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Asset Division Attorney in Ypsilanti, Michigan

As harsh as divorces can be, there still comes a time when the two sides will have to sit down and negotiate the division of marital assets. This is often an emotional and possibly contentious process, especially when legal issues arise such as disagreements about child custody and finances. It is imperative during these discussions to have an attorney, knowledgeable about Michigan law, who can protect your best interests and fight for what is fair.

Attorney John Bailey of The Law Offices of John R. Bailey has over 30 years of experience representing clients in divorces where asset division is a substantial factor. He has the knowledge and experience to defend your rights and ensure quality representation for clients in Ypsilanti, Belleville, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Portage, Michigan.

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Community Property vs. Separate Property

Under Michigan law, there are two categories of property in a divorce: community (also known as marital) property and separate property.

Community Property

Michigan is a community property state and recognizes any assets accumulated throughout the marriage as belonging equally to both spouses. When it comes time to split those assets in a divorce, a court divides them equally between each party. Some examples of community property include:

  • Wages earned 

  • Home furnishings

  • Vehicles

  • Investment accounts

  • Real estate

Separate Property

Separate property is any assets owned by a spouse prior to the marriage or received during the marriage as a gift or inheritance (specifically to one spouse). Unlike community property, separate property is generally awarded to the party it originally belonged or was gifted to. However, in some instances, separate property can become marital property and will conclude as marital property at the time of division. Examples include:

  • Separate bank accounts

  • Inheritances or gifts specifically given to just one spouse

  • Proceeds from a personal injury claim

  • Assets acquired after the dissolution of a marriage

How Are Assets Divided?

Under Michigan law, marital property is divided using equitable distribution. This means that courts will divide property based on what is fair under the circumstances of each case.

When the divorce reaches the court system, there are two avenues that divorce proceedings can take: contested and uncontested.

Contested Divorce

As the name suggests, a contested divorce occurs when the parties cannot agree on specific terms of the divorce, whether it be asset and property division, spousal or child support, or other details related to the case.

Due to their contentious nature, contested divorces usually take longer, are costlier, and can often be more stressful for the parties. This is especially true when children and assets are brought into the equation. Most often, in contested divorce cases, the court will determine the outcome of the case, which can sometimes be negative for both parties involved.

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorces occur when both parties are amicable and agreeable on all aspects of the divorce. Since these are generally good-natured, an uncontested divorce can be resolved with a marital dissolution agreement, which is a document that lays out the terms that are agreed upon by the partners. The document is written by each party and their attorneys.

Factors Considered in Asset Division

The court considers several factors to determine the division of assets in a divorce and is given the discretion to decide what is fair to both parties which is not necessarily a 50-50 split. The courts will look at some of the following factors to determine the division of assets:

  • Marital fault

  • Loss of continuing benefit

  • The disparity in earning capacities

  • Health and physical conditions

  • Age differences

  • Size of estate

  • Anticipated inheritances

  • Gifts to a spouse

Asset Division Attorney
Serving Ypsilanti, Michigan

Understanding the process of dividing assets in a divorce is crucial. Trying to divide marital assets and work out a feasible divorce settlement with your estranged spouse can make the entire process even more daunting. Attorney John Bailey has helped hundreds of clients in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and surrounding communities navigate the process. Contact The Law Offices of John R. Bailey to set up a consultation today. He also proudly serves clients in Belleville, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, and Portage, Michigan.