What will happen to your cabin when you file for divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 31, 2020 | Division of Marital Property

Cabin life is a big part of summer for a lot of people in Michigan. Whether you inherited a rural cabin from your parents or you and your spouse bought one so you would have someplace to escape with your kids every summer, you probably love your little getaway.

Figuring out how to split up cherished property is often one of the most difficult parts of getting a divorce. When compared with most other property, real estate holdings are often much more valuable and therefore more hotly contested in a divorce. It’s likely that both you and your ex want to keep the cabin or the money it represents.

What are the Michigan courts likely to do with your vacation home or other real estate holdings in a contested divorce filing?

The goal of property division in Michigan is a fair outcome

If you and your ex aren’t able to set your own terms for divorce, a judge will review your circumstances and try to find fair solutions for your family. Michigan is one of a majority of states that apply the equitable distribution standard whose goal is ultimately fairness.

When it comes to handling highly valuable property, the courts have several options available to them. They can give certain valuable property to one spouse and other assets worth a comfortable amount to the other. One spouse might receive more property and also a much larger share of the marital debt. In some cases, the courts can also order the sale of a property so that the spouses can split the proceeds.

In a situation where the property is part of an inheritance or was owned outright prior to marriage, it may not be subject to division.

What does equitable distribution mean for your cabin?

While you may not get to keep the cabin, you will receive your fair share of its value in the divorce. You can choose to either ask for the cabin or just a share of the equity in it.

If one spouse has a serious emotional attachment to the property, negotiating outside of court to arrange your own property settlement could be a good solution. Thinking about your needs carefully can guide you toward the right strategy for your vacation home or cabin in your divorce.