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Recent Blog Posts

Can I Get Divorced if My Spouse is Incompetent?

 Posted on July 15, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerLegal competence can be an issue in certain divorce cases, like when the parties are both senior citizens or when one spouse has a severe mental illness. In Michigan, it is possible to divorce a spouse who is not legally competent to respond to a complaint for divorce on his or her own. Otherwise, people could become unwillingly trapped in marriages to spouses whose severe mental or physical health conditions render them unable to meaningfully participate in a marital relationship. However, divorcing a legally incompetent spouse can be a little complicated. The court will need to appoint a guardian ad litem for him or her. If you are seeking a divorce and your spouse is unable to handle the proceedings on his or her own behalf, you will need a Novi, MI divorce attorney who is experienced in this type of divorce.

Gray Divorce and Competency Issues 

If your spouse is suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia to the point where he or she must be cared for in a nursing home or sometimes no longer knows who you are, your marriage is effectively over no matter what. It is very understandable if you choose to get divorced so that you can have the freedom to remarry or to protect your assets from being consumed by your spouse’s care needs. This can be an emotional decision as well as a practical one.

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Proving Child Endangerment or Abuse During Divorce

 Posted on July 08, 2024 in Family Law

MI family lawyerProtecting the children is a parent’s number one priority during a divorce or child custody case. If your spouse has abused, neglected, or endangered your children, ensuring that he or she will never be in a position where this could happen again is the most important issue in your case. However, you can expect your spouse to fight back when you demand sole custody or supervised visitation only based on the best interests of your child. Almost no parent will voluntarily give up seeing their children unsupervised. If you need to protect your children from a dangerous parent, you should prepare to contest the child custody issue in your divorce. You will need an experienced Northville, MI child custody lawyer to help you gather evidence.

Gathering Evidence of Abuse, Neglect, or Endangerment 

To prevent your spouse from gaining unsupervised access to your children, you will need to show the court that your spouse has a history of abusing, neglecting, or endangering your children. Types of evidence your lawyer may help you gather include: 

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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. 

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Divorce After Narcissistic Abuse

 Posted on June 13, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerBeing married to a narcissist makes you feel small and unimportant. Narcissists put their own needs and even wants above everyone and everything else. They use their spouses and others around them to selfishly meet their own desires without regard for how their actions make others feel. Recognizing that your spouse is a narcissist and making the decision to get divorced is a big step. Breaking free from a narcissistic abuser is typically challenging, as most narcissists will do anything to keep their spouses from leaving. Your Novi, MI divorce lawyer can help you by handling all communication with your spouse or his lawyer so that he will have less opportunity to try to convince you to stay.

Tips for Divorcing an Emotionally Abusive Narcissist

The divorce process can be more challenging when you are dealing with a narcissist who is not going to cooperate. Some tips that may help you successfully get through your divorce include:

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Strategies for Dividing Real Estate in Divorce

 Posted on June 07, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerFrom a practical perspective, you cannot divide a house you both own down the middle. Short of putting tape down the center of the living room like a pair of quarreling siblings in a sitcom, there is no way to split the house itself. One or both of you will have to move out unless you determine that it is best for your family to continue living in the same house even after your marriage ends. Our Oakland County, MI divorce attorneys can work with you and your spouse to help you find a way of dividing your interest in the family home in a way that is fair to both of you. We often help clients find creative and effective ways of dividing their real estate property.

Practical Ways to Divide Real Property

A few strategies for dividing your real estate include:

  • Sell the house and divide the proceeds - If your house is not yet paid off, this may be the most practical solution. Most families need both parties’ income to manage mortgage payments. Allocating the house to one spouse might put him or her in a difficult financial position. You may both be better off if you sell the property and put the money toward establishing new households. 

