Once upon a time, two people fell in love, got married and assumed they would live happily ever after. Fast forward a few months, a few years or even a few decades and that vision of happily ever after has changed. On almost a daily basis, at least one Michigan couple decides that divorce is a part of their happily ever after.
Property division is an important part of the divorce process. Michigan is an equitable distribution state. This means that the court will look at the marital assets of the couple, review the contributions each has made and determine what is considered to be a fair or equitable distribution. This does not mean that each party will receive half of the marital assets, though that may be the case. The division is determined on a case by case basis.
One of the first steps in the property division process is to identify all marital assets; some of these assets are easy to identify. For example, the family home, cars and bank accounts quickly come to mind. Other assets, however, may require some thought and research to identify. These may include retirement accounts, Christmas clubs, vacation property, jewelry, furs, cash value of life insurance policies, furniture and a number of other such items. While each item may appear to be nominal, they can quickly add up in value.
Reality is that not all Michigan couples will remain happily married. For some, filing for divorce is in their future. When this is the case, identifying all pertinent assets will go a long way in protecting that future. Experienced legal counsel can assist in working through the property division details.
Source: family.findlaw.com, “Checklist: Dividing Marital Property“, Accessed on Nov. 5, 2017