Do I Need to Prove Fault in a Michigan Divorce?

If you are planning to file for divorce in Michigan, or if your spouse has filed for divorce or has told you about his or her plans to file, you may have questions about proving fault. Many spouses in Michigan want to know whether they will need to prove that the other spouse was at fault in order to be eligible for a divorce. Some spouses worry about proving fault because the decision to file for divorce is one arrived at relatively amicably with the other spouse, and there is a sense between the parties that neither one of them is really "at fault" for the breakup of the marriage. In other cases, one of the parties might be eager to allege fault because she or he is filing for divorce because the other spouse had a long-term affair and spent a significant portion of the couple's assets on that affair.

Signs Your Spouse May Be Hiding Assets

Are you planning for a divorce in Michigan but concerned about how property division will work because you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets? Unfortunately, spouses often try to hide assets in a Michigan divorce to prevent them from being classified as marital property and divided according to the practice of equitable distribution in Michigan. When you are anticipating that you or your spouse will soon file for divorce, or if your divorce is already underway, it is essential to know the signs that may indicate your spouse is hiding assets. The following is a list of signs that your spouse may be attempting to hide assets in order to prevent their distribution in your divorce case. When you have concerns about hidden assets, you should speak with a divorce attorney in Michigan as soon as possible about ways of identifying and locating missing or hidden assets in your divorce case.

Top Tips: Planning for a High Asset Divorce

While any divorce in Michigan can be complicated as a result of property division issues or child custody matters, most high asset divorces in the state will be complex due to the high value of property that will need to be distributed. In addition, much property in a high net worth divorce will be complicated to appraise and value, and it can also be difficult to distribute between the spouses. As you are getting ready for a high asset divorce in Michigan, the following are top tips for your planning purposes.

Five Things to Know About Divorces Involving Minor Children

When parents are getting divorced in Michigan and one or more of their children are minors, it will be extremely important for those parents to learn more about divorce and child custody under Michigan law. Parents should gain a better understanding of how child custody proceedings relate to Michigan divorce law in general, and they should also learn more about custody guidelines and how Michigan courts make decisions about awarding or allocating custody to parents. If you have questions or need assistance, you should know that a Michigan divorce attorney can represent you. In the meantime, the following are five things every parent should know about divorces involving minor children.

What Should I Do if My Spouse Files for Divorce?

Being served with divorce papers is never easy, and for many Michigan residents, it can come as a great shock. Whether you knew that your spouse was seriously considering divorce (and perhaps was even planning to file a divorce petition), or being served with divorce papers seemed to occur without any warning, it is important to think clearly about the steps you need to take next. At the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins, we routinely represent Michigan residents who are in the initial stages of a divorce case. The following are important things you should do if you are served with divorce papers.

Distributing Business Assets in Your Michigan Divorce

The distribution of business assets in a Michigan divorce is often one of the more complicated property division issues. In some cases, spouses will own a business together, and they will need to decide how to move forward. For some married couples who are getting divorced and are in this situation, they may decide to continue working together and keeping the business open, or they may decide that one spouse will buy out the other spouse so that only one of the parties owns the business after the divorce. Where a buyout is impractical, the parties may sell the business. In scenarios in which only one of the spouses is involved in the business (and may or may not co-own the business with other people), it is likely that at least some of the business assets will be classified as marital property and will be subject to distribution. In these situations, the spouse who owns the business may or may not be able to continue on with the business.

How do I Make Sure My Separate Property is Not Divided in My Divorce?

When spouses in Michigan are at the early stages of a divorce, one or both of them may be extremely concerned about ensuring that separate property is properly classified and is not divided in the divorce. As you may know, under Michigan divorce law, all property owned by the spouses will be classified either as separate property (non-marital property) or marital property. Then, in most cases in which there is no property settlement agreement between the parties, the Michigan court will divide all marital property according to the theory of equitable distribution. This means that marital property will be distributed between the spouses not necessarily in an equal of 50/50 manner, but instead in such a way that the court decides is equitable or fair to the spouses.

Steps to Recovering From Divorce

What does it mean to recover after a divorce in Michigan, and what steps to you need to take in advance in order to get back on your feet once your divorce is finalized? An article in Psychology Today explains that recovery from a divorce can mean many different things, from financial recovery to emotional recovery. We want to discuss some steps for recovering from a divorce financially and psychologically, and to point out some particular considerations for divorce recovery after a long-term marriage ends.

Tips for Picking the Best Divorce Lawyer for Your Case

Divorce is never easy, even if it seems as though you and your spouse will be able to reach an agreement about all or most of the terms in your case. Accordingly, you should have an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer on your side who can advocate for you and help to negotiate the best property settlement agreement. Whether you are anticipating a relatively straightforward divorce with limited marital property, or a more complex divorce involving high assets or child custody issues, you should think carefully about the following tips for picking the best divorce lawyer to work on your case.

10 Common Misconceptions About Divorce

As you consider the possibility of filing for divorce in Michigan and discuss it with your close friends or family members, or even as you seek out information on the internet, you are likely to run into many different misconceptions about divorce. Everyone tends to have an opinion about divorce, and it is important to keep in mind that those opinions usually are not based in fact. The following are ten misconceptions about divorce that we want to dispel for you. In the meantime, if you need assistance filing for divorce, you should get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney in Michigan.

Tips for Dividing Valuable Collections in Your Michigan Divorce

When you are getting divorced and share a valuable collection with your spouse, it can be extremely difficult to learn that those items are going to be divided in your divorce. Collections often have high monetary or market values, but they also tend to have personal value to the collectors. Accordingly, it can be very difficult to realize that you may need to sell the collection, or that your spouse could end up with property that you consider to be your own. Given that Michigan law employs a theory of equitable distribution to divide marital property, it is essential to determine how the collection is likely to be classified and what its market value looks like. The following are tips for dividing a valuable collection in your Michigan divorce.

Will the Court Divide a Gift I Made to My Spouse?

When you are considering divorce or are in the early stages of the Michigan divorce process, you are probably thinking a lot about the division of marital property. As you likely know, under Michigan law, in a divorce case, the court will classify property as either marital property or separate property. Any property that is classified as marital property is subject to division. When courts divide marital property, they use a theory known as equitable distribution to divide the property in a way that is fair to both spouses. In some cases, property has characteristics of both marital and separate property. In such scenarios, the court will usually try to determine what portion of the property is marital (and thus divisible) and what portion is separate (and not divisible). We often hear the question: How do courts classify gifts to one spouse?

Are Women in Prestigious Jobs More Likely to Get Divorced?

Researchers often explore causes of divorce and seek to understand "risk" factors that may indicate whether one type of person is more likely to get divorced than another. For instance, studies have analyzed whether growing up with divorced parents makes a person more likely to get divorced themselves later on their adult lives, or whether having divorced friends makes an individual's chances of filing for divorce more likely. According to a recent article on BBC News, a new study suggests that women who get promoted at work may be more likely to divorce than women who do not. The article suggests that, although gender equality issues are shifting, sociocultural perceptions about and biases concerning gender roles still affect heterosexual relationships. We want to tell you more about the study and to consider its implications for couples in Michigan.

Imputing Income in a Michigan Divorce

Understanding the financial aspects of a divorce can be difficult in any case, even when the facts of the divorce seem relatively straightforward. Financial matters tend to become much more complex in high net worth divorces, as well as in contentious cases in which one spouse is required to pay alimony and child support. Sometimes a spouse who is required to make support payments will simply quit his or her job in an attempt to avoid making payments or will take a lesser paying job in order to avoid making the amount of support payments that otherwise would be required. In short, when one spouse earns significantly less than his or her earning potential and the current earnings were a voluntary choice, the court may impute income in ordering alimony or child support. Indeed, voluntary underemployment or unemployment can lead the court to impute income.

What Will Happen to My Pension in My Divorce?

Are you expecting to file for divorce soon, and do you have questions about what will happen to your pension? In general, unless you have a prenuptial agreement that expressly states that you will keep your pension and that it will not be divided in the event of divorce, at least a portion of your pension is likely to be classified as marital property and will be distributable. Under Michigan law (MCL 552.401), most property acquired prior to the date of marriage is classified as separate property and is not subject to division. Most property acquired after the date of marriage is classified as marital property and will be subject to division. There are some exceptions, of course, yet pensions are not typically exceptions.

What is the Division of Marital Debt in a Michigan Divorce?

Under Michigan divorce law, all marital property is divided according to a theory of equitable distribution in a divorce. Since Michigan is an equitable distribution state (like a majority of other states in the U.S.), the court will divide all property that it classifies as belonging to the marriage in such a way that it considers to be fair to both parties. It is important to remember that fair does not mean equal. Instead, the court takes into account a wide variety of factors from the specific case and the family's particular situation in determining what kind of property division would be fair to both spouses.

