Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Recent blog posts

Oakland County divorce attorney parental relocation

No matter how smoothly you and your spouse feel your divorce may be panning out, it is only natural to experience some bumps in the road somewhere along the separation journey. Even the most civil, peaceful partings can stir up feelings of hurt, anger, disappointment, and resentment. This is especially true for the children in the family, who may understandably feel confused or threatened by the sudden changes in the household. 

Studies show that children of all ages tend to struggle with changes in routine, and they typically do best emotionally and mentally when they know what to expect on a day-to-day basis. Young adults in particular struggle with the transition, but even younger children can experience significant anxiety when their parents’ marriage ends. 

...

Farmington Hills divorce attorney parenting time

Regardless of opinions on the matter, the law in Michigan states that substance abuse issues are not enough, in and of themselves, to disqualify a parent from retaining the rights to their children. It generally takes a showing of substance abuse and demonstrable consequences stemming from the problem in order to bring up questions of terminating parental rights. 

Parental Rights During a Divorce

As with any case where parental fitness is at issue, a Michigan court will determine the child’s future based on the consideration of a list of factors intended to pinpoint the best interests of the child. Parental fitness is only one of those factors, though it is an important one. If someone has a substance abuse issue but is seeking help with it, or if someone is mentally ill and in treatment, that is different in many respects from someone who denies the issue altogether. 

...

Farmington Hills divorce attorney asset division

When a couple is getting divorced, property division is often the most contentious and time-consuming aspect of the process. It can feel insurmountable to have to divide every asset you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have between you. However, there is one other thing that must be divided upon the occasion of divorce: the debt that both of you hold. Both must be divided equitably in Michigan.

Dividing Assets

There are several factors that a Michigan judge will consider when determining how assets are divided, but equity is the prevailing focus. Many people confuse equity and equality; equity is a legal term meaning fairness in all respects, while equality is more of a colloquial concept. A judge will weigh a list of factors and determine the fairness of the proposed distribution. Some of these factors include:

...

Oakland County military divorce attorney

Serving in the military comes with obvious risks, but not everyone thinks about the risks their relationships may face. The unfortunate truth is that being an enlisted service member or an officer means your chances of getting divorced are much higher than those associated with a marriage between two civilians.

Factors that can lead to a ruined relationship include the extremely high stress of certain military jobs, being away for months at a time, and having to put your service before your family again and again. Service members who have experienced trauma while deployed or during training have an even higher divorce rate, with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and an inability to assimilate back into civilian life being common contributors to divorce

...

5 Tips for Adjusting to a Blended Family After a Michigan AdoptionAdopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a person’s life. In many cases, adoption gives a loving, safe home to a child in need. Some couples who cannot have biological children of their own may choose to adopt. Other spouses may decide they would like to expand their family through adoption, even if they already have kids of their own. Having siblings can be a wonderful way to grow up. However, there can be a period of adjustment for everyone involved. The following are a few ways to ease the transition for parents and children alike. It is also important to enlist the help of a knowledgeable family law attorney to make your dream come true.   

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Although it is a very exciting time in your life, adopting can also be challenging, especially if your adopted child will be welcomed to your home by new siblings. Here is some practical advice on how to alleviate some of the stress on all family members: 

  1. Include Your Current Children in the Process: Depending on the age of your biological children, they may or may not understand the process your family is embarking on. Talk to them in an age-appropriate language that will help them make sense of the changes that are about to take place and how they will impact their daily routine. 
  2. Gather as Much Information as Possible: Obtain as many details as you can on your adopted child’s medical history, as well as his or her ethnic background. Explain these differences to your children and try to incorporate any cultural traditions into your family.
  3. Beware of Playing Favorites: As a parent, it is important to avoid favoritism with any of your kids. Special treatment of either your adopted child or your biological kids is not fair to anyone. Similarly, disciplining should be consistent for every child. 
  4. Acknowledge Birth Order: Consider that older or younger children may feel some resentment or jealousy if they are no longer the oldest or youngest. It will take time for everyone to get used to their “new normal” after adding another family member, so try not to rush it. Allow your kids to share their feelings by having an open mind and listening.
  5. Seek Family Therapy or Counseling: If any of your children are acting out as a result of the adoption, it might be a wise investment to talk to professionals in child or family counseling. A social worker, family therapist, or adoption specialist can guide your family through this new transition. 

