Collectibles, antiques and art can make up a significant portion of your marital assets in Michigan. According to the equitable distribution laws in the state, these items will be subject to a fair division depending on the circumstances of your marriage, time of acquisition and other factors. Here’s what to expect.
Michigan divorce laws
Starting off, Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. This means you or your partner can initiate the separation process by stating that your marriage is irreconcilably broken down and there is no reasonable likelihood for you to repair it. However, you can still use fault if it can influence the division of assets or support payments.
Michigan follows an equitable distribution method when it comes to the division of assets and liabilities. This means the court will divide any assets or debts acquired during the marriage as fairly and equitably as possible — although not necessarily equally — depending mainly on factors such as the length of your marriage, its quality, each partner’s financial circumstances, contributions to the marriage and other considerations.
Collectibles, antiques and art in divorce
If you acquired your art collection, collectibles or antiques before your marriage, the court will consider them separate e property. In this case, they will not be subject to division during the divorce. However, if your partner did anything to increase their value, like repairing or improving them, the court may consider such efforts and award a portion of the increased value to him or her.
On the other hand, pieces of art acquired during your marriage will be subject to division in accordance with Michigan’s divorce laws. As a general rule, the court will first decide who gets to keep the pieces of art. This will mainly depend on factors such as each partner’s emotional connection to them and how they fit into future plans. If that is not possible or if it would be unfair, they will order you to sell the art pieces and then divide the proceeds equitably.
Navigating the intricate processes of asset division during divorce can be daunting, especially when it involves valuable collectibles and art pieces. It’s essential to approach these situations with a clear understanding of Michigan divorce laws and your rights, ensuring that the outcome respects the financial and emotional worth of your assets.