How Assets Get Divided in Michigan Divorce

The Shaw Law Firm  | Divorce

Under Michigan divorce law, most property acquired during a marriage is considered to be “marital property”.   If the parties get divorced, the court will generally divide marital property equally between the two parties.

Factors considered in the distribution of assets

If one party does something to waste or dispose of marital assets before filing,  the court may award the other spouse a more significant portion of the remaining assets. This might happen if one spouse liquidated an investment account to cover a gambling debt.

If the earning potential of one spouse is greater than the other, the court may designate a more significant portion of marital assets to the spouse that earns less. This is particularly likely if the lower-income spouse has custody of the children from the marriage.

Separate property

Some types of property obtained by spouses during the marriage are separate and are not subject to equitable distribution, such as an inheritance, if the receiving party has kept the inheritance separate.  The receiving spouse would have to maintain the asset as individual property and not comingle it with other marital property.

If a spouse can show that they owned a particular property before the marriage, they can ask the court to exempt these assets from any property distribution. Determining the distribution of assets in a divorce is a complex process. The type of assets and position of each party in the marriage are important factors.