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How are Household Items Split in Divorce?

by | Jun 9, 2023 | Uncategorized |

Property division can be a complicated and contentious issue in divorce cases, particularly when it comes to valuable or complex assets. In Michigan, couples must consider a range of factors when dividing property, including the size of the estate, the length of the marriage, and the contributions of each spouse to the marriage. If you are going through a divorce and want to ensure that your property division is handled fairly and effectively, there are several key pieces of information you should provide to your divorce attorney.

Is Your Divorce Contested or Uncontested?

The first consideration is whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. If you and your spouse can agree on how to divide your assets, your divorce can proceed without a trial. That is called an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, either the parties or their counsel agree on how to divide household items and can do so through a settlement agreement. Once both parties agree, the agreement will be brought before a judge who will typically grant the settlement agreement as long as it is not unconscionable. 

However, if you cannot reach a compromise, the court will need to intervene, and a judge will use Michigan’s property division laws to make decisions about who gets what. That process is called a contested divorce. In this scenario, you may have limited say over the division of household items depending on the factors in your unique case.

Producing a List of Household Items

To avoid leaving the decision in the hands of a judge, it is best to work with your spouse to reach an agreement on how to divide your assets. This will involve making a comprehensive list of all your household items, as well as any assets and debts accrued during the marriage. You should also differentiate between marital and separate property, as any items you brought into the marriage will be yours to keep.

Once you have a complete list of your assets, you should have them evaluated to determine their fair market value. This will help you and your spouse come to an agreement on how to divide them fairly. If you have specific items that you are particularly attached to, you may want to consider settling your case out of court to ensure that you have more control over the final outcome.

Equitable Distribution

If your case does go to court, Michigan is an equitable distribution state, which means that assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. A judge will consider a range of factors when making decisions about property division, including each spouse’s earning capacity, financial needs, and contributions to the marriage. While a judge will not go through every household item and assign them to one party or the other, they will make a determination about how best to divide assets and debts fairly.

Ultimately, the key to successful property division in a divorce case is to be prepared and to work with a skilled Michigan family law attorney. By providing your attorney with a comprehensive list of your assets, as well as any other relevant information, you can ensure that your interests are represented throughout the divorce process. With the right support and guidance, you can reach a fair and equitable resolution that allows you to move forward with your life.

The Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can guide you through your divorce and help you deal with the property division involved. We will work hard to provide you with the best representation possible. To schedule a consultation, call (248) 646-7980 or fill out the online form.