Assets and Property Division

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Grand Rapids Property Distribution Lawyers

Sound Counsel for Asset Division Matters in West Michigan

One crucial issue in a divorce is the division of property. Michigan is an equitable distribution state. That means a judge will divide assets in a way that is "just and reasonable" (MCL § 552.19). Although "just and reasonable" may mean that property is split equally between spouses, that is not always the case. If the judge determines that something other than a 50/50 split is fair, they may divide assets that way. For instance, one spouse may receive more marital property because they are also taking on more marital debt. Property division matters are often extremely complicated and, depending on the situation, highly contentious. Because of that, reach out to an experienced lawyer for sound guidance throughout the process.

At Tanis Schultz, our Grand Rapids property/asset distribution attorneys are well-versed in family law. We can deliver the legal representation you need to ensure your rights and best interests are protected. We will review all reports, records, titles, and other pertinent information to determine which property may be divided as part of your divorce and which may not. We appreciate that your property is not simply objects that can be split without a second thought. Often, these are personal items with an emotional connection. Our team will keep this in mind as we work toward a favorable settlement for you.

Schedule a consultation with our property distribution lawyer in Grand Rapids by calling (616) 227-3737 or submitting an online contact form today.

Marital Versus Separate Property

Two separate types of property are involved in a divorce: marital and separate. Courts have the authority to divide marital property but do not typically make a decision in the distribution of separate property. Still, limited circumstances exist in which courts can divide separate property. We will discuss this in more detail below.

What Is Marital Property?

Assets considered part of the marital estate are anything either spouse acquired or earned during the marriage. This can include cars, houses, furniture, and other tangible property. It can also include intangible assets, such as pensions, annuities, or retirement benefits.

What Is Separate Property?

For the most part, separate property is anything either spouse owned before the marriage, and also includes both tangible and intangible assets. However, if one spouse received an inheritance or gift during the marriage, this is considered their own separate property, even though they got it while they were married. In a divorce, each spouse gets to keep separate property.

In some cases, a court can divide an inheritance or gift as part of a divorce. This can happen when it determines that the other spouse contributed to the "acquisition, improvement, or accumulation of it" (MCL § 552.401).

Determining what is considered marital property and what is considered separate property can be complicated. That is why you need our Grand Rapids asset distribution attorneys on your side. We will work to ensure that anything obtained outside of or during your marriage is disclosed for it to be properly considered.

How Is Property Divided in Michigan?

Spouses may attempt to determine an equitable distribution of property outside of the court with the help of a skilled attorney and/or going through mediation. However, if the spouses cannot agree on their own, the court will step in to decide who gets what.

When determining how to distribute assets, a judge may consider several factors, including, but not limited to:

  • Length of marriage
  • Each spouse's contribution to marital property
  • Each spouse's finances
  • Each spouse's earning capacity
  • Reason for divorce

Whether your matter can be settled with your spouse or must go to a judge for a decision, Tanis Schultz will be by your side, protecting your best interests.

Retain Skilled Legal Representation

Our property/asset distribution lawyers in Grand Rapids provide quality legal counsel. We care about the people we serve and will focus on your needs and goals as we seek to obtain a favorable resolution in your case.

For sound legal guidance, contact us at (616) 227-3737.


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