Elkouri Heath, PLC

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

Novi divorce attorneyFor most parents who get divorced in Michigan and have children under the age of 18, finalizing the divorce is only the beginning of a serious amount of work regarding the children. While divorced parents no longer have to live in the same household and deal with each other’s idiosyncrasies on a day-to-day basis, they must still deal with each other as they transition children between households. This can present many opportunities for conflict for the parents and managing the transition between parents can be very difficult for children. If you are considering divorce or are going through a divorce already, here are three tips for helping your children adjust to living in two homes. 

Avoid Conflict

Because children have neither the experience nor the wisdom to understand adult conflict, fighting parents can put pressure on children to take a side or have an opinion about their parents’ fighting that interferes with the child’s emotional wellness. Take extra precautions to avoid conflict whenever your children might see or hear it. If you must discuss contentious topics, do it when the children are not present in either of your homes. Present a calm, peaceful demeanor when you interact in person during parenting time tradeoffs. 

Give the Kids Their Schedule Ahead of Time

Too many transitions happening at the same time can be very stressful, even for adults. For children, a constantly fluctuating schedule can be miserable. Give your children the information they need to anticipate what is happening next. A visible calendar, marked with easy-to-understand stickers or notes, can help even small children know when they will be with which parent. Try to avoid last-minute changes unless absolutely necessary. 

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Novi divorce attorneysThe vast majority of Michigan divorces are now settled outside of court. Trial litigation in a courtroom is reserved for the most difficult cases when couples absolutely cannot agree on important issues or when there is the presence of a serious problem like domestic violence or a spouse who lies on their financial disclosures. 

For all other cases, various alternative dispute resolution methods can be very helpful. One popular method is mediation, but arbitration is another viable strategy. Some couples include a mandate to resolve disputes using arbitration in their prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Other couples decide on arbitration when they begin talking about divorce, believing a neutral third party may make decisions better than they can. Whatever the method you eventually decide on for managing your divorce disagreements, knowing more about arbitration can help you determine whether it is right for you. 

How Does Arbitration Work? 

While arbitration shares a few similarities with mediation, the two are different in important ways. Arbitration actually functions more like a court hearing in front of a judge;  with the help of their attorneys, both spouses present their evidence and make their arguments to an arbitrator. Spouses may use expert testimony, cross-examine each other’s witnesses, and even make opening and closing statements. Like a trial judge, an arbitrator will make legally binding decisions, leaving spouses with far less flexibility to make decisions about their case than they have in mediation. For couples who struggle to compromise, this is not always a bad thing. 

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Novi child custody lawyerWhen a Michigan couple with minor children gets divorced, they must create an agreement about child support and child custody arrangements. While this sounds straightforward, in reality, issues regarding children are often the most challenging to address. Because each parent often feels as though they are the most qualified to care for the children, it is easy for parenting plan negotiations to devolve into power struggles that do not benefit anyone, least of all the children. 

But if parents can stay focused on the children’s best interests instead of their personal differences, they often find that there are many acceptable solutions that allow both parents to maximize parenting time with each child. One possible way to do this is by including a clause about a concept called the “right of first refusal.” To learn more about how this could benefit you, read on. 

What Does the Right of First Refusal Mean? 

When parents include the right of first refusal in their parenting plan, they obligate themselves to seek childcare from each other rather than third parties when they are unable to care for the children during their designated parenting time. Because the right of first refusal is not obligatory in Michigan parenting plans, parents can customize it however they want, coming up with specific details for how long each parent must be gone before the right of first refusal kicks in.

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Michigan divorce lawyerThe idea of a union between two people coming to an end has existed for as long as couples have formally paired together in front of friends and family. But, certain parts of divorce are in constant flux; Michigan state law can change, social mores can change, and even the types of property spouses accrue together can change. 

Cryptocurrency is a recent example of an asset that is so new, poorly understood, and minimally regulated that dividing it in a divorce can be quite complicated. Because more and more people are buying cryptocurrency every day, understanding how it is handled in a divorce may be essential for protecting your financial interests.

Understanding Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is digital currency secured by cryptography. Unlike dollar bills, which can be replicated and counterfeited, each cryptocurrency “coin” is verified with its own unique identification. Cryptocurrency is “mined” using blockchain technology on many computers, and because coins are not owned or created by just one person or organization, one of the attractive features of cryptocurrency is that it is not currently subject to governmental interference. 

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Novi divorce mediation lawyer Divorce is almost guaranteed to be a difficult process, but in recent years a highly effective method that helps ensure conflict between divorcing couples does not get out of hand has become popular. Divorce mediation has helped millions of divorcing couples all over the United States meet their priorities in their divorce, feel seen and heard, and still manage to effectively compromise. If you are interested in getting divorced in Michigan while minimizing conflict, saving money, and avoiding a long court battle, read on. 

What is a Mediator? 

A mediator is a trained third party who does not have any kind of relationship with you, your spouse, or your attorneys that could bias the mediator in any way. Mediators must remain neutral to be effective, so they cannot be your friend or neighbor, even if that person is a trained mediator. Michigan has rigorous training requirements for mediators, and they are often also attorneys with specific knowledge of and experience in Michigan divorce law. 

What Does a Mediator Do? 

A mediator works with spouses, on their schedule, to help them negotiate important issues in their divorce. Mediation meetings are solution-focused, meaning that while each spouse will get a chance to voice their concerns and express their priorities, the ultimate goal of mediation is to find a solution to the issues present in divorce. These includes, but are not limited to: 

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