Michigan Divorce Education Series – Property division
Divorce in Michigan – Property Division: This video Webinar is a comprehensive explanation of Michigan law and strategy covering property division. Key learnings and strategies are discussed. I am hopeful you find it both empowering and educational. A summary of the topics covered is provided below. (run time – approx. 20 minutes)
An outline of the major topic areas is provided below:
What is Property?
Property are all assets and liabilities, and is classified into two types:
Real Property (land) and Personal Property (everything else).
Personal property includes bank accounts to retirement accounts, record collections to credit card debits.
What Property is Divided in a Divorce?
Marital property, is property acquired “by reason of the marriage” or “during the course of the marriage”. As a general rule, (but not always) courts look at property acquired from the date of marriage through the date of divorce. Byington vs. Byington.
Property acquired during cohabitation is not marital property. Reeves vs. Reeves.
What Property is NOT Divided in a Divorce?
Separate property, being that property acquired prior to the marriage or after the divorce.
How is Property Divided?
Marital property must be divided ‘equitably’. It must be fair – but there is no set formula. There is nothing in Michigan law that requires a 50/50 division of property. Skilled lawyers use various techniques to help their clients achieve the best possible division. Sparks vs. Sparks.
What Factors are Considered During Property Division?
- source of the property
- contributions of the parties
- number of years of marriage
- needs of the parties
- parties earning abilities
- cause of the divorce
- age of the parties
- health of the parties
It is my hope that this webinar will bring comfort to the person that you may be worried about. Divorce in Michigan can be complicated and at Findling law, a Michigan divorce specialist will help you reach your goals. This webinar is part of the Michigan Divorce Education Series, which provides a comprehensive look at all aspects of divorce in Michigan, providing you with the answers you need to move forward with your life and be happy again.
Skilled lawyers use various techniques to help their clients including valuation methodologies and tax effecting assets.
We want to be here for you. If you have a question about how Michigan divorce law would apply to your situation, call, email or set up a confidential consultation. We are ready to help.
Michigan Divorce Property Articles by The Divorce Guy.
- How to divide Retirement Accounts: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/how-to-divide-retirement-accounts-in-a-divorce/
- Avoiding a 10% penalty: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/retirement-and-divorce-without-a-10-penalty/
- Dividing pension benefits: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/dividing-pension-benefits-not-all-language-is-created-equa/
- The dangers of commingling property: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/what-was-mine-is-now-ours-the-dangers-of-commingling-assets/
- Dividing veterans benefits: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/the-veterans-benefit-myth-va-benefits-and-divorce/
- Fault and property division: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/the-fault-of-a-party-is-a-proper-consideration-in-property-division-court-of-appeals-agrees-with-findling-law/
- Unpaid taxes and innocent spouse relief: https://www.thedivorceguy.com/lindsay-lohan-pamela-anderson-nicolas-cage-wesley-snipes-and-you-innocent-spouse-relief/
Michigan property statutes and relevant case law:
MCR 3.211(A). Requires that a Judgment of divorce must address these property interests:
- A division of the real and personal property brought to and acquired during the marriage as well a the parties debts. MCL 552.19, .23, .101, .103, .401; MCR 3.211(B)(3)l Yeo v Yeo, 214 Mich App 598.
- A statement confirming that the divorce judgment terminates each spouse’s interest as a beneficiary in life insurance on the other spouse’s life or providing otherwise. MCL 552.101(2)-(3); MCR 3.211(B)(1)
- A determination of the rights of both spouses in pension, annuity, or retirement benenefits. MCL 552.101(4)l MCR 3.211(B)(2)
MCL 552.22: The court may require the disclosure of property interests under oath.
Leverich v Leverich, 340 Mich 133 (1957): Marital property is property accumulated through the joint efforts of the parties during their marriage.
Byington v Byington, Generally marital property includes any property accumulated up to the date of the judgment of divorce.
Wilson v Wilson, Marital property includes property acquired until the parties manifested an intent to lead separate lives.
MCL 552.401: Statutory exception to the doctrine of non-invasion of separate property. (1) Has the claimant spouse contributed to the “acquisition, improvement or accumulation of the property.
MCL552.23: MCL 552.401: Statutory exception to the doctrine of non-invasion of separate property. (2) The award to the claimant spouse from the marital assets is “insufficient for the suitable support and maintenance of the claimant and any children in his or her care.
Dart v Dart, 460 Mich 573 (1999): Under most circumstances, property received by a married party as an inheritance but kept separate from marital property is considered separate property and not subject to distribution. Court’s still have discretion to award a portion to the non-owner spouse upon showing of contribution or need.
Bone v Bone, 148 Mich App 834 (1986): A spouse’s separate assets or appreciation in their value may be included in the marital estate.
Sands v Sands, 192 Mich App 698 (1992) Where a spouse attempts to conceal assets are persistent and repeatably in contempt of court, it is abuse of discretion for a trial court not to take punitive action.
Sparks v Sparks, 440 Mich 141 (1992) The court must use its discretion to divide property equitably under all the circumstances, while there is no rigid formula the court must consider the duration of the marriage, the contribution of the parties, the age of the parties, the lifestyle of the parties, the necessities and circumstances of the parties, the paste relations and conduct of the parties.
Reeves v Reeves, 226 Mich App 490 (1997) Active appreciation of separate property is typically considered marital property; passive appreciation remains separate property. An increase in value of an asset during the marriage can be a marital asset.
Magee v Magee, 218 Mich App 158 (1996) Pensions are considered part of the marital estate and should be divided as part of the property settlement.
Everett v Everett, 195 Mich App 50 (1992) Vested stock options are a marital asset and may be divided as part of the property settlement. Non-vested options should be valued differently.
Postill v Postill, 116 Mich App 578 (1982) A tort lawsuit and any damages is property and therefore is subject to division in a divorce proceeding.
Bywater v Bywater 128, Mich App 396 (1983) A personal injury award for pain and suffering is personal to the injured party and should be taken into account in the same manner as separate property.
We are here to help you navigate this journey by focusing on your goals. If you have any questions concerning any aspect of the law, let me know. My direct line is 248-399-3300 or toll free: 877-968-7347.
Let our exceptional legal team help you . . .,
Let it be our privilege to help.
By: Daniel Findling
The Divorce Guy, Michigan Divorce Attorneys and Specialists