Joint Tenancy With Full Rights of Survivorship In Michigan
Generally, all jointly held property is subject to being partitioned. MCL 600.3304; MSA 27A.3304.
There is a distinction between a joint tenancy and a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship.
In fact, these two distinct joint tenancies have long been recognized in Michigan. See E. C. Schulz v. Brohl, 116 Mich 603; 74 NW 1012 (1898); Mannausa v. Mannausa, 374 Mich 6; 130 NW2d 900 (1964); and Albro v. Allen 434 Mich 271, 276; 454 NW2d 85 (1990).
Our Supreme Court, in Albro, Id. at 274-276, discussed the important difference:
At the crux of this case is the distinction between the "joint tenancy will full rights of survivorship" and the ordinary joint tenancy. the "joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship" is comprised of a joint life estate with dual contingent remainders. See 1 Cameron, Michigan Real Property Law, 9.11, p 274.
While the survivorship feature of the ordinary joint tenancy may be defeated by the act of cotenant, the dual contingent remainders of the "joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship" are indestructible. a cotenant's contigent remainder cannot be destroyed by an act of the other cotenant. Albro, supra, 434 Mich 276.
The goal of a court when apportioning a marital estate is to reach an equitable division in light of all the circumstances. Ackerman v. Ackerman, 163 Mich App 796, 807; 414 NW2d 919 (1987).
In doing so, the court may even invade the separate estate of one of the parties if certain conditions are met. Reeves v. Reeves, 226 Mich App 490, 494; 575 NW2d 1 (1999).