Elkouri Heath, PLC

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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:

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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.

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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.

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Can Grandparents Be Granted Visitation in Michigan?If you have grandchildren, you know what a joy being a grandparent can be. After a divorce, grandparents may worry that they will not get to see their grandchildren as often as they did when the children’s parents were married. In some cases, a parent may outright refuse to let his or her children see their grandparents. This can be absolutely devastating for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. Fortunately, grandparents have certain rights under Michigan law that allow them to spend time with their grandchildren. However, these rights may be subject to certain restrictions and qualifying criteria.

How Can I Get Grandparenting Time?

Visitation with grandchildren, also called grandparenting time, is not automatically granted after a divorce. If your grandchildren’s parent(s) agrees to grandparenting time, you will have a much easier time pursuing visitation with the children. However, if the parents do not want you to see their children, you will have to convince the court that grandparent visitation is in the child’s or children’s best interest.

If the court finds the parents “fit” enough to make good decisions regarding who their children spend time with, it can be hard to get court-ordered grandparenting time over their objections. In order for a grandparent to be awarded visitation, they must show evidence that proves the benefit of them spending time with their grandchildren. If you want court-ordered grandparent visitation, you will need to prove that the denial of grandparent visitation rights would create a “substantial risk of harm to the child’s mental, physical or emotional health.” Michigan courts consider a variety of factors when deciding whether or not grandparent visitation is appropriate. These include but are not limited to:

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Common Questions About Child Custody in MichiganIf you are a parent who is unmarried or planning to divorce, you may have many questions about child custody in Michigan. Parents are encouraged to work out their own child custody arrangements, but understandably, this is not always possible. If parents cannot come to an agreement regarding custody and parenting time, the court will intervene and determine a child custody schedule on behalf of the parents. In Michigan, the Child Custody Act dictates how the court makes decisions about parenting time and custody.

Joint Custody or Sole Custody?

There are two types of custody under Michigan law: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is a parent’s decision-making authority and physical custody is where the child physically lives. Parents with joint legal custody consult with one another regarding major child-related decisions whereas sole legal custody assigns all decision-making responsibilities to one parent. In a joint physical custody arrangement, the child maintains a residence with both parents. Typically, one parent in a joint custody arrangement is the primary custodian and the other parent enjoys child visitation, technically called parenting time in Michigan law. When a parent has sole physical custody, the child resides only with them.

Best Interest Factors Considered During Custody Disputes

When parents cannot agree on custody issues, the court will make a determination based on the child’s best interests. The Michigan Child Custody Act lists the factors used to evaluate what type of child custody arrangement is in the child’s best interest. These factors include but are not limited to:

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Posted on in Family Law

How To Establish Paternity in MichiganWhen a married couple has a child together, the husband of the woman who gave birth to the child is automatically considered the child’s father in the eyes of the law. The father does not need to take any action to establish paternity and become the child’s official parent. However, the same is not true for unmarried couples. If you are an unmarried father who wishes to become your child’s legal parent, you will have to take some steps to officially establish the parent-child relationship.

Establishing Parentage Can Benefit Your Child in Many Ways

Even if you know that you are the biological parent of your child, there are several benefits of formally establishing parentage or paternity. Establishing paternity can give your child a better sense of self and open the doors for them to form a relationship with extended family. Furthermore, establishing paternity allows your child to benefit from your:

  • Health insurance
  • Inheritance
  • Pensions
  • Social security
  • Veteran’s benefits

A child whose father has established paternity will also be able to access the father’s medical history, which can be extremely important if the child experiences certain health concerns.

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Oakland County child custody attorney

If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, one of your greatest fears may be telling your children that you plan to divorce. It is very possible that your children will remember the moment they learned about the divorce for the rest of their lives. Needless to say, it is important for parents to plan this discussion carefully and take steps to make the conversation go as smoothly as possible. Fortunately, much research has been done regarding the best ways to tell children about divorce. Read on to learn about the most common advice experts give parents for how to break the news of their impending divorce to their children.

