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Understanding Michigan’s property division laws

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2023 | DIVORCE - Divorce

Michigan is an equitable distribution state regarding property division in divorce. This means that when a couple gets divorced, their marital property is divided in a fair and just way but not necessarily equal. 

Here’s what you need to know about property division laws in Michigan:

What is marital property?

Marital property includes any property or assets that were acquired during the marriage. This includes real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, and personal property like furniture and vehicles. It also includes any debts that were incurred during the marriage.

What is separate property?

Separate property includes any property or assets acquired before the marriage or after the divorce was filed. It also includes any property inherited or gifted to one spouse during the marriage and not subsequently commingled with marital property.

How is property divided in Michigan?

Michigan takes an equitable approach, rather than dividing things 50/50. When dividing property in Michigan, the court will consider several factors to determine what is fair and just, including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The contributions of each spouse to the marriage
  • The earning capacity and income of each spouse
  • The health and age of each spouse
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The needs of each spouse

Once the court has considered these factors, it will divide the marital property in a way it deems fair and just but not necessarily equal. This means that one spouse may receive a larger portion of the marital property if it is determined to be fair based on the above factors.

What about debt?

Debt incurred during the marriage is also subject to division in Michigan. This means both spouses may be responsible for paying off marital debts, even if only one spouse incurred the debt. It is important to note that debts incurred before the marriage or after the divorce filing are not subject to division.

In conclusion, property division laws in Michigan aim to ensure that marital property is divided fairly and justly, considering various factors. If you are going through a divorce in Michigan, it is essential to know your rights.