The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that a federal law called the Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act preempts any applicable state law approach to the contrary regarding property division rights. The state law would classify a waived portion of retirement pay as community property, eligible for division in a divorce. However, the USFSPA law expressly prohibits that approach.
A divorce requires the parties to divide the marital estate. In Michigan, that approach is called equitable distribution, calling for a fair result, but not necessarily a 50-50 split. Although disputes may arise over what constitutes “fair,” our law firm has also found that misconceptions still exist over the predicate issue of what constitutes marital property.
Michigan law allows a couple to draw up a contract after they are married. This type of agreement, called a postnuptial contract, does not indicate that a couple is on the verge of divorcing. In fact, executing this type of contract may be a strategy for preserving a marriage; especially if a couple’s divergent financial habits are a source of frequent contention.
One of the most contentious and taxing elements of a divorce is dividing marital property. People are scared about what they stand to lose, and the reality of supporting two households on smaller income can be enough to overwhelm any person.
In Michigan, a couple may file for divorce based on the ground of no fault. However, that’s not a guarantee that allegations of fault may not surface later in the divorce proceeding.
Although a do-it-yourself attitude may be fine for some projects, like home improvement, our family law firm would caution against going into a divorce on your own.
It may seem ridiculous that you have to sue your spouse to end a marital relationship, but a marriage is a contract, after all. And like other types of cases, there are certain procedural markers that define the scope of divorce litigation.
Divorce is one of the most stressful and emotional events a person experience, and it is one that many Michigan residents have gone or will go through at some point. However, there are ways to make it less painful for everyone involved.
A divorce requires the parties to divide not only their marital assets, but also any debts of the marital estate. Furthermore, the parties must notify any entities with whom they have contractual obligations about their changed marital status. Failing to follow through could land the parties in hot contractual waters, as a recent criminal case illustrates.
Even when minor children are not involved, the sheer number of issues posed by a divorce proceeding can leave the parties feeling overwhelmed. For that reason, a family law attorney often functions as a guide, offering more than just legal counsel.