How Will a Prenuptial Agreement Affect My Divorce?

Many people who are planning to get married enter into prenuptial agreements with their soon-to-be spouse. A prenuptial agreement, also known as an antenuptial or premarital agreement, is defined under Michigan law (MCL 557.28) as "a contract relating to property made between persons in contemplation of marriage [that will] remain in full force after marriage takes place." Unlike other states, the Michigan statute does not expressly provide information about when prenuptial agreements are unenforceable. However, prenuptial agreements are contracts, and as such, they are governed by Michigan law concerning contracts and their enforcement (MCL 566.132). Case law like Rinvelt v. Rinvelt (1991) also governs prenuptial agreements in the state.

Tips for Living With Your Spouse During the Divorce Process

While many Michigan residents who are in the process of getting divorced want to move out of the house they share with their spouse-or have their spouse move out of the house-a surprising number of married couples in Michigan who are going through a divorce make the decision to continue living together. While some states require married couples to live separate and apart for a specific period of time before they are eligible to file for divorce, Michigan is not one of those states. To be sure, under Michigan law, there is no requirement that a married couple live separate and apart for any amount of time prior to filing for divorce. Accordingly, some couples do make the decision to live in the same house for a variety of reasons, from a sense of family stability for their kids to financial motivations.

Five Ways a Forensic Accountant can Help with Your Divorce

In high asset divorces, in particular, property division can be a contentious and extremely complicated process. Yet complex property division should not mean that you have to worry about whether your spouse is attempting to hide assets, or whether your spouse is making efforts to avoid having to give up certain types of marital property in the divorce. When you file for divorce in Michigan, Michigan law requires you to provide clear documentation about all marital assets and debts, as well as information about property you own that will be classified as separate property (and not subject to division). Although you may be able to obtain many of the financial documents you need for your divorce, you should consider the benefits of hiring a forensic accountant.

Dividing Valuable Collections in Your Michigan Divorce

Many Michigan couples enjoy building collections of great value during their marriage, such as art collections, coin collections, rare book collections, sports collections and other types of collections. When those couples decide to get divorced, much of the collection may be classified as marital property and thus subject to division under Michigan law. The prospect of dividing marital property can be particularly distressing with the existence of a collection. While most other types of marital property can be appraised or valued relatively easily, and can be sold to divide profits without too much emotional attachment from either spouse, collections often are viewed differently. This scenario involving complex property division can be more difficult than others.

Potential Drawbacks of Keeping the House in Your Divorce

When you are planning for a divorce in Michigan, one of the major issues you are likely contemplating is how your property will be divided. As you may know, under Michigan law, courts use a theory of equitable distribution to divide marital property. This means that courts look at a wide variety of factors to determine a division of marital property that would be fair to both parties. Most often when courts divide marital property and a marital home is involved, the house will be sold and the court will distribute the profits based on what is equitable to the parties. However, in some cases, one of the parties wants to remain in the home.

Five Tips for Michigan Divorces and Estate Planning

When you are considering a divorce, it is important to think beyond the immediate issues of property division, alimony, child support, and child custody. While you will need to focus on the central issues in your divorce, it is also essential to think about how other aspects of your life will shift and to respond accordingly. More specifically, when you do get divorced, you will likely want to make changes to your estate planning documents. Most spouses include one another in these documents, and most do not want to do so after a divorce. An article in Forbes discusses some important tips for estate planning after a divorce. We want to provide you with five essential tips for estate planning after your divorce.

What is Discovery in a Michigan Divorce?

The divorce process in Michigan can be complex, especially when two parties in a long-term marriage are seeking a divorce, or when there is a high net worth divorce with substantial assets. While some divorces can be relatively straightforward if there are limited marital assets and no children from the marriage, or in the rare case where couples agree on every aspect of the divorce, most are more complicated. Accordingly, there are numerous steps in most divorce processes, and one of those phases is known as "discovery."

How to Prevent Your Spouse from Hiding Assets in Your Divorce

In a Michigan divorce, both parties are required to provide detailed information about assets and liability for the purpose of property division. Yet, as an article in Forbes explains, sometimes one spouse will try to hide assets, and there are serious consequences. While that article discusses the legal consequences for the spouse who is attempting to hide assets, it is important to remember that there are also consequences for the other spouse if those assets remain hidden.

What Happens to Inheritances in a Divorce?

One of the major points of contention in most divorces is property division. Under Michigan divorce law (MCL 552.6), only marital property gets divided in a divorce. This means that any separate or non-marital property is not subject to division-each spouse gets to keep his or her own separate or non-marital property. When it comes to dividing marital property, both assets and debts are considered property of the marriage, and thus both get divided. Yet division does not mean an equal split of property. Rather, Michigan property division operates on the theory of "equitable distribution" whereby each spouse receives the amount of property that is fair to him or to her.

Divorce and Psychology: Emotional Losses You Might Not Expect

While divorce often is the best option for parties who are struggling in a marriage, it is nonetheless important to anticipate the losses that will accompany your divorce. In addition to certain financial losses or difficulties, many divorces result in other types of losses that can affect your emotional and psychological well-being. An article in Psychology Today discusses those losses, and we want to say more about them.

Enforcing a Divorce Agreement or Judgment

The process of getting divorced in Michigan often can be contentious, and both parties can feel angry and frustrated even when they know that the process will soon be completed. For many Michigan residents who are dealing with a divorce, knowing that an experienced and compassionate divorce lawyer is serving as an advocate can bring some relief. Yet the stress that accompanies divorce may not always be finished once a divorce is finalized. In some situations, one of the parties may refuse to comply with what the court orders as part of a divorce settlement or case. What can you do about post-judgment enforcement?

Michael A. Robbins Admitted into the International Academy of Family Lawyers

Michael A. Robbins, a Bloomfield Hills attorney who practices exclusively inFamily Law, was recently admitted into the International Academy of Family Lawyers.The IAFL is a worldwide association of Matrimonial Lawyers who are recognized bytheir peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialist in their respectivecountries.

Who Will Get the Retirement Benefits in the Divorce?

Getting divorced in Michigan, especially after a long-term marriage or when the parties are nearing retirement age, can raise financial concerns about the property settlement and division of marital property. In particular, if one or both parties have substantial retirement benefits, the prospect of dividing those benefits-or one party not having access to any retirement benefits at all-can be an anxiety-inducing idea. We want to discuss the division of marital property in Michigan and how you might anticipate your retirement benefits being divided in your divorce case.

Can I be Required to Pay College Expenses as Part of My Divorce?

If you are planning to file for divorce in Michigan, or if you are in the process of getting divorced, you likely know already that the court will handle a number of financial issues tied to your marriage and divorce. More specifically, the court will divide property that it classifies as "marital property" in a manner that is equitable to both parties, and it may order that one of the parties pay spousal support to the other for a particular amount of time. If there are minor children from the marriage, the court will also determine the amount of each parent's child support obligation according to the income shares model (MCL § 552.605). When the court orders child support, can it also order that one or both parents contribute to their child's college expenses?

Electronic Snooping and Your Michigan Divorce

Nearly everyone who gets divorced in Michigan has some experience with electronic communication and social media, from emails and texts to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As an article in NPR discusses, "digital spying" has become extremely common in 21st-century divorces, and it is important for parties who are considering divorce to think carefully about how technology may be able to help or harm their divorce cases. More specifically, you should know what you can do when it comes to electronic snooping (and what you cannot do), as well as how to use social media without hurting your divorce case. The following are some things to think about concerning electronic snooping, social media, and your divorce.

What You Need to Know About Valuing Real Estate for Divorce Purposes

Will you be selling your marital home or other real estate as part of the divorce process? Or are you hoping to negotiate a property settlement with your spouse that allows you to keep the marital home? Either way, it is important to learn more about valuing real estate during a divorce in Michigan. When you have valuable marital property, including a primary residence, vacation home, or other real estate, it is often important to have that property appraised and to seek advice from an appraiser with experience handling real estate similar to yours in divorce cases.

Three Considerations When Dividing a Marital Home in a Divorce

If you own a home with your spouse and are thinking about divorce in Michigan, it is important to learn more about how your property-including your home and other real estate-will be divided. You should also learn more about how real property is likely to get classified in a divorce, and how property distribution can change when the real property has characteristics of both marital and non-marital (or separate) property. A dedicated divorce lawyer with experience handling complex property division matters under Michigan law can help with your case. In the meantime, the following are three considerations you should keep in mind when dividing a marital home in a divorce.

