Eisenberg & Spilman PLLC | Family Law Attorneys

Call Us At: 248-469-0613

Skilled | Brilliant | Effective

Photo of the legal professionals at Eisenberg & Spilman PLLC

Why many Michigan couples fight over real property during divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2023 | property division |

Couples with significant personal resources may find that divorce is a bit more challenging than couples who rent and have few assets in their own names. The home where people live or the real property they own, including investments and vacation homes, can cause a variety of challenges during Michigan divorce proceedings.

Unless people already have an agreement, possibly in the form of a prenuptial contract, they will either need to settle with one another after finding a mutually-agreeable way to divide their interest in the property or prepare for divorce litigation. Why do people often find it challenging to agree on what should happen with real property during a Michigan divorce?

They disagree on its value

If one spouse wants to keep the house and the other one only wants a portion of its equity, they will have very different priorities when it comes to establishing what the property is worth. The spouse seeking equity in the home will usually want to set the highest value for the house possible so that they can receive as much equity as they can.

The spouse keeping the home would likely prefer to set a lower value so that they have to withdraw less equity when refinancing. Couples sometimes fight intensely when trying to establish the fair market value for real property during a divorce. In some cases, they may need to have an appraiser done. In high-asset, high-dispute cases, both spouses might seek separate appraisals because they disagree with the price set by the appraiser their spouse hired.

They get emotional about the property

Some people have practical reasons for wanting to retain a marital home. Maybe they inherited it from family members or they want to keep their children in the same school district. Other people simply have an emotional reaction to the idea of losing the home in the divorce and will fight over it even though retaining the home does not necessarily serve any practical purpose.

Regardless of who lives there, each spouse should receive an equitable share of its value. It can be very difficult to separate one’s divorce goals from one’s emotional responses, but doing so will be of the utmost importance for achieving the optimal outcome in a Michigan divorce.

When people understand why it can become so difficult to negotiate the terms of what should be done with a home during divorce proceedings, they may have an easier time finding a way to cooperate with each other or can at least set realistic goals for the outcome of the process.