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Equitable Distribution Vs. Community Property: What You Need To Know

Equitable Distribution vs. Community Property: What You Need to Know

Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally challenging process. On top of dealing with the division of assets, it can be difficult to understand the legal terms and concepts surrounding property division. When it comes to property division in Michigan, there are two primary approaches: equitable distribution and community property. In this blog post, we’ll explain what these two approaches mean and what you need to know about them.

Equitable Distribution

Equitable distribution is the approach to property division that most states, including Michigan, follow. Under this approach, assets are divided in a manner that is deemed fair, but not necessarily equal. This means that the division of assets will depend on various factors, including the length of the marriage, the earned and unearned income and property of each party, and the contributions made by each party to the marriage, both financial and non-financial.

Under equitable distribution, assets and debts acquired during the marriage are subject to distribution, while assets and debts acquired before the marriage or after the divorce filing are typically considered separate property. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, the increase in value of separate property during the marriage may be subject to property division.

Community Property

Some states follow a community property approach to property division. Under this approach, all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered joint property and subject to division equally between the parties. Separate property, such as assets acquired before marriage or through inheritances, is generally not subject to division.

Michigan is not a community property state, but if one or both parties own property in a community property state or country, those assets may be subject to community property laws.

Important Considerations

While Michigan follows the equitable distribution approach to property division, parties may still reach an agreement on how to divide assets without having to go to court. However, the court may still have the final say on the division of assets if a mutually agreeable decision cannot be reached.

Another important consideration is that while Michigan law provides guidance on how property division should be approached, it doesn’t guarantee a specific outcome. Additionally, each case is unique, and the facts and circumstances will determine how assets are divided.

Property division is an important aspect of any divorce, and it’s important to understand the legal concepts and terms associated with equitable distribution and community property. Ultimately, the goal in property division is to create a fair and equitable outcome for both parties. If you have any questions or concerns about property division in Michigan, contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can guide you through the process.

Shelby Family Law Attorneys

Navigating the complexities of divorce, especially when it comes to property division, requires a thorough understanding of legal terms and concepts. Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC,  your trusted Shelby Family Law Attorneys, provide crucial insights into the distinctions between equitable distribution and community property in Michigan.

With expertise in equitable distribution, the approach followed in the state, they guide you through the factors influencing asset division, emphasizing fairness over strict equality. While Michigan is not a community property state, the attorneys at Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC recognize the potential impact if assets are owned in community property jurisdictions. Importantly, they highlight the possibility of reaching agreements outside the courtroom while acknowledging that the court may intervene if consensus eludes both parties.

In the intricate landscape of divorce, Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC stand ready to address your concerns, offering seasoned legal counsel to ensure a fair and equitable outcome tailored to your unique circumstances. For any questions about property division in Michigan, contact Mihelich & Kavanaugh, PLC for knowledgeable and experienced guidance. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at (586) 496-7525.

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