Elkouri Heath, PLC


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

Recent Blog Posts

Is it True That Mothers Are Favored in Child Custody Cases?

 Posted on April 11, 2024 in Family Law

MI family lawyerStatistically, when a child’s mother and father divorce or break up, the mother is somewhat more likely to get primary custody. However, Michigan’s child custody laws are written in a gender-neutral way so that both parents are to be treated equally. The way the statute is drafted also accounts for same-sex parents who are going through a child custody dispute. Legally, there is to be no gender-based bias in child custody decisions. So why do fathers often receive less parenting time? The reasons why mothers often receive more parenting time are complex. The factors Michigan courts use to determine what custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child tend to favor the child’s primary caregiver - who is often the mother. A Novi, MI child custody lawyer can help you understand your rights as a father and fight to prevent an unfair arrangement.

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Parental Decision-Making After Divorce

 Posted on April 05, 2024 in Family Law

MI custody lawyerMaking important decisions about your child’s upbringing is an important part of child custody in Michigan. While parents going through divorce are often focused on parenting time, it is also important to address which parent will have the right to make certain decisions about how the child should be raised and cared for. In most cases, parents who share parenting time will have joint legal custody as well, meaning that they are both responsible for parental decision-making. It is common for parents who get divorced to have disagreements about what their children should or should not be allowed to do, how they should be educated, and whether they should participate in religious life. Parents must address how these decisions will be made after their divorce is finalized. A Novi, MI divorce attorney can help you and your spouse plan for cooperative parental decision-making going forward.

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What to Know About Remarriage After Divorce in Michigan

 Posted on March 28, 2024 in Family Law

MI divorce lawyerDivorce can happen to anyone. Contrary to popular belief, many second marriages are long and successful. People often choose to get remarried after meeting a person who is better for them and unlikely to make the same mistakes their first spouse did. Getting married again can be a joyous occasion for those who had a terrible first marriage. However, there are certain impacts getting remarried might have on the terms of your divorce and your child custody arrangement. If you have become engaged again after a divorce, it is important to speak with an experienced Northville, MI divorce and modifications attorney so that you can take any legal steps necessary to protect yourself.

How a New Spouse Can Impact an Existing Child Custody Arrangement 

Your former spouse may not be happy that your child will have a new step-parent. In most cases, there is little or nothing your former spouse can do about it. However, in some situations, your ex may claim that he or she is entitled to a modification in your child custody arrangement due to a change in circumstances. This is likely to be a concern only if your new spouse has a serious criminal history, a demonstrable drug or alcohol problem, or a major mental illness or if there is an accusation of child abuse made against him or her. If any of these factors suggests that your new spouse might be unsafe for your children to be around, your ex could pursue a modification.

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Divorce for Military Families in Michigan

 Posted on March 22, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerWhen one or both spouses serve in the armed forces, divorce can become complicated. You may have complications relating to Michigan’s residency requirements for divorce. Members of the military often move every few years based on where they are ordered to serve. Parents may have special needs when it comes to creating a child custody schedule to account for the likelihood of deployment. A variety of special issues will need to be addressed when one spouse or both spouses are on active duty during their divorce. It is important to be represented by an experienced Novi, MI divorce attorney who has worked with military families before.

Child Custody Issues for Parents Who Serve 

In Michigan, the best interests of the child control custody cases. If one spouse moves every few years, the court will want to know how moving so often would affect the child. If the spouse who serves wants to relocate with the child, the court - or the parents,  by agreement - will need to determine whether staying primarily with the parent who moves often is best for the child.

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Unexpected Emotional Effects of Divorce in Michigan

 Posted on March 14, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerElkouri Heath, PLC recognizes the emotional impact divorce can have. You might expect to feel certain emotions, like sadness, anger, or even happiness if the divorce has been expected or desired for a long time. Other feelings can take you - and your children, if you have them - by surprise. It is normal to feel stressed while you are going through a divorce, especially if it is a high-conflict divorce and you may be going to court. It is important to take the time for self-care during and after the process so that you can experience all that being free from an unworkable marriage has to offer. An experienced Novi, MI, divorce lawyer can help you address the legal side of your divorce so that you can focus on your emotional well-being.

