In divorce or separate maintenance actions, the final judgment reflects a division of the parties' marital assets and debts. These may include real estate, business interests, retirement accounts and pensions, credit card debt and even patents and other intellectual property. Property division is required to be "equitable" under Michigan law. While that often means an equal split, there are circumstances when an equal split may not be equitable and there may be a case for deviation based upon certain factors, including health of the parties and the past relations and conduct of the parties, among others. Further complicating factors may include disputes over the value of property or one spouse claiming that certain property is "separate property" rather than marital and thus not subject to division in the divorce.
Locating and valuing assets and liabilities can be a very nuanced and complex task. Varnum's family law attorneys are skilled at finding hidden assets and obtaining expert valuations of professional practices, closely-held businesses and other unique enterprises. Our team has considerable experience in litigating issues regarding separate property, whether it be property that was owned prior to the marriage or property that was gifted or inherited during the marriage.