While any divorce in Michigan can be complicated as a result of property division issues or child custody matters, most high asset divorces in the state will be complex due to the high value of property that will need to be distributed. In addition, much property in a high net worth divorce will be complicated to appraise and value, and it can also be difficult to distribute between the spouses. As you are getting ready for a high asset divorce in Michigan, the following are top tips for your planning purposes.
Understand How Property is Divided in a Michigan Divorce
As you are planning for a high net worth divorce in Michigan, it is essential to understand how property will be divided. Under Michigan law, courts follow a theory of equitable distribution when dividing marital assets and debts. Accordingly, even when spouses own a significant amount of property together, the court will still look at a variety of factors for determining how to distribute the property in a manner that is fair to both spouses.
Document Your Marital Assets and Debts
You should always document all of your marital assets and debts. Generally speaking, marital property will include all assets and debts acquired or incurred after the date of the marriage, unless that property is specifically excluded in an enforceable prenuptial agreement or because one of the spouses received it as a gift or an inheritance. When you document your property, you should also photocopy and documents pertaining to the purchase of the property, as well as any previous appraisal or valuation work. By documenting the complex property you own, you can help to prevent your spouse from trying to hide any assets.
Hire Your Own Appraiser
While you and your spouse may have used a reliable appraiser during your marriage, you should know that your spouse may have already received an appraisal for particular property from this person. In such a case, you should hire your own appraiser who can provide a neutral valuation of your property.
Work With a Forensic Accountant
In the event you are concerned that your spouse is hiding assets, a forensic accountant can help you to prepare by locating any hidden assets and providing information about property that has not yet been properly classified in the divorce.
Consider a Property Settlement Agreement
In high asset divorces, especially, reaching a property settlement agreement can allow the spouses to have a say in how their assets and debts are divided, and it can also speed up the divorce process. Even in a high net worth divorce, the parties often own property that has more sentimental value than market value. In these scenarios, a property settlement agreement can allow the spouses to play a role in deciding what property they each get to retain in the divorce.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Lawyer
When you are planning for a divorce in Michigan, it is extremely important to have an experienced Michigan high asset divorce attorney on your side. An advocate at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can assist you. Contact us to learn more about how we assist Michigan residents with a wide variety of divorce issues.