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Separate property: What it is and how to keep it

Assets in Michigan come in all shapes and sizes, and while it is important to be open and honest about your finances with your spouse, that does not mean you have to put everything into a shared account. However, if you do not take the proper measures, you could still be converting your personal property into a marital asset. We at The Law Office of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., have often provided advice and assistance to people who do not want to commingle their assets with their spouse’s.

Although Michigan counts the assets you and your spouse have garnered during your marriage as marital property, that does not automatically mean every item you have now will be divided in a divorce. For example, if you receive a gift or inheritance, it may initially be separate property. You and your spouse may also come to an agreement that certain purchases or acquisitions you each have obtained after the wedding will be kept separate.

Nerd Wallet explains that addressing the issue can be a step toward a healthy marriage, rather than causing conflict. For example, determining the best way to take care of shared expenses and purchases may include a discussion about joint versus separate accounts. This is also a good time to discuss your financial goals as a couple and as individuals, and how you can reach them.

Because any contributions either of you makes toward the other’s separate assets count as commingling, you should discuss personal responsibilities for matters such as the upkeep of your property. If you are unable to maintain it without using any of your marital assets, you may not be able to keep it separate. More information about separate and marital property is available on our web page.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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