Money, property, and all other financial matters of a couple are discussed during the divorce proceedings. To reiterate, getting divorced in Michigan follows the no-fault rule where there is no need to prove any fault at the side of either party. However, even with applying the no-fault clause, the real problem lies in dividing the properties, which our Southfield separation of assets attorneys are skilled in handling.
You have seen many movies where a relationship ended in a bitter divorce. There, you have noticed that none of the parties would budge when it comes to the couple’s properties. Of course, if your spouse cheated and he applied for a divorce in Michigan, you would probably not want to give him everything that you had when you were married, right?
Hence, property, debt division, and other money matters make the divorce very complicated, even with the no-fault clause.
With that, let our Southfield divorce lawyers help answer some of your common questions about this part of the divorce proceedings in Michigan.
What properties are divided?
Generally, in the absence of a valid prenuptial agreement, all of the property and debt incurred during the marriage is considered marital property. This would include the following:
- Real Estate;
- Pension funds;
- Retirement accounts; and
- All other investments of the spouses.
The spouses would also divide the debts incurred, the mortgage (if applicable), and all of the loans incurred while the marriage was existing.
What Happens If The Parties Don’t Agree On The Division Of Property
As much as possible, the State of Michigan does not want to meddle with the affairs of the spouses. This is why the no-fault clause does not ask questions about the circumstances of the marriage as long as there is proof that the marriage has broken down beyond repair.
In some cases, the State of Michigan would have to intervene when the parties do not agree on the division of the property or separation of assets. This is where a judge comes in and decides on the many different factors related to the spouses, their marriage, their properties, and their family.
To decide, the judge is mandated to look at the following factors:
The Length of the Marriage
Some marriages last longer than others, so they accumulate more properties as partners than they do as individuals. This is considered by the judge also to consider the contribution of the non-working spouse to the family’s life. This is where the second factor also comes in.
The parties’ contribution to the marital estate
Does only one of the parties only work? What is the contribution of the other party to their property accumulation? If one of the spouses is staying at home to take care of the household while taking care of the children, this contribution is considered part of the marital estate and is also considered.
Your age and health
If you got divorced at an age where it is no longer possible for you to get a career and start over, the judge also considers this factor. Some divorces happen when one of the parties gets love somewhere else. In some cases we have handled, the spouse left at home had to give up his job and the possibility of a career to take care of the family. This makes it unfair if the filing spouse is the spouse at fault.
Hence, Michigan law is clear that the age and health of the spouses are considered in the division of the property.
The Standard of Living during the marriage
This is where the lifestyle of the spouses comes in. As much as possible, the judge would not want the spouses to change their lifestyle and standard of living because of the divorce. The parties must be honest in this aspect.
Your needs and your current living situation
The judge also considers the needs of both parties—the current living situation and what will happen after the divorce is a significant consideration.
Keep in mind that the judge will not consider this as an independent factor. The judge will look at the factors listed above in total to be fair and impartial in his judgment.
What If I Had Property Before The Marriage
Generally, separate property owned by the parties before the marriage redounds back to them at the time of a divorce. The party who initially owns the property is entitled to get the parcel back.
What Happens To Our Debt?
Dividing debt during divorce is even more tricky and will be discussed in another article. To give you a general answer, debt is divided fairly among the spouses as well. The parties are expected to pay for half of the total debt of the spouses at the time of the divorce.
The tricky part is when one of the parties does not agree to pay half of the debt, especially if they are not the one who incurred it. In which case, a judge will have to intervene once again.
Let Haque Legal Help You With Your Divorce
Now that you know the basics about dividing your property upon divorce, it is time to get down to it. We are qualified to assist and help protect your property. We can assist with defending you in a divorce proceeding. It is important to know that you also have a team to help you with your specific needs.
Our law firm is dedicated to ensuring that the law will protect those innocent and the full extent of justice will be used.
The article that you have read is based on general applications of the law. It is not legal advice, and it is not to be construed as any legal consultation with the firm. No client-attorney relationship is created when you read the articles we have provided.
Let us help you out.
Call us immediately if you need a Southfield family law lawyer to help you during your divorce proceedings and property division proceedings. If you have any problem with the law or are seeking justice and truth, our numbers are standing by to take your call.