A divorce ends a marriage, but it represents much more in the lives of the parties. It breaks apart family bonds and forces parents and kids into custody and visitation arrangements. It forces parties to look at what they own and how they can divide it so that each takes what they need from their marital home. Michigan residents who have first-hand divorce experience know how difficult the process can be on them and their families. The support and advocacy of a knowledgeable family law attorney can be an asset to those struggling with divorce and property division questions.
Property division in Michigan divorces is based on the principle of equitable distribution. This post should not be read as legal advice on any subject, but readers may use this post as informational introduction to marital property law in the state. Questions about property, divorce, and other family law topics can be directed to dedicated family law attorneys.
How equitable distribution works
When a marriage ends, all the items that the parties own must be divided up. Items of property that are separately owned by the parties remains their separate property. Property that the parties co-own or that has been co-mingled into marital property must be divided according to equitable distribution.
Equitable distribution does not mean equal distribution. Courts look at what is fair in a divorce to determine what and how much property each party should take. Often courts will look at how much marital debt each party will carry out of the marriage when assigning property rights in marital property. Those who take on more debt may be awarded more property to balance the fairness of the process.
Advocacy during the property division process
It is easy to say that property is just stuff, or that it does not really matter during a divorce. However, individuals should recognize their property and assets as valuable and important to the financial success of their post-marital lives. When a person fails to fight for what they need or want out of a property settlement or hearing, they may not feel good about the end of their marriage. A committed family law attorney can stand up for their client and help them assert their needs and preferences when it comes to dividing up property. Those who have questions about equitable distribution may wish to establish relationships with trusted family law attorneys for consultation.