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When is non-marital property divided in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 9, 2021 | Property Division |

People in Michigan acquire property at various stages of their lives. They may also start bank accounts, retirement accounts or investment accounts at a young age and continue growing them throughout their lives. For the most part it does not matter when people acquire this property or how their accounts grow. However, it does matter if people ever go through a divorce.

In a divorce people need to divide their marital property. This is generally what was acquired during the marriage. This is true regardless of who acquired the property, whose name is on an account or on a title to property. However, as stated above people may have acquired certain property prior to their marriage or started a financial account prior to the marriage. This is generally considered non-marital property and remain with the spouse that owns it, but there are exceptions to that rule.

Reasons non-marital property can be divided

Non-marital property can be subject to division in a divorce in certain situations. One is if the non-owning spouse contributed to the accumulation or improvement of the property. Another is if the non-owning spouse would need it to provide for their support after the divorce. It can also be divided if a spouse acquired the property because of the marriage. Vested retirement benefits earned during the marriage could be split and unvested retirement benefits earned during the marriage can be divided if it is just and equitable.

Married couples in Michigan may acquire various amounts of property during the marriage. They also may bring in various property into the marriage. This may start out as separate property, but it may still be divided in a divorce if it is co-mingled with marital assets or improved with marital assets. Due to this, property division in a divorce can become very complicated. Experienced attorneys understand property division though and may be a useful resource.