9 Factors of Distribution of Marital Assets In Michigan

In Sparks v. Sparks, 440 Mich 141, 149-150; 485 NW2d 893 (1992), the Supreme Court of Michigan held that the following factors should be considered by a trial court when distributing marital assets, where the factors are relevant to the circumstances of the particular case:

(1) duration of the marriage;

(2) contributions of the parties to the marital estate;

(3) age of the parties;

(4) health of the parties;

(5) life status of the parties;

(6) necessities and circumstances of the parties;

(7) earning abilities of the parties;

(8) past relations and conduct of the parties;

(9) general principles of equity. Id. at 159-160.

Additional factors may also be relevant to a particular case, and there will be many cases where some, or even most, of the above factors will be irrelevant. Id.

Further, "while marital misconduct remains one of the considerations for establishing the division of property, it is only one of several relevant factors that the trial court must consider to reach an equitable division." Id. at 144.

Finally, the trial court's division of property need not be equal, but must be equitable. Id. at 159.