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How can hunting land impact a Michigan divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Divorce

Michigan offers numerous opportunities for hunting. Whether someone is a bow hunter and pursues turkeys to stock their deep freezer or is a seasonal hunter on the watch for a big trophy buck, having a plot of hunting property makes it easier to enjoy one’s hobby conveniently.

Some people inherit hunting property from their family members or buy into it with a group of friends. Others purchase it when their lives become stable and they have the resources to invest in such recreational pursuits. Hunting land is often only be worth a tiny fraction of the value of developed real property, like the residence where someone lives. However, it is still a valuable asset that could have an impact on a divorce.

The value of the property is in play

Provided that someone acquired the hunting property during the marriage or used marital income to maintain the property, it will likely be part of the pool of marital resources. That means that it will be necessary to establish the fair market value of the property and then factor that into the division of other assets.

It’s common for people to worry that they may have to sell off their hunting land. That may be possible if there aren’t sufficient assets to offset the value of the real property. With current land prices relatively high, the market value for the property could be substantially more than what someone initially paid for it or what they think that the land is worth.

Occasionally, individuals may be able to protect hunting property as their separate property that is not subject to division. If they owned it outright before getting married or inherited the property, it may not be part of the pool of marital assets.

Someone won’t necessarily need to sell their hunting property to compensate their spouse for its value, although refinancing it may sometimes be a necessary part of the divorce process. Those who take the time to identify and properly value their assets early in the divorce process will be able to better manage negotiations and push for an appropriate outcome if they litigate.