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High-asset divorces present a number of complexities for both divorce attorneys and their clients. For those who are going through the divorce, there are a number of elements that you should be keeping in the back of your mind as you are in the early stages of the process. One of the most important is what the state of Michigan considers marital property and how Michigan goes about distributing that property.
The Oakland County family law attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa have managed a number of high-asset divorces. We understand that your privacy is important as you and your spouse attempt to disentangle your finances. We can help you protect both your interests and your privacy as you move forward with the divorce. Give us a call or contact us online for more information.
Under Michigan law, any property that was earned while you were married is considered marital property. Assets that were accumulated before the marriage or assets gained through inheritance are considered your own separate property. In some cases, couples opt to protect certain assets with a prenuptial agreement. So long as the terms of the agreement were not signed under fraudulent pretenses, the court generally honors those terms.
In some states, marital property is divided straight down the middle. These are called “community property states.” Michigan is not among those states. Michigan opts for an “equitable” or “fair” division of property and there are many factors that can affect this. The most notable factors considered are each spouse’s earning power, each spouse’s health, and each spouse’s behavior during the marriage. For instance, if one spouse cheated on the other, the court may consider this while dividing property.
One of the biggest issues that high-asset couples face when divorcing is the valuation of marital property. This requires the aid of experts who are qualified to appraise different kinds of property. This can include businesses, real estate, and different kinds of investments. The valuation expert provides an independent objective assessment of the couple’s marital estate. This allows the court to proceed with the process of dividing it.
High-asset couples may have sensitive financial information that they do not want the whole world to know about. Nonetheless, the process of going before a judge makes the issues decided public knowledge. The divorce attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa have experience managing the marital estates of high-asset couples. We can make recommendations on how to proceed and petition the court to seal some aspects of the record.
Iafrate & Salassa have helped hundreds of Oakland County couples manage their divorces. This includes high-asset couples. Give us a call or contact us online and we can begin discussing your options.