Property Evaluation and Division

Going through a divorce proceeding or legal separation and dealing with the distribution of marital assets and property is a challenging process. Having competent legal representation is crucial to safeguarding your financial and proprietary interests.

In Michigan, upon divorce, each spouse usually takes his or her separate property and marital property is divided equitably. Separate property includes property acquired before marriage, any appreciation in value it has earned, or property acquired through gift or inheritance. While separate property is generally awarded to the spouse in whose name it is held, it may be subject to equitable distribution by the court between both spouses if marital property is insufficient.

People often do not realize that most property acquired during marriage is marital property subject to equitable distribution, even if the property is held only in the name of one spouse. Any equity that is accrued during marriage, including any amount accrued in home equity, pension plans, or retirement funds, is considered marital property that is subject to equitable distribution without regard to whether or not one or both spouses contributed financially to its acquisition.

In dividing marital assets, a court’s primary concern is achieving equity and fairness. Factors that courts look to in making this determination include:

  • Duration of the marriage;
  • Contribution of the parties to the marital estate;
  • Age of the parties;
  • Lifestyle and status of the parties;
  • Necessities and circumstances of the parties;
  • Past relations and conduct of the parties; and
  • General principles of equity.

Attorney Chatterton has significant knowledge, experience, and skills in the family law arena. He has handled a wide array of divorce cases, ranging from simple divorces where the parties have no assets to divide to multi-million dollar estates with significant business assets and interests. He will evaluate your assets and financial situation and help you obtain the most favorable distribution. Contact the Law Office of Patrick L. Chatterton today to ensure your rights are protected and your financial well-being is secured.