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Asset separation in a Michigan divorce

The time during a divorce can be quite trying. In essence, two parties that became one must now become separate again. Sometimes orchestrating this process can be difficult.

Various states handle the divorce process differently. If you are going through a divorce in Michigan, there are a few things about your asset division that you should be aware of. 

Equitable division

Michigan is an equitable division state. In short, that means the courts strive to divide assets equitably, or fairly, amongst the two parties. However, this does not always mean equally. There is no mathematical formula that judges use; rather, they divide assets according to what they believe is fair, considering certain factors about the marriage.


In an effort to be fair, the factors that judges consider have to do with things that would affect the individuals' contributions to the marital assets. Some common factors include:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Contributions to marital property
  • Earning potential
  • Spousal conduct

The judge considers these and other aspects in making a proper decision. For this reason, it is important for both parties to present evidence to support their side of the story.

Separate and marital assets

Another important factor that courts consider is whether an asset is separate or marital. Section 552.401 of Michigan law denotes how to divide property in the eyes of the court. In short, if a spouse assisted in the acquisition or payment of property, the court may consider it to be a marital asset, in which case the court would divide it amongst the two. On the other hand, if the spouse did not assist with its acquisition, such as an inheritance or property gained before the marriage, the court will most likely deem it separate property. In such cases, the receiving party may keep all rights to the asset.

Though the separation of assets may sound clear in theory, many moving parts add to its complexity. Take time to review the law and process so you may know the best way for you to approach the proceedings.

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