Reassure Children That the Divorce Is Not Their Fault

Children are naturally egocentric. Because of this, they may assume that they somehow caused the divorce. This is especially true if the children have heard their parents arguing about parenting concerns in the past. Even if they do not say it outright, they may be secretly concerned that if they had behaved better or made different choices, that maybe their parents would be staying together. It is important for parents to remind children that the adults have made this decision for their own reasons and that it is in no way the kids’ fault.

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Oakland County child support attorney

Studies show that children thrive when they have a relationship with both of their parents. In addition to emotional support, kids deserve to receive financial support from both of their parents, including when parents are divorced or unmarried. If you are a parent in Michigan who is considering divorce, you may be wondering how child support determinations will be made. Which parent pays child support? How much will my monthly child support payment be? When does child support end? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and find out how you can get help with child support questions or disputes in Michigan.

Understanding Michigan Child Support 

The Michigan Child Support Formula is used to determine which parent will pay child support and the amount of support payments. The factors considered in child support calculations include:

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Differentiating Between Separate and Marital Property During a Michigan DivorceOften, one of the most contentious issues during a divorce is asset division. When two people marry, they join their lives not only personally, but also financially. Undoing the intertwining of two people’s finances can quickly become complicated – especially if the couple owns complex assets such as a family business, stock options, retirement accounts, or investment real estate. If you plan to divorce and you live in Michigan, a qualified family law attorney can help you understand your options for property division under Michigan law.

Marital Property Is Property Accumulated During the Marriage

Before the marital estate can be divided during a divorce, courts must determine what property is separate and what property is marital. Generally, separate or non-marital properties include funds or assets which a spouse acquired before getting married. For example, if a wife collected an assortment of fine art before she married her husband, it would likely be considered separate property and not subject to division during divorce. Marital property, on the other hand, typically includes any assets accumulated during the marriage. However, there are exceptions to these general rules. According to Michigan case law, assets accumulated while the couple was living together but not formally married may be considered separate property or part of the marital estate depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

Michigan Courts Must Divide the Marital Estate “Fairly”

Unlike some other states, Michigan does not simply divide marital property exactly in half during a divorce. Instead, courts consider a variety of factors in order to reach a property division scenario which is equitable, or fair, for both parties. Michigan law asserts that marital property does not need to be divided in such a way that each spouse receives exactly 50 percent of the marital estate. However, the courts do have an obligation to explain any “significant departures from congruence” with regard to the distribution of the marital estate. The length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and overall financial circumstances, the health and needs of each spouse, and other factors may influence the distribution of marital property during divorce.

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Oakland County divorce asset division attorney

The divorce process can be a tumultuous time for any person. Separating from a spouse to whom you were once happily married is never easy. In any divorce, there are a variety of complicated matters that will need to be resolved. Most notably, a person’s financial situation can drastically change post-divorce. In order to ensure that your divorce does not compromise your future financial security, it is important to know how to protect yourself. Below we will discuss a few simple steps you can take to ensure a level of financial security after your divorce is finalized. 

Preparation Is Essential for Financial Security

When you are separating from your spouse, it can be difficult to think about money. The reality of the situation, however, is that you need to be thinking about what your financial future will look like once the divorce is finalized. Some steps you can take include:

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How to Behave in Court During a Divorce or Family Law CaseDivorce can be a stressful time for almost everyone. Sometimes people act out irrationally due to the high stress and tense situations. However, those actions can have a huge impact on the outcome of your divorce if you are not careful. By working with an experienced attorney, you can be prepared to address the legal concerns in a divorce or family law case. Here are three tips for how you should prepare and behave during this crucial time:

  1. Dress Appropriately for Court: The court is a formal setting and first impressions matter. You want to dress in a clean, respectful way that showcases your responsibility and maturity. Wearing professional-looking clothing to court is your way of showing respect for the judge and the legal system. Besides wearing conservative clothing, make sure you are showered and look clean. 
  2. Stay Alcohol and Drug-Free: Substance abuse is a serious problem, especially when children are involved. Judges will always err on the side of caution and demand the person be drug-tested if they suspect a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol. The best way to avoid this suspicion is to remain sober, especially during all court appearances. If you give the judge a hint of doubt you about your ability to be a good provider, you could risk losing custody of your children.
  3. Do Not Talk Poorly of Your Ex to Your Children: It is important not to talk poorly about your ex to your children since they need to think of both of their parents in a positive and safe light. This applies especially to cases in family court. The judge is also the jury and will look down on you if she or he hears you are bad-mouthing the other parent. According to the Children’s Bill of Rights, children do not need to be subjected to negative talk about the other parent.

