Property division in Michigan must be "equitable," which essentially means "fair." The general guidline courts follow is to try and approximately split 50/50 those assets and debts that were accumulated during the course of the marriage. You wife may be able to exclude the pre-marital increase in value in the home from the division of the marital estate, but you are certainly entitled to the increase in value in the home since you were married. Did you make any improvements to the home during the course of the marriage? During the marriage, who paid for the property taxes and mortgage and homeowner's insurance and utilities? As to her inheritance, you need to analyze how it has been treated since you wife inherited the assets. Were they kept in a joint account with you? Were a portion of the funds used for marital purposes? You have several quite complex property division issues at stake in your case, so I would respectfully recommend you consult with a Siginaw/Bay City Family Law Attorney ASAP to effectively present all your arguments. I wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick.
Your questions (and your situation) are complex enough that they can only be properly answered by consulting with a divorce lawyer. That lawyer can look at the length of the marriage, whether the house increased in value during the marriage, other assets, with whom the six year old will live, the inheritances and whether that money has been kept segregated and the many other issues that must be worked out in a divorce.
If you would like to consult with me you can call my office at (810) 664-1388.
I am licensed to practice law in Michigan and Virginia and regularly handle cases of this sort. You should not rely on this answer. You should consult a lawyer so you can tell the lawyer the entire situation and get legal advice that is precisely tailored to your case.
Talk to an attorney at once. Normally premarital assets are kept separate as well as inherited assets. A lot depends upon what contributions that you may or may not have made to the property. You need to talk to an attorney because based upon what you have presented you may have little or no claim to the premarital and inherited property. Good luck to you.
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