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Divorcing a Mentally Ill Spouse

 Posted on May 30, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerGetting divorced is emotionally trying under the best circumstances because it represents a major life change. After living with your spouse for many years - happily or otherwise - becoming single again can be a lot to process. When your spouse has a serious mental illness that is not well-controlled, remaining married to him or her can become impossible. You may have a lot of complex emotions surrounding the divorce. You might struggle with feeling like you are abandoning him or her, even if you have tried everything to get your spouse the treatment he or she needs. Sometimes, getting a divorce is necessary to protect yourself and your children. You need an experienced Novi, MI divorce lawyer to help you legally cut ties with a mentally ill spouse.

Tips for Divorce When Your Spouse Has a Serious Mental Illness

The divorce process will likely be more complicated when you are trying to navigate it with someone who is too mentally ill to fully comprehend the proceedings. Some tips that may help include: 

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Divorce During Pregnancy in Michigan

 Posted on May 22, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerPregnant women and expecting fathers have the same right to file for divorce as anyone else. However, in the interest of deciding a child custody plan and dividing your marital property in a single legal action, the court might wait until after your baby is born to finalize your divorce. This is because the court cannot rule on child custody for a child who has not been born. Michigan courts are required to consider the best interests of the child when ordering a child custody plan or approving the plan the parents have made, and a judge cannot claim to understand the best interests of a child who is in utero. An Oakland County, MI divorce lawyer can help you prepare for divorce during your or your spouse’s pregnancy.

Should We Wait Until After Birth to File for Divorce? 

You do not need to wait until your child is born to start divorce proceedings, although in some instances you may prefer to. When you are deciding when to file for divorce, consider:

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Divorce with Teenage Children

 Posted on May 14, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerTeenagers can have unpredictable reactions to their parents’ divorce. For some, it comes as a relief. Teens are usually aware of the conflict in their parents’ marriage and may be glad they are parting ways. Other teenagers who are close to their parents might be upset or fearful. Some may become angry at the parent whose fault they think the divorce is, especially if the teen finds out that one parent had an affair or did something else to damage the marital relationship. Parents must also understand that teenage children generally have a say in which parent they want to live with or spend more time with. A Novi, MI divorce and child custody lawyer can help you and your spouse plan to co-parent your teenager.

Tips for Parents Getting Divorced With a Teenager 

Teenagers are often more aware of what is happening and the underlying cause of the divorce than younger children would be. Tips for getting divorced when you have a teenage child include:

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Why Marital Property and Child Custody Are Often Intertwined

 Posted on May 07, 2024 in Family Law

MI divorce lawyerWho keeps which portions of the marital property and how much time each parent spends with the children after divorce are often seen as two completely separate issues. While the methods used to decide on a fair division of marital property and the methods used to decide on a child custody schedule are different, the two are connected in some ways. Parents who choose mediation or collaborative divorce should discuss these issues at the same time and consider how the distribution of marital property will impact their children. An experienced Novi, MI divorce mediation attorney can help parents work together to create a comprehensive divorce agreement.

The Family Home and The Children’s Interests 

One of the most important types of marital property to consider while you and your spouse are discussing child custody is the family home. Uprooting your children from the home they are used to during an already tumultuous time may make things even harder on them. It is often better for the parent who will have more time with the children to stay in the family home if this is financially feasible for the divorcing couple. This is especially true if one parent moves out of the area, forcing the children to change schools, find new sports teams to play on, or disengage from other community activities that are important to them.

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Child Custody and Home Stability

 Posted on April 28, 2024 in Family Law

MI custody lawyerChildren benefit from stability. A routine schedule, stable and trusting relationships with the most important people in their lives, and a largely permanent home environment can all make a child feel safe and secure. Children who enjoy stability and predictability in their day-to-day lives, even after their parents get divorced, are less likely to “act out” or get into trouble. These children are better able to focus on school and extracurricular activities and may feel more emotionally secure. Two of the factors Michigan uses to determine what child custody arrangement would be best for the child consider the stability of each parent’s home environment and family unit. A Northville, MI child custody attorney can help you determine how these factors might apply to your household.

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