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Lansing Law Firm Handling property division 

The decision to get a divorce is never easy on an individual, nor is it simple; however, that does not mean that the process has to be stressful and difficult to complete. There are processes and systems in place to help assist in the divorce process. Typically, one of the most litigated issues in a divorce is the division of marital assets and debts. 
 
Marital assets may be dwellings, vehicles, home furnishings, jewelry, and art. The property you and your partner own with each other is called marital property.
 
Joint debt is also considered, such as your home loan, financial loans for vehicles, credit-card debt, and personal loans. Financial debt is also considered by both parties and is referred to as marital debt.
 
Michigan law demands a fair property division. Fair typically indicates that each individual person gets around fifty percent of everything. In some cases, if an agreement cannot be reached, it may be up to a judge to determine what is fair and divide marital property accordingly.
 
Depending on the case, the marital property may be split in favor of one party, that is if one individual is even more at fault for the relationship ending or if one individual requires additional assets to maintain their lifestyle. When dividing marital property we consider our clients wishes first and foremost.  As long as both parties are agreeable to a particular division of property, a judge will approve it so long as it is reasonable.  For example, if both individuals have 401ks that are of similar value, rather than split each 401k, both parties can agree to keep their own retirement accounts.  

what is considered marital property?

Any property that is acquired or attained during a marriage is considered marital property. Most property is presumed to be marital property and is jointly owned by both parties. Marital property is divided in your judgment of divorce. Property that is not the marital property is called separate property. 

separate property does not get divided in a divorce

If an individual owned property prior to the relationship, it is considered separate property. If husband or wife inherits or is given property during the course of their marriage, it is the considered separate property. If a piece of separate property increases in value, the increase in value is separate property. As long as, the increase in value was not due to input from the opposite party.
 
Spouses ordinarily retain their separate property in a divorce settlement. Nonetheless, separate property can become marital property if, the partner helped in improving, and growing the value of the property.

when does separate property turn into marital property?

Occasionally, separate property turns into marital property. Separate property may perhaps increase in value throughout the marriage considering the fact that the work was performed by the other spouse. Therefore, the increased value of the property is typically split between the two parties.
Separate property could possibly turn out to be marital property if the property was used regularly for joint marital reasons or was put into an account that is owned by the both parties. If separate property is mixed with marital property, it can lose its separate status. The presumption is that it has become marital property unless it can be proven otherwise.
Methods of Dividing Property and Debt

Both Parties Come To An Agreement

If marital assets and debts are simple and easy to comprehend, we will assist you in coming up with a plan as how to divide your marital property in a manner that makes sense. At the end of the day, the presumption is that the property is to be divided 50/50. We treat each asset and debt as a bargaining c hip and work with you to ensure that you end up with the property that is most important to you while dividing the property in a fair manner. This method is the best to keep costs to a minimal. If we can help you reach an agreement without ending up in courtroom hearings, we can help you save money. We have a good idea of how a mediator or judge is going to rule on a particular issue and can provide recommendations to avoid the additional cost of mediation or trial. If we are unable to resolve the conflict on our own, the Judge will order the case to mediation before there is a trial. 

Agreement Via Mediation

Mediation is a method in which a neutral mediator assists both parties and aids in a settlement on the issues that are not settled individually by the parties involved. We do our best to resolve these conflicts on our own but sometimes agreement is impossible, for example, if both parties want remain in marital home.  If there is a particular issue cannot be agreed upon, we may be forced into mediation. Mediation is expensive because both parties have to pay their attorney fees to prepare and attend mediation as well as spit the cost of the mediator. Typically a mediator is a family law attorney who has 40 years of experience.  Mediation is required if the parties cannot resolve a conflict on their own and is preferable to the cost of trial. The mediator will issue their recommendation but it is not binding on the parties.  Typically most cases are resolved at or before mediation. If mediation fails, we will proceed to trial where a judge will make a ruling after both sides have presented their cases. Mediation still allows you to have some say in how the assets and debts get divided. Whereas, a courtroom decision is based on the judge's discretion.

Courtroom Decision

When your divorce case reaches the point of having the courts decide how to split property and debt. The judge will take into consideration the following criteria:
  • How long was the marriage? 
  • What did each partner contribute towards their marital property?
  • What are the financial needs of each party?
  • Are there children?
  • What is the financial earning capabilities of each party?
  • What is the primary reason for the divorce?
As well as, any other reason that the judge finds to be pertinent to the case.
Bahrie Law is well-educated and knowledgeable with divorce proceedings and we will do our best to minimize the cost to our clients. Due to the complex and difficult nature of splitting a marriage with assets, debts, and children selecting an attorney that is willing to fight for your rights as well as willing to compromise is critical. If you have recently made the decision to get a divorce, or are going through the process of a divorce, you are going to want the power of a reputable attorney in the courtroom. Bahrie Law is here to provide you with the right representation, at the right time, in the right place. We are here to work with you and for your rights. Call Us! (517) 694-1300