Tips for how to approach property division in your divorce

On behalf of Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C. posted in divorce on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Although the parties in a divorce may have heated emotions, our family law firm recommends approaching issues of property division, spousal and/or child support methodically. In fact, Michigan courts encourage this careful approach by imposing a two-month waiting period after a divorce filing.

Dividing the Marital Estate Takes Time

The decisions made in a divorce proceeding will shape each party’s lifestyle after the divorce. A spouse should seek not only his or her rightful share of the marital estate, but also the outcomes that will best help the transition to his or her new life after the divorce. Said another way, a party must understand the practical and legal consequences of child support and custody obligations, property division rights, and/or spousal support.

In a recent example, the spouse of a businessman filed for an emergency divorce. In support of the request for immediate relief, the wife claimed emotional trauma and stress. The filing also set forth the alternative request of a bifurcated divorce. In that instance, the court would immediately grant the divorce, but reserve determinations regarding property division and other pertinent issues until a trial could be scheduled at a later date.

Dividing Business Assets Adds an Extra Layer of Complexity

Dividing complex business assets can be problematic in a divorce. Before a business interest can be divided, the parties generally must gather financial information and go through a valuation process. Although the parties may be able to agree to a settlement, our lawyers would recommend comprehensive discovery before negotiations. That discovery could be used to gather an inventory of the marital estate. Experts may also be utilized to value the business’ assets.

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