Dividing assets and debts in a divorce can be a daunting and emotional task, especially when children are involved. If you and your spouse cannot agree on issues of asset and property division, it is critical to reach out to an experienced attorney who can help navigate the laws in your state and help you seek a fair resolution. 

As an asset and property division attorney with over two decades of experience handling family law matters, I advise clients on their options to help them resolve their disputes and help ensure that they do not obtain less than they deserve.

At Bowden Law, PLLC, I serve clients in Mount Clemens, Michigan, and neighboring areas, including Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties, and the rest of the state.

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Marital Property vs.
Separate Property in Michigan

Michigan law recognizes two types of property: marital and separate.

  1. Marital property includes any assets and debts acquired by one or both spouses during the marriage. Under Michigan law, marital assets are subject to division when spouses get a divorce. Examples of marital property include a family home, rental properties, vacation homes, shared businesses, health insurance, retirement accounts, income earned during the marriage, and more.

  2. Separate property, on the other hand, is any property that belongs to only one spouse. Separate property includes any assets the parties acquired and owned before the marriage, assets acquired by gift or inheritance either before or during the marriage, and a settlement award for pain and suffering in a personal injury case.

Determining what constitutes marital property vs. separate property can become complicated, however, especially if the parties cannot reach an agreement without litigation or court involvement. Additionally, debts accumulated by one or both spouses during the marriage are also considered marital property.

Who Determines How
Assets Are Divided?

Michigan adopted the rule of equitable distribution to divide assets between the spouses in a divorce. Equitable is not necessarily equal, which is why there may not be a 50/50 split. In other words, courts in Michigan determine how assets are divided after considering what division would be fair and appropriate for the couple’s unique circumstances. 

The division of assets can be either uncontested or contested:

  1. Uncontested. The spouses can agree on the terms of asset and debt division. Instead of asking the court to divide their property and debts for them, the couple can negotiate and sign a marital dissolution agreement to formalize the manner in which they want to split their property and debts. Even though the division is uncontested, parties may still need to seek legal counsel to help them review the terms of the agreement and ensure that the division is fair.

  2. Contested. When the spouses cannot reach an agreement on asset and property division, they will go through the contested process. It means that the division of property and debts will be decided by the court judge.

Once the marital property is identified, value is assigned to each asset before distributing the assets in an equitable and fair manner. Dividing assets and debts can be one of the most complicated aspects of a divorce. That is why many spouses choose to hire an asset and property division attorney to help them settle property issues and fight for what rightfully belongs to them.

Factors Considered in
Michigan Asset Division

In Michigan, family law courts consider a wide range of factors when dividing marital property on behalf of divorcing spouses. Some of the factors considered in asset and property division may include:

  • The duration of the marriage

  • Each spouse’s contributions

  • The spouses’ health, age, earning capacity, and employability

  • The financial needs and circumstances of each spouse

  • The conduct of both spouses (whether any spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage)

The factors considered by the judge will depend on the circumstances of each individual case. Evaluating the above-mentioned factors—among others—helps the judge ensure that the marital assets are divided in a fair and equitable manner.

As a family law attorney with extensive experience in navigating the property division process in Michigan, I am aware of all the considerations that come into play when dividing assets and debts in a divorce. I can help you understand what to expect in your specific case and explain which factors will apply to you in your particular situation.

Asset/Property Division Attorney Serving Mount Clemens, Michigan

If you are going through a divorce, you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact an attorney to help you understand your rights and resolve property division issues in the most favorable manner possible. At Bowden Law, PLLC, I use my extensive experience as a family law attorney to help clients navigate the property division process in Mount Clemens and throughout the state of Michigan. Reach out today to discuss the unique circumstances of your case.