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What You Must Disclose During the Divorce Process
Divorce is rarely a simple procedure, but your stress can be eased by arming yourself with knowledge of how to navigate the Michigan court system before you begin. For instance, as family lawyers in Grand Rapids, we have found that many of our clients do not know what they are required to disclose during the divorce process.
Having a family law expert on your side to guide you through this process can and will ensure that you remain protected—and get exactly what you deserve.
Distribution of Assets
In particularly complicated and messy divorces, one party may be fearful that their ex-partner will “take everything.” The good news is that this will rarely happen in Michigan, which is an “equitable distribution” state.
This means, in plain language, that divorce courts can distribute assets in any manner they feel is fair and reasonable.
Equitable, Not Equal
An equitable distribution, according to Michigan law, does not necessarily mean that finances and assets will be evenly distributed—but the courts will take numerous factors into account before making their final decision, including the contribution that you and your spouse made to your shared estate.
In the vast majority of cases, if one party has a significantly higher income, the lower-earning party will receive greater protection under the law. Especially if children are involved.
Transparency is Required
In many cases, both parties are aware of what their shared assets are—and what they’re worth. But there are always exceptions, and we have worked with clients who learned that their spouse was hiding significant assets that they did not know about. During court proceedings, a slighted party may begin to move assets into a hidden bank account in order to ensure these finances aren’t taken from them in the divorce.
The law is quite clear: one party cannot hide assets from the other. Full disclosure is legally required. If there is suspicion of dishonesty, parties and lawyers in Michigan can find out the truth through any of the following: a written interrogatory, a request for documents, a request for admission, a subpoena, or a deposition.
If you are concerned about equitable distribution of your assets following a divorce, rest easily knowing that you do not need to navigate the labyrinthian Michigan court system on your own. We are a team of reputable divorce lawyers. Grand Rapids is our home just as it is yours, and we are proud to serve our community.