Michigan Property Settlement Attorneys– Divorce
In Wayne, Macomb & Oakland County – Southfield, Detroit
As experienced divorce attorneys, we understand that the division of property and assets in your divorce can be difficult for you – both emotionally & financially. How your property is divided can have long term economic consequences for you. We have helped hundreds of men and women in Oakland, Macomb & Wayne County obtain the best possible property settlement and division of assets in their divorces – enabling them to successfully move on with a new and better chapter in their lives.
We are highly effective negotiators, and we will take every possible step to ensure that your rights are protected – and that you receive the best possible settlement in your divorce. We know the Wayne, Oakland and Macomb family law courts inside and out. We will aggressively fight for your interests. And we will do everything possible to keep your legal costs down and work with you to arrange legal fees you can afford.
What Property is Divided in a Divorce? Southfield, Detroit Attorney
All property acquired during the marriage is considered to be a “marital asset”. And all marital assets have to be included in the property settlement – which means everything must either be awarded to one or the other of the spouses, or divided up between them.
The marital home, bank accounts, savings, cars and other personal property must be “divided up” in a divorce. Also subject to division in a Michigan divorce are financial assets such as CDs, stocks, 401Ks and pensions.
Additionally, any debt acquired during the marriage must also be assigned between the parties.
How is Property Divided in a Divorce? Southfield Detroit Attorney
Generally, if the two divorcing spouses can agree upon the division of the couple’s assets and debts, the Court will approve their agreement: even if it is not exactly “in half” or an equal division.
If the parties cannot reach an agreement themselves, then their lawyers will try to negotiate a settlement that both spouses approve. However, if an agreement cannot be reached through the attorneys, then the Judge will determine “who gets what.”
What Happens if Spouses Can’t Agree on Property Division?
First the Judge will determine which assets are each party’s “separate property”, and which assets are part of the “marital estate”. Separate property will not have to be split or divided – but the assets (and debts) that are part of the marital estate will be divided between the two spouses by the judge.
Typically assets that were owned by one spouse prior to the marriage (for example, a business or a summer cottage) will usually be considered the separate property of the spouse who originally owned it – and it will not have to be divided. However, there is an exception to this. If the asset that was owned before the marriage was considered to be ‘merged’ into the marital property, then it will have to be divided. (For example: if the non-owning spouse made mortgage payments on the summer cottage.)
Additionally, in some situations, a trial court may “invade” one spouse’s separate property and order that it be split, if it is required to provide for the adequate post-divorce support of the other spouse.
Next, the Judge will attempt to divide the property as evenly as possible.
Bank accounts, CDs, etc. can easily be “split.” But homes and other assets can be more difficult to divide. If one spouse wishes to keep the house, for example, he or she may be required to “buy out” the other spouse’s half of the value of the home.
When dividing 401Ks, the general rule is that the spouse is entitled to ½ of the portion of the 401K or pension that accrued (was built up) during the course of the marriage.
So, as you can see, the division of property (and debts) is not a simple, clear cut formula. When the parties cannot agree, the Judge has considerable leeway to rule in favor of either spouse. For this reason it is extremely important that you have an aggressive and experienced family law attorney, who understands Michigan divorce law, fighting to protect your interests.
Experienced Divorce Attorney Danny Kallabat Can Help – Detroit, Southfield
Experienced family law attorney Danny Kallabat has successfully represented hundreds of divorcing individuals with property division issues. He offers aggressive representation and effective negotiation – at affordable rates – to ensure that your rights are always protected.
CLICK HERE or call Danny Kallabat today for a free, confidential consultation.