Legal Help with Asset Division in Divorce
Division of marital property and debt has been the focus of many noteworthy court cases. A knowledgeable family law attorney must stay up to date on precedent-setting cases as well as knowing relevant statutes inside out to be prepared to represent clients well.
Creditors will pursue the person whose name is on the loan. Schwartz Law Firm works to ensure the protection of your credit even after the Judgment is entered by providing for creative enforcement remedies in the Judgment.
One of the first steps that a family law attorney will take when beginning the process of divorce for a client is to evaluate any existing pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements. Is the agreement valid? Is there any indication that the agreement was signed under pressure or duress?
A second step to take in the area of property division is to determine which assets are included in the marital estate. Spouses may have kept some property owned before the marriage, such as inheritances or business revenue, as separate property — or they may have commingled assets to the point that what was once non-marital property has become community property that must be accounted for in the division of marital property.
Separate Property Versus Marital Property
Generally, what you owned before the marriage is considered separate property unless you commingled it with marital assets. Separate property may be awarded if the other spouse contributed to it or if the invasion of separate assets is necessary for the support of the other party. Gifts that each spouse received during the marriage, including inheritances, may be considered separate property if they were not commingled or otherwise shared. Your attorney will help you analyze the marital estate to determine the best course of action.
Gifts that each spouse received during the marriage, including inheritances, may be considered separate property if they were not commingled or otherwise shared.
How Do Family Law Courts Determine Equitable Distribution of Assets?
Family law courts consider a number of factors when deciding how to divide property in a divorce including the length of the marriage, age and health of the parties, and the ability of each spouse to support himself or herself after the breakup. In the case of business property or parties with extensive assets, valuations can be complicated. Financial experts may need to be hired to provide credible information on the value of the assets. Tax attorneys, CPAs and economists may come into the property division picture.
Debts should be accounted for in a property settlement agreement; however, creditors have the right to go after either spouse even after the divorce decree is issued. Holding an ex-spouse accountable will then become a matter of enforcement of the divorce decree.
Division of Retirement Accounts
Pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement vehicles are divisible upon divorce. The division of these assets, however, requires execution of very specific documents called Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROS). These documents must be specially drafted to ensure accurate division and distribution of these assets, as well as acceptance (also known as qualification) by the Plan Administrator. If these documents are not drafted correctly, the consequences can be significant and may affect your own retirement plans. Schwartz Law Firm works closely with an expert to ensure that these documents are properly drafted and entered.
Schwartz Law Firm Is Here to Help With Property Division
Since 1972, Schwartz Law Firm has been providing practical, workable legal solutions to residents of Michigan in a variety of legal practice areas. Our family law attorneys are knowledgeable, experienced and insightful. We are here to help you achieve your goal of equitable distribution of assets, including retirement benefits requiring QDROs (qualified domestic relations orders). Contact us in our Oakland County law offices to schedule an initial consultation with a Detroit area divorce lawyer.