Dividing Property in Oakland County and Wayne County
Property division (“asset division”) can lead to conflict in any divorce. After years of marriage, it can be difficult to separate and divide your assets. “Marital property” generally means all assets and property which were acquired or earned during the marriage. Common examples include homes, cars, furniture or furnishings, art, retirement accounts, pension plans, savings accounts, retirement accounts and benefits, and all other assets or investments accumulated during the marriage. The name is on the title or ownership document is not definitive; in most cases does not matter at all. If the asset was accumulated during the marriage, it is probably marital property.
What about “separate property?” In general terms, property received during the marriage, by inheritance or gift from outside the marriage, may be considered separate property. If that asset is kept separate, not commingled with marital property, and no marital property or efforts contribute to its maintenance or appreciation, then it ight retain its separate quality. A divorce court may, however, divide any increase in value, during the marriage, of a separate asset, if marital income, assets, or efforts contributed to that increase in value.
So, how does everything get divided? Do we have to liquidate everything and divide the money? In most cases, no. Some assets may be sold, and others allocated solely to one spouse or the other. Some assets, like retirement accounts, can be divided or transferred without liquidating them, and without incurring income tax penalties, if done properly.