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How is real estate divided in a Michigan divorce?

If you own land, including buildings or anything else that is attached to the land, it is considered real estate by Michigan law, and will probably be subject to division in your divorce settlement. According to MichiganLegalHelp.org, the deciding factor for dividing real estate is not whether your name is on the title or the mortgage, but whether it was purchased or improved using marital assets. If not, it may be separate property, in which case it would not part of the division process. Otherwise, it is divided equitably.

It is the value of your marital real estate rather than the property itself that the judge divides. That monetary figure assigned to your real property is balanced against the value of your other marital assets. If your spouse wants to stay in the home, the court will award you with assets that are equitably balanced so that you both get your fair share. If you and your spouse have negative equity in your real estate, owing more than the value, then in the eyes of the court it is a debt and not an asset. However, as a portion of the sum total you owe, it still has to be divided fairly.

You should only consider requesting real estate in your divorce settlement if you know that you can afford to cover the costs of the mortgage, insurance, property taxes and maintenance. If you and your spouse both want the house and cannot negotiate an agreement, the ultimate decision to award it to one of you or sell it will be the judge’s. This is general information and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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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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