Elkouri Heath, PLC


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

Recent Blog Posts

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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Divorce Tips for Grandparents

 Posted on April 19, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerFinding grounds for divorce during the grandparenting stage of life is known as “gray divorce.” It is increasingly normal for older adults to choose to end their marriages. While there are a lot of resources for parents who will need to help their minor children cope with the divorce, there is less guidance available for older adults who will need to tell their grown children and grandchildren that they are divorcing. Many grandparents enjoy spending holidays and special occasions, like grandchild birthdays, with their extended families. You will need to develop a new strategy for planning larger family events like reunions. A Novi, MI divorce lawyer can help you and your spouse strategize for handling future family events.

Tips for Managing the Family Dynamic After Gray Divorce 

Your divorce may come as a surprise to your adult children and grandchildren. Some tips for maintaining strong family relationships after gray divorce include:

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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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