Divorce can be expensive, and the aftermath of a divorce can come as a financial shock to many Michigan residents. Married couples become accustomed to sharing costs of a single household, and in many marriages, one of the parties is the primary earner while the other party stays at home to raise children or to take care of other domestic duties. In these situations, the spouse who remained at home during the marriage can experience financial problems paying for a divorce, or locating information about marital assets in order to ensure that all property is accurately classified and is divided according to the terms of equitable distribution.
Under Michigan law, courts can make decisions about certain financial issues, while others may require experts to assist with the case, such as forensic accountants or appraisers. The following are some of the most common financial issues of a Michigan divorce that could arise in your case.
Hidden or Concealed Assets
The issue of hidden or concealed assets is one of the most common financial issues in divorce cases. In a divorce, both spouses are required to disclose all assets and debts so that the court can classify the property as separate or marital property (in order to divide marital property). In some cases, one of the spouses will try to hide or conceal assets that will be classified as marital property so that they will not be divided in the divorce. That spouse might transfer assets to a family member or friend, or might fail to disclose and then literally hide physical property, such as a painting or rare book. Often, the spouse with concerns about the hidden assets will need to hire a forensic accountant to locate missing or concealed property.
Complex Property Valuations
Certain types of property are more difficult to value than others. Complex property valuations are a common financial issue in divorces, and it may be necessary to work with a specialized appraiser to determine the value of a bespoke business or a distinctive art collection.
Commingled property is property that has characteristics of separate and marital property because separate assets have been mixed with marital assets (or debts). This common financial issue can require the court to attempt to trace out separate property from marital property to ensure that all property is accurately classified and divided.
Difficulty for One Spouse to Pay for a Divorce Attorney
When one spouse is a primary earner, the other spouse can have difficulty paying for the divorce case. Michigan law allows the spouse who needs money to pay for the divorce to seek attorney’s fees from the other party. Attorney fees may be awarded when the party seeking them proves that he or she cannot bear the expense of the divorce and the other party is able to pay, or when expenses have been incurred because of the other party’s failure to comply with a court order.
Learn More from a Divorce Attorney in Michigan
If you have concerns about financial issues in your divorce, or if you need help seeking attorney’s fees during your divorce case, do not hesitate to get in touch with one of the dedicated and experienced Michigan divorce attorneys at our firm. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today to speak with an advocate about money and your divorce.