In the big picture, Michigan divorces work the same no matter how much a couple earns between them and no matter how wealthy they are.
Property will still be divided in what the law calls an equitable manner. Basically, the property a couple acquired while married will in most cases be split between them. The split may be but does not have to be 50/50.
A judge can consider a number of factors when dividing property. Of course, a couple can also agree to divide their property in any number of ways.
Likewise, judges will follow Michigan law with respect to alimony and child support. They will decide on child custody cases based on the best interests of the child, again consistent with Michigan law.
Practically speaking, though, high-asset divorces can look very different from divorces among Detroit-area couples of more modest means.
- Often, high-asset couples have a variety of different types of property that come from different sources. This can make property division more complicated. While hopefully this is not the case, it also makes it easier for a spouse to try to hide assets or engage in other dishonest behavior.
- On a related point, wealthier couples may own shares of businesses, professional practices, investment real estate and other property that is harder to value and divide. They may also own unique property like artwork, exotic cars or other collectibles.
- They also may receive income from a variety of sources beyond a traditional paycheck. Other, irregular sources of income can be more difficult to evaluate for alimony and child support purposes.
- They and their children may have expenses, like private school tuition, which they would want to maintain in order to keep their standard of living.
- Many times, high net worth couples also have connections to the community and will want a measure of privacy.
It is important for a person to understand their options in a high-asset divorce
Oakland County residents can have a lot to lose during a high-asset divorce.
If they do not protect their rights, they may find themselves in a financial situation that leaves them unable to maintain their lifestyle.
Of course, regardless of wealth, parents will want what is best for their children. However, someone who has money may have more incentive and ability to advocate strongly for what they think is best for their kids.
Especially when there may be incentives to go to court, it is important for a Michigander to understand their rights in a high-asset divorce.