This does not mean that each and every item is split down the middle.
It means that in the balance sheet listing all of the marital assets and debts, each party will normally receive a net equal apportionment, regardless of the configuration.
Some property is safe from distribution in divorce in every state.
Likewise, if during the marriage I am given a Steinway piano from my aunt, that piano is my non-marital property.
This marital property includes pensions and retirement investments acquired or earned during the marriage, as well as equity in property built up during the marriage.
The controlling legal principle which determines the Court’s division of marital property is the rather broad standard of what is “just and equitable.”  In practice, however, this typically results in each party receiving half the value of the marital estate.
Minnesota is an equitable distribution state and, as in other equitable distribution states, one spouse might hold title to an asset solely in his own name.
This may seem like separate property, but often it's not.