Michigan Property Distribution
Whether you are going to court for a divorce or a legal separation, it is important to hire an attorney to see to it that you are getting the best deal possible with respect to how marital assets and debts are divided. It makes no difference whether the marriage lasted for twenty years or twenty days; it is likely that property division can be argued over depending on how difficult the other side wants to make your life.
Property Division Considerations
Pay attention to what you have and where it’s located
Lots of people hide assets. Of course these kind of actions are frowned upon by the court, and if the court finds that one party is hiding assets from another party, it is far more likely to give those assets away. Parties must pay close attention to what they have and where it is located as the other side may attempt to give valuable assets away to family members or their business. They may also attempt to open accounts in financial institutions unknown to the other side.
Keep Personal Property in your Possession
If you have personal property that belongs to the other side, it may be beneficial to you to keep it in your possession until ordered to give it back. Having this personal property provides leverage when attempting to negotiate a fair settlement with the other side. Of course, this may not always be the best strategy depending on how well you get along with the other side as it may create unnecessary conflicts and make a deal harder to make later on. It is important for a party to evaluate his/her own situation when considering this tactic.
Consider an Appraisal
Judges are supposed to divide property fairly and equitably. This does not necessarily mean that a perfect 50/50 split is required, but it should be very close to it as long as both parties have behaved themselves. It may be necessary to get valuable property appraised so that a fair split may be made. Real estate, cars and jewelry are just some of the items that you may consider getting appraised. Of course appraisals are never cheap, so if the parties can come to an agreement on what something is worth, an appraisal may not be necessary.
Consider a Personal Investigator
Personal investigators do not have any special legal authority or entitlement as compared to any other person. However, they do have time on their hands. Judges do consider fault when dividing property. So, parties who have cheated on their spouse, or have been physically abusive toward their spouse are unlikely to get what they consider to be favorable division. Personal investigators may be able to collect evidence that displays another party’s wrongdoings. However, they are not cheap, so the potential benefits of hiring a personal investigator must be weighed with their cost.
Hire a Michigan Attorney Today
If you are going through a divorce or legal separation, you should contact an attorney to help you negotiate property division, or, if necessary, to conduct your trial on the value of any particular piece of property or how it should be divided. Akiva Goldman & Associates is a firm that understands the law and how to get what’s best for its clients. Call today for a free initial consultation at 586-268-2400.