Separation of Property

Michigan Property Separation Divorce Attorney

A person worked hard and acquired property before getting married, but is now in the midst of a divorce. In addition, the spouse is trying to claim a part of that property as their own. Under Michigan law, a person is usually allowed to keep property if it is “separate property.” Typically, separate property is considered to be property that the husband or wife owned before the marriage and it is not divided unless a special circumstance exists. It can also be any gift or inheritance that was given solely to an individual and kept separate from their spouse during the course of the marriage. Additionally, awards the person received for pain and suffering, such as in a car accident, or the appreciation amount of an asset, such as a stock, are also considered separate property as long as the person’s spouse was not involved in contributing to the asset’s growth or appreciation. However, the law in Michigan is far more complex than this simple definition of separate property and there is much more to the story that might alter the results of a case.

Reeves v. Reeves, a 1997 Michigan case that set the standard for the separation of property, has defined the special circumstances for division of property through either the “contribution test” or the “insufficiency test.” Both tests originated from Michigan statutes about divorce law. A spouse may only be entitled to the other spouse’s separate property if he or she contributed to the “acquisition, improvement, or accumulation of the property,” or if a spouse’s share of the marital assets is “insufficient for the suitable support and maintenance” of themselves and any children that are in his or her care.

If a person is contemplating divorce or is in the divorce process, it is important that they be familiar with all of their own assets and those of their spouse. This is important because it will help our skilled family law attorneys understand how someone’s property is legally classified in a divorce. It may also be beneficial to create a list of the debts of each spouse. This will give our divorce attorneys a better idea of what property a spouse may request in a settlement.

What can we do to help someone through this process? Our family law attorneyshave decades of combined experience and the skills to confidently represent individuals in Michigan divorce actions. We have been involved in hundreds of divorce cases over the years in Ingham County, Eaton County, Clinton County, Barry County, Livingston County, Jackson County, Ionia County, and others throughout Mid-Michigan. We will represent a husband or wife’s interests and help them understand whether their spouse is entitled to any premarital or separate property. Every case is different and requires an in depth analysis of the particular facts of that case. If you are involved in a divorce case, a legal separation or you are just considering that option, contact the divorce attorneys at Kronzek & Cronkright today. Call us at (517) 886-1000.


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