Hey there, welcome back! We’ve been talking about what stuff you get to keep when you get divorced, and what stuff you’re likely to lose in the process. It can be somewhat complicated, as the court in Michigan is very clear about what you can fairly keep, and what you need to share with your soon-to-be-ex.
Who decides if I can keep my stuff?
As we mentioned in the previous article, there are a lot of factors that affect this decision. Things like what you brought to the table before the marriage, how long you’ve been married, and what you both own (and owe) will make a big difference. Obviously, if you have a prenup that is fair and was developed in accordance with state laws and statutes, that will have an impact on how your assets and debts are divided. But if you don’t, then it will be up to you and your spouse and your respective attorneys to divide your stuff. And if you can’t agree, the court will do it for you!
How does the court decide what stuff I get to keep?
If you and your spouse can’t agree on how to fairly divide up your stuff, even with help from your attorneys, the court will be tasked with making the decisions. And how do they reach that decision? By taking into account several factors (not by sitting down with you and asking about each individual item in your household though!)
Unfortunately there’s no hard and fast equation to help you predict what you’ll end up with. However, the factors that the court takes into account with each division are fairly standard. These include:
- How long your marriage has lasted
- The needs of each spouse after the divorce
- The needs of the children (if you have any children)
- Yours and your spouse’s earning potential
- The original source of the assets and/or debts
- The cause of the divorce (including whether or not there’s one individual to blame for the breakdown of the marriage)
- The general principles of equity
You’ll need to talk to your attorney about your specific preferences
If you really want to keep Aunt Sally’s art deco lamp, but your spouse insists they want it too, you’re going to have to talk to your attorney about that. Your attorney can represent your interests to the court, and argue for why you should have certain assets. However, if you and your spouse can’t agree, and the court makes the choices, then it’s out of your hands!
Dividing up your stuff can be a frustrating process!
A good family law attorney will be able to help you figure out exactly what your assets are, what debts you may have, and what kind of fair and equitable division the court is likely to support. So if you or a loved one are considering divorce, and have questions about your assets and separation of property, call our skilled and experienced divorce attorneys at 866 766 5245 today, and get help from someone who knows what you’re up against.