Elkouri Heath, PLC

248-344-9700

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

Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in divorce

Oakland County spousal support attorney

The playing field of divorce may have leveled out over the past several years, but some women are still at a financial disadvantage when their marriage ends. In particular, women who left the workforce or sacrificed their education to raise a family or promote their spouse’s career may face some financial surprises with devastating consequences when they embark on a divorce. It is essential to learn the Michigan divorce laws to be prepared for this next chapter of your life.  

1. Needing to Return to the Workforce

If you stepped back from your career to raise a family or further your spouse’s career, entered into retirement, or suffer a disability that limits your ability to work, you may be eligible for spousal support (alimony). Awards do not last forever, however, so it is recommended that you plan for re-entry into the workforce sooner rather than later. If you cannot work, strive to find a viable alternative, such as Disability or your spouse’s Social Security. 

...

Oakland County parenting time attorney

Divorce can be messy, even in the best of circumstances. Emotions run high, and you and your spouse may get caught up in getting even with one another rather than what is best for everyone involved. If you have children together, it is imperative that you consider their interests when making decisions. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to ease the transition. 

1. Reassure the Kids

Children do not always cope well with divorce, but it is often because they fear what might happen. Their worries can vary, but the solution is usually the same. All they really need is consistency and reassurance. They need to know that both of their parents will be there for them as life changes and that they are not at fault for the dissolution of your marriage. 

...

Farmington Hills child support attorney military divorce

Divorce is a fairly common occurrence these days, especially when compared to decades ago. Recent studies show that approximately 40 to 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Although this may be a somewhat disheartening statistic, it is a reality in today’s modern world. Regardless of whether the breakdown of a marriage was caused by infidelity, addiction, or financial problems, for many couples, legally ending their union may be better for everyone in the long run. Once a couple decides to divorce, many issues will need to be addressed, such as property and asset division, spousal support, and child support if children are involved. Child support in Michigan is determined based on various factors, but what if one or both parents are serving in the U.S. military? Service to our country can affect how child support payments are implemented. 

Legal and Parental Obligations

All parents are responsible for the emotional and financial security of their children, no matter whether they are married, divorced, separated, or they never tied the knot. This obligation applies to parents in the Armed Forces as well. Several laws exist to ensure children are provided with the necessities to live a healthy and joyful life. In most situations, the parent with the majority of the parental responsibilities and parenting time (the custodial parent) will receive child support payments from the other parent (the non-custodial parent). 

...

Farmington Hills alimony attorney

When a couple divorces, one spouse may be at a significant financial disadvantage. For example, if a stay-at-home parent has not worked outside of the home in many years, he or she may have difficulty acquiring employment and becoming financially independent after the split. In some divorce cases, the higher-earning spouse is obligated to make payments to the lesser-earning spouse for a period of time. These payments are commonly referred to as alimony, spousal support, or spousal maintenance. Although wives have traditionally been the recipients of spousal support, both men and women may be entitled to this kind of monetary support depending on the circumstances.

Michigan Spousal Support

If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering whether you will be ordered to pay spousal maintenance. The answer depends on a number of factors. If you and your spouse had previously signed a valid prenuptial agreement that dictates your spousal support obligations, you will be expected to comply with the terms of that agreement. Michigan courts make decisions regarding alimony on a case-by-case basis. When determining whether spousal support is appropriate, the court will consider aspects such as:

...

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.

...

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:

...

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:

...

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. 

...

Novi, MI divorce attorneyWhen one person wants a divorce, it is rare that the other partner is blindsided by the announcement; an unhappy relationship does require two people. However, a new study has found that most initial divorce announcements come from women. When looking over the data, there are a few factors that explain why this may be the case. 

A study by the American Sociological Association surveyed more than 2,000 heterosexual couples and discovered that women initiated 70% of the divorces. However, if a couple broke up while they were not married, there was no significant difference in which partner initiated the end of the relationship. Married women report having lower satisfaction levels in marriage than married men. In non-married couples, the satisfaction levels between the genders remained relatively the same, regardless of whether the couple was living together or not. Looking at historical divorce data, women have been the primary divorce initiators as far back as the 1940s. 

According to Michael Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford who worked on this study, women tend to find marriage oppressive. When getting married, women are more likely to take their husbands’ last names. Societal pressure also considers women to be responsible for doing most of the housework and staying home to raise the children. Most women do not fit these stereotypes but are pressured to do so by society and their husbands, and when they are unhappy in their marriage, divorce becomes their best option. Non-marital relationships often allow women to avoid the stringent societal pressures that come with marriage. 

