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Recognizing Empty Threats in Divorce

 Posted on June 28, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerNot all divorces can be amicable. If you are not on good terms with your spouse, it is not unlikely that he or she will make legal threats that have no basis. Angry spouses often make unreasonable and unrealistic demands in the early stages of divorce negotiation. While legal threats can be frightening, they are often empty. It is important to discuss any legal threats your spouse has made with your Oakland County, MI divorce attorney. An attorney can help you determine whether a legal threat is realistic or incredibly unlikely to materialize.

Common Legal Threats During Divorce

Common threats your spouse may make during divorce include:

  • "I will make sure you never see the kids again." - Unless there is substantiated evidence that you have outright abused your children, this almost never works out for the party making the threat. Courts strongly prefer shared custody situations, even if that means giving one parent supervised visitation to protect the children. Even if you are less than perfect - you are in addiction recovery or have a criminal record that does not involve child abuse - you will still very likely be able to see your children. 
  • "I am going to leave you with nothing." - Michigan’s laws on the division of marital property are designed to prevent this from happening. Both spouses are entitled to a fair and reasonable division. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement that says you get absolutely nothing, it could be objected to on the grounds of being unreasonable or unconscionable. 
  • "I will say you abused me." - Courts have seen many cases where one spouse claims to have been abused simply to gain an advantage. Your spouse would need actual evidence proving that you were abusive - courts do not take these accusations at face value. 
  • "You will be paying me half your salary." - This is unlikely, unless you were married for a very long time, have multiple children, and your spouse is unable to work but cares for the children most of the time. While there is no specific formula for how alimony is calculated, an award equalling half your income would be very unlikely. Child support is determined based on your respective incomes and how much time the child spends with each parent. 

While each of these threats is commonly made during divorce, none of them are likely to be fulfilled.

Contact a Novi, MI Divorce Attorney

Elkouri Heath, PLC will discuss your concerns with you to put your mind at ease when your spouse makes empty legal threats. Our experienced Oakland County, MI divorce lawyers recognize the emotional aspect of divorce and are here to support you in any way we can. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation.

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