Alimony and care for minor children may not be issues in all Michigan divorce cases, but the majority of couples will be required to address their assets and debts during the proceedings. A few US states follow the rule of community property, but the Michigan property division statute entails equitable distribution. In sum, a court will divide all assets and debts between the parties in a way that is just and fair. Alternatively, when the parties are working toward a marital settlement agreement, it is necessary for both to review their property and financial obligations as part of the negotiations.
As a result, one of the most important steps is creating a list of all assets and debts. This task can be challenging as you assess what items to include, and it is also one that requires your participation and input. You can count on your Bloomfield Hills property division attorney to handle all legal aspects of the divorce process, but some background information and tips on preparing your list are useful.
Reasons to Be Thorough With the Marital Estate
What you are doing when making your list is establishing the marital estate, i.e., the items that the court will address when assessing property division. Unless the judge has a comprehensive inventory of all properties and debts, it is not possible to make an equitable distribution of them between the parties. When you are trying to resolve property division by agreement, a meticulous listing of these items is also essential. Your agreement could be skewed in favor of one or the other party because certain assets or debts were not considered during discussions.
In addition, another reason to be extremely thorough in creating your list is that it can also help you detect attempts by your spouse to hide assets or engage in other misconduct. They will also be making a list, and omitting items is a serious violation of Michigan divorce laws.
Tips for Listing Assets and Debts for Divorce
Sometimes, the biggest hurdle with this important task is making time to sit down and tackle it. Turn on some music, grab your favorite beverage, and keep in mind the following tips:
- Create two categories for both assets and debts, separating them by when they were acquired or incurred.
- You will include all real estate, vehicles, interests in a business, bank accounts, and other big-ticket items. Do not overlook other assets, however, such as furniture, art, and digital assets.
- As you work through the list, make sure to gather all paperwork related to assets and debts. Organize all deeds, titles, statements, tax records, and other documents.
- Make notes about a proposed equitable distribution, which could be helpful for settlement discussions.
An Oakland County Property Division Lawyer Will Guide You
Making a list of all assets and debts is a necessary task in divorce for both court proceedings and settlement negotiations. However, it is not so daunting when you have an experienced Michigan divorce attorney to assist. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today for more information.