The writing is on the wall and both individuals know that the marriage will probably not last much longer. Once reality sets in, it is time to start thinking about one’s financial future and how the property division process can have a lasting impact. For many Michigan couples, separating the financial aspects of the marriage can be a challenge.
Credit card and consumer loan debt is one aspect that will need to be addressed. A review of credit bureau reports can help one determine the exact status of each account. Once this has been determined, the couple needs to decide if they are going to close the account and pay it off, close the account and pay it off later or simply leave the account open. It is important to identify exactly how much is owed and who owns the account; just because both individuals can use the account does not mean that both individuals are considered financially responsible by the lending institution. Even if the courts order both parties responsible for the amount due, the lender may not, depending upon how the account was originally set up.
Another important aspect that will need to be addressed is how to handle the family home, if one is owned. One possible option is for one of the individuals to buy the other out. Another option is to sell the house and then divide the equity. Finally, the couple may decide to remain co-owners of the home; this may be considered an option because of current market conditions, financial situations or concern for children.
The financial aspects of property division can appear to be daunting. There are many facets that the Michigan couple will need to consider. However, by carefully analyzing the situation, an experienced attorney can help guide the individual and determine what is going to be in his or her best interest.
Source: ajc.com, “How to Untangle Your Finances in a Divorce”, Bev O’Shea, June 23, 2017