Who Gets the House in a Michigan Divorce

Who Gets the House in a Michigan Divorce?

Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process, and one of the most pressing questions that often arises is: who gets the house? In the state of Michigan, the division of property in a divorce is based on equitable distribution. This means that assets and debts acquired during the marriage will be divided fairly, but not necessarily equally, between the spouses. When it comes to deciding who gets the house, several factors are taken into consideration.

1. What is equitable distribution?
Equitable distribution is a legal principle that aims to divide marital property in a fair and just manner. It considers various factors such as the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, and the financial circumstances of both parties.

2. Is the house considered marital or separate property?
If the house was purchased during the marriage, it is generally considered marital property, regardless of whose name is on the title. However, if the house was acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift to one spouse, it may be considered separate property.

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3. Does it matter whose name is on the mortgage or title?
While the name on the mortgage or title may be a factor, it does not solely determine ownership. The court will look at various factors to determine the fair distribution of the property, including who contributed to the mortgage payments and other expenses related to the house.

4. How is the value of the house determined?
The value of the house is typically determined through an appraisal conducted by a professional appraiser. The appraiser considers various factors such as the condition of the house, its location, and recent sales of comparable properties in the area.

5. Can one spouse buy out the other’s share of the house?
Yes, it is possible for one spouse to buy out the other’s share of the house. This can be done by refinancing the mortgage in one spouse’s name or by offsetting the value of the house with other marital assets.

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6. What if both spouses want to keep the house?
If both spouses want to keep the house, they can negotiate a settlement agreement. This may involve one spouse buying out the other’s share or continuing to co-own the property and making arrangements for its use.

7. What if the house has negative equity?
If the house has negative equity, meaning it is worth less than the mortgage owed on it, the spouses may need to negotiate how to divide the debt. This could involve selling the house and sharing the remaining debt or one spouse assuming responsibility for the debt.

8. Can the court order the sale of the house?
Yes, if the spouses cannot agree on how to divide the house, the court may order its sale. The proceeds from the sale will be divided between the spouses in a manner determined by the court.

9. What if there are children involved?
When there are children involved, the court may consider the best interests of the children when deciding who gets the house. If the custodial parent wants to remain in the family home to provide stability for the children, the court may take that into consideration.

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In conclusion, determining who gets the house in a Michigan divorce is a complex process that takes into account various factors. It is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney who can help navigate the legal complexities and negotiate a fair settlement.