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Does property division have to be 50/50 in a Michigan divorce?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2024 | Divorce

When whispers of divorce start to fill the air, one of the concerns that couples begin to have is how to untangle their finances. This is a legitimate concern because transitioning from a two-income household to relying solely on one’s earnings can be drastic.

Even in instances where one spouse is the breadwinner and the other a stay-at-home parent, financial concerns are natural for either party. If you were the breadwinner, you might wonder if property division has to be 50/50 in a Michigan divorce.

What’s equitable distribution?

Michigan follows an equitable distribution approach for property division in divorce. In simple terms, this approach prioritizes a fair division of property. Often, this means each spouse gets roughly half of everything. However, the judge presiding over a case could conclude that it’s fair to divide the property differently. So essentially, fair does not equate to a 50/50 split.

This approach allows judges to reach a tailored divisioni that considers a couple’s unique circumstances. For example, if you’re a breadwinner whose spouse didn’t work outside the home, the judge will consider how your spouse’s career sacrifices helped advance yours. You can also expect your spouse’s work managing the home and caring for the kids to be accounted for during property division.

That said, it’s crucial to remember that the assets you and your spouse owned individually before and during the marriage may be exempt from division. However, if one spouse significantly contributed to increasing the value of their partner’s separate property, they might be entitled to a share. If you’re considering divorce, you can benefit from getting personalized legal guidance early to help ensure that you get a fair share of the property.