Contact an Oakland County Attorney

Whatever the situation, it is helpful to learn how to remain calm and collected. Besides a clear mental state, you also need qualified legal advice. If you are experiencing a divorce, you need the best representation to help you reach a settlement or argue your case in court. Our reputable Oakland County divorce lawyers at Elkouri Heath, PLC, can advocate on your behalf in order to protect your interests during your divorce or family law case. Contact us at 248-344-9700 today to schedule an appointment.

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Posted on in Divorce

Comparing Divorce Rates From Around the WorldOver the past four decades, divorce rates around the world have more than doubled. A recent study conducted by Cheng-Tong Lir Wang and Evan Schofer (sociologists at UC Irvine) compiled more than 40 years of data to look at how divorce rates have changed from a global perspective. Below, we will take a closer look at their results and identify trends. There are many factors for this growth in divorce. However, no matter what the factors are, it is important to find a reputable divorce lawyer.

Highest and Lowest Divorce Rates Around the World

The average rate of divorce amongst all of the nations and territories studied was 4.08 divorces for every 1,000 married people:

  • The countries and territories with the highest divorce rate are Kazakhstan (19.01), Russia (11.49), Cuba (11.03), and Puerto Rico (9.43); and
  • The countries with the lowest divorce rate are Brazil (1.27), Tajikistan (1.21), China (1.13), Chile (.91), Peru (.46), and Sri Lanka (.45). 

The United States was not included in this study because the sociologists considered it too extreme of an outlier. According to a different study, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Arkansas are the states with the highest divorce rate.

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Novi asset division attorneyCouples have been getting divorced for centuries, and while the process may be standard, societal changes can cause divorce attorneys to adjust their approach. One recent issue that may complicate the asset division process is dividing cryptocurrency. The concept of cryptocurrency can be confusing for most people because it is a relatively recent invention. However, if you do own a form of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, and are going through a divorce, finding a qualified divorce attorney who understands how to divide cryptocurrency should be your first step.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of financial exchange that is conducted through the internet. It does not belong to a bank, so there are no fees needed to keep it in an account online. Cryptocurrency is governed by computer code, and its computer technology limits the number of virtual "coins" in circulation. When either spouse owns cryptocurrency in a divorce, it is treated as intangible property. 

How to Value Your Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is hard to value, and the market can be extremely volatile. Due to fluctuating exchange rates, virtual currency owned when a divorce commences could be worth 300 times its value by the end of the settlement, or it could be 300 times less. During the divorce process, the value of a cryptocurrency can be determined by calculating the Fair Market Value, or what it would be worth if exchanged for cash. 

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Oakland County divorce mediation attorneyWhen people think of divorce, they often imagine highly contested court battles between two parties looking to secure the majority of marital assets. In reality, many divorces can simply be amicable separations between two spouses that recognize that marriage is no longer healthy or functional. In these situations, alternative methods can be used to resolve the complicated matters surrounding the end of the marriage. Divorce mediation is one such method. 

What Is Mediation? 

Divorce mediation is a process in which two divorcing spouses work together with a neutral mediator to resolve the various issues that must be addressed during the divorce. Mediation can be used to resolve conflicts involving the division of marital assets and spousal support agreements. When children are involved in the divorce, the mediator should be experienced in helping parents come to a conclusion on what is best for their children. A mediator can help the couple reach workable, mutually beneficial agreements on issues such as child custody and child support

The Benefits of Mediation

Divorce mediation can represent a fairly seamless way for a divorcing couple to reach agreements on issues that could present potential conflicts. First and foremost, mediation can save you valuable time and money. Divorce litigation can take an extended amount of time and require both parties to pay significant lawyer fees and court costs. Once your divorce case goes to court, the resolution of various issues will be entirely out of your control. Mediation offers both parties a say in the final decisions that are made, which is especially critical in divorce cases involving children. Lastly, mediation offers you the chance to work with your former spouse to reach agreements. If you are sharing custodial responsibilities for your children, this can help you begin building a relationship post-divorce. For more information on the benefits of mediation, it is best to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. 

