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Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyDivorce is rarely a rash decision. It takes serious consideration from both sides and can have its fair share of consequences. As you begin taking the steps to file for divorce, it is important to be prepared. Divorce can be an expensive process and if you are not careful, it can cost you more than you expected. However, with proper financial planning and preparation, you can work toward a fair divorce that does not permanently damage your bank account.

Evaluate Your Finances

In many divorce cases, one spouse may not know how much money is contained in the couple's joint bank accounts. Regardless of gender, it is important to know what is in your bank accounts and have a general knowledge of your credit report. Look at each bank account’s balance before meeting with your attorney. At the same time, evaluate any debts that you and your spouse hold. Having a good understanding of your financial situation will give you an advantage when dividing assets.

Make a Budget

There will be a lot of changes after your divorce, especially regarding your new living situation. It is important to create a budget to determine how much your new lifestyle will cost. Will you be renting an apartment? Will you be paying for utility bills on your own? How much is your weekly grocery bill? These are important questions to consider when creating a budget. Once you have a budget that covers your necessary living expenses, the judge can determine a proper amount for spousal maintenance/support.

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Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce attorneyEntering marriage is always a risk. The divorce rate is rumored to be around 50%, and as much as people are excited about the idea of spending a lifetime together, such high divorce rates seem daunting. Whether you are considering marriage or not, there is a new divorce statistic that is different than the standard 50%. With recent research, it appears that the divorce rate in America is actually declining. According to 2013 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the divorce rate is now closer to 40%. 

Divorce Rates Dropping

Since the year 2000, fewer people have been getting married. The average number of marriages per 1,000 citizens used to be 8.2, but more recently, that number has declined to 6.2 marriages per 1,000 citizens. The conclusion that can be drawn from these numbers is obvious: fewer marriages mean fewer divorces. In 2016, there were 827,000 divorces among 258 million citizens. That number is dramatically lower than the 944,000 divorces (out of 233 million citizens) which occurred in 2000. 

Is a Changing Society Behind the Reduced Numbers?

While it is impossible to determine the exact reason why divorce rates are going down in America, the ever-changing societal view of marriage may be a contributor. As husbands and wives redefine their traditional roles, marriage and divorce rates have changed as a result, since people are getting married and divorced for different reasons than in the past. The normalization of “relationship help resources” may have helped couples solve marital issues that were not being addressed before. Because of this, divorce is no longer the only solution for a marriage facing problems. Couples counseling has gained credibility and become less taboo in modern society. Now when couples are facing troubles, many go to therapy in an attempt to save the marriage. Despite these resources, some marriages remain irreconcilable, leaving divorce as the only option. 

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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

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Farmington Hills divorce lawyer, Michigan divorce, pets and divorce, Michigan divorce law, pet custodyHow deep is the relationship between people and their pets? Just consider some of the terms you hear these days: Pet parents, dog mom, even grand-dog. Additionally, most of us have seen at least one car window with a sticker saying “Fur Babies on Board” or “My dog is smarter than your honor student.” 

National statistics back up the bumper stickers. A 2016 survey reported that 68 percent of U.S. households have at least one pet (a figure which has been trending upward for over two decades), and 84 percent of pet owners now think of themselves as pet parents rather than pet owners. 

Therefore, not surprisingly, “Who gets the pets?” has become an increasingly contentious issue in divorces, as emotions over pets can run high, even in an otherwise uncontested divorce. Devoted pet parents may be shocked to learn that virtually all state divorce laws still treat pets as mere property to be divided, like a TV and the lawn mower. However, this is beginning to change.

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