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MI divorce lawyerSpousal support, or alimony, ensures the financial stability of spouses who earn less than their ex-spouse. In Michigan, judges consider several factors when determining this amount. In other words, unlike child support, there is no formula for determining spousal support in the state.

The state does not guarantee that spousal support will be awarded in each divorce case. Some of the factors that judges in Michigan look into when they have to determine spousal support include the following:


Alimony may not be applicable if the recipient is living with or cohabitating with someone after their divorce.


Northville military servicemember divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is not an easy decision, but it can be especially challenging if one or both spouses are active United States Armed Forces members. Deployments can significantly impact the outcome and timing of a divorce case. 

Issues That May Affect a Military Divorce

Michigan is a no-fault state, which means the grounds for divorce will involve an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” These grounds will apply in military divorce cases. In the state, one spouse can file a complaint with the circuit court in their county of residence and serve their spouse with a summons. Both the summons and a copy of the divorce must be personally served to the spouse in order for the court to have jurisdiction over the military member.

In cases where the military member is deployed overseas or in a location other than where the divorce has been initiated, they can sign an affidavit proving they know the summons and court action. This may allow the to be delayed until the spouse returns from wherever they are stationed. The active military spouse can also sign an affidavit allowing the divorce to proceed in their absence, although this is generally not recommended, since it is important for a spouse to play a role in the decisions made about the end of their marriage. 


novi divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can have significant financial implications. In addition to dividing assets and determining support payments, it's essential to understand the tax consequences involved during a divorce. This blog will explore the key aspects of divorce and tax implications in Michigan, providing valuable insights to help you make informed decisions during this complex process.

Filing Status and Exemptions

One of the crucial considerations during divorce is the change in filing status. You have two options in Michigan: Married Filing Jointly or Separately. Each option has its own impact on tax rates and deductions.

If you file jointly, both spouses are equally responsible for the tax liability. However, filing separately may be necessary in certain situations, especially if there are concerns about the accuracy of reported income or potential tax fraud. It's important to carefully evaluate the tax consequences of both options before making a decision.


novi divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. In Michigan, couples will pursue a no-fault divorce, meaning the spouses will not need to assign fault for the marital breakdown. If you are getting divorced, you will not be required to list adultery, abuse, or other fault-based reasons on the divorce petition to be granted a divorce. However, fault can still affect the outcome of a Michigan divorce case. 

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

In Michigan, a no-fault divorce is based on the concept that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. To initiate a no-fault divorce in Michigan, one spouse will file a Complaint for Divorce with the appropriate county court. The complaint outlines the reasons for seeking divorce and may include requests for child custody, support, and property division.To file for divorce in Michigan, at least one spouse must have resided in the state for a minimum of 180 days before filing. Additionally, the divorce must be filed in the county where either spouse currently resides or where the couple last resided together.

Negotiation Of Divorce Issues

During the divorce process, both spouses are encouraged to negotiate and reach agreements on various issues, such as the division of marital property. Mediation or collaborative divorce methods can be utilized to facilitate productive discussions and achieve mutually satisfactory outcomes.
Michigan courts also ask parents to work together to create a mutually agreeable parenting plan. This plan outlines each parent’s responsibilities and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
If divorcing spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more divorce issues, the court will step in and make a decision for the couple. 


Novi Divorce LawyerAlimony, or spousal support, is awarded by Michigan courts to a spouse after a divorce. Each state has its own laws, and the court can be flexible in its judgment based on the circumstances surrounding a case. This includes determining if awarding support is appropriate, how much alimony should be awarded, and how long the payments will last.

Factors Considered When Determining Alimony

During a divorce, it is common for a judge to decide if a spouse qualifies for alimony and how much they should receive. When a spouse requests alimony, a judge may base their decision on the following factors:

  1. The career and education of each party during the marriage: It is important to consider if each spouse has the resources to support themselves after the divorce, including their employment status.


Novi Divorce LawyerDid you know Michigan was the first state to adopt a no-fault divorce system? This means that fault is not taken into consideration during divorce proceedings. This is just one fact out of many that people who wish to end their marriage must know before they file for divorce. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding divorce in Michigan and their answers:

Does Michigan Have a Residency Requirement for Divorce Filings?

You and your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before you file for divorce. Additionally, you must live in the county you are filing for at least 10 days before submitting the required paperwork.

Can Infidelity be Used as Grounds For Divorce?

Michigan is a no-fault state. This means neither party has to prove wrongdoing to dissolve a marriage. However, you can file for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences by stating the marriage is irreparably broken. A judge may consider fault when determining spousal support obligations.


Novi Military Divorce AttorneyDivorce can be complicated, but a military divorce comes with additional complexities that must be carefully considered. If you or your spouse are in the military and considering a divorce, it is important to understand the unique challenges and legal considerations that come with it.

In this blog, we will discuss some important facts that you should know about a military divorce in Michigan. 

Here is everything you need to know:


Novi Family Law AttorneyDivorce is a difficult process that can be emotionally and financially draining. One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is property and debt division. Dividing property and debt during a divorce can be complicated, especially when spouses have significant assets or debts.

It is important to have a thorough understanding of Michigan divorce laws and work with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure a fair distribution of property and debt. This blog will discuss some important considerations and steps for dividing property and debt during a Michigan divorce.

What Is Considered Marital Property and Debt?

Marital property and debt are assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned the income or whose name is on the title or account. Examples of marital property and debt may include marital homes, vehicles, bank accounts, credit card debts, and mortgages.