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DuPage County parenting plan attorneyWhen couples decide to file for divorce, it is usually in the best interest of both parties. However, the initial changes that inevitably result from divorce can be difficult. They affect yourself, your lifestyle, your partner, and any children you may have. Children can handle divorce in unpredictable ways since they lack the life experience and maturity to fully understand their parents’ decision. Every family must formulate a parenting plan that includes scheduled visitation. Like most areas of children's lives, their new schedule is out of their control, which can make it difficult for them to adjust. Here are some tips to help if your kids are struggling with the parenting plan transition.

Be Nice to the Other Parent

Children pay attention more than you think. If you are talking negatively about the other parent (even if it is on the phone or to someone else), your children are probably listening. Hearing your complaints may make the children feel guilty about loving their other parent. It is important not to confuse the children and allow them to develop their own opinions about their parents.

Give the Children Their Own Space

In many cases, when parents split, one remains in the marital home while the other lives in a smaller residence. Regardless of the size of one parent's new place, it is important for every child to have their own personal space. Whether it is their own room or simply a designated area in the bathroom cabinet, they should feel like they have a place in your new home and in your new life.

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Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyDivorce is rarely a rash decision. It takes serious consideration from both sides and can have its fair share of consequences. As you begin taking the steps to file for divorce, it is important to be prepared. Divorce can be an expensive process and if you are not careful, it can cost you more than you expected. However, with proper financial planning and preparation, you can work toward a fair divorce that does not permanently damage your bank account.

Evaluate Your Finances

In many divorce cases, one spouse may not know how much money is contained in the couple's joint bank accounts. Regardless of gender, it is important to know what is in your bank accounts and have a general knowledge of your credit report. Look at each bank account’s balance before meeting with your attorney. At the same time, evaluate any debts that you and your spouse hold. Having a good understanding of your financial situation will give you an advantage when dividing assets.

Make a Budget

There will be a lot of changes after your divorce, especially regarding your new living situation. It is important to create a budget to determine how much your new lifestyle will cost. Will you be renting an apartment? Will you be paying for utility bills on your own? How much is your weekly grocery bill? These are important questions to consider when creating a budget. Once you have a budget that covers your necessary living expenses, the judge can determine a proper amount for spousal maintenance/support.

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Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyWhile marriages are usually intended to last forever, many do not make it that far. When a marriage ends in divorce, there are usually a variety of factors that led to its demise. Some couples grow apart; others realize their compatibility does not last an entire lifetime. Each couple may be unique, but studies have shown that many divorcing couples experience similar issues that lead to the breakdown of their marriage. These include:

1. Refusal to Work on Mental Health Issues

Many individuals suffer from mental health issues, yet some refuse to seek professional help. If one partner is dealing with a mental illness such as anxiety or depression, their actions not only affect themselves but their spouse and other family members as well. The other spouse may struggle to understand their partner’s struggles, especially if they do not appear to be taking active steps to improve. If one spouse refuses to seek professional help for a mental illness, the impact on their relationship can be detrimental and eventually lead to divorce. 

2. Dangerous Addictions

In a marriage, it is important for couples to prioritize their relationship and the life they are building together. For those that struggle with substance abuse, it can be easy for their marriage to get placed on the back burner. A spouse's personality may change when they are drinking, or they may become dangerous as a result of their drug use, and in many cases, it is unlikely that they will willingly stop using the substances. The other spouse may feel neglected, and they may even suffer physical and emotional abuse, or their spouse may waste marital funds in pursuit of their addictions. As a result of these issues, many spouses will eventually see divorce as their best option.