Three Things to Know as You Prepare for Your Divorce Consultation

When you are considering divorce in Michigan, one of the first and most important steps you will need to take is hiring a divorce lawyer. Finding a divorce lawyer can feel like a daunting process, but it does not need to be so difficult. As long as you plan ahead for your divorce consultation, you can find an advocate who has experience handling cases similar to your own and who has experience navigating the complexities of Michigan divorce law. The following are three important things to know as you prepare for your divorce consultation.

Divorce and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

How will the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) impact your taxes after you get divorced? When the TCJA passed, it immediately changed the ways in which many people got credits or deductions on their taxes for that tax year. For example, certain deductions were eradicated, while other deductions became available. The TCJA also changed the way in which alimony or spousal support gets taxed, making taxes more costly for the spouse paying alimony and less costly for the spouse receiving alimony.

Tax Filing Status After Your Michigan Divorce

Getting divorced has numerous financial consequences, including, for most people, a change in how you file your taxes. After your divorce is finalized, you will need to consider your tax filing status, as well as matters concerning claiming your dependents. We want to provide you with more information about divorce and taxes, and to help you understand how getting divorced will affect your plans for filing your taxes in 2020.

What is a Sleep Divorce?

Can a "sleep divorce" help couples to avoid a legal divorce? The question might seem like an improbable one, but according to a recent article in Healthline, sleep divorces can result in more stable relationships in certain situations. In short, sleep is particularly important for a person's emotional and physical well-being. Many married couples assume that they need to sleep in the same bed as a result of socialized norms, but some researchers intimate that moving into separate sleeping environments-or a "sleep divorce"-can result in a relationship with fewer problems.

Health Effects of Gray Divorce

Many people who are considering divorce know that there is a wide range of effects that the legal process can have on their lives, from financial effects to health effects. Yet despite the rising rate of "gray divorce" among older adults, there are few studies that examine the physical and emotional health effects of gray divorce among retirees. According to a recent article in The Detroit News, we need to look more closely at the impact of gray divorce. While it is clear that gray divorce results in substantial financial limitations, those financial limitations-and other issues that arise in divorces among older adults-can affect a person's health and well-being.

Can I Get Custody of My Pet in Michigan?

Many people consider their pets to be part of the family. Consequently, in the past few decades, the issue of pet custody upon a divorce has become increasingly more common.

When it comes to distributing marital assets, or assets that the parties accumulate over the course of their marriage, the State of Michigan is an equitable distribution state. This means that the assets must be distributed as fairly and equitably as possible. Pets in Michigan are treated the same way as cars, boats, and other tangible assets, even though many people strongly disagree with this assessment.

Can I Relocate with my Child after a Divorce?

If you and your former spouse have a child whom you are co-parenting after a divorce, you may not have complete control over where you want to reside. This is especially true if you are intending to move somewhere outside the State of Michigan.

Decisions regarding child custody and visitation are always made to favor the child's best interests. As such, public policy in the state of Michigan encourages that the child be as involved as possible with both of his or her parents.

What is Equitable Distribution?

Generally speaking, the equitable division of marital property means that any property that spouses acquire during the course of their marriage must be divided fairly. The same holds true for assets that may have increased in value over the course of a marriage.

Is my Business Considered to be Marital Property?

Owning a business and going through the divorce process at the same time can be very overwhelming. In addition to dealing with the daily stress of business, business owners must also ensure that they make good decisions for the future at this difficult juncture in their lives. Failing to make good decisions at this time could have a very negative impact on the business later on down the road.

Can I Relocate With My Child After the Divorce?

Going through a divorce is almost always complicated and difficult, and many people who finalize a divorce in Michigan want to get a fresh start afterward. For many, this means moving into a new home and, sometimes, to a new city or state. However, relocating after a divorce can be complicated if you have a minor child from the marriage, even if you have a primary physical custody, or share some form of parenting time with the other parent. You may need to consider a "relocation" under the Michigan Child Custody Act.

Common Issues in a High Net Worth Divorce

Divorce is complicated in any situation, regardless of the amount of property owned by the spouses and any issues of child custody that might arise. Divorce often becomes even more complex when there are substantial assets from the marriage, leading to a high net worth divorce. Michigan divorce law governs all divorces regardless of the value of the assets that need to be divided, but it is important for couples anticipating a high net worth divorce to learn more about the particular complications that may arise. The following are some of the most common issues in a high net worth divorce.

Am I Eligible to Receive Spousal Support in My Divorce?

If you are considering divorce in Michigan or have already started the divorce process, you are likely thinking about spousal support if you were not the primary earner in the family. It is common for one spouse to receive maintenance or support-also known in some states as alimony-from the other spouse. While there is no specific formula under Michigan law that courts use to calculate the amount of spousal support that is appropriate in any given case, there are numerous factors that the court takes into consideration when determining the amount. However, before a divorce court can decide on the amount of spousal support, it first must determine whether spousal maintenance is appropriate.

Military Divorce Rate Continues to Decline

Over the last 10 years, the rate of divorce for active-duty members of the military has declined slowly. According to a recent article in, the divorce rate for active-duty service members declined further in 2018, marking a particularly low divorce rate for active-duty troops. The data comes from the U.S. Department of Defense, and it shows that only about 3% of active-duty service members who were married at the beginning of 2018 began or complete divorce proceedings in 2018. That number is well below the average annual divorce rate in the U.S., based on data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tips for Getting Your Finances Ready for Divorce

As you are planning for divorce, it is important to think carefully about your financial situation and the best ways for getting your finances in order. For many Michigan residents, the financial aspects of divorce are among the most anxiety-inducing, from property division to support issues. When it comes to property division in Michigan, you can help to ensure that the court has all of the information it needs-and to protect yourself throughout the process-if you take a few steps early on. We have collated some tips for getting your finances ready for divorce from NerdWallet and U.S. News & World Report.

Can I Get a Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce?

There are many Michigan residents who have consideredfiling for divorce but have decided to remain married for reasons that have nothing to do with the possibility of repairing their relationship. As an article in Forbesexplains, the notion of a separation is common before divorce, yet more and more couples are making the decision to remain separated on a seemingly permanent basis instead of getting divorced.

New Study on Benefits of Paternity Leave After a Divorce

When you get divorced in Michigan and have minor children from the marriage, adjusting to new ways of parenting can be complicated and difficult. After a divorce, not only do single parents need to make new plans for childcare when there are unexpected professional obligations, but single parents also have to think about the needs of their kids more than ever given the ways in which a divorce can affect a child's emotional state. In other words, after a divorce, single parents frequently are juggling two seemingly contradictory situations - working out childcare solutions for work-related purposes while also spending more time with the children.

What is the Average Length of a Michigan Divorce?

When you are trying to decide if you should file for divorce and whether now is the right time to start the process, it is common to have questions about the average length of a divorce in Michigan. Many Michigan residents want to know how long their divorce is likely to take before they even begin the process by filing a petition for divorce. So, what is the average length of a Michigan divorce?

Questions to Ask Before You Start the Divorce Process

Filing for divorce in Michigan is not a decision that anyone should take lightly. Whether you have been married for only a short time or are considering dissolving a relationship that has lasted for decades, it is important to think through all of the implications of divorce before you begin the process. In asking yourself some key questions about divorce, you can also take steps to plan in advance so that you are prepared for the process of property distribution, and for matters concerning minor children from the marriage. An article in The New York Times discusses some important considerations that everyone should think through before filing a divorce petition.

Why Are Divorce Rates Declining?

A couple of decades ago, the average divorce rate was right around 50% for first marriages. In other words, if you got married, your chances of that marriage ending in divorce were about 50%. Obviously, an average means that some communities see divorce at a higher rate, while some see it at a lower rate. In more recent years, however, the overall rate of divorce in the U.S. has declined. Numerous researchers have addressed this topic and have attempted to determine the reason for the declining divorce rate in the country.

How Will My Second Divorce be Different?

No one gets married with the hope that they will end upgetting divorced. However, many marriages in Michigan and throughout the country do end in divorce. While arecent article in Bloomberg reports that the overall divorce rate in the U.S. has declined in the last decade, approximately 40% of all marriages still end in divorce. Often, when a person goes through a divorce, it takes some time to readjust to an unmarried lifestyle. Yet, in most cases, divorcees will end up looking for a new partner. For many of those individuals, there is a strong desire to get remarried. However, according to an articlein Psychology Today, second and third-and subsequent-marriages tend to fail at much higher rates than first marriages. Accordingly, many people who get remarried will end up getting divorced a second time.

Divorce and Business: What Will Happen if I Own a Business With My Spouse?

