What is the Equitable Distribution of Property?
In a Michigan divorce, couples divide their property using equitable distribution rules. Unlike community property states, where a couple splits their marital property equally, 50/50, an equitable distribution state requires that the couple split the marital estate equitably, but not necessarily equally. This means that depending on the facts of your case, you could be entitled to a greater share of assets in your Michigan divorce. To learn more about the equitable distribution of property for your divorce case, call or contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office today.
Separate, Marital, and Commingled Property
All property of a couple can be categorized as separate, marital, or commingled property. Separate property is all assets and debts that a person brings with them into the marriage. After a divorce, a person walks away with his or her separate property. Marital property is everything that was acquired during the course of the marriage. This includes all real estate, personal property, financial accounts, debts, and more.
Commingled property is property that began as separate property, but marital funds were used to pay for, improve, or otherwise help with the separate property. Those items then become commingled property for the purposes of a Michigan divorce. The most common example of commingled property is when one spouse enters the marriage with a home that the couple lives in and improves or pays the mortgage on during the marriage. The home starts as separate property and becomes commingled. A couple keeps all separate property but must equitably divide marital and commingled property during the divorce process.
Equitable Distribution of Property
In a Michigan divorce, all marital and commingled property must be equitably divided between spouses. A number of factors can affect the overall distribution of property between spouses during divorce negotiations. If one spouse accrued significant credit card or gambling debts, he or she may ultimately be solely responsible for those liabilities. If one spouse committed adultery during the marriage and used marital assets to pay for the affair, the other spouse may be entitled to more marital assets in the divorce to offset the loss.
Property can also be distributed unevenly as a form of lump-sum alimony or to provide additional assets to the custodial parent of minor children. There are many reasons why the marital property may not be split equally between spouses. However, it is important that you speak with an experienced divorce attorney about the division of marital property before accepting an agreement because a lawyer will understand all of the legal, financial, and tax implications of accepting certain marital assets over others.
Call the Office or Contact Us Today
Having a knowledgeable divorce attorney by your side can mean the difference between getting the assets you deserve from your Michigan divorce and potentially leaving significant money on the table. To learn more about the equitable distribution of property and for a free evaluation of your case, call the office or contact us today at the Van Den Heuvel Law Office to speak with an experienced divorce attorney now.