Contact a Farmington Hills Adoption Lawyer

Adoption can be a long and complicated process, but it is worth it in the end. If you are considering adopting a child, it is crucial that you hire an experienced legal team to ensure you complete all the required steps. The distinguished law firm of Elkouri Heath, PLC, has been providing families in southeast Michigan with quality legal services for more than 20 years. We have assisted numerous clients on both sides of family adoption proceedings. Our dedicated Novi, MI, family law attorneys are adept at navigating the adoption process in a thorough and efficient manner. Call our office today at 248-244-9700 to schedule your free consultation.

...

How Can Coronavirus Quarantines Lead to Divorce in Michigan?Millions of people around the world have been impacted by the novel (new) coronavirus, either by being infected or being ordered to stay home. In the U.S., states such as Michigan have temporarily closed schools, restaurants, and non-essential businesses. Depending on the industry, this has also led to many layoffs and citizens seeking unemployment benefits. Families are being told to stay home as much as possible to help slow the spread of the highly contagious virus. Parents are working from home if they can and children are participating in e-learning programs through their schools. There is no doubt these are stressful times. With families sequestered for an indefinite amount of time, can this lead to divorce

The Pros and Cons of Social Distancing/Isolation 

Many American cities and states are being told to “shelter in place,” which means they are allowed to leave their homes only for essential activities, such as going to the grocery store, bank, and gas station. Health and government officials are advising everyone to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Weddings, funerals, graduations, and sporting events have been canceled or postponed. People with elderly or sick family members who are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities are prohibited from visiting in an attempt to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases.  

Social distancing is defined as a series of actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease or infection. Thanks to modern technology, many people can take part in “virtual visits” through FaceTime on their iPhones or programs such as Skype on their computers. However, being quarantined and isolated at home can lead to feelings of anxiety, anger, and fear among family members. Too much togetherness can sometimes make or break a relationship. With the absence of other distractions, a couple may have time to reflect on troubles from their past or recent transgressions. A job loss can significantly impact a family financially, leading to resentment and bitterness. 

...

What Are the Pros and Cons of Mediation in a Michigan Divorce?With all the stress that already accompanies a divorce, the addition of painful, heated courtroom drama can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, mediation might be an appropriate option if you and your spouse are willing to work together to come to a more satisfactory settlement for both you and your children. Although the positive aspects of mediation are appealing at first, it is important to consider several factors before choosing to take this route over litigation. 

The Pros

First, consider everything good that can come from mediation. This process differs greatly from a court hearing in several ways as shown by the following scenarios:

  • A Collaborative Solution: If you and your spouse were to take your divorce to court, the terms of your separation would be subject to harsh legal interpretations of your relationship. This can affect the division of property and assets, child support, or parenting time and often leads to one or both parties unhappy with the result. If this is one of your primary concerns, mediate so that you can cooperate and compromise in a way that benefits you both.
  • Less Expensive: Mediation involves you, your spouse, and a mediator with the appropriate training from the state. Although this will still cost you, it will only be a fraction of what you would both end up paying in legal fees for your attorneys.
  • Neutrality: Per state law, the mediator is not allowed to pass judgments on either you or your spouse and cannot take sides in any way, allowing both of you to work out a solution as amicably as possible. With lawyers at play, the heated discussions could ruin the chances of you and your spouse maintaining any sort of positive relationship after the divorce proceedings.

The Cons

Although mediation can do a lot of good, it can pose a few risks in certain situations. Consider the following before you decide to begin your divorce with mediation:

...

How Can I Enforce a Spousal Support Order in My Michigan Divorce?The thought of ending your marriage can be very intimidating in many ways. In some cases, you may be afraid to leave for financial reasons. Imagining how you will survive on one income may be daunting, especially if you stayed home to raise your children. However, you may be entitled to spousal support (alimony) if you get a divorce in Michigan. Each situation is unique, and the court will evaluate different factors when calculating this type of support. If you are awarded spousal support benefits, your ex-spouse is responsible for making these payments in a timely manner. However, things may not work as planned if your ex does not follow the rules. An experienced divorce attorney can assist you with enforcing spousal support or child support to ensure your financial security so you can move on with the rest of your life.   