If you and your spouse own a business together and are considering divorce in Michigan, you will need to think carefully about how your business will play a role in the process of property division during your divorce. Under Michigan law, any marital assets or debts of a couple getting divorced in the state are divided according to a theory known as "equitable distribution." What this means is that your property will be divided in such a way that the court deems fair or equitable to both of the spouses. When the parties can come to an agreement about property distribution (a property settlement), the court can sign off on that settlement agreement as long as it is not clearly unfair to one of the parties.

Financial Considerations for Divorce and Retirement

Filing for divorce when you are nearing the age of retirement can be stressful and complicated. Most Michigan residents know that getting divorced when you are in your 50s or 60s typically means that your retirement benefits will be divided as part of property division in the divorce, which can result in less money to live on during retirement. Now is a particularly good time to consider ways of mitigating the financial effects of divorce when you are approaching plans for retirement.

Is There an Advantage to Filing for Divorce First?

When a married couple is considering divorce in Michigan, each of the parties might be wondering whether it would be beneficial to be the one who actually files for divorce. This question often arises in family situations in which the spouses have not agreed to get divorced, but there are significant problems in the marriage. If you are considering divorce, you may be asking yourself: Should I file for divorce first? What are the benefits, if any, to being the party who files for a Michigan divorce?

The Financial Limitations of Keeping the House in Your Divorce

When a spouse files for divorce in Michigan or is served with divorce papers, the emotional and financial realities of divorce usually begin to set in. Yet even when both spouses have thought carefully about the financial implications of divorce, it can be difficult to let go of the family home.

Using Electronic Communication to Make Divorce for Parents and Kids

Social media messaging, emailing, and texting are not commonly considered to be beneficial to the divorce process. When we think about divorce in Michigan and how social media platforms or emails might come into play, we often think about matters surrounding electronic snooping and the harm that can result from information about one or both spouses showing up on social media accounts. Yet according to a recent article from HealthDay Reporter, electronic communication tools-from social media messaging to texting and email-can help parents to remain in contact with one another after a divorce, and these tools can also help to improve the parent-child relationship.

Should I Get a Postnuptial Agreement Before My Divorce?

If you are thinking about filing for divorce and are concerned about how property will be divided, you could consider a postnuptial agreement in order to contract with your spouse about how assets and debts will be distributed if the two of you separate and later get divorced. Post-nuptial agreements can be important tools for individuals who should have entered into a premarital agreement (also known as a prenuptial agreement) before the marriage but did not do so. However, if you are considering a postnuptial agreement, it is important to understand when these documents are enforceable and when they are not before you meet with your lawyer.

How can I Ensure y Separate Property is Not Distributed in My Divorce

Anyone who files for divorce in Michigan should be prepared for property division, or the distribution of marital assets and debts. Under Michigan divorce law, marital property is divided according to the theory of equitable distribution. In other words, property is divided between the spouses in a way that is equitable. Marital property typically includes both assets and debts accumulated during the marriage, but it typically does not include separate property.

What is a QDRO and do I Need One?

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Michigan, you probably know that part of the divorce process involves the division of marital property. Generally speaking, any retirement benefits that you earned-or that your spouse earned-during the marriage are likely to be classified as marital assets and thus will be subject to division. If you do have any kind of retirement benefits, from pension plans to individual retirement accounts (IRAs), you will need to learn more about how the funds contained in those accounts will be divided.

New Study Addresses The Impact of Divorce on Teens

Are younger children or teens more likely to be affected by divorce in Michigan? Many parents assume that younger children will have a more difficult time when they learn that their parents are filing for divorce because they will not be able to understand the complicated issues that can lead to the decision to a dissolve a marriage, while teenagers at least can understand that relationships become complicated. However, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at The University College London, divorce hurts teens more than children. In other words, even though teenagers may be able to grasp some of the nuances of a relationship that leads to divorce, they tend to be more impacted by it in the present and in the long run.

Update on Shared Parenting Legislation After Your Divorce

If you are in the process of getting divorced in Michigan, or if you are thinking about filing for divorce in 2019, you should learn more about how Michigan law handles child custody issues and minor children in a divorce proceeding. More specifically, you should know about the continuing efforts to push for 50-50 shared parenting in the state. Although a recently proposed bill did not reach a vote on the floor this year, an article in the Detroit Free Press suggests that the bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, "is sure to resurrect the matter in the new year."

What Does the Dropping Divorce Rate Mean?

For quite some time, commentators have emphasized that approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce. However, according to a recent article in Time Magazine, that statistic really does not hold true. To be sure, although about half of all marriages did end in divorce in the 1980s and 1990s, researchers now suggest that only about 39% of marriages end in divorce, suggesting that more people are finding ways to make their relationships work.

Avoiding Alimony Taxation After a Divorce in the New Year

For anyone who will be getting divorced in 2019 and likely will be paying alimony, the prospect of facing the tax changes to alimony brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) can be daunting. In high-asset divorces in particular, the TCJA federal tax law changes could result in tens of thousands of additional dollars in federal taxes for the party who pays alimony in the New Year. Some states like Illinois have changed the way that spousal maintenance or alimony gets calculated to account for the federal tax law changes, but Michigan has yet to do the same.

How Getting Out of Debt can Prevent Divorce

Many Michigan residents know that money problems often are central to marital problems. While handling financial difficulties properly can not save all marriages, a recent report from NBC News suggests that getting out of debt may be able to prevent divorce in a surprising number of situations. To be clear, financial difficulties on their own-from having trouble making mortgage payments to the burden of student loans and unexpected medical expenses-may not result in a couple deciding to get divorced.

Divorce Myths in Michigan

Almost everybody has a story about divorce, whether it is their own divorce experience or that of a friend or family member. While sharing these narratives can help some people through the divorce process, the continuous imparting of experiential knowledge of divorce in Michigan can result in myths about divorce being passed off as truth. We want to discuss some of the most common divorce myths and dispel them so that you can have a better understanding of what the legal process actually looks like. We have collated some articles on divorce myths from Divorce Magazine and the Huffington Post as a starting point.

How Divorce Affects Grandparents' Relationships with Grandchildren

When a married couple decides to get divorced, we often spend a significant amount of time thinking about how the divorce will affect minor children from the marriage. When we think about kids from a marriage, we typically focus on the children's psychological and physical well-being, which often relates directly to the kind of relationship the child has with each parent after the divorce and the amount of time that the child spends with each parent.

Premarital Cohabitation and the Likelihood of Divorce

Does premarital cohabitation lead to divorce? In other words, if a couple lives together before marriage, are they more likely to file for divorce than if they never lived together prior to getting married? This is certainly not a new question, but a recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family revisits it and comes to a new conclusion than a similar study conducted about 10 years ago. A recent article in Psychology Today-written by the authors of that study-discusses the new research, which contends that premarital cohabitation, in large part, does tend to be a predictor of divorce. The study is of particular interest because it refutes a 2007 study that suggests cohabitation before marriage does not increase the risk of divorce.

Is Divorce in Michigan Seasonal?

Since the holiday season was just upon us, it is an opportune time to discuss a study on the timing ofdivorce. According to an article in Live Science, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington analyzed thousands of divorces that took place over a 14-year period from 2001 through 2015. The key finding of the study is this: Divorce rates rise significantly in March and August. There are a number of explanations for these spikes, and given that the researchers suspect that the winter holiday season may play a vital role in producing those increased divorce rates, now is a good time to revisit this study and to reconsider its implications.

Financial Benefits of a Michigan Divorce

Can divorce have financial benefits? Anyone who is thinking about filing for divorce in Michigan has probably heard about the potential financial consequences. For younger people who get divorced, it is easier to get back on track financially, yet divorce does often take a toll on finances. For example, getting divorced means that you will no longer be splitting the costs of a mortgage (or rent payment) and bills, and the division of marital property can leave you with less savings and fewer investments. The financial difficulties of divorce can be more pronounced when couples get divorced after retirement. You might have read about how, for instance, "gray divorce" can leave retirees with a limited amount of post-retirement income, resulting in a need to return to the workforce.

Tax Changes and the Deadline for Finalizing Your Divorce

You may already know that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the tax bill that was passed about a year ago, changes the way in which spouses who pay and receive alimony (or spousal maintenance) after a divorce, as an article in The New York Times explains. However, while much of the law already has taken effect, those changes to alimony and taxes actually will not take effect until January 1, 2019.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce: Which Should I Choose?

If you are having difficulties in your marriage, you may be considering the possibility of filing for divorce. At the same time, you might have heard people discussing the benefits of legal separation, and you might be wondering whether this could be easier in the long run than actually going through the process of divorce. We want to address questions concerning legal separation and divorce and discuss the limitations and potential benefits of a legal separation (as opposed to a divorce).

