Divorce is a messy process. Especially in Michigan, which utilizes standard court procedure to manage family law matters. Divorces can take months or years to finalize depending upon the parties, lawyers and judges. The problem is amplified when dealing with high asset divorces. A high asset divorce is one that involves high-value assets like financial properties, real estate, antiques and land. If you think acquiring all that wealth was complicated, try dividing it during a divorce proceeding.
Marital property is any property acquired during the marriage. Michigan is not a community property state. Therefore, there are no set rules on what is marital and what is separate property. This is why retaining an experienced family law attorney is useful. Your attorney will present arguments to the judge as to why a ROTH IRA or an Ottoman rug should be considered separate property. If the property is deemed separate, then you get to keep it free and clear from the divorce. The more high-value assets, the more arguments must be presented.
During a divorce, both spouses must make a list of disclosures so that all parties are aware of the total value of the marital property. This process is rife with potential for abuse by attorneys and ex-spouses. People are incentivized to hide their assets. However, the reach of the court is long, and there are very few places you can hide your property that the court won't find it. Additionally, those places you can hide it, you may not trust the banking system. It is simpler to be forthright and honest with the court to engender respect with the judge.
You will likely find that maintaining cordial relations with your ex-spouse can greatly speed up the process. Can you imagine fighting over every single vacation home, piece of land, rental property, business asset, antique or patent? Each asset can potentially be argued over, and each argument could take weeks or months to settle. This is why retaining a family law attorney that is also experienced in mediation can speed up the process.
High-asset divorces are exhausting. Retaining a family law attorney that knows to value your mental and emotional well-being may help to lighten your burden.