There are many kinds of valuable assets that need to be classified and, in many situations, ultimately divided as marital property in a Michigan divorce. As you may already know, Michigan law requires all marital assets to be properly classified, valued, and then distributed according to equitable distribution. In other words, the court classifies property (either as marital or separate property, based on the characteristics of the property), and then it divides all marital property in a manner that it determines to be equitable to the parties. To decide what an equitable distribution of marital property looks like, the court considers a wide variety of factors such as the ages and health of the parties, the parties’ earning potential, and the standard of living during the marriage, to name a few.
If you have an antique collection or another collectible collection; and it is classified as marital property, it will be divided. The following information can help you to plan for the distribution of your collection.
Is the Antiques Collection Marital or Separate Property?
There is a possibility that your antiques collection or other collectible collection will not actually be subject to distribution because it is separate property. In order for property to be classified as “separate” or “non-marital” and thus not subject to division, one of the following typically must be true:
- Antiques collection was specifically excluded from property division in your premarital agreement in the event of divorce;
- Antiques collection was acquired prior to the date of the marriage;
- Antiques collection was acquired during the marriage but entirely with separate assets;
- Antiques collection was inherited during the marriage; or
- Antiques collection was a gift from a party other than the spouse.
If your antiques collection is not marital property, it will not be divided by the court.
Antiques Collection Will Need to be Valued
In order for the court to properly distribute the antiques collection—if it is in fact classified as marital property—the court will need to know the value of the collection. You should provide any documents you have concerning purchase prices, insurance valuations, and appraisals that could help. You may also want to hire a separate appraiser to provide you with an up-to-date insurance and auction estimate for the antiques collection given that values for these kinds of assets cab fluctuate significantly over time.
Court Will Consider Equitable Distribution Factors
Once the court has valued the antiques collection and all other marital assets and debts, then it will look at the antiques collection in relation to all other marital property. In looking at the property together, the court will consider some of the factors we mentioned above, along with others it deems appropriate, to divide the value of the property in an equitable manner between the spouses. Equitable distribution can, in some rare cases, result in an equal or 50/50 distribution, but this is uncommon.
Contact Our Michigan Divorce Lawyers
Dividing any complex property in a Michigan divorce requires assistance from an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer. One of the advocates at our firm can speak with you today about your divorce case. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to learn more about how we can assist you.