Handling Divorce During the Holidays

Getting divorced is difficult and stressful at any time of the year, but it can feel particularly taxing as the holiday season approaches. For instance, filing for divorce immediately before the holiday season begins can raise concerns about how children from the marriage will spend the holidays, and whether family dynamics will be disrupted by the news of a divorce filing.

Complications of Dividing Real Property in a Michigan Divorce

When it comes to getting divorced in Michigan, the process of property division can be complicated and contentious for any couple. Yet property division can become even more complex when the court has to divide real property, particularly multiple pieces of real property. For example, a couple might own a marital home, a vacation property, as well as other pieces of real estate. What do you need to know about dividing real property in Michigan during a divorce?

What Questions Should I Ask When I Meet With a Divorce Attorney in Michigan?

Choosing a divorce lawyer in Michigan can feel daunting. Given that there are a lot of practicing attorneys, you want to make sure that you hire a lawyer who is right for your case. It is important to understand that different lawyers often have experience in distinct areas of the law, and an attorney who was perfect for handling the case of a friend or family member might not always be the right advocate for you.

What Should I Expect From the Michigan Divorce Process?

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, you might not have any information about what the divorce process often looks like, or you may know a little bit about it based on the experiences of friends or family members. In either case, it can be stressful to think about filing for divorce without understanding fully how the process will work. For instance, how does a person even begin the process of getting a divorce? How long do most divorces take? What steps are involved in finalizing a divorce? What happens when there are children from the marriage?

Most Studies Say Children Adjust Well to Divorce

There are many studies that have been conducted in recent years concerning the ways that children respond to divorce. Some researchers have addressed the ways in which minor children react immediately to news of a divorce, and the ways that parents can work with family therapists to ensure that their children are able to cope with the change in circumstances.

Tips for Successful Co-Parenting During Divorce

Getting divorced in Michigan is often difficult under any circumstances. Divorces often become more complicated and contentious when there are minor children from the marriage.

When Part-Time Work Leads to Divorce

Is a married couple more likely to file for divorce in Michigan if one of the spouses is a stay-at-home parent or only works part-time instead of full-time? Some researchers argue that the divisions of labor in a household can cause marital strife and, ultimately, can lead to divorce.

When Do Most People File for Divorce?

There are many factors we often associate with divorce, such as financial problems in the marriage, infidelity, and lack of common goals. But does the season-the time of year-have anything to do with a couple's likelihood of seeking a divorce? According to an article in Slate Magazine, divorce rates are at their peak in August. That information comes from a study conducted by sociologists at the University of Washington who have investigated the seasonal spikes in divorce rates.

Tips for Back to School Time After a Divorce

When summer vacation is over and it is time for children to go back to school, parents who are in the middle of adivorce can find this time of year especially difficult. It is important to handle any psychological issues that may arise for your children as a result of the divorce and seeing classmates again, as well as to deal with more pragmatic issues concerning the child's schedule and parenting time. For some couples, the decision to get divorced might have been made over the summer when the kids did not have to grapple with some of the major issues involved in the dissolution of marriage.

Student Loan Debt and Divorce: What do You Need to Know?

According to a recent article in Business Insider, more than 44 million people in the U.S. are currently dealing with student loan debt that collectively totals about $1.5 trillion. How does student loan debt affect a couple's likelihood of divorce, and what happens to student loan debt during property division in a divorce?

Getting Divorced Before 2019 Could Save You Money

If you are considering filing for divorce in Michigan, you should learn more about how changes to tax laws will affect the final economic cost of your divorce. If you are thinking about divorce, you may want to file as soon as possible in order to finalize your divorce prior to 2019, according to a recent article in Forbes. For many individuals in Michigan, getting divorced before the new year could save you a significant amount of money in the long run. What do you need to know about tax law changes and how they could impact you differently based on a divorce in 2018 versus a divorce in 2019?

Creating a Post-Divorce Financial Plan

When you are planning to file for divorce in Michigan, it is extremely important to consider the financial effects of dissolving your marriage. You should keep in mind that you will likely be going from paying shared bills and expenses for a single household (with your spouse) to making individual payments on your own for a new household. In other words, divorce can be financially difficult for many people, and as such, you should always have a financial plan in place. A recent report from CBNC provides some information about the most meaningful ways to create a financial plan for your divorce.

Five FAQs About Divorce in Michigan

Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce in Michigan or have recently started the divorce process, you are likely to have many different questions. From concerns about initially filing a petition to questions about how Michigan courts handle shared parenting time, inquiries about divorce vary widely and often reflect the specific facts of a family's situation.

How to Have a "Friendly" Divorce

Is it possible to have a "friendly" divorce in Michigan? Many couples who decide to file for divorce may know that there are two types of divorce under Michigan law - contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce refers to a proceeding in which a couple agrees to all terms of the divorce, from property division to spousal support to parenting time. A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot reach an agreement about terms of the divorce, and the court must make the final decision.

How Divorce can Affect Your Child’s College Education

Getting divorced in Michigan will have a significant effect on your finances, no matter what your financial situation might be. Even for couples in high net worth divorces, separating can have an impact on their ability to pay for an expensive college education for their children. For couples who are middle class or have even less savings, making the decision to get divorced could mean the difference between being able to pay for a child's college education and barely being able to help out.

Can the Cost of Your Wedding Predict the Likelihood of Divorce?

Many Michigan couples plan elaborate weddings and spend tens of thousands of dollars. With the recent royal wedding, numerous engaged couples are thinking about their own ceremonies and celebrations, and considering whether it is worth the cost to spend a significant amount of money on an event that will last for just one day. According to an article in The Economist, spending substantially more on wedding day expenses could end up meaning that you are more likely than other couples to get divorced at some point in the future. That information comes from research published in a paper by scholars at Emory University and National University of Singapore.

Should I Try to Keep the House in My Divorce

When you are planning to get divorced in Michigan and have shared your home with your spouse for many years or even decades, you might be thinking that it is in your best interest to do everything you can to keep the home. In particular, Michigan spouses who are getting divorced and still have young children from the marriage may believe that keeping their kids in the same house is the best thing to do. While one spouse keeping the marital home might make sense in certain cases, such a decision can often result in long-term difficulties that the spouse was not anticipating. We will tell you more about the pros and cons of keeping your house in your divorce.

Managing Summer Vacations with Kids After Divorce

When you file for divorce in Michigan and have children from the marriage, you should be prepared to learn more about Michigan parenting time guidelines and the ways in which the court will deal with child custody. Generally speaking, the courts recognize that both parents should play a role in their child's upbringing unless there is a good reason for the child to spend most of his or her time with only one parent. While shared parenting time is often beneficial for the parent-child relationship, sharing time over the summer can be more frustrating for parents.

Should I File for Divorce or Bankruptcy First?

Many couples in Michigan cite financial problems in the marriage as a primary reason for considering divorce. At the same time, those same financial problems often lead individuals or couples to consider filing for bankruptcy. If you are thinking about filing for divorce and you are also considering bankruptcy, which should come first? This is a complicated question, and it largely depends upon your individual situation. According to an article in Divorce Magazine, one of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should avoid filing for divorce and bankruptcy at the same time. When two complicated legal issues like divorce and bankruptcy overlap, it can be extremely overwhelming. As such, you should file one before the other.

Should I Get a Divorce or an Annulment

When you are unhappy in your marriage, you might be thinking about ending the relationship. For many Michigan couples, the obvious way to end a marriage is to file for divorce. Some people, however, want to know if they can simply have a marriage "annulled," moving forward as if the legal relationship had not happened in the first place. It is extremely important to distinguish between divorce and annulment, however.

Co-Owning Your House and Cohabiting After Divorce

While it might sound completely nonsensical at first, many couples who get divorced in Michigan and across the country decide to continue co-owning their family home, while some even continue cohabitating for financial reasons. What are some of the issues to consider if you are thinking about continuing to co-own your home with your former spouse once your divorce is finalized? And on a more pressing note, what issues should you consider if you are thinking about cohabiting with your former spouse in your home as platonic roommates? Is Divorce Contagious?

Did you begin thinking about filing for divorce after learning that a family member or a friend had decided to file for divorce? If so, you likely are not alone. While divorce is not contagious in the same way as a virus, a study conducted by researchers at Brown University, the University of California at San Diego, and Yale University determined that you may be more likely to file for divorce if someone with whom you are close has recently decided to end his or her marriage.

