Family Law Is All We Do
Property Settlement in a Michigan Divorce
Does my spouse get half of everything?
In a Michigan divorce, the parties involved in a divorce are generally each awarded half of the assets and half of the debts that accrued during the marriage.
- There are many exceptions to this general statement, including exceptions regarding non-marital property, inheritance, and property owned prior to the marriage.
- Another exception to this general statement is the issue of fault. In a Michigan divorce, the issue of fault in the breakdown of the marriage may cause a court to award more of the assets to one party.
- Due to these exceptions, and some others, you will need to discuss the particulars in your specific case with a Michigan divorce attorney to determine what your potential settlement may be.
Determining your marital assets and debts
Who gets what?
In a Michigan divorce, the parties to a divorce usually settle their property rights after negotiation.
- Negotiations may be done between the spouses themselves, with the assistance or their attorneys, or with the assistance of their attorneys and a neutral third party mediator.
- If the parties come to an agreement as to how to divide their property, they must be absolutely sure that they understand and agree to the settlement, because in a Michigan divorce, once the judgment of divorce is entered, the property settlement may not be modified, except in cases of fraud or clerical error.
What if we can't agree?
If a settlement cannot be reached, the matter can be decided at binding arbitration or by the Court after a trial. In determining property issues at arbitration or trial, a Michigan Family Court Judge will usually consider the following:
- Length of the marriage
- Contributions of the parties to the marital estate
- Age of the parties
- Health of the parties
- Life status of the parties
- Necessities and circumstances of the parties
- Earning abilities of the parties
- Past relations and conduct of the parties
- General principles of equity