Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

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

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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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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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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