Factors Considered by the Court 

According to Michigan divorce law, spousal support is not always awarded in a divorce case. If a couple cannot come to an agreement on how to divide assets or property and one spouse requests support, the court must determine if spousal support is appropriate. Below are a few of the relevant circumstances the court will review when making that decision:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Age and health of each spouse
  • Each party’s contributions to the marriage
  • Economic resources of each spouse
  • Standard of living during the marriage
  • Property received in the divorce settlement
  • Whether one spouse was financially dependent on the other 

Steps For Enforcing an Order 

If your ex-spouse is not making his or her legally required spousal support payments, you need to take decisive action to enforce the payments:

...

What Documentation Do I Need Before Filing for Divorce in Michigan?For some couples, the end of a marriage may have been a long time coming. Regardless if spouses procrastinated with the decision to divorce or made it rather hastily, they must all follow the proper legal procedure to finalize it. Michigan is a no-fault state, which means couples do not have to prove that either party is to blame to obtain a divorce, just that the marriage is beyond repair. The dissolution of a marriage involves many issues that need to be resolved, including the division of assets or property, child custody, and child support. Determining who gets what in a divorce may require providing proof of finances, property, income, and more.

The Importance of Keeping Accurate Records

Computers and online storage systems can provide efficient ways of saving and organizing important forms, but sometimes it is helpful to retain hard copies, too. Although it may be cumbersome to hold onto a lot of paperwork, saving certain documents can benefit you in the long run. A few of the main areas in which you may be required to provide documentation throughout your divorce proceedings include:

  • Proof of residency: Utility bills or rental agreements with your name and address
  • Income: W-2 forms or paycheck stubs, plus tax returns you and your spouse filed jointly or separately within the last year
  • Debt: Any outstanding credit card balances, student or car loans, and medical bills
  • Assets: An itemized list of your marital and nonmarital assets, which can include vehicles, furniture, artwork, jewelry, and other personal items
  • Real estate property: A mortgage statement or deed, as well as any documents related to rental properties you or your spouse may own
  • Bank accounts: Checking or savings account statements in your names
  • Retirement/Investment plans: Data on 401(k) or pensions to which either you or your spouse contributed throughout the marriage, in addition to mutual funds, stocks, bonds, and IRAs in either spouse’s name
  • Life insurance: Information on any life insurance policies that were taken out
  • Health issues: Medical records showing health history for all involved family members, including any children you have together
  • Education/Childcare: If your children attend private school or daycare, bills showing the cost of these expenses

Contact a Farmington Hills Divorce Lawyer

The divorce process may seem daunting, especially to those who have never been through it before. There are many decisions that will need to be made, which often requires spouses to provide personal documents. It is important to be organized and prepared before filing for divorce. Speaking with an Oakland County asset division attorney can alleviate some of the stress you may feel about the necessary legal steps to terminate your marriage. Call the accomplished law firm of Elkouri Heath, PLC, today at 248-344-9700 to schedule your free consultation.

...

How Is the Dissipation of Assets Handled in a Michigan Divorce?The end of a marriage can be difficult on many levels. The breakdown of a relationship can affect more than just spouses. If a couple had children together, they will likely be devastated to see their family unit split apart. In addition, breaking up can cause financial hardship for one or both parties. Michigan, like many other states, is an “equitable distribution” state when it comes to dividing assets or property in a divorce. This means any marital property will be divided in a fair way, but not necessarily 50/50. In some cases, one spouse may have made secret purchases with marital assets. The legal term for this deception is “dissipation of assets,” and an experienced divorce attorney can help discover it. 

Uncovering Hidden Expenditures

Dissipation is defined as spending marital money, or using any marital asset, for something that benefits only one spouse, not the marriage as a whole. Since funds are leaving the marital estate, the combined value of the assets being divided in the divorce settlement will be lower. Examples of dissipation can be gambling, drug or alcohol abuse, money spent on an extramarital affair, or any extravagant purchases made by one spouse.

It may be challenging to prove the dissipation of assets, but that is where a skilled attorney, as well as a forensic accountant, can help. They know where to look and how to reveal dissipated assets. Carefully reviewing financial records and documentation is essential in providing evidence that one party was siphoning off money for him or herself. In certain situations, one spouse could be guilty of filtering money or expenses through a business that they own.

...

What Are the Benefits of a Relative Adoption in Michigan?According to the Adoption Network, approximately 135,000 children are adopted every year in the United States. Relative or related adoption is the legal adoption of a child by a biological relative. For example, it can be the adoption of a child by his or her grandparent, uncle, or cousin. In many states, relative adoptions are not as complicated as non-relative or agency adoptions. The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) searches for adoptive families that will best meet the needs of a child. If possible, adoptive placements are made with relatives or foster parents, and siblings are kept together in most situations. It is important to seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney when considering any adoption. 

