If you have ever traveled to Morocco, you may have been hauled into a carpet shop. Plied with sweet tea and hospitality, you are invited to browse the wares in the hope that one will catch your eye. The problem is, if you have never been inside a carpet shop before, you have no idea how much the rug you like is worth or how hard you are expected to haggle.
Mediating property division in a Michigan divorce is similar. You must understand the value of the assets you are negotiating for and the rules you must play by.
Carry out an up-to-date valuation of your property before you enter mediation. Not just your home, but all assets, including life insurance policies, stocks and bonds, any businesses you own, cars, furniture and even that over-priced Moroccan rug in the hallway.
Michigan law uses the concept of equitable division, where all marital property should be divided fairly. Marital property is usually anything acquired since you were married. Separate property, which you do not need to split, includes gifts, inheritances or property you brought into the marriage.
Remember, if you cannot agree through mediation, a court may have to decide for you. If one person is more at fault for the marriage ending or is in a better financial position than the other, it can all affect what the judge considers equitable.
Once you understand what your marital assets are worth, and how a court would divide them, you have a sound basis to enter mediation and begin to negotiate. Seek legal help to understand more about property division in a Michigan divorce.