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Divorce and asset distribution

Couples going through a divorce in Michigan have a lot of decisions to make regarding living situations post-separation, child custody, spousal support and asset division. There are numerous factors that affect how property and other assets are divided between spouses, and some result in equal distribution while others do not.

According to FindLaw, the assets considered are generally those acquired after the marriage began. In some states, these assets are considered to be community property and are divided 50/50. However, Michigan is not one of these states, so the question of equitable division is often decided by the courts. Equity does not necessarily refer to money, so there may be equal distribution of assets even if one spouse made significantly less than the other. However, there are some common defense tactics the breadwinner may use to argue inequitable allotment.

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, one argument is the dependent spouse did not assume the role as a corporate spouse. This means the spouse did not take part in activities that led to the acquisition of assets. These actions may include entertaining business clients or accompanying the spouse to work and social gatherings. Another argument may be the spouse who earns more deserves to keep more. This is more often the case in situations of great wealth, in which both spouses are used to a luxurious lifestyle.

Finally, an argument may be made that both parties lived fairly separate lives and the marriage was not considered a partnership. This may garner a favorable ruling for the independent spouse in cases of extra-marital affairs or if the dependent spouse enjoyed spending the money while the other party was confined by work or illness.   

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