Shared Parenting After a Michigan DIvorce

If you are getting divorced in Michigan and you share a cat or a dog-or more than one pet-with your spouse, you are probably wondering how the court will make a decision about who gets the pet. In contentiousdivorces, the question of pets from the marriage often becomes a particularly bitter issue. Imagine a scenario like this: you and your spouse have been married for years.

How Michigan Courts Handle Pets in Divorces

If you are getting divorced in Michigan and you share a cat or a dog-or more than one pet-with your spouse, you are probably wondering how the court will make a decision about who gets the pet.

Learning to Talk to Your Kids About Divorce

When you and your spouse decide to get divorced, or even when you make a unilateral decision to file a petition for the dissolution of marriage in Michigan, such a decision can have an enormous impact on your children. Whether your kids are still young and in school or are grown and living their own lives as adults, it can be very difficult to figure out the best approach for talking to your children about the divorce. What is the best way to explain the decision to divorce to your kids?

Is Facebook Use Leading to More Divorces?

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow people in Michigan to connect with old friends, and sometimes to connect with old lovers. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, Facebook could be "the single greatest breeding ground ever for infidelity." Indeed, numerous studies have suggested that infidelity is one of the most common reasons for divorce, and that extensive use of Facebook can in fact result in infidelity.

Commingled Property in a Divorce

Under Michigan law, only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. This means that only debts and assets that belong to the marriage will be distributed in a divorce proceeding. Given that Michigan law follows a theory of equitable distribution, the court divides property in a manner that is fair to both parties. Sometimes married spouses who are getting divorced can agree to a property settlement. Indeed, for some couples, it can be easy to come to an agreement about who wants to stay in the home, or even who wants to retain possession or ownership of a certain piece of property such as a motor vehicle or an artwork.

Enforcing a Prenuptial Agreement During a Divorce

When you make plans to get married and enter into a prenuptial agreement (MCL § 557.28), you are probably anticipating that the terms of that prenuptial agreement will be upheld in the event of a divorce. While many Michigan residents assume that prenups, or marital agreements, are only for wealthy individuals with significant assets, in fact almost anyone getting married in the state could benefit from entering into a prenuptial agreement or at least contemplating its benefits with a Michigan divorce lawyer. For example, through a prenuptial agreement, soon-to-be spouses can agree to certain property settlement terms, as well as to terms of spousal maintenance in the event of divorce.

New Tax Implications for Alimony in a Divorce

Are you thinking about filing for divorce this year? You should speak with a Michigan divorce attorney as soon as possible, especially if spousal maintenance or alimony may be involved in your divorce proceedings. Why do you need to act quickly with regard to matters of spousal maintenance or alimony? In brief, recent changes to the tax law will drastically alter the way spousal maintenance affects an individual's taxable income.

How Can Social Media Hurt Your Divorce Case?

If you are thinking about filing for divorce in Michigan or are in the process of getting divorced, it is extremely important to consider how social media usage can hurt your case. In other words, you may want to stop posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms that can provide public information about your personal life during your divorce. Ultimately, even if you think this information is private, it could end up being used against you in divorce proceedings or property settlement negotiations.

Rising "Gray Divorce" Rates Bring New Complications

Many Michigan residents have now heard about the phenomenon known as "gray divorce," which refers to divorce among older adults. Previously, seniors did not file for divorce at high rates, and most divorces happened at least a bit earlier in life when the parties still had the opportunity to work enough time to earn sufficient income for retirement. In other words, when divorce primarily affected younger people, those individuals still had the opportunity to bounce back financially from the blows of a divorce. However, as more Baby Boomers are filing for divorce, new financial complications are arising. What else do you need to know about financial complications and gray divorce?

How to Divide Art in a Divorce

When a couple in Michigan decides to file for divorce, dealing with the division of marital property can be difficult no matter what the circumstances might be. However, in high-asset divorces in which the parties were avid art collectors, the prospect of the distribution of marital property can be even more anxiety-inducing and frustrating. How can you ensure that your art is properly valued by the court? What if your spouse contends that a particular painting or sculpture is actually separate property and thus is not subject to division?

Can Genetics Predict Divorce?

Are some individuals more likely to get divorced than others as a result of genetics? The question might sound like a preposterous one upon first consideration, but researchers in the field of psychology take it seriously. Indeed, according to a news release from Science Daily, a journal article in Psychological Science argues that divorce may run in families

How are Support Orders Calculated in Michigan?

When a family goes through a divorce the court is careful to ensure that both parties incomes are considered to support the couple's children as well as each individual spouse in a fair and appropriate manner after the divorce is finalized. Here in Michigan this is often accomplished via child support and spousal support orders. Read on for a brief overview of how these two types of support orders are calculated under Michigan law.

Tips for Divorcing Parents

Divorce attorney Michael A. Robbins has been practicing law in the State of Michigan since 1982 and currently focuses his practice exclusively on assisting clients with family law matters. Over the years Mr. Robbins has helped a great many parents through the divorce process and has observed that clients are often able to make this challenging time easier on their children by following the tips provided below.

I'm Getting Divorced in Michigan, Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?

While it is possible to get divorced in Michigan without the assistance of a divorce lawyer you should think long and hard before deciding to go it alone. Of course, hiring a lawyer costs money, and attorney's fees in a long drawn out divorce can add up quickly, but it is important to keep in mind that opting not to hire an attorney may also end up costing you!

Will Getting Divorced Impact My Immigration Status

If you're a foreign national who is currently living in the United States be aware that getting divorced may impact your immigration status if you are currently in possession of a visa that you were eligible for by virtue of your marriage. For example, if your spouse is an American citizen or a legal permanent resident of the United States (aka a green card holder) who petitioned for an immigration visa on your behalf then getting divorced may impact your ability to continue living legally in the United States.

College Tuition Provisions in MI Divorce Settlements

Today more than ever higher education is increasingly viewed as a key component of a young person's education. Furthermore, due to the high price tag that comes with attending college society generally expects parents to help pay for their children's university tuition if they are financially able to do so.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Divorce and Life Insurance Policies in Michigan

When a married person takes out a life insurance policy they generally name their spouse as the policy's beneficiary. But what happens when such a couple gets divorced? Often times the policy holding spouse will simply alter the terms of their life insurance policy once their divorce is finalized in order to name someone other than their now ex-spouse (perhaps a child or a parent) as the new policy beneficiary.

Divorce and Its Impact on Your Will

Most people get married believing wholeheartedly that they will stay together with their new spouse until death parts them. With this optimistic state of mind many newlyweds execute a will naming their new spouse as their sole heir, stick the document in a safe deposit box, and put the will and its contents out of their mind.

FAQs About Divorce Mediation

If you're facing an impending divorce, you may want to consider working out the details of the split with your spouse via divorce mediation rather than taking your issues to court. Divorce mediation is a powerful dispute resolution tool that has become increasingly popular in recent years. To help shed some light on this alternative form of dispute resolution some frequently asked questions about divorce mediation have been answered below.

Here's What You Need to Know About Your Post-Divorce Credit Score

While the actual act of getting divorced will not directly affect your credit score, it is important to realize that dissolving a marriage does often take an indirect toll on an individual's creditworthiness. How does this happen? Read on to find out.

How to Keep the Family Business Intact Through a Divorce

Are you getting divorced and worried about the family business? This is a valid concern that plagues many divorcing couples as divorce is a common killer of family-owned businesses in the United States.

FAQs About Separate Maintenance in Michigan

In Michigan we do not recognize "legal separations" like some states do, but we do have something that is very similar: separate maintenance. In order to shed some light on this legal concept some frequently asked questions about separate maintenance have been answered below.

Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers in MI: The Basics

After filing for divorce in Michigan it is essential that your spouse be properly served with the divorce papers. Read on to find out the various ways in which this can be accomplished.

The Legal Ramifications of Getting a Marriage Annulled in Michigan

"Annulment" is one of those pesky legal terms that is commonly talked about in romantic comedies but is often misunderstood in real life. To help clear up some of this confusion this article briefly discusses some of the key legal ramifications commonly associated with getting a marriage annulled in Michigan.

Practical Tips for Getting Divorced When You Have Children

When you get divorced you are splitting from your spouse, not from your children. Therefore, if you are ending your marriage it is important that you do what you can to make this challenging process as easy on your children as possible while at the same time taking the necessary steps to ensure that when the dust settles you have a parenting plan and custody agreement that works for you and that is in the best interests of your children.

The Divorce Process in Michigan, Here's What You Can Expect

Not all divorces here in Michigan progress is the same manner, but you can expect that your divorce will likely go through the stages listed below in more or less the same order in which they are presented.

