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Recent Blog Posts

Be Cautious on Social Media Until Your Family Law Case Is Resolved

 Posted on March 24, 2023 in Family Law

Oakland County Family Law AttorneyMillions of American adults log on to various social media platforms daily. These resources serve a host of purposes, including keeping loved ones connected. As a result, you might not think twice about posting information about your family law case online. You may find that doing so is a great way to vent and/or to receive feedback from people whom you trust and respect. However, it is potentially going to be very important that you exercise great caution on social media until your case has been fully resolved.

Your Social Media Activity Could Be Used Against You

In the event that your family law case becomes contentious, your spouse and/or your child’s other parent could use your pictures, posts, and engagement activity to undermine the strength of your case. As you are likely aware, social media activity can easily be misinterpreted and used to misrepresent someone’s circumstances or intentions.

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Which Assets Are Worth Fighting for in a Michigan Divorce?

 Posted on March 17, 2023 in Divorce

Oakland County Divorce LawyerDivorce is a highly personal process. Therefore, it is not surprising that people approach this life transition in unique ways. Some individuals only care about getting a specific child custody order and care little – if at all – about how the rest of their divorce case shakes out. Others are determined to hold on to specific assets. Still others are willing to be flexible as long as their final property division arrangement fairly divides the value of their marital estate.  

There is no “right” way to navigate your own divorce process. Whether you are hoping to keep your divorce negotiations amicable or you are willing to dig your heels in to get what you want, only you can truly know what is worth fighting for as that “fight” pertains to your values, priorities, needs, and overall circumstances.

Thoughtful Considerations

The most important thing you can do when preparing to navigate your property division situation – whether your divorce is going to be resolved collaboratively or contentiously – is to craft your process thoughtfully. Otherwise, you will be more likely to make decisions that are driven primarily by emotion, as opposed to those that are driven by a desire to safeguard your future well-being.

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Apps That Can Help Make Co-Parenting Arrangements More Manageable

 Posted on March 10, 2023 in Family Law

Farmington Hills Family Law AttorneyCo-parenting is a unique challenge. It combines all the stress of a business partnership with all of the sensitive realities of family. As a result, it can be truly difficult to co-parent in ways that both honor the best interests of your children and prevent you from wanting to scream into a pillow at regular intervals.

Thankfully, co-parenting in the Digital Age is easier in many ways than it has been traditionally. As a result of numerous electronic resources, co-parents can communicate in effective, meaningful, and consistent ways without having to get on the phone with one another or regularly meet face-to-face. When you are thinking about ways to make your co-parenting situation more manageable, consider integrating some popular apps into your communication approach.

Which Apps Might Work Best for You?

Some apps are specifically designed to facilitate effective co-parent communication. WeParent, FamCal, ParentShip, 2Houses, and OurFamilyWizard were each designed with co-parents in mind. Their various features facilitate single-platform messaging and record keeping, calendar sharing, and a host of other resources that co-parents may find to be uniquely useful when trying to “keep each other in the loop” while avoiding unnecessary interaction and/or tension.

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Understanding Michigan’s Legal Separation Process

 Posted on February 28, 2023 in Family Law

Novi legal separation attorneyFor a variety of reasons, when a married couple is struggling to make their relationship work, it does not always make sense for one of them to file for divorce. However, if a couple’s struggles are significant enough, separating from one another may be a healthy option. By legally formalizing their separation, each spouse can benefit from numerous protections as they contemplate whether divorce, reconciliation, or long-term legal separation is the best way forward.

Separate Maintenance: The Basics

In Michigan, the state recognizes a formal separation through the separate maintenance process. Separate maintenance functions like the “legal separation” process does in other states. Without formal recognition of a couple’s separation, each spouse could remain uniquely vulnerable to the practical, financial, and legal consequences of the other’s conduct. Additionally, formalizing a separation can allow couples to detail child custody, child support, and spousal support obligations in legally-enforceable ways.

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What Is the Best Interests of the Child Standard and Why Does It Matter?

 Posted on February 17, 2023 in Divorce

novi child custody lawyerNot all child custody disputes can be resolved amicably. Sometimes, a history of domestic violence or mental health challenges renders a negotiation-based approach unworkable. Other times, parents simply have fundamentally different ideas about where their children should reside or how they should be raised.

Under these circumstances, the judge assigned to a particular child custody dispute will be called upon to decide how the matter should be resolved. In every state in the U.S., regardless of nuanced state law that applies to custody scenarios, judges are required to resolve contentious child custody questions by applying the “best interests of the child” standard.

Application of the Standard

This standard compels judges to consider – first and foremost – which competing argument would best serve an affected child’s interests. This is a noble aim. However, the standard itself is subjective. Each judge who reviews a child custody dispute is going to be influenced by their own conscious and subconscious biases about what children need and will benefit from.

