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Property division, standard of living, and the financially weaker party, P.1

Given the major financial changes that can accompany divorce, property division is an important aspect of divorce and an area where it is critical to work with an experienced attorney. An experienced attorney can help make sure that a client’s interests and rights are zealously advocated.

One of the reasons it is important to have strong advocacy in property division is that courts—in the absence of a prenuptial agreement—weigh a variety of factors when determining how to divide marital assets, and it is important to ensure that one’s interests are represented each case. Here in Michigan, the courts consider any factor deemed to be relevant to the case. 

Some of the factors courts consider are: the length of the marriage; the needs of the children; the ability of each spouse to earning money; the length of the marriage; and where the property in question came from. Courts will also take into consideration the lifestyle a couple lived in their marriage, and this can be a particularly important for wealthy couples.

It has to be understood, of course, that for most couples, divorce results in a relatively reduced standard of living. The costs associated with divorce and the financial consequences for spouses tend to mean less money to go around. With wealthy couples, this reduction in the standard of living can hit the financially weaker party particularly hard, especially if this individual gave up a career to care for children and help support his or her spouse’s career.

In our next post, we’ll look at a recent case involving this issue and how an experienced attorney can help protect a financially weaker party protect his or her interests in divorce. 

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Property division, standard of living, and the financially weaker party, P.1 | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC