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Identifying ownership of assets prior to property distribution

For a couple who possess a considerable amount of property and assets, divorce can be a complex process. With so much at stake during this period, crucial areas such as property distribution are often highly contestable topics. In equitable distribution states, like Michigan, the division of assets must be fair, but does not necessarily have to be equal. With this in mind, an individual might find it beneficial to have awareness of all marital property before proceeding.

Over the course of marriage, many couples acquire a significant amount of property and assets. Since most couples likely intend to stay together throughout life, they may give little thought to the ownership of each asset. Unfortunately, if a couple decides to take separate paths moving forward, unawareness of ownership rights could be detrimental to the outcome of a subsequent divorce.

Assets that are considered separate, such as those that belong to one spouse alone, are not subject to the division of property. However, determining the difference between separate and marital can be challenging. Even if a spouse purchases an item, such as a vehicle, during marriage, he or she may still be the sole owner. Alternatively, assets that were once considered separate may become marital if commingled with joint assets in any way.

Identifying all assets that will be involved in property distribution can be a stressful and intimidating process, prompting many individuals to seek assistance for the road ahead. When facing a similar situation, a person may choose to speak with a family law attorney for advice on how to proceed. An attorney in Michigan can advise a client on identifying and valuing marital assets and subsequently assist in pursuing an equitable portion during divorce proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "Who Owns What in Marital Property?", Accessed on June 22, 2017

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