There are three ways for couples to address property division when they divorce. The first requires that they think about things ahead of time by creating a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The second involves the spouses working together via collaboration or mediation to retain control over the divorce process.
The third solution is for those who cannot set their own terms, and it requires that they go to court to litigate. Although many couples divorcing in Michigan will eventually settle, others will find that litigation is the only possible solution. If that happens, how will a judge decide to split your property in a Michigan divorce?
The goal is to fairly divide your marital property
Michigan, like most of the country, is an equitable distribution state. Michigan law requires that a family law judge dividing marital property seek a fair solution. Usually, anything you earned while married or property you purchase during your marriage will be marital property that you have to share with your spouse.
However, what you inherit, provided that you keep it separate, is not subject to division. Neither are assets you had before you got married. The judge will look at your earning potential, your health, your contributions to the marital estate and even the length of your marriage when determining what is fair and appropriate.
Many aspects of your marriage could influence the way that a judge rules on property division in your Michigan divorce. The better you understand the standard for property division in Michigan, the more prepared you will be for divorce proceedings.