734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

FAMILY LAW 39: If postnuptial agreement seeks to promote marriage, Michigan courts may enforce the agreement.

Plaintiff and defendant married in 2007. During the marriage, the parties maintained separate bank accounts. They are both attorneys with separate legal practices.

In 2016, the parties purchased the marital home for $375,000. Plaintiff paid the purchase price with funds from her own account, but defendant arranged for $100,000 to be transferred to plaintiff’s account in connection with the purchase, and both parties’ names were placed on the deed.

Plaintiff filed for divorce in August 2016. The trial court determined that the recently purchased home was a marital asset and it awarded each party half of its equity value.

Plaintiff argues that the trial court erred by determining that the home was a marital asset instead of plaintiff’s separate property, and by awarding defendant half of its equity value. Plaintiff argues that the trial court erred by failing to find that she was entitled to the marital home as her separate property pursuant to an alleged postnuptial agreement.

Under Michigan law, a couple that is maintaining a marital relationship may not enter into an enforceable contract that anticipates and encourages a future separation or divorce. If a postnuptial agreement seeks to promote marriage by keeping a husband and wife together, Michigan courts may enforce the agreement if it is equitable to do so.

In this case, the trial court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the parties had an enforceable agreement that governed the disposition of the marital home. The court first noted that the parties had not reduced any alleged agreement to writing. Although plaintiff maintained that she and defendant had orally agreed that the marital home would be awarded to her as her separate property in the event of a divorce, plaintiff has presented no authority in support of her argument that any alleged oral agreement would be enforceable.

Michigan’s statute of frauds, MCL 566.106, provides:

No estate or interest in lands, other than leases for a term not exceeding 1 year, nor any trust or power over or concerning lands, or in any manner relating thereto, shall hereafter be created, granted, assigned, surrendered or declared, unless by act or operation of law, or by a deed or conveyance in writing, subscribed by the party creating, granting, assigning, surrendering or declaring the same, or by some person thereunto by him lawfully authorized by writing.

The marital home was titled in the names of both parties. Plaintiff seeks to defeat defendant’s record interest in the property by arguing that she was entitled to the home as her separate property under a postnuptial agreement. Because the alleged agreement pertains to an interest in real property, plaintiff is not entitled to enforce it absent a writing that satisfies the statute of frauds.

Are you facing a divorce in Michigan? Do you have questions about how your assets and your debts will be divided with your soon-to-be ex-spouse?

Financial issues are often the biggest concern for individuals and families who are facing divorce.

At the Plymouth and Ann Arbor law firm of Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys understand the struggles you may face. We will work hard to help you obtain all to which you are entitled during your divorce.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

FAMILY LAW 77: Court awarded plaintiff sole legal custody; defendant was unwilling to work with plaintiff.

For joint custody to work, parents must be able to agree with each other on basic issues in child rearing including health care, religion, education, day to day decision making and discipline and they must be willing to cooperate with each other in joint decision making. If two equally capable parents are unable to cooperate and to agree generally concerning important decisions affecting the welfare of their children, the court has no alternative but to determine which parent shall have sole custody of the children.

CRIMINAL 19: Sentencing guidelines are advisory.

The sentencing guidelines are advisory, and although a trial court must determine the applicable guidelines range and take it into account when imposing a sentence, the court is not required to sentence a defendant within that range.

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

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