What Is Considered Separate Property in a Divorce?

When you have come to the decision to end your marriage you will have to also determine how to separate your property. This can be one of the biggest challenges of any divorce. However, there are certain aspects of property division that couples must follow. For example, Michigan is an equitable distribution state. That means that a judge may divide the marital property in any way that he or she deems fair. Equitable does not mean equal.

In every divorce, there are two kinds of property to be considered: marital and separate. Typically, any property that is acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. Usually that includes items like the marital home, cars, savings accounts, retirement accounts and investments. So what is considered separate property in divorce in Michigan?

Separate property generally refers to any asset or property that one spouse obtained before the marriage. It can also include any asset that one spouse receives via an inheritance or gift either before or during the marriage. If, for example, one spouse receives money when his or her parents die, then that would be considered separate property, in so long as that spouse keeps that asset separate from the marital assets. In other words, if you inherit money and you decide to deposit it into your joint account with your spouse then it could then be considered marital property.

The following are some of the other items that Michigan courts typically consider as separate property:

  • Social Security benefits are a separate asset, but they could be considered a marital asset when determining child and spousal support.
  • Stock Plans and Stock Options that are not yet vested or matured can be considered separate property.
  • Any interest, dividend or gain you receive on property, assets or financial accounts that are separate property are also deemed separate property.

It is also important to note that despite the laws on separate property in Michigan, there are other laws that allow for the invasion of separate property in certain situations.

Deciding how to divide your property when you go through a divorce can be difficult for most couples, but it doesn't have to be. If you need help determining how to divide your property in your divorce, then you should contact Michael A, Robbins, an experienced Michigan divorce attorney. Our knowledgeable team can assist you with your property division and ensure that you get a fair and balanced settlement in your divorce. Some people try to settle their divorce without the help of an attorney. However, many people don't fully understand the law and they end up losing out on a lot of assets. Make sure this doesn't happen to you. Contact us today at 248-646-7980, or click here.