...

Novi, MI divorce attorneyWhen statistics say that 50% of all marriages end in divorce, the outlook for many marriages can seem pretty disheartening. Maintaining a good relationship can be difficult. If your relationship is in trouble, divorce may seem like your only option. However, if you are wondering if your relationship is headed toward a breakup, you may want to learn more about some of the most common predictors in couples that lead to divorce, as gathered from therapists and relationship experts:

Failure to Work on Yourself and the Relationship

When you get married, you make a vow to love each other in sickness and in health. But what happens if you are the one in sickness, but you refuse to take any medication and blame your partner for your illness? That is what it feels like when someone fails to take accountability in a relationship. If one or both spouses do not want to work on their relationship issues or address their partner's concerns, they are likely headed toward a divorce.

Disrespecting Your Partner 

Arguing is inevitable in every relationship, but there are respectful ways to have an argument without blaming one's spouse or using insults. When a spouse continually refuses to listen to their partner's concerns or belittles them during arguments, this is very disrespectful and damaging to the relationship. When a person demonstrates contempt for their partner or refuses to correct behavior that is seen as insulting, this is often a sign that divorce will be likely.

...

Novi, MI divorce lawyerDivorce is a major change to your lifestyle. Even though separating yourself from a negative relationship with your ex-partner is for the best, unexpected events can come up that may affect you emotionally. During your divorce, working with a qualified lawyer can help you reach a positive outcome to your case. An experienced divorce attorney will make sure your life post-divorce is as fair as possible in terms of alimony, child custody agreements, and division of assets. After your divorce, holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and vacations will all be different. Here are some tips to experience them in a positive way as you begin a new chapter of your life:

Take it Easy

Divorce is hard on everyone. You ended a relationship where you once vowed to stay committed for the rest of your life. During this time, it is understandable to feel a mix of emotions such as anger, sadness, and even rage. You do not have to engage in old family traditions if they bring up painful memories for you. If you and your ex used to take vacations together to a certain destination every summer, you should not feel that you need to continue to travel there on your own or with a new partner. Start making new traditions for yourself to help you move on.

You do not have to try and make holidays or vacations exactly the same as they were pre-divorce. If you used to get together for a big family barbecue, and you do not feel that you are not up to it this year, cut yourself some slack. Divorce has a major impact on your life, and as you pivot to this new stage of your life, expect some things to change--including how you spend holidays and vacations.

...

Posted on in Divorce

Novi MI divorce lawyerWhen a couple decides to get a divorce, each individual processes it differently. However, the first step for everyone should be to hire a good divorce lawyer. From there, it is important to work on your physical and mental health as you begin a new chapter of your life. If you are a father going through a divorce, this step is especially important as new studies show that divorced fathers are more prone to depression and suicide. Here are a couple of reasons to explain this outcome.

Married Men Live Longer

In traditional families, the wife was most commonly in charge of doctor’s appointments.  If a divorced man is not used to making his regular doctor appointments, he may not remember to schedule them. Thus, he can miss check-ups for melanoma or prostate exams, check-ups that are necessary to detect fixable problems before they turn into cancerous diseases. According to one study, 42 percent of divorced men don’t have a regular physician. Moreover, men who have never been married have a 70 percent higher death rate than married men. Of course, a tumultuous marriage can raise blood pressure and stress, but overall, married men are healthier. 

Divorced Dads Are More Careless With Their Health

The first thing divorced fathers abandon is their personal health. Perhaps it’s because they don’t have someone checking up on them or perhaps it’s depression, but divorced fathers are more likely to eat fewer fruits and vegetables, not use protection during sex, and become riskier drivers. 

...

Posted on in Divorce

Farmington Hills divorce mediation lawyer In many cases, the decision to get married is an easy and simple one. The decision to get a divorce, however, does not come that easily. Sometimes it can take months and even years for you to finally come to the decision that you are ready to end your marriage. Marriages do not just break -- they slowly erode and deteriorate over time, often giving off many warning signs that it is time to call it quits. Many times couples make the decision to divorce after years of unhappiness, resulting in heated and highly-contested divorces. 