The Basics of a Related Adoption

According to Michigan family law, any individual can be adopted but those who are age 14 or older must give their own consent. In addition, the state law allows adoptive parents 21 days in which to challenge a denial.

Because of the familial relationship in a relative adoption, one attorney is able to represent both parties. In these types of adoptions, it is considered more of an “open” adoption versus a “closed” adoption. However, in cases of divorce where one spouse remarries and a step-parent wishes to adopt the child, each biological parent may choose to hire separate legal representation.  

...

Tips for Divorcing a Narcissistic Spouse in MichiganIn some marriages, a spouse may be unhappy, but the thought of filing for a divorce can be intimidating. If a couple has children together, one parent may not want to break up the family unit. However, being married to a narcissist who is self-involved and arrogant can be damaging to the entire family. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a psychological disorder that manifests with the constant need for acknowledgment and a lack of caring for others. Getting out of this type of toxic relationship by filing for divorce may be in your best interest. Since a narcissist typically believes he or she is always right, this can cause a lot of disputes during the legal proceedings. The following are a few practical ways to minimize the conflict when legally ending your marriage to a narcissist. 

Ways to Reduce Conflict

A narcissist will do everything in his or her power to gain an advantage and win, especially regarding a divorce settlement. Although you may have been used to your spouse’s behavior while you were married, he or she may become even more contentious once the petition to dissolve the marriage is issued. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process smoothly: 

  • Set Realistic Expectations: Realizing that your spouse is not going to play fair will help prepare you if he or she contests any of the marital issues such as division of property, spousal support, or parenting time.  
  • Get Everything in Writing: A narcissist will often lie as a means of manipulating the situation to his or her liking. Document what your spouse says by keeping records of any conversations via email, voicemail, or text messages. 
  • Understand Your Finances: Getting a clear picture of your marital estate is crucial to receiving what is rightfully yours. In some cases, a narcissistic spouse may have hidden assets or even dissipated them through extravagant spending.  
  • Control Your Emotions: You may not be able to control how your spouse reacts to things, but you can manage your feelings. It is best not to engage your spouse because it will likely enrage him or her. Joining a divorce support group or seeking counseling may help you emotionally. 

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state, which means a couple can get divorced regardless of who is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. This is why it is imperative to hire an experienced attorney who understands the complications that can arise when negotiating with a narcissistic spouse. 

...

Three Steps to Protect Your Finances During DivorceDivorce is stressful for a number of reasons, and adding financial struggles on top of everything can set people over the edge. Before couples begin the divorce process, they often expect things to be cordial and expedient. Things can quickly get ugly when the possibility of divorce becomes a reality. The division of marital properties and assets can bring out the worst in individuals with some spouses going so far as hiding assets or lying about their financial stability. Whether or not your spouse is involved in foul play, it is important to take additional measures to protect your finances during your divorce to avoid paying for it later.

Gather Your Records

Some divorcing spouses will take advantage of their joint financial accounts right before the divorce becomes official by buying expensive things or making large purchases, draining the account to keep the money away from their ex’s pockets. Obtaining documentation of the amount within all of your accounts before the divorce is a good way to protect your joint and individual accounts from these sort of actions. With the proper evidence, you can prove that your spouse’s spending habits have changed drastically throughout the divorce, jeopardizing your financial stability in the future.

Create Your Own Accounts

Many couples share all of their financial accounts, especially females or stay-at-home parents. While this connection may not seem problematic throughout your marriage, once divorce becomes a possibility, it can leave you reliant on your soon-to-be ex-spouse. One of the first actions that divorcing couples should take is to open their own bank account and get their own credit card. Not only will they begin building up their own credit, but they will also have sole control over the finances. Many divorcing couples will close their joint accounts at the beginning of the divorce process to avoid unfair spending or foul play.

...

Can A Child Custody Ruling Be Modified in Michigan?When parents choose to end their marriage, the most important factor that should be considered for the future is the safety and wellbeing of their children. While Michigan law encourages both caregivers to create a custody agreement that is in the best interest of the children, this may not always be possible. Depending on the reasons behind the divorce, parents may have a difficult time coming together to construct an agreed-upon parenting plan. As time progresses and situations change, however, modifications may be made to a child custody arrangement if there is a proper cause and the involved children would benefit. If you wish to alter your current court-ordered parental agreement, a knowledgeable child custody lawyer can help. 

