9 May, 2024

What are the Michigan Divorce Laws Regarding Property?

Navigating through a divorce is never easy. It's a time filled with emotional challenges and significant life transitions. One crucial aspect of the...

Navigating through a divorce is never easy. It's a time filled with emotional challenges and significant life transitions. One crucial aspect of the many complexities during this period is property division.

At BlueWest Properties, we understand the sensitivity and importance of this topic. We’re here to support you during this journey and help you better understand the Michigan divorce laws regarding property. 

Dividing Separate Property vs. Marital Property

With Michigan divorce proceedings, understanding this distinction between separate property and marital property is crucial because it lays the foundation for how assets will be handled during the divorce process.

What Is Separate Property?

Separate property encompasses:

  • Assets that an individual owned before the marriage
  • Any gifts or inheritances received during the marriage
  • Assets acquired after separation or filing for divorce
  • Assets or appreciation traceable to any of the above sources.

For instance, this could include a condo owned before marriage or money inherited from a family member during marriage.

What Is Marital Property?

On the other hand, marital property encompasses:

  • Assets acquired from the start of the marriage until the judgment of divorce, regardless of when the parties separated or stopped living together.

Even assets acquired post-judgment but earned during the marriage fall under marital property, particularly in jurisdictions like Oakland County.

How Is Separate Property Divided?

In Michigan divorce cases, separate property is typically awarded to the individual who owns it – unless the non-owner spouse can demonstrate that they contributed to its acquisition, improvement, or accumulation. 

Alternatively, the court may consider such division if dividing separate property is necessary to ensure suitable support for the non-owner spouse, especially if marital property alone is insufficient.

How Is Marital Property Divided?

The division of marital property can be complex due to factors like accumulation, appreciation, and depreciation. Michigan divorce courts employ a date of valuation to promote rational economic behavior, aiming to maintain the value of assets without incentivizing manipulation by either party. 

Various factors are considered in dividing marital property, including the length of the marriage, the parties' needs and earning capacities, contributions to property acquisition, and the cause of the divorce, among others.

How To Determine the Value of Property

During a Michigan divorce, accurately valuing properties is crucial. The valuation process involves assessing the worth of real estate, personal belongings, investments, businesses, and other assets. When reaching an equitable distribution, Michigan divorce attorneys and judges rely on expert evaluations and documentation to assign a value to each asset.

If parties disagree on the value of assets, expert appraisers and financial professionals may be brought in to provide objective assessments. This comprehensive valuation ensures that each party receives a fair share of the marital estate based on the actual value of assets.

Empowering You Through Divorce: BlueWest Properties

It’s no secret that divorce proceedings can be emotionally and legally complex, especially regarding property division. At BlueWest Properties, we understand the intricacies of Michigan divorce laws regarding property division. With our extensive experience in real estate and our commitment to personalized service, we are well-equipped to assist you during this challenging time.

Our team has a proven track record of navigating divorce-related real estate transactions. Whether you're selling property as part of the divorce settlement or looking to buy new real estate to start afresh, we have the expertise to guide you through every step of the process.

By choosing BlueWest Properties, you're not just hiring real estate professionals; you're gaining a trusted partner who will advocate for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support you during this time.