Here are four warning signs that you may want to consider a divorce:

1. Your Needs Are Not Being Met

A successful marriage is one in which both partners’ needs are being met. Each partner should be doing his or her best to meet the physical and emotional needs of the other. If you notice that you and your spouse are not meeting each other’s needs or that the relationship has become rather one-sided, it may be a sign that your marriage is deteriorating.

...
Who Gets Wedding Rings and Family Heirlooms in a Divorce?

Farmington Hills divorce attorney property divisionThe wedding ring handed down from your husband’s grandmother. The antiques from your wife’s family that were inherited during your marriage. Expensive purses and jewelry given by a husband’s mother to his wife as Christmas gifts. These are all examples of items that have both sentimental and financial value which can become bones of contention during a divorce. How do Michigan courts typically divide such items?

Engagement Rings

Michigan courts have ruled that if a couple breaks off their engagement prior to the wedding ceremony, the giver (purchaser) gets the ring back. Fault is not a factor here; that is, it does not matter who broke off the engagement or if one person was more to blame than the other.

...
Can a Resistant Spouse Unreasonably Delay Divorce Proceedings?

Novi contested divorce attorneyMost people, once they have concluded that divorce is inevitable, want the whole process to be over and done with as quickly as possible. But what happens if one spouse tries to unreasonably delay the legal process? 

One spouse can definitely drag out divorce proceedings by contesting the divorce and endlessly dickering over settlement terms. But ultimately, they cannot stop a Michigan divorce from happening.  

Why a Spouse Might Try to Delay Divorce Proceedings

...
Three Advantages of Being First to File for Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyAre you thinking about a divorce, but are unsure if you want to be the one to actually start the legal process? This might tip you into action: The spouse who files for divorce first has several advantages over the other spouse.

1. Choosing the Court Location

When you file for divorce, you must do it in the state and county where you currently live. Suppose that you currently live in Oakland County, Michigan, and the person you are divorcing has recently moved to Illinois. If you file first, your divorce will be handled in the Oakland County court. But if your spouse files first, your divorce will be handled by a court in Illinois, which could prove very inconvenient for you. 

...
Can Your Spouse Prevent Your Divorce by Refusing to Sign the Papers?

Farmington Hills divorce process attorneyIn the rom-com movie “Sweet Home Alabama,” Melanie (played by Reese Witherspoon) wants a divorce, but Jake (Josh Lucas) has refused to sign the papers for seven years. While Hollywood movies are not always known for their realism, this particular plot point may leave many wondering: could a resistant spouse really hold up a divorce proceeding for that long, just by refusing to sign a piece of paper?

In Michigan, you may be relieved to know, the short answer is “no.” If one spouse wants a divorce, the other spouse cannot prevent it. If your spouse refuses to participate in the process, your divorce can be finalized within a matter of months. 

Signatures Required for a Michigan Divorce

...

Novi, MI divorce lawyer answering divorce summonsMost married people naturally assume that they will have some warning of marital problems--a discussion about marriage counseling, perhaps, or mention of a trial separation--before anyone actually takes legal action. Yet quite a few people are completely surprised when they are served with divorce papers. 

What should you do if your spouse files for divorce unexpectedly? Here are three things you can do after being served with Michigan divorce papers:

1. Give Yourself a Little Breathing Space

...
Ex Etiquette: Keeping Things Civil During and After Divorce

Novi, MI collaborative law attorneyThe vast majority of divorcing and divorced spouses do not want to fight. However, a dynamic of disagreeableness, once started, can be very tough to change. If you are in this situation, what can you do? We have two suggestions for you.

First, consider working with an attorney who practices collaborative law. This practice was developed to help couples resolve highly contentious issues in a divorce without having to resort to litigation, where key decisions about the couple’s future get made by a judge. 

Collaborative Divorce Starts With an Agreement, or Contract

...

Oakland County grandparents' rights attorneyLike a rock thrown into a lake, divorce has a ripple effect. It starts with the spouses, of course, who must work through both the emotional and legal process of separating from someone to whom they had pledged their whole heart for their whole life. 

Then, the expanding circle of disturbance touches the children, who have to re-imagine their life split between two parents in two separate houses. And then it ripples out to the extended family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

Grandparents and grandchildren, in particular, have a special familial bond. Grandparents, particularly those on the non-custodial parent’s side and those who live far away, may worry about losing touch with their beloved grandkids following a divorce.

...
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top