Trusted Attorney Helping With Complicated Property Settlement Cases in Waterford
The division of marital property is an area of divorce that can become a source of heated arguments, especially in cases of high-asset divorce cases, or, alternatively, where there is substantial debt to be divided. Spouses may disagree over who brought what into a marriage or who is entitled to ownership of cars, money, property and other belongings.
Common myths surrounding the division of property in a divorce may suggest that one spouse is entitled to half of all property. In Michigan, however, this is not necessarily the case. Robert F. White has the experience and knowledge necessary for property division and knows what steps to take to help ensure that your property is distributed in a way that works for you during your divorce.
Defining Marital Property
Just what exactly qualifies as marital property? The simple definition is anything with exchangeable value or anything that contributes to an individual’s wealth. That can include anything a spouse owns or that generates wealth—from cars and furniture to retirement plans and more. If you own a business, that too may be divided during your divorce.
How Marital Property Is Divided
One of the most enduring myths surrounding the marital property division during a divorce is that Michigan adheres to the 50/50 rule. This suggests that no matter what, a spouse is entitled to half of everything in a divorce. The 50/50 rule implies that both spouses equally contributed to the family’s wealth and should be granted the appropriate rights to property in a divorce. For better or worse, Michigan does not utilize the 50/50 rule, but rather has an “equitable distribution” standard. Equitable does not mean equal, but rather means "fair." Of course, what is "fair" is often the subject of substantial debate, which means that unless the parties settle beforehand, a judge will review each case and divide property "fairly." It may mean a 50/50 split, or it may mean one partner will get much more or much less than the other.
Factors that can influence how a judge divides marital property include:
The separate assets and financial status of each party
The income and earning capacity of each party
The conduct of the parties towards each other during the marriage
The future needs of either party, including retirement planning
Bob White will help you understand the process of dividing marital property and create a plan for protecting your property and securing the assets you deserve.
Divorce and Debt: Property Division
Like property assets, debt can be considered a shared responsibility during a divorce and may be subject to division between spouses during a divorce. Financial hardships have left many couples underwater on mortgages and behind on payments. In dividing debt, as with dividing assets, a court will again examine the details of your divorce case and try to divide debt "equitably." Our lawyers will help you understand the role that debt will play in your divorce.