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Novi, MI child custody lawyerParenting is a job that never ends, even if you and your partner are no longer together. When you choose to get a divorce, you will likely need to create a joint custody arrangement, and both parents will typically have parenting time (sometimes referred to as visitation) with the children. Regardless of your child custody arrangements, it is important to provide a supportive and caring environment for your children--even if the divorce is not amicable. Adjusting to new parenting time arrangements can be difficult, but the following tips can help you and your child become accustomed to the changes.

1. Keep a Smile On

Parenting time should be a positive experience, especially for your children. Even if you and your ex do not get along, it is likely that you will still see them when picking up or dropping off children. During these times, it is important to avoid exposing your children to conflict. Refrain from arguing in front of the children or speaking negatively about your co-parent to them. If you have issues with your former spouse that you need to deal with, you should set up a different time and meeting place to discuss those issues when the children are not present.

2. Be On Time

Since you do not get to be with your children full-time, you need to make them your priority when you are with them. Make sure you are prompt when picking them up and try to reschedule any work calls that you may have during that time period. Make a calendar and share it with your former spouse so that there is no miscommunication about who will be taking care of the children.

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Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyEntering marriage is always a risk. The divorce rate is rumored to be around 50%, and as much as people are excited about the idea of spending a lifetime together, such high divorce rates seem daunting. Whether you are considering marriage or not, there is a new divorce statistic that is different than the standard 50%. With recent research, it appears that the divorce rate in America is actually declining. According to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate is now closer to 40%. 

Divorce Rates Dropping

Since the year 2000, fewer people have been getting married. The average number of marriages per 1,000 citizens used to be 8.2, but more recently, that number has declined to 6.2 marriages per 1,000 citizens. The conclusion that can be drawn from these numbers is obvious: fewer marriages mean fewer divorces. In 2016, there were 827,000 divorces among 258 million citizens. That number is dramatically lower than the 944,000 divorces (out of 233 million citizens) which occurred in 2000. 

Is a Changing Society Behind the Reduced Numbers?

While it is impossible to determine the exact reason why divorce rates are going down in America, the ever-changing societal view of marriage may be a contributor. As husbands and wives redefine their traditional roles, marriage and divorce rates have changed as a result, since people are getting married and divorced for different reasons than in the past. The normalization of “relationship help resources” may have helped couples solve marital issues that were not being addressed before. Because of this, divorce is no longer the only solution for a marriage facing problems. Couples counseling has gained credibility and become less taboo in modern society. Now when couples are facing troubles, many go to therapy in an attempt to save the marriage. Despite these resources, some marriages remain irreconcilable, leaving divorce as the only option. 

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Novi, MI divorce attorneyThere are many potential causes for divorce, ranging from infidelity, constant arguments, or financial stress to a couple simply not liking each other anymore. Sometimes, the littlest things your partner does can turn into big problems, especially if they involve passive aggression and a lack of proper communication. But what if the actual cause for a relationship's breakdown was more than miscommunication and instead was neurologically-based? Studies have found that a condition known as misophonia can turn your partner’s pet peeves into your most irritating and unlivable nightmare.

Misophonia Explained

Misophonia is a neurological condition in which a person has an extreme reaction to everyday sounds. To many people with this condition, the most common annoyance is hearing another person chew their food; however, those with misophonia can be bothered by nail-biting, scratching, and even certain breathing noises. Slurping, sipping, and smacking are also irritable noises to those who suffer from the disease. This makes it difficult to enjoy dinner with one's partner or lay down next to them, especially if the natural noises a person makes lead to pain for reasons that are hard to understand.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, misophonia affects nearly 20% of the population. This number is likely low, since the condition is underdiagnosed. The exact cause of misophonia is unknown, but neuroscientists have a theory that it may involve an abnormal connection in the brain between the limbic system, autonomic nervous system, and auditory cortex. The limbic system controls emotions, the autonomic nervous system is in charge of flight or fight responses, and the auditory cortex controls hearing. Most people who have misophonia have extra sensitive hearing, causing their discomfort. 

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