only a few of the possibilities available to individuals to recover property after a divorce. It can be helpful to speak with an experienced Minnesota divorce lawyer to learn whether these options will work for you and what other options are available.

Source: Family Law Forum, Minnesota State Bar Association Family Law Section, "Tips and Tidbits on Enforcing Property Settlements in Dissolution Actions," Pete Radosevich, Winter 2011-2012.

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