If you are thinking of filing for divorce it is important that you understand your rights prior to filing for a divorce. On short term marriages the court will usually award each party the property that they owned prior to the divorce and will split what was accumulated during the marriage. An increase in some pre-marital assets will be made but it depends on the nature of the asset. It is wise to consult with a divorce attorney so that you understand how the court will split the assets. It is important to know that even if one of the parties does not work that the assets accumulated during the marriage will usually be split between the parties. It is best to know what is marital property and what is non-marital property prior to filing the divorce action.
On most long term marriages the pre-marital property will still be awarded to the party that had it prior to the marriage and the property acquired during the marriage will be split when the divorce occurs. It is always best to keep pre-marital property in your own name as if your spouses name is added then your spouse can make a claim in the event of a divorce. Another area where one needs to be careful are inheritances. Usually if one keeps an inheritance in their own name then they will be awarded the inheritance in the event of a divorce. However if the inheritance is put in an account with the spouses name or something is bought and put in both names then it is not separate and is subject to a claim by your spouse. A typical example of this would be as follows. Husband inherits $200,000.00 and has the money in a separate account only in his name. He then spends $100,000 in home improvements by adding landscaping, a finished basement, and a new kitchen on the marital home which is owned by he and his wife. He then decides to put $20,000.00 in the joint checking account. A few moths later his wife files for divorce. The general rule would be that the $80,000 that is in his name alone is his but the remaining money is split because it is in both names. If you don’t plan ahead you could get hurt when the property settlement is made in your divorce.
It is important that if your marriage is rocky, you think that you might file for a divorce , or that your spouse might file for a divorce that you meet with an attorney and understand your rights so that you can be prepared. If you have any questions call John Bain at (O) 248.380.8787 or (C) 248.672.6112. I have been in practice for over 25 years and have handled hundreds of divorces. My offices are located in Novi and Howell.