Property division is a hot topic in many divorce proceedings. As couples go separate ways, financial arrangements that existed before their split have to change, and each party may feel entitled to get more assets than the other. State laws apply when it comes to dividing property following a divorce.
Michigan is an equitable distribution state. It means that following a divorce, property is distributed equitably after determining what is fair based on the circumstances. Assets belonging to a couple can either be marital or separate property. Marital property consists of all assets earned or acquired over the marriage, such as homes, furniture, cars, pension plans, or retirement accounts. Such assets are divided between the couple upon a divorce. On the other hand, separate property consists of inheritance, gifts, or any other property acquired before the marriage. Each couple gets to keep their separate property after a divorce.
What is equitable distribution?
Equitable distribution does not mean that property is divided equally. It means that several aspects of the marriage are factored in when dividing marital property. They include:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate
- The age and health of each spouse
- The spouses conduct during the marriage
- The earning ability of each spouse
- Other general principles of equality, among others.
Not all these factors apply to every divorce since the circumstances may be different. Usually, a judge will determine the fairest allocation of marital assets after reviewing your case.
Given that a lot is at stake, it is important to be conversant with the relevant aspects of family law that will come into play. Besides, your financial future is likely to be affected, which is even more reason to be on top of things.