Feelings That May Surprise You During Divorce 

Some of the surprising feelings people may experience during divorce include: 

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Financial Restraining Orders in Michigan

 Posted on March 04, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerYou have likely heard the term “restraining order” used to refer to personal protection orders, which can be used to prevent an abuser from being near or contacting the abused party. However, restraining orders can also be applied to financial accounts and property. Some spouses will react to being served with divorce papers by immediately draining any joint or personal accounts that they still have access to before the court can divide marital assets. This can leave the spouse who filed in a very difficult position. This may be done in an effort to “guard” property one spouse believes should belong solely to them, especially if it is in their name, even if the other spouse contributed and may be entitled to a portion of that account. To prevent this from happening, your Novi, MI, divorce lawyer may file a financial restraining order as soon as they file your complaint for divorce.

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Managing a High-Conflict Divorce in Michigan

 Posted on February 27, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerHigh-conflict divorce can be extremely challenging, especially in cases where there has been spousal abuse or one spouse is not playing fair. Hidden assets, refusal to obey temporary child custody orders, lying on official court documents, and personal protection orders are all very common parts of a high-conflict divorce. In many cases, court intervention will be needed to resolve the case, as mediation becomes impossible or impracticable. This may cause the case to take much longer than most other divorces due to the waiting period between hearings and the time it may take to gather evidence. If your divorce is filled with conflict, it is important to be represented by an experienced divorce lawyer in Northville, MI. Your attorney will likely begin planning for litigation from the start of the case.

Getting a Protection Order 

It is common for one spouse to harass, threaten, or even commit violence against the other during a high-conflict divorce. If this happens, you may be able to obtain a protection order. A protection order can remove your spouse from the home and prevent them from continuing to harass or disparage you. Even if you do not need a protection order, it is best to avoid contact with your spouse. All communication should go through your attorneys.

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Steps to Adopting Your Step-Child in Michigan

 Posted on February 21, 2024 in Family Law

MI family lawyerYour step-child already calls you “mom” or “dad,” and you are more of a parent to them than their biological other parent ever was. You would like to make the parent-child relationship official and legally adopt your step-child. In many cases, this can be done using a fairly simple and straightforward legal process. However, if your step-child’s other legal parent is still alive and has parental rights, adopting your step-child may prove far more difficult or, in some cases, impossible. Since a child in Michigan cannot have more than two legal parents, even if three or four adults all function as the child’s parents for all other intents and purposes, the only way to adopt your step-child is to sever the legal parent-child relationship between the parent who is not your spouse and your step-child. An Oakland County, MI, step-parent adoption lawyer can help you determine whether you will be able to adopt your step-child.

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Tips for Succeeding in Divorce Mediation

 Posted on February 12, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerWhen you are going through a divorce, the idea of working with your soon-to-be ex-spouse may seem crazy. After all, you are probably getting divorced because you are not working well as a team and your relationship has broken down to the point where you cannot reconcile. However, with the help of a mediator and an experienced Novi, MI, divorce lawyer, most spouses can resolve their divorce out of court. There are several styles of mediation you can choose from. Some bring you face-to-face with your spouse, although your attorney would also be present. Other mediation styles do not involve contact with your spouse. As long as both of you are willing to make a genuine effort to reach a fair and reasonable resolution, odds are, you will succeed in divorce mediation.

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Keeping Your Divorce Amicable

 Posted on February 09, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerAn amicable divorce can be much less stressful than a contentious divorce. If you and your spouse are not in a state of high conflict but have determined together that you would both be better off ending the marriage, you are likely headed for an amicable divorce. In all likelihood, you can accomplish this type of divorce outside of court with the help of a certified domestic relations mediator or sometimes with just the help of your Novi, MI, divorce attorneys. However, you should be aware that some divorces begin amicably and turn hostile during the process after a disagreement. A friendly divorce can become heated if it turns out that each spouse has different expectations about how the issues should be resolved or if new information that creates conflict is brought to light during the process. You should always be represented by counsel during a divorce, no matter how amicable it may be at the outset. 

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