When an engaged couple in Michigan is making their wedding registry, they are likely envisioning a future that is happy and a marriage that will last, “until death do us part.” However, not every marriage is meant to last and some couples in Michigan will ultimately divorce. If so, they will need to divide their marital assets.
What is marital property versus separate property?
In general, most property obtained during the course of the marriage will be considered marital property. This is regardless of whose name is on the title of the property. Both spouses have a claim to marital property, and thus marital property will be subject to division in the event of a divorce.
In contrast, separate property is that which a spouse owns prior to becoming married. Separate property belongs to the spouse that owns it and is not included in the divisible estate. Certain assets, such as inheritances, may be considered separate property even if they were obtained during the course of the marriage. However, if separate property is commingled with marital property, it will lose its separate nature and will be considered marital property.
In Michigan, marital property is divided based on the legal doctrine of “equitable distribution.” This means that the property will be divided in a manner that is fair, even if this does not lead to an exact 50/50 split. For example, if one spouse needs more property than the other or if one spouse takes on more marital debt than the other, this could lead to a fair, but unequal, distribution of marital property.
Learn more about property division in Michigan
Property division in a Michigan divorce can be a complex issue that many people are unfamiliar with. Therefore, it is important that those seeking a divorce get the help they need to understand their rights and options. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about property division in Michigan are encouraged to visit our firm’s website for further information.