Blog

DIVORCE 31: Separate assets may lose their character as separate property.

Defendant married plaintiff in 2015, and they had a daughter in December 2015. Defendant was unemployed at the time of their marriage and did not come to the marriage with significant assets. Plaintiff, however, had a high-paying job earning approximately $120,000 per year, real property, and significant assets. In November 2017, Plaintiff filed for divorce. At the time of trial, Plaintiff was 28 years of age and Defendant was 27 years of age. In September 2018, the trial court entered a judgment of divorce that divided the marital estate.

Trial courts have broad authority to divide real and personal property that came to either party to a divorce action by reason of the marriage. Generally, marital property is property that was acquired or earned by the parties during the marriage, and separate property is generally property that the parties obtained or earned before the marriage. When considering how to divide property in a divorce proceeding, the trial court’s first step must be to determine the parties’ marital and separate estates.

In this case, Plaintiff had three bank accounts: bank account, an account that he referred to as the farm account, and a savings account with a credit union. It appeared that the farm account predated the marriage; however, the other two accounts appeared to have been started and funded during the marriage with marital funds. From the testimony, one could infer that Plaintiff and Defendant used all three accounts for income received and expenses paid during the marriage. Additionally, the evidence strongly suggests that Plaintiff comingled whatever funds he earned during the marriage with any funds that might have been premarital.

Separate assets may lose their character as separate property and transform into marital property if they are commingled with marital assets and treated by the parties as marital property.

In this case, all the accounts should be treated as part of the marital estate.

In Michigan, marital assets acquired during the marriage are divided equitably during the divorce process. This does not mean that the property division will be equal, however. The court will seek a fair and equitable division by taking several factors into consideration.

Aldrich Legal Services has more than 20 years of experience and, together with our legal team, we will guide you through the property division process, negotiating and fighting for the best possible outcome with your divorce decree or separation agreement.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

FAMILY LAW 37: Referee recommended against changing legal custody or parenting time.

Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.

REAL ESTATE 40: Tax Tribunal denied petitioner’s claim of a principal residence exemption (PRE).

MCL 211.7cc(2) provides that an owner of property can claim the PRE by filing an affidavit that must state that the property is owned and occupied as a principal residence by that owner of the property on the date that the affidavit is signed and shall state that the owner has not claimed a substantially similar exemption, deduction, or credit on property in another state.

The Steps of Construction Litigation

Most contracting agreements move forward without any problems, but when disputes between contracting parties come up, it can be confusing to understand the legal process to take. The legal experts at Aldrich Legal Services want to make the...

REAL ESTATE 38: Plaintiff fails to make land contract payments.

The land contract stated that T Company sold real property to plaintiff. The land contract further stated that if plaintiff failed to make a monthly payment, T Company could execute the quitclaim deed, thereby terminating plaintiff’s rights to the real property under the land contract.

CONTRACTS 6: Do you understand the clauses in your Purchase Agreement?

The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary disposition, concluding that the claims against the realty companies were barred by the valid release contained in the purchase agreement and that the claims against sellers were required to be resolved in arbitration because they fell within the scope of the arbitration clause in the purchase agreement.

DIVORCE 29: Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic is subject to modification.

As the name implies, periodic spousal support payments are made on a periodic basis. Periodic spousal support payments are subject to any contingency, such as death or remarriage of a spouse, whereas spousal support in gross is paid as a lump sum or a definite sum to be paid in installments. In addition, one major difference between the two types of spousal support is modifiability. Spousal support in gross is non-modifiable, whereas periodic spousal support is subject to modification pursuant to MCL 555.28.1.

How to Dispute an Insurance Adjustment

When something drastic happens, many people need to take extra steps to rebuild your home, recover property, or pay medical bill collectors. Unfortunately, most people believe they have no backup plan if their insurance company refuses their claim...

PROBATE 28: Probate court enters a protective order providing support for a community spouse.

A probate court’s consideration of the couple’s circumstances cannot involve an assumption that the institutionalized spouse should receive 100% free medical care under Medicaid or an assumption that a community spouse is entitled to maintain his or her standard of living. Medicaid is a need-based program, and a Medicaid recipient is obligated to contribute to his or her care.

REAL ESTATE 36: Plaintiff argued that her claim was not time-barred because it did not accrue until the grandmother’s death.

Plaintiff’s interest in the subject property is best characterized as a remainder estate, because her right to possession of the property was postponed until the occurrence of a specific contingency, that being the deaths of the grandparents. Plaintiff pursued this action within the 15-year limitation period; accordingly, this action is not barred by MCL 600.5801(4).

LITIGATION 6: The terms of the agreement prevails over the course of performance.

The trial court determined that under the UCC, the express terms of the parties’ agreements prevailed over the course of their performance and course of dealing. Although a course of performance may show that parties have waived a specific contractual term under MCL 440.1303(6), the statute does not similarly provide that a course of dealing may demonstrate waiver.

PROBATE 27: Petitioner filed a petition for mental-health treatment.

In support of the allegations, petitioner attached clinical certificates from a physician and a psychiatrist who observed respondent at the hospital. Both doctors diagnosed respondent with bipolar disorder, determined that she displayed a likelihood of injuring herself and that she did not understand the need for treatment, and recommended a course of treatment that consisted of 60 days of hospitalization and 90 days of outpatient care.

5 Things Everyone Should Do Before Starting a Business

So, you have a great idea and the experience to back it up. You are in a great starting place, but you have some work to do before jumping into forming your own business. Consider the following steps before you begin the process of starting your...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405