Joint or Sole Custody

Once parents choose to end their marriage, the decision of custody must be determined. If for any reason the parents cannot agree on a living situation for their children, the court system will become involved. If joint custody is decided, that means that both parents will share the responsibility of raising their children. Topics such as education, religion, medical care, and the decision of extracurricular activities will have to be agreed upon by both spouses. Before a ruling is made, the judge must determine whether or not the parents will be able to agree on the aforementioned topics. Joint custody may be considered by the court without a request from either parent. 

In the event that sole custody is granted, the care and decision-making responsibilities will be designated to one parent. When determining which outcome will be enforced, a judge will consider:

...

Oakland County spousal support attorney

The playing field of divorce may have leveled out over the past several years, but some women are still at a financial disadvantage when their marriage ends. In particular, women who left the workforce or sacrificed their education to raise a family or promote their spouse’s career may face some financial surprises with devastating consequences when they embark on a divorce. It is essential to learn the Michigan divorce laws to be prepared for this next chapter of your life.  

1. Needing to Return to the Workforce

If you stepped back from your career to raise a family or further your spouse’s career, entered into retirement, or suffer a disability that limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for spousal support (alimony). Awards do not last forever, however, so it is recommended that you plan for re-entry into the workforce sooner rather than later. If you cannot work, strive to find a viable alternative, such as Disability or your spouse’s Social Security. 

...

Oakland County parenting time attorney

Divorce can be messy, even in the best of circumstances. Emotions run high, and you and your spouse may get caught up in getting even with one another rather than what is best for everyone involved. If you have children together, it is imperative that you consider their interests when making decisions. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to ease the transition. 

1. Reassure the Kids

Children do not always cope well with divorce, but it is often because they fear what might happen. Their worries can vary, but the solution is usually the same. All they really need is consistency and reassurance. They need to know that both of their parents will be there for them as life changes and that they are not at fault for the dissolution of your marriage. 

...

Posted on in Divorce

Is Divorce Better Than An Unhappy Marriage?Divorce is a scary decision to make and often takes couples years to come to. Splitting from your spouse may not sound like a good option, especially if you have been with them for over a decade. You become accustomed to living with another person, even if you do not necessarily get along with them, and the alternative can seem like a worse situation. For those considering divorce, it can be difficult to find the encouragement you need to do so from loved ones. Their ties to you and your spouse can make them a non-neutral party who are rooting for your relationship rather than your best self. Our divorce attorneys at Elkouri Heath, PLC, work to put you first, regardless of your relationship, and encourage our clients to look at divorce in a new light.

Seeing the “Positive” in the “Negative”

Societal norms often frame divorce in a negative light. While divorce may not have been your plan while saying “I do,” a split from your spouse is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is often the best thing for individuals who are getting divorced. Our attorneys find that by shedding new light on the “negatives” of divorce, many spouses begin to see the positives that can come from this life change.

  1. Giving Up Mutual Security to Give Yourself a New Start: One of the biggest fears that divorcing couples have is change. Starting a new life after your initial plan failed to work out can be a stressful experience and can even keep people in unhappy marriages. Though you may be giving up the “security” that you have with your spouse, this security can often make you give up your happiness. Having another person by your side may feel like safety, but getting to choose your happiness and rely on yourself along the way is the biggest life security of all.
  2. Two Parents Does Not Mean Better Parenting: Married couples with children can often stay in their relationship for their children’s sake, thinking that having two parents under one household is better for their kids. While this line of thinking is understandable, what many parents fail to recognize is the attention that their children give their parents' interaction. Many parents will try and “fake it till they make it” until their children are out of the house but do not realize that kids can sense the tension between their parents. Experts have found that children do better in a less contentious environment rather than seeing the effects of an unhealthy relationship.
  3. Moving On and Moving Up: Individuals going through a divorce are not doomed to an eternity of solitude. Those who are in unhappy relationships may remain in them thinking that they are too old to find another partner. As more and more middle-aged individuals are getting divorced, the dating pool continues to grow for those who consider themselves past the age of dating. Whether or not you find another partner, you deserve to be with someone who makes you happy, even if that person is yourself.

