According to Michigan law, the court has the power to award to either party the real and personal estate that the party acquired during the marriage, or the value of that interest in money. As a general rule, the court will start at a 50/50 split and then consider the need to deviate from there. Although many factors can contribute to a need to adjust the property division, if both parties contributed to the acquisition, improvement, or accumulation of the property, the courts will usually order a 50/50 split.
As discussed briefly before Michigan is a “No Fault” State, but fault for the divorce may be considered when dividing property. Fault can be considered infidelity, domestic violence and alcohol, drug or gambling addictions to name a few. Since Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, fault plays a lesser role and in many cases is not even an issue. If your case involves a clear issue of fault, then some additional discovery or investigation will need to be done in regard to the alleged fault. This may include the taking of depositions or possibly hiring a private detective. A private detective can find out a wealth of information in helping to prove the alleged fault. This can be a very expensive process depending on the extent of the investigation.
Placing a value or price tag on assets can be difficult in some circumstances but is never impossible. This is true of almost any asset, ranging from a home business to an antique painting or coin collection. If the value of something cannot reasonably be determined and the parties disagree, a professional appraisal can be done.
Spousal support is another factor that may be considered. Formerly spousal support was called alimony. Spousal support is not a given in any case. Unlike child support which a party who has custody always has a right to, spousal support is subjective. Great discretion is given to the court in allowing spousal support. Different judges have different policies and theories in regard to it. Spousal support is looked at as a compensation for one party in an action who is now hurt by the divorce by giving up the ability to further themselves during the marriage. A court will sometimes use the following factors in determining if spousal support should be awarded:
As with the distribution of assets, the court will try and achieve a “fair and equitable” support award if one is needed. The length of the marriage is usually a major element considered. If the marriage was short and involved no children, support is rarely awarded. In a medium length marriage, support may be awarded for a period of time allowing the other party an opportunity to learn a trade or get some additional education to provide for themselves. For longer term marriage, support will likely be a component. What constitutes a “long term” marriage? Although there is no court rule, twenty years appears to be the minimum.
Femminineo Attorneys have been actively helping Macomb, Wayne and Oakland County families and individuals for over 40 years. At Femminineo attorneys, we offer our clients the utmost in service, attention and access to a local Michigan lawyer who cares.
Continue reading: The Divorce Process – Part IV: Choosing your lawyer
Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.
We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.
Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.
Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Femminineo Attorneys cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.
Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.
Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.
We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.
When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.
Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day through our hot line at 586-854-3654.
At Femminineo Attorneys, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.
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The information presented within this website is for general information purposes and is NOT and should not be considered as being “legal advice”. You should not act on any information presented herein without the verifying same with your attorney.