Michigan courts follow the rules of equitable distribution when dividing assets in a divorce. 

According to BankRate, equitable distribution means a fair division of the value of assets but not necessarily an equal division of the assets. You should note that the court will only divide your assets if you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement to do so yourselves. 

The court’s role

The court seeks a fair division and will consider a range of factors to determine what is fair in your particular situation. There are no hard rules about what a court must do, making property division a very subjective process. 

Factors affecting division

The court will consider what led to the divorce. If one of you was to blame due to your actions, the court may look more favorably on the other person. It will also consider your health, education, employability and earning potential. 

A judge will want to consider your spending habits as well. If one of you tends to be careless with money, this could influence the judge’s decision. 

Overall, the judge wants to get a good idea of how financial affairs worked in your marriage. The court also wants to ensure that you are both in similar situations after the marriage financially. Giving the spouse who earns less more assets is a possible way for the court to even out inequalities. 

Separate property rules

You can ask for an exclusion of property you owned prior to your marriage. To be separate property the court will not divide, you cannot have commingled it with marital property or funds.