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Recent Blog Posts

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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Top Three Reasons for Gray Divorce

 Posted on January 30, 2024 in Divorce

I=MI divorce lawyerGray divorce is becoming more and more common. If you are nearing retirement age and are getting divorced, you likely have a few special concerns, such as dividing your retirement funds. While leaving your spouse at this age may feel like a major upheaval in your life, rest assured that many older adults find true happiness - or even fall in love again - after a gray divorce. There are many different reasons people choose to get divorced at this age. Whether this is your first marriage and you were together for decades, or you are ending a shorter-term repeat marriage, you need to be represented by an experienced Oakland County, MI, divorce attorney. Protecting your financial security in retirement is likely to be a very high priority for you, and an attorney can work to ensure that you receive fair treatment when dividing assets. 

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Divorce with a Disabled Child

 Posted on January 20, 2024 in Family Law

MI divorce lawyerDivorce cases that involve children are often complicated. When you and your spouse have a child who is disabled together, it is important to create a parenting time schedule and allocating parental responsibilities in a way that will meet the child’s needs. Many children struggle with their parents’ divorce. Children who have significant disabilities may have difficulty adapting to the change. You and your spouse will likely need to continue working together as co-parents for a very long time, even after your child turns 18 years old. Parents with disabled children are often advised to use mediation to help them develop a parenting plan, as these parents understand their child’s specific needs far better than a judge who does not know the child would. It is important to work with an experienced Northville, MI, divorce and child custody lawyer who can help you create the right co-parenting strategy. 

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Will My Criminal Record Affect My Custody Case?

 Posted on January 14, 2024 in Family Law

MI custody lawyerBeing involved in a child custody dispute is enough to frighten any parent. If you have a criminal record, you might be feeling nervous about whether your history will impact your child custody case. Rest assured that while the court may consider your conviction, merely having a record does not mean that you will lose custody of your child. The nature of your conviction is more important than the existence of a conviction. If you were caught using marijuana before it became legal, or you got a DUI fifteen years ago before you became a parent, it is highly unlikely that your case would have any real effect on your current child custody case. However, if you were convicted of a crime that suggests you may be a danger to your child, the court is more likely to see it as a serious issue. It is critical to be represented by a skilled Novi, MI, child custody lawyer if you have a criminal record. 

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What is a Collaborative Divorce in Michigan?

 Posted on January 05, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerA collaborative divorce is a voluntary dispute resolution process for couples going through a divorce or separation. It aims to settle all issues respectfully through cooperative negotiations instead of going to court. A Michigan divorce lawyer can help you with your collaborative divorce.

The Collaborative Process

In a collaborative divorce, the couple signs a participation agreement committing to negotiate in good faith outside of court. Each spouse hires a collaboratively trained attorney to advise and represent them. The attorneys cannot go to court or threaten litigation. The couple may also use child specialists, financial specialists, coaches, and other professionals to assist in areas like finances and child-related concerns.

This interdisciplinary team works together cooperatively and transparently to generate creative win-win solutions tailored to the couple’s needs. Everything is discussed openly in meetings where all concerns are aired constructively. Compromises are made until the major issues like property division, finances, child custody, and support are all settled by mutual agreement.

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Tips on Choosing a Divorce Strategy

 Posted on December 27, 2023 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerWhen you are getting divorced, you have a lot of different choices about how to approach finding a resolution. Your two main options are contested divorce and uncontested divorce. Contested divorce means going to trial and letting the court decide everything. This is a last resort for most people, as it can take a very long time and get very expensive. Uncontested divorce means that you and your spouse essentially create your own divorce decree by agreeing to every term to be included. The court generally adopts these agreements with minimal oversight or intervention. If you are hoping for an uncontested divorce, you have even more options - mediation, attorney-led negotiation, or other means of collaborative divorce. Choosing the right approach to divorce is important. A qualified Novi, MI, divorce lawyer can help assess your personal circumstances to help you choose the best strategy

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Handling the Holidays After Gray Divorce

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Divorce

Blog ImagePeople who have been married for decades often struggle with the first holiday season after separating from their spouse. If you are an older adult getting divorced, you might be dreading the holidays because you are not quite sure what to do. You have likely spent the majority of your adult life celebrating the holidays with your spouse and children if you have them. Spending the holidays differently can be a big adjustment. Many seniors going through the divorce process are unsure how to approach the holidays. Although you do not need to create a parenting plan for your adult children, you may need to figure out which parent is hosting the holiday and where the children will be. This can feel very difficult, but you can adjust to the change if you keep an open mind and are willing to be flexible. A Northville, MI, divorce lawyer can offer further advice

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Divorcing a Mentally Ill Spouse

 Posted on December 06, 2023 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerThe vast majority of people who suffer from a mental illness live perfectly normal lives and form perfectly normal and healthy relationships. However, some severe mental illnesses can make it very difficult to remain married to a sufferer. If your spouse has serious mental health issues and you can no longer wait for them to start taking treatment seriously, divorce can give you the legal protections you need to make a clean break. Divorcing someone with major mental health issues can be challenging in a number of ways. They may make you feel as if you are “abandoning” them or make empty gestures like making a therapy appointment they do not intend to follow through with. It may also try to prevent or stall the divorce - or at least make it as difficult as possible for you. Good legal representation is important in these cases. It is best to have your divorce managed by an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer

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