“Over 30 years of Family Law Experience”
39111 6 Mile Road, Suite 120
Livonia, MI 48152

Separate Property

Helping You Keep What Belongs to You

In Michigan, when a couple gets a divorce, it is necessary to divide up common marital property. It may not always be 50/50, but it's supposed to be fair − equitable is the word lawyers often use.
But what about separate property? If you received a large inheritance, or owned substantial assets before marriage, do you have to share them with your former spouse when you
get divorced?
At the law firm of John R. Rinn, P.C., I have been helping people resolve these issues for over 30 years. Contact me today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your specific case.

What Is Separate Property?

Whether or not you must share property with your former spouse when the marriage ends depends on whether it is considered separate property or marital property. I can tell you where you stand when it comes to issues involving property, such as:
  • Workers' compensation awards
  • Inheritances
  • Retirement accounts, 401(k)s, pensions
  • Other assets, such as houses
The issues in these cases range from the simple to the complex. If someone owned a home before the marriage, the increase in value of the home is a marital asset. Workers' comp payments are generally a marital asset, but there can be gray areas when the case was settled with a lump sum payment, part of which is essentially for wages that would be earned in
the future.

Retirement Accounts

Classification issues can be especially challenging when they involve pensions, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts. With a defined benefit plan pension, for example, part of the money may be marital property and part separate property. I can work with clients to determine an appropriate percentage formula.
If it becomes necessary to divide a retirement account through a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO), I work with financial planners and ERISA specialists to create the right documents for the plan administrator.
Hidden Assets? If your spouse is trying to hide assets, I can use the discovery process to get at the truth.
Tell me your specific circumstances, and I can advise you on how to proceed in working out a division of property that makes sense for you. Contact me today at my office in Livonia to schedule a free initial consultation.
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