Michigan Marital Property Laws

You were more concerned with having the perfect place settings on the dinner tables for your wedding than you were about which one of you would get that perfect dining room table you bought together a few months later. But if you get divorced, how does all of your stuff get divided? If you’re in one of the many states that don’t recognize community property, a judge could decide who gets that dining room table, along with any other property you both acquired during your marriage. How might a court choose who gets what? Here’s a quick summary of marital property laws in Michigan.

Marital Property Law

Marital property refers to all possessions and interests acquired after a couple gets married -- in essence, it includes all property owned by the marital estate. While a few states still recognize the concept of "community property," in which all marital property is considered equally owned, most states allow more flexibility in property division should the couple get a divorce.

Marital Property Laws in Michigan

Like marital property laws in some other states, Michigan does not recognize community property. Learn more about Michigan marital property laws and related matters below.

Community Property Recognized?

No, but Uniform Disposition of Community Property Rights at Death Act (UDCPRDA) adopted. (§§557.261, et seq.)

Dower And Curtesy

Dower (§§558.1, et seq.); no curtesy or dower allowed in community property (§557.214)

Michigan law requires courts to determine a “fair property division. Fair in this case usually means that each spouse gets about half of everything. However, a court could decide it is fair to divide your property in a different way. If one of you is more at fault for the end of the marriage, or if one person needs more property, your property could be divided unequally. It is possible that the spouse who gets more marital property also takes on more marital debt.

Marital Property and Separate Property

Most of the property you bought or received during your marriage becomes marital property, regardless of whose name is on the title. Marital property it is owned by both of you and will gets divided in a divorce. Separate property, on the other hand, is property one spouse owns before the marriage, and is not divided in a divorce. If one spouse is given or inherits property during the marriage, it is normally considered separate property.

Michigan Marital Property Laws: Related Resources

State laws can change when it comes to marital property and divorce. You can contact a Michigan divorce attorney if you would like help with your divorce case. You can also visit FindLaw's divorce and property section for related articles.

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