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The Time to Plan for Summer Coparenting Is Now

 Posted on February 13, 2023 in Family Law

Oakland County child custody lawyerIn Michigan, February is the month that most residents start thinking about summer. The cold has defined life for long enough that dreams of hot summer days start to preoccupy the minds of many. Daydreaming is a healthy stress reliever. Yet, there is another important reason to start thinking about summer now if you are a coparent. A failure to be proactive now could impact your summer months for the worse.

Summer Is a Unique Time

Whether you are currently navigating a separation, a divorce, or your child custody order has been in place for some time, it is important to consider how your coparenting approaches may need to be modified during the summer months. The best interests of your child or children likely manifest in different ways during the summer than they do during the school year. Carefully considering either how to craft a parenting plan for the summer or whether your current order needs to be modified in February will better ensure that a healthy, manageable arrangement is in place by the time that summer rolls around.

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Questions to Consider Before Filing for Divorce

 Posted on February 06, 2023 in Divorce

Novi divorce lawyerIt is not always easy to know whether it makes more sense to file for legal separation or to file for divorce when spouses are struggling to find a way forward together. All too often, spouses who are navigating this challenge are under the impression that they have to resolve this situation without assistance. In reality, connecting with an attorney proactively can help each spouse to make informed decisions about their options.

Oftentimes, thinking critically about a few key questions can provide spouses with mental and emotional clarity. Discussing their situation with an attorney can provide clarity of both legal and practical varieties. Here are just a few of the key questions you may want to consider if you are unsure of whether to file for legal separation or divorce at this point in your relationship.

Are You More Concerned About the Stresses of Divorce or the Stresses of an Ongoing Union? 

Very understandably, many couples shy away from filing for divorce because they are concerned about how the stresses of the divorce process will affect everyone involved. Sometimes, these concerns can serve as a “gut check” regarding one’s own desires.

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Is Virtual Visitation Right for Your Family?

 Posted on January 26, 2023 in Family Law

Novi child custody attorneysIf you and your child’s other parent are going your separate ways but will both remain active parents to your child, it is time to construct a parenting time schedule and a parenting time plan. These parenting time resources will help you to clarify when your child will spend time with each of you, how you will address certain co-parenting responsibilities, and how you will both remain connected to your child when they are not residing with you.

Remaining connected and invested in each other’s lives is important, no matter how often your child resides with each parent. In the Digital Age, many co-parents are finding that including so-called “virtual visitation” provisions in their parenting time plans can help to facilitate consistent communication and connection.

What Is Virtual Visitation? 

Virtual visitation can be accomplished by engaging in any form of electronic communication that is developmentally appropriate for your child. You can talk on the phone, send emails, text, play video game apps as “friends,” utilize a video call app, or even record stories that your co-parent can play when your child is falling asleep.

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Preparing to Divide a Michigan Marital Estate

 Posted on January 19, 2023 in Divorce

Novi divorce attorneysIf you and your spouse have decided to dissolve your marriage, you are currently facing a number of mental, emotional, social, practical, financial, and legal challenges. It is important to understand your rights as a divorcing spouse, as this context can help to ensure that you make informed decisions throughout your divorce process.

For example, in Michigan, you are entitled to an asset division settlement that is “equitable.” Equitable does not necessarily mean equal. In equal distribution states, the value of a couple’s marital property must be divided 50/50. In Michigan, the value of a couple’s marital estate may be divided in any way that is truly fair. As a result, it is important to clarify what fairness means within the context of your unique marital circumstances.

Equitable Distribution

In Michigan, property acquired during a couple’s marriage is generally treated as marital property. By contrast, separate property belongs to one spouse only, either because they owned the property prior to marriage or because some exception to the general classification of marital property applies. All of the assets and liabilities that make up a couple’s jointly-owned assets and debts are considered elements of their overall marital estate.

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Creating an Effective Michigan Parenting Time Plan

 Posted on January 12, 2023 in Divorce

Oakland County parenting plan attorneysIn Michigan, a parenting time schedule and a parenting time plan are both ordinarily included as elements of a child custody order. When parents agree on the terms of their parenting time plans, their attorneys assist them with finalizing and formalizing these terms before they are submitted to the court for approval. If parents cannot agree to these terms, a judge will be called upon to order whatever arrangement they believe is in the affected child’s best interests.

If you and your child’s other parent need to craft workable parenting time plans, there are a few solid tips that you will want to consider. If you hope to reach an agreement, you can work through this process together with the help of your attorneys. If your child custody situation is contentious, your attorney can help you craft terms that reflect your child’s best interests so that your proposal is more likely to be viewed favorably by the judge assigned to your case.

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