Call a Novi, MI, Divorce Attorney for Help

Calling a divorce attorney may seem like the final step in the divorce process; however, it does not necessarily mean that you must have made up your mind. Sometimes, speaking to a legal professional can help you make your decision one way or the other. At Elkouri Heath, PLC, we offer advice for those considering divorce or those looking for an attorney to represent their case. With over 23 years of experience, our attorneys have worked with a variety of couples, each with their own unique situation, and have gained extensive knowledge about the legal and emotional side of divorce. If you are considering divorce, contact our Oakland County divorce lawyers for a free consultation at 248-344-9700 today.

...

How Is Real Estate Property Divided in a Michigan Divorce?No one really enters into a marriage thinking they are going to get divorced. Sadly, many couples do end their legal unions for various reasons. In some cases, an extramarital affair or an addiction problem may have caused the relationship to sour. Once a couple decides to part ways, they will have to make many decisions, including how to divide their assets and property. The division of real estate properties can be one of the most contested aspects of a divorce. Spouses often argue over who gets to stay in the marital home or who can keep the lake house. Under Michigan law, a judge is required to distribute marital property fairly. This typically means that each spouse receives approximately half of everything. However, the property may be divided unequally if one party is considered to be more responsible for the marriage ending or if one party proves a significant need for more assets. 

Separate Versus Marital Property

If either spouse owns his or her own property prior to the marriage, it is classified as separate property. In addition, gifts or any type of inheritance received during the marriage are referred to as separate property. If a spouse owns separate property such as another home, jewelry, or artwork and it appreciates in value on its own, the increase in value is still separate.

The majority of assets or property that spouses accumulated throughout their marriage is marital property. Regardless of whose name is on a title or deed, it is still marital property unless it was given to or inherited by one spouse. Marital property means that it is owned by both spouses. Typical examples include houses, vehicles, furniture, artwork, retirement plans, pensions, bank accounts, CDs, or any other assets or investments earned or acquired during the marriage. 

...

Farmington Hills child support attorney military divorce

Divorce is a fairly common occurrence these days, especially when compared to decades ago. Recent studies show that approximately 40 to 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Although this may be a somewhat disheartening statistic, it is a reality in today’s modern world. Regardless of whether the breakdown of a marriage was caused by infidelity, addiction, or financial problems, for many couples, legally ending their union may be better for everyone in the long run. Once a couple decides to divorce, many issues will need to be addressed, such as property and asset division, spousal support, and child support if children are involved. Child support in Michigan is determined based on various factors, but what if one or both parents are serving in the U.S. military? Service to our country can affect how child support payments are implemented. 

Legal and Parental Obligations

All parents are responsible for the emotional and financial security of their children, no matter whether they are married, divorced, separated, or they never tied the knot. This obligation applies to parents in the Armed Forces as well. Several laws exist to ensure children are provided with the necessities to live a healthy and joyful life. In most situations, the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities and parenting time (the custodial parent) will receive child support payments from the other parent (the non-custodial parent). 

...

I’m a Single Parent – Can I Adopt in Michigan?In the past, the nuclear family was preferred for adoption over other family makeups and dynamics; however, this has changed as society has modernized and the vision of the “American family” has expanded. Many single parents incorrectly believe that they cannot adopt due to their relationship status. In 2017 alone, almost 15,000 single women and nearly 2,000 single men adopted children or youth from foster care. For single women or men looking to adopt a child, it is important to consider how single parenthood would affect their lifestyle and to look at their various options to make an informed decision on the matter.

Lifestyle Changes

It is no secret that having a child changes an adult’s life forever. This is especially true of those looking to embark on this journey alone. Single individuals considering adoption should look at the following three areas to see if they are ready to take that step:

  1. Time Management: This is a skill that every parent is forced to learn when they bring their child home. Balancing work, your child’s needs, and your social life by yourself can be a difficult task. Before single parents move forward with the adoption, it is important to see how they would “fit” their child into their day while making them a priority.
  2. Financial Investment: Children are the most expensive investment a person can make. Necessities such as food, clothing, and doctor’s visits are enough to make a future parent’s head spin. When you think about the possible costs of education or extracurriculars, the investment may seem impossible. Parents should look at their financial stability before making a lifelong commitment to caring for a child.
  3. Relationships: Children can take up most of a parent’s time, making it difficult to start new relationships if they are not already in one. Children can complicate the dynamics of a new relationship and sometimes stop them altogether. Before deciding that a child is in your immediate future, you may want to look at your willingness to prioritize your child over romantic relationships to come.

What Are the Different Types of Adoption?

Aside from adopting a family member or stepchild, there are three different types of adoption available to those looking to grow their family.

...
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top