Novi Co-Parenting LawyersThe process of divorce can be difficult for everyone involved. Spouses will need to address many different concerns, and in addition to resolving legal issues, they will need to separate their finances and determine new living arrangements. At the same time, children can struggle to adjust to the changes in their lives after their parents split. To ensure that children's needs will be met after a divorce, parents will need to try to put their differences aside as much as possible and prioritize the best interests of their children.

Co-parenting is not always easy, but with dedication, cooperation, and positive communication, it is possible to raise happy and healthy children after a divorce. If you are in this situation, the following tips may help you work together with your ex to effectively co-parent your children:

Keep the Communication Lines Open

Effective communication is key to a successful co-parenting arrangement. It is essential to keep each other informed of your children's needs, their daily activities, and updates on changes in their lives. You can make an effort to discuss things related to your children's education, health, and extracurricular activities while working together to make decisions on important matters. Good communication will help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts, and it can ensure that your children will feel loved and supported by both parents.


Novi Divorce AttorneyGetting a divorce can be challenging for anyone. Separating from your spouse will involve many different financial considerations, as well as practical concerns about living arrangements and ownership of property. These issues can become even more complicated if you are a business owner. When you, your spouse, or other parties have built a family business together, determining how to protect the business as you divide your marital assets can be difficult. By understanding your options and working with an attorney to negotiate agreements, you can find solutions that will protect your financial interests and allow for ongoing success after your divorce is complete.

What Happens if One Spouse Wants to Maintain Sole Ownership of a Business?

A spouse who has been the primary manager of a family business may wish to continue owning and operating the business after getting divorced. However, if the business was founded or acquired during the marriage, the other spouse will be entitled to a fair share of the business’s value. In these cases, it is important to have the business valuation performed by a professional who can provide an objective assessment of the business’s worth. Once the value is established, you and your spouse can work with your attorneys to negotiate a fair settlement that will allow one spouse to own the business, while the other spouse receives other marital assets of an equivalent value.

What Happens if Both Spouses Want to Maintain Control of the Business?

If you and your spouse have been closely involved in a family business that has provided income for both of you, neither of you may be willing to walk away and pursue other opportunities. In some cases, it may be possible to divide ownership and control of the business, with each spouse assuming a different role in the company while sharing decision-making responsibilities. If you and your spouse are unable to reach agreements that will allow you to co-own a family business, you may choose to sell the business and divide the profits earned as part of your divorce settlement.


Oakland County Divorce AttorneyDivorce can be expensive and stressful, but mediation can offer a cost-effective solution for couples seeking to dissolve their marriage. In Michigan, mediation can save money and help you reach a fair and equitable outcome without breaking the bank. Here is how:

Understanding Mediation in Michigan

Mediation is a fantastic option for couples looking to resolve issues such as child custody, property division, and spousal support amicably without litigation. By facilitating open communication between both parties by a neutral third party (the mediator), any agreement can be mutually agreed upon without making decisions for the other. This process often leads to better outcomes than traditional divorce proceedings, enabling couples to divide their assets with mutual understanding instead of hostility.

Cost Savings of Mediation in Michigan

Divorcing couples can save significant money by opting for mediation rather than traditional litigation. Instead of bearing the weight of two separate legal fees, court costs, and other expenses, they only need to cover their mediator’s price, which is usually split between both parties. Mediation typically takes far less time than regular divorce proceedings saving even higher costs.


Farmington Hills Divorce LawyerDivorce proceedings can be complex, and the division of assets is often a contentious issue. In Michigan, the law requires an equitable distribution of marital property, which means the assets must be divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Unfortunately, some spouses try to hide assets to avoid sharing them. In this blog post, we will discuss how to uncover hidden assets in a Michigan divorce and how you can protect your rights throughout the process.

Understanding Michigan’s Equitable Distribution Laws

Under Michigan’s equitable distribution laws, the court will divide marital property as it deems fair and just. Marital property includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, such as real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts, and debt. Separate property, which is acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gifts, is usually not subject to division. Keep in mind that while this state is typically considered an equitable distribution state, there are some cases where the judge will decide one party gets more than the other. This scenario usually occurs when one partner may be more at fault than the other, so they would receive fewer assets. 

Common Techniques for Hiding Assets

Unscrupulous spouses may use various tactics to hide assets, including:


Novi Family Law AttorneyWhen a child’s parents decide to end their marriage or nonmarital romantic relationship in Michigan, the courts insist upon formalizing a child custody order. Co-parents are also generally required to construct and adhere to a parenting plan that will govern their shared parenting arrangements.

Although most parents who choose to remain active in their kids’ lives opt for a joint custody arrangement, some families benefit from a joint legal/sole physical or a sole custody order. If a non-custodial parent wishes to remain bonded with their child under these circumstances, they may be granted unsupervised or supervised parenting time, depending on whatever arrangement has been deemed in service of a child’s best interests.

Regardless of how a child’s custody order and parenting plan are structured, one or both of these legally-enforceable orders can be modified under certain circumstances.


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.

It is now a common legal tactic for attorneys to scroll social media feeds for information that can be used on behalf of their clients. Even seemingly mundane activity – a picture of you on a date or a post detailing why you are finding the divorce process to be so frustrating – could be used to undermine your position.


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.


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.


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.

Essentially, a separate maintenance case allows spouses to benefit from most of the arrangements that are typically finalized during a divorce. Parents can formalize child custody, parenting time, and child support arrangements, and spouses with or without kids can address asset and debt division concerns and formalize spousal support expectations via this process.  


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.


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.

Summertime Considerations

The supreme standard that governs child custody matters in Michigan is the “best interests of the child” standard. When contemplating how to approach this upcoming summer, scrutinize whether your plans reflect the spirit of this standard. Could your child genuinely benefit from more time with you or your coparent? Have their passions and interests been given adequate consideration? Are their social needs being met?


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.

Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
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