What To Know About Property Division In Michigan
Perhaps first and foremost on your mind if you are going through a divorce is what will happen to your hard-won assets and property. Taking inventory of, evaluating and dividing your marital assets is easily one of the most complex steps of a divorce.
Fortunately, the attorneys at Quist Law Firm, PLLC have helped countless clients through the same process. We understand Michigan property division laws like the back of our hands. To help you understand the process as well, we have compiled some of our clients’ frequently asked questions about property division in Michigan divorces.
- How do courts in Michigan divide property and other assets?
Michigan is an equitable distribution state. This means that our courts must divide a couple’s marital property equitably between each spouse. Equitably does not necessarily mean 50-50; it means an arrangement that the court deems fair to each spouse.
- What is marital property vs. separate property?
The assets that each spouse owned before the marriage are considered separate property. The assets acquired during the marriage, including retirement assets, are marital property. There are exceptions; for example, anything that one spouse inherits counts as separate property.
In some cases, separate property can become marital property — if one spouse purchased the marital home, for example, but the other consistently contributed to its maintenance, then the court may deem it marital property.
- What factors will affect my property division arrangement?
Every case is unique. The court does not follow any formula. It will consider several factors, including:
- The length of the marriage
- The assets and debts that each spouse acquired during the marriage
- Each spouse’s income
- Each spouse’s financial needs
- Each spouse’s earning potential
- Can I settle my case out of court? What happens if I can’t?
Often, Quist Law Firm, PLLC can help you use alternative dispute resolution methods to find solutions to divorce issues out of court. This can benefit both parties, as it keeps costs down and gives you more control over the outcome.
However, we also understand that some cases do not benefit from private settlement. In some cases, it is simply unavoidable to go to trial. At trial, a judge will issue a final decree regarding asset division.
- Is an attorney really necessary for marital property division?
Even if your marital estate is fairly simple, you will want an attorney to help you document, valuate and distribute it. If you go through this on your own, you risk making a legal mistake that could complicate the process. Your attorney can not only ensure that you do everything correctly, but also advocate for the best arrangement available to you.
Ask More About Property Division
Contact Quist Law Firm, PLLC at our office in Grand Rapids. We can answer any other questions you have about dividing your property or any other step in divorce. To schedule an initial consultation, reach us at 616-490-4023 or send an email.