Anyone who is getting divorced in Michigan is likely to have concerns about the division of marital property and whether they will be able to retain some of the assets that are most important to them. If you have recently filed for divorce or you have been served with divorce papers, you might be wondering, “Will I get to keep my house, my car, and my property after my divorce?” The answer to that question depends upon a number of factors, including the classification of the property as marital or separate (i.e., non-marital) property under Michigan law and whether there are other additional assets and debts from the marriage. Since Michigan is an equitable distribution state, all marital property, which includes assets and debts, get divided between the spouses in a manner that the court decides is fair to both spouses based on a number of relevant factors. Separate property is not divided.
How will this play out in your divorce? The following are some questions you should ask yourself when you are seeking to understand whether you will be able to stay in your home and retain your vehicle and other assets after your divorce.
How is the Property Going to be Classified?
The first and most significant question is how this property will be classified. Are the house, the car, and your other assets likely to be classified as marital property such that they will be divisible, or will they be classified as separate property such that they will not be divided in your divorce? Or will these assets be a mix of marital and separate property?
Generally, any property acquired after the date of marriage will be marital property unless it was expressly inherited or received by one of the spouses as a gift, or acquired with one of the spouse’s separate assets. Property acquired prior to the marriage typically will be classified as separate property.
How Will Equitable Distribution Factors be Applied to Your Case?
Say, for example, that certain personal assets of yours that you want to keep are classified as separate property, but your house and your car are classified as marital property. Whether or not you will be able to retain these assets may depend in part on how much additional property exists that can be fairly distributed to your spouse, and how equitable distribution factors in Michigan will be applied to your case. Courts consider factors such as the length of the marriage, the health of the parties, the standard of living established during the marriage, the age of the parties, and many other potential factors.
Can You Work Out a Settlement Agreement?
If you really want to keep the house, the car, and certain other assets, you may be able to work with your attorney to negotiate a settlement agreement with your spouse.
Contact a Divorce Lawyer in Michigan
When you have any questions about divorce and property division, you should seek assistance from our Michigan divorce attorneys as soon as you can. The property division process can be complicated, and it is important to have an attorney on your side who can fight for your rights to certain assets. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to begin working with a dedicated lawyer today.