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Novi divorce lawyerMore couples begin seeking legal assistance with initiating the divorce process in January than they do during any other month. Because it takes time to process initial divorce-related paperwork, the number of divorce cases filed with courts in Michigan and throughout the country ultimately hit their peak for the year in March.

There are a variety of reasons why January has widely come to be known as “divorce month.” Parents of minors generally avoid filing for divorce during mid-to-late summer because they do not want to disrupt the start of the school year. Then, they hold off during the start of the year and into the holidays for the sake of their kids. Couples without kids often avoid filing for divorce during the fall months and into the holiday season to spare their loved ones excessive stress as well.

If you are thinking about filing for divorce now that the New Year has dawned, you will want to carefully consider how you will approach this process. Your approach will inform everything from how you will go about dividing your marital assets to how much you are likely to incur in legal fees.


Oakland County child custody lawyerCustody disputes between divorced or separated parents can be heated, and not only for the parents. Sometimes children have strong preferences about their living arrangements and may express those preferences, much to the disappointment or surprise of either parent. If you are engaged in a custody dispute in Michigan and are wondering whether your child has the authority to choose whether they live with one parent or the other, read this brief overview of the topic and then contact a Michigan child custody attorney who can help. 

How Old Does a Child Need to Be Before They Can Choose Which Parent They Live With? 

Ultimately, a child needs to be 18 before they can make any final decisions about where to live. However, Michigan law does allow the preferences of a child to be considered as one factor in custody decisions. However, it is only one factor out of many.

Other factors include: 


Novi divorce attorneysDivorce is full of challenges and frustrations, and for most couples, asset division is one of these. For spouses who own or manage a professional practice, the idea of dividing something so intimately connected with one’s own labor, ability, and identity may feel insulting. Nevertheless, Michigan law requires all marital assets to be divided, and professional practices are rarely excluded from these. If you are a dentist, psychologist, physician, attorney, consultant, or any other professional who has their own company, read on and then contact a Michigan divorce attorney for assistance with your case. 

Is My Professional Practice Marital Property? 

Professional practices are built carefully with years of effort. Often, even if only one spouse is involved in working with a professional practice, both spouses have contributed to the worth and development of the practice over the years. This is especially true if one spouse worked while the professional spouse pursued an education and got their business off the ground. Practices begun after a couple is already married are considered marital property in Michigan. 

Even if a practice was opened before the spouses got married, any increase in the value of that practice is usually marital property, even if the other spouse was hardly involved in the practice. Having a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may protect one spouse’s exclusive ownership of a professional practice, but not always. 


Novi divorce lawyerDividing virtually any type of assets and debts is a difficult part of any divorce, and real estate ownership is no exception. Both spouses generally make strong claims to ownership of marital property and real estate can be unique among other assets because a family has often lived and created memories within a home, making it more valuable than just its market value. When both partners want to keep a home, or any other category of real estate, what happens? Read this blog to learn more about how real estate is handled in Michigan divorces and then contact an experienced divorce attorney who can help you manage your asset division case. 

How Are Marital Assets Divided in Michigan? 

Before real estate or any other asset owned by either spouse can be divided, it has to be part of the marital estate. If one spouse owned a home or any other real estate before getting married, that property may not be considered marital property, depending on how it was managed during the marriage. Spouses may also have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that dictate how assets are handled in the event of a divorce. Categorizing marital vs. personal property can be a complex area of negotiation all by itself. 

Once spouses agree on what is part of the marital estate and what is individual property, Michigan law requires the marital assets to be divided fairly. Sometimes this means each spouse gets something close to a 50/50 split, but not always; a spouse’s individual contributions and needs, among other factors, affect the final distribution. 


Novi divorce attorneyA huge number and variety of studies exist that illustrate the negative impact a divorce can have on children. Children who are subject to parental conflict, domestic abuse, or neglect during divorce often suffer from negative lifelong consequences, including higher rates of criminal behavior, teen pregnancy, and high school dropout rates. However, with the proper attention and care, parents can prevent their children from being exposed to the most negative aspects of divorce. While you can never control or predict your child’s reaction entirely, there are steps you can take to minimize their difficulties. Here are three experts who can help you manage child-related issues during a divorce. 

Guardian ad Litem

Some very high-conflict divorces require children to have legal representatives of their own. If a guardian ad litem is assigned to your case, or if you hire a guardian ad litem on your own, it is important to understand their role. A guardian ad litem will interview you, your child, your child’s other parent, plus any other adult who can provide helpful information. Furthermore, they will investigate any accusations of child abuse or neglect. They may create a report for a judge or testify in court as to what they think is in the best interests of the child and will advocate on behalf of the child for their needs to be met.

Child Psychologist

It can be difficult to know what your child is thinking and feeling during divorce. After all, their behavior will not necessarily be indicative of their inner emotions; lashing out violently at school, for example, may really be a reflection of inner turmoil and panic at the idea of having separated parents. A child psychologist can help you and your child deal with complex emotions and behaviors stemming from anxiety about the divorce process, offering insight and solutions. 

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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