Marital Property vs. Separate Property in Michigan

When a married couple gets divorced in Michigan state law requires that their marital property be divided equitably and generally each spouse walk away with their own separate property. So the question becomes; what is marital property and what is separate property?

Does it Matter Which Spouse Files For Divorce?

According to an article from The Economic Times a recent U.S. study indicates that women are twice as likely as men to file for divorce. While it is not entirely clear why this is so, it is an interesting phenomenon that begs the question; is there an advantage to be gained from being the spouse who files for divorce?

FAQs About the Tax Implications of Getting Divorced

If you are in the midst of a divorce or are recently divorced you may be wondering about the tax consequences of legally dissolving your marriage. Some frequently asked questions about the tax implications of getting divorced are answered below, but please be aware that tax law is highly complex and that in order to receive case specific legal advice you will need to consult with a local attorney or tax expert.

House Bill 4691 May Change How Child Custody is Allocated in Michigan

Two of the most sensitive aspects of divorce are often the related issues of child custody and parenting time. Currently, family law courts in Michigan decide these delicate matters in accordance with what is in the best interest of the child while also considering other related factors such as each parent's ability to provide for the child, and much more.

Debts and Divorce: Here’s What You Need to Know

When a couple gets divorced both spouses are usually very concerned with how their assets will be divided. While property division is obviously a very important aspect of dissolving a marriage, dividing a couple's debts is often just as, if not more, critical. This article provides a general overview of how debts are handled during Michigan divorces, but for case specific information be sure to contact a local divorce attorney.

The Pros and Cons of Retaining a Lawyer When Getting Divorced

The Michigan State Bar notes that in civil cases, such as divorces, it is important to consider a variety of factors when deciding whether or not to hire a lawyer to represent you. Some key factors to consider include: how complex the legal matter at hand is, the impact that the outcome of the case may have on the lives of those involved, and how much retaining a lawyer will cost. The State Bar also notes that it is a good idea to consult with a lawyer at the outset in order to determine whether or not his/her services are required.

Issues Unique to Military Divorces

A military divorce (i.e. a divorce where one or both spouses are members of the military) is procedurally no different from any other divorce; however, there are some issues unique to military divorces that are important to be aware of. Several of these issues are discussed below, but for case specific information be sure to contact a local divorce attorney.

Divorce Judgment Modifications

Can a Michigan divorce judgment be modified after it is finalized? In other words, once you are divorced can the terms of your child custody arrangement, spousal support award, etc. be changed? As is the case with most legal questions, the answer is that it depends. A divorced spouse may file a motion to modify their divorce judgment, but whether or not the court will grant the requested modification is highly case dependent.

Michigan is a No-Fault Divorce State - What Does this Mean?

According to the American Psychological Association approximate 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. These marriages end for a wide array of different reasons, some of which (legally) involve fault while others do not. Fault divorces are not all that common these days but can be filed in some states based on grounds such as adultery, imprisonment, impotence, cruelty, etc. In fault divorce states, a court will only grant a divorce if the requesting spouse could prove that their wife/husband was at fault for breaking the marriage based on one of these permissible grounds.

What To Expect During A Collaborative Divorce Mediation

Collaborative meditation is an alternative dispute resolution process that is popular among divorcing couples who wish to work out their divorce settlements on their own terms through the use of a neutral third party facilitator rather than going to court. In divorce mediations the mediator is in charge of the process and gently guides the couple (and their attorneys if they choose to retain legal counsel) through various stages, all the while promoting understanding and open dialogue.

What is a Legal Separation

Some couples legally separate as a stepping stone on the way to divorce (or as an alternative to divorce) but what does this mean? If one spouse moves out of the marital home are the spouses legally separated? What's the difference between a physical separation, a legal separation, and a divorce? Each of these questions are answered in turn below in accordance with Michigan law, but for case specific information about obtaining a legal separation be sure to consult with a local divorce attorney.

How to Win a Child Relocation or Change of Domicile Motion After Michigan Divorce

If you and your ex-spouse are co-parenting minor children after your divorce, there are limitations on where you can move when circumstances change. Like most states, Michigan has enacted legislation that favors the involvement of both parents in a child's life.

Interim Spousal Support in Michigan Divorce Cases

Spousal support and maintenance are legal terms that many people know more commonly as "alimony" in Michigan divorce cases. In general, courts may award spousal support to lower-earning spouses when they are unable to sufficiently support themselves after a divorce. However, considering that divorce cases can take months, or even up to a year, to work through the court system, many spouses have concerns about their finances while the matter is pending. When you no longer share a household with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, your income may not go as far as it did when you had two people contributing.

What is a Friend of the Court in a Michigan Divorce Case?

Divorces in Michigan are unique legal matters because there's a significant amount of out-of-courtroom support required throughout the process. In addition to your own attorneys, you and your spouse may handle certain administrative matters through a "Friend of the Court."

What to Expect at Your First Meeting with a Michigan Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a highly personal type of legal matter that involves entire families and - for many spouses - it may be the first time you need to consider hiring a lawyer to represent your interests. For these reasons, your choice in a Michigan divorce attorney will be critical. You need a legal professional with experience and in-depth knowledge; yet, you also want a lawyer that shows a suitable amount of compassion for your situation.

Gifts to Spouses Under Michigan Divorce Law

It's common to engage in the tradition of gift giving with your spouse, other family members, and friends. Birthdays, holidays, retirement, anniversaries, and other special occasions are a way of expressing your love and gratitude for those that you love. As you're considering divorce, what happens to these presents - especially those that are quite valuable?

Options for Foreclosures Under Michigan Divorce Law

Divorce is already an anxiety-inducing process. When you also have to face threats of foreclosure by the bank holding the mortgage on your home, the proceedings can be even more stressful. It's difficult to think about how to handle the situation at a time when you and your spouse are involved in a number of divorce-related disputes.

To-Dos Before the Wedding: A Checklist for Marrying Couples

If you've recently gotten engaged and set a date for your wedding, you're likely elbow-deep in the planning stages for The Big Day. Working on the guest list, reserving a venue, booking the entertainment, and consulting with a caterer are among the many tasks you'll tackle to plan the perfect celebration.

Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation in Michigan

When you think about divorce in Michigan, your mind conjures up images of lengthy, hostile legal battles involving years of court hearings over the division of property, spousal support, and issues involving children.

Post-Judgement Modification of Spousal Support

Circumstances can change considerably in the months and years after your divorce, for both you and your spouse. New jobs, new relationships, relocation to another town, and other matters may impact various aspects of your life - especially your financial condition.

How a Michigan Attorney Can Help if Your Spouse is Hiding Assets or Income

As a married couple's relationship begins to fall apart and divorce appears imminent, one spouse may be tempted to conceal assets to avoid having them included as part of a final disposition of the marital estate. In some cases, a spouse may even try to hide income so that a judge does not consider it when issuing an order regarding child support or alimony.

Top Myths About Divorce in Michigan

When you're considering divorce, it's common for well-meaning friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to come forward with all sorts of "expert" advice. While these individuals may have personal experience with divorce - either directly or indirectly - the guidance they provide is no substitute for the legal training and background of a Michigan divorce attorney.

Tips to Ensure Parenting Time Success

As the parent of a minor child that does not live with you after a divorce, you want the time you spend together to be enjoyable and productive. Michigan law does establish your right to parenting time, but the statute doesn't provide much additional guidance on how you should go about making the experience a positive one.

How Can I Find Assets if My Spouse is Hiding Them During a Michigan Divorce?

In order to make an equitable distribution of assets pursuant to a Michigan divorce, it's necessary for a court to consider all marital assets owned by the couple. Sometimes a spouse may be tempted to hide assets as the marriage breaks down and divorce appears likely, so this property won't be considered in the final divorce decree.

Low Cost, Flat Fee Divorce in Michigan: A Warning to Divorcing Couples

You've likely seen advertisements in the paper or on TV, where firms offer low-cost and/or flat fee divorce to resolve all outstanding marital issues quickly. There's no doubt these offers are tempting, as most couples want to save money on the process and complete the dissolution of marriage proceedings without time-consuming delays.

Considerations When Moving a Minor Child After Michigan Divorce

When a judge issues a final decree in a Michigan divorce case, it will typically include an arrangement for the custody, parenting time, support, and other details involved with care of a minor child. However, circumstances may change in the months and years after your divorce.

Michigan Law on Business Interests in Divorce Proceedings

Divorcing couples are encouraged to enter into an agreement regarding distribution of property, but a Michigan court will make a decision if the parties can't compromise. According to the law, assets will be categorized into marital and non-marital property, and the marital property is distributed equitably between the two spouses

High Asset Divorces & Fraud

When couples get divorced one point of contention that is often hotly debated is how their assets will be divided. This is particularly true in high asset divorces because so much is at stake. In Michigan, family law courts charged with distributing a couple's assets are legally required to divide the assets in a way that is "equitable" (i.e. fair).

