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In a Michigan divorce, the parties involved in a divorce are generally each awarded half of the assets and half of the debts that accrued during the marriage. 

There are many exceptions to this general statement, including exceptions regarding non-marital property, inheritance, and property owned prior to the marriage. 

Another exception to this general statement is the issue of fault.  In a Michigan divorce, the issue of fault in the breakdown of the marriage may cause a court to award more of the assets to one party.  Due to these exceptions, and some others, you will need to discuss the particulars in your specific case with a Michigan divorce attorney to determine what your potential settlement may be.

In preparing to divide your property, you should take a complete inventory of your assets and debts.  My office suggests that you make a spreadsheet that includes the names of the accounts/assets and their values.

In a Michigan divorce, the parties to a divorce usually settle their property rights after negotiation.  Negotiations may be done between the spouses themselves, with the assistance or their attorneys, or with the assistance of their attorneys and a neutral third party mediator. 

If the parties come to an agreement as to how to divide their property, they must be absolutely sure that they understand and agree to the settlement, because in a Michigan divorce, once the judgment of divorce is entered, the property settlement may not be modified, except in cases of fraud or clerical error.

If a settlement cannot be reached, the matter can be decided at binding arbitration or by the Court after a trial.   In determining property issues at arbitration or trial, a Michigan Family Court Judge will usually consider the following:

  • Length of the marriage
  • Contributions of the parties to the marital estate
  • Age of the parties
  • Health of the parties
  • Life status of the parties
  • Necessities and circumstances of the parties
  • Earning abilities of the parties
  • Past relations and conduct of the parties
  • General principles of equity


The information contained on this page is not intended to be legal advice, and is only a brief overview of this area of Michigan divorce law.  If you have any questions regarding your divorce matter, contact us today.  A seasoned Michigan divorce and family law lawyer will discuss with you, your legal needs and provide you with information to protect you and your children for years to come. 



Representing divorce and family law clients

in Oakland County, Wayne County and Macomb County.


West Bloomfield Main Office
7071 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 245
West Bloomfield, Michigan 48322

Troy Satellite Office
100 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 200
Troy, Michigan 48084

Telephone: 248/851-7555
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Email:   elpaynter@gmail.com


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Oakland County

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Wayne County

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  • Wayne
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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. 

You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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