Prenuptial Agreements vs. Postnuptial Agreements: The Pros and Cons of Each

A prenuptial agreement, or "prenup", is simply a written agreement entered into by a couple in contemplation of marriage. Each prenuptial agreement is different, but these contracts generally dictate how the couple's assets and future earnings will be distributed in the event that they divorce in the future.

Michigan Divorce Decrees: Can they be Appealed or Modified

So your divorce has been finalized and for one reason or another you are dissatisfied with the outcome. Unfortunately this happens. But what can be done? Are you stuck with this outcome forever? Perhaps not.

How Marital Settlement Agreements Can Benefit High Asset Divorces

A marital settlement agreement is a written agreement that spouses contemplating divorce can voluntarily create in order to help simplify their impending divorce. While each marital settlement agreement is unique, these documents generally spell out important terms of the couple's divorce such as the following.

Divorces and Annulments: What are the Permissible Grounds for Each in Michigan?

If you live in Michigan and are contemplating ending your marriage you should be aware that there are two different ways in which this can legally be accomplished. The first way is by obtaining an annulment, which is used to dissolve a marriage that is invalid for some reason.

Five Important Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Divorce Attorney

You are probably already aware that hiring the right family law attorney is of vital importance when going through a divorce. But how do you know if the attorney you are interviewing is the "right" one? This is a tricky question to answer because the right attorney for Joe may not necessarily be the right attorney for Susan given that each divorce is unique and each client has different requirements and needs. For example, couples who are able to divorce relatively amicably may want to retain divorce attorneys who are experienced mediators, while high asset couples may place more value on an attorney's ability to accurately value assets during divorces.

Unique Legal Issues in High Asset Divorces

When high net worth individuals get divorced they often face a myriad of legal issues that lower asset divorces simply don't have. For example, couples in high asset divorces often prioritize their attention on protecting assets, preserving wealth, and avoiding potential tax consequences. Additionally, due to the fact that wealthy individuals often have diverse holdings and interests unique legal issues commonly arise during high asset divorces.

Potential Consequences of Moving Out of Your Marital Home During a Divorce

When married couples split up and one party moves out it can have devastating legal consequences in your divorce. An informative article from The Huffington Post points out some potential consequences of moving out of your marital home.

How Do I Prove the Validity of My Prenup in a Divorce?

If you have a prenuptial agreement and you and your spouse decide to part ways and file for divorce, your marital estate will be divided per the terms of your divorce. Your prenuptial agreement will also dictate things such as entitlement to alimony, as well as how any other financial arrangements are to be handled.

The Stages of a Divorce: What to Expect When Separating from Your Spouse

If you are thnking about filing for divorce in Michigan, it is important to understand the steps of divorce.

What to Expect During a Consultation with a Divorce Lawyer

Before you hire an attorney for any purpose, including that of getting a divorce, it is wise to meet with the attorney for a free consultation first. When you schedule a consultation with a Michigan divorce attorney, here are some things to expect and be prepared with..

Key Players During a Divorce

When you and your spouse get a divorce, especially if issues in that divorce are contested, you will need to turn to a number of other players in order to demonstrate to the court why things should be resolved in your favor. Here are some key players during a divorce that you should expect..

What is Collaborative Divorce?

When most people think of divorce, they assume that all divorces involve extensive legal battles in which parties are left with anger, stress, and resentment. But divorce doesn't have to be an adversarial struggle; through collaborative divorce, parties to a divorce can work together to make important decisions about the terms of the divorce.

Rates of Divorce Increase After the Holidays

While the holidays may be the time for spending time with loved ones and family, statistics show that after the holidays, many couples decide to throw in the towel and call it quits on their marriage. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Washington, the results of which were summarized in an 2016 article in Fox News, rates of divorce are highest in March, and second highest in August. Consequently, both of these months follow periods of holidays - the winter holidays that span from November to February, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, and Valentine's Day, and the summer holidays in July, such as the fourth of July and summer break for kids.

How to Divide Time with Children Over the Holidays

While the holidays are a time of joy for most families, divorced parents may experience stress during the holiday season in regards to how to share time spent with a child. If you are divorced and share custody of your child with your ex-spouse, here are some tips for splitting time over the holidays.

Taxes & Divorce: How Should You File and How Will Reporting Be Affected?

No one likes to think about tax season, and if you are recently divorced, tax time during the upcoming year may be even more stressful than normal. This is especially true if you are used to having your spouse handle your taxes for you, or if you are accustomed to filing taxes jointly. Further, your tax situation may also be affected by terms of your divorce, such as an alimony arrangement.

The Rape Survivor Child Custody Act: Helping Prevent Rapists from Gaining Child Custody

According to , there are more than 32,000 pregnancies in the United States each year that are the result of rape, and of these pregnancies approximately one-third of the victims choose to keep and raise the child. However, an alarming number of these mothers have reported that their rapists have used the resulting pregnancy to further abuse and harass them by seeking custody of the child. In order to combat this type of harassment, Governor Snyder signed the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act into law earlier this year.

Couple in Michigan Sue for Retroactive Parental Rights Now that Same-Sex Marriage is Legal

Now that same-sex marriage is legal across the United States, some gay individuals in Michigan are suing for retroactive parental rights by claiming that if it weren't for Michigan's unconstitutional prohibition of same-sex marriage they would have previously gotten married and been afforded certain parental rights that they are now being denied. For example, two lesbians have filed separate lawsuits in Michigan both seeking parenting time with children who were born to their former same-sex partners, reports LGBTQ Nation .

T ips For Protecting Your Money During a Divorce

According to the American Psychological Association , approximately half of all marriages entered into in the United States end in divorce. While there are undoubtedly many downsides to getting divorced, the economic impact of splitting from your spouse should not be overlooked. Many people incorrectly believe that if they were to get divorced they would walk away from the marriage with half of what they have now. In many instances this is not the case, but even if it were, would you be able to live on half of what you have now?

Child Custody and the Indian Child Welfare Act

According to News 4 Jax , two missing girls from Michigan were found safe and sound in Atlantic Beach last month after having been kidnapped by their mother. When the mother was apprehended she was with the two girls who had been reported missing as well as her one-year-old daughter from another relationship.

Estate Planning Considerations for Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex marriage is a relatively new concept in Michigan, having only been legal since June 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. Couples can now marry regardless of sex and enjoy the same benefits that male/female couples do. However, regardless of the fact that Michigan law does recognize the rights of a surviving spouse when the other person dies, that does not dispense with the importance of estate planning for same-sex couples. This is especially true when considering the needs of one spouse when he or she becomes incapacitated. You should consult with a qualified attorney about the specifics of your estate plan, but here are the basics you should know.

Considering Divorce in Michigan? Mediation May Be An Option

When you're considering divorce, you probably think of heated battles, endless arguments, and conflicting emotions as the details of your marriage play out in a courtroom. However, there are alternatives to traditional divorce that are considerably less anxiety-inducing. Divorce mediation is an option for ending your marriage under Michigan law and, though the proceedings are not suitable for all couples, the process is worth considering. You should discuss your situation with an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer, but some general information may help you determine whether mediation is a possibility for you and your spouse.

Interference with Child Custody is a Crime in Michigan

One of the end results of a divorce under Michigan law is an arrangement for custody, support, and parenting time for the couple's minor children. The details will be included in the final judgment of divorce and are binding on the parties, so you may expect there will be legal consequences to interfering with the terms of the order. However, did you know that interference with child custody is actually a crime in Michigan? If your parental rights have been disrupted by the actions of your former spouse, it's important to discuss the situation with a qualified child custody lawyer in Michigan. Consider these answers to some common questions before you're tempted to take matters into your own hands.

Anatomy of a Michigan Divorce Case

There can be no doubt that every divorce carries its own unique circumstances. The length of the marriage, the existence of minor children, the relationship of the spouses, and the distribution of property are critical factors that will be different in every case. Still, there are some common features under Michigan law, as the goal of divorce proceedings is to ensure an equitable arrangement on all issues. While you should discuss your unique situation with an experienced Michigan divorce attorney if you're considering dissolving your marriage, it's helpful to understand how these cases proceed.

Third Person Custody Suits

Obtaining custody of a child can be a stressful endeavor for parents; but what if you are not the child's biological or adoptive parent and are seeking custody? As you can imagine, the emotional and legal wrangling required in third person custody suits can be even more challenging. For precisely this reason, you want the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins in your corner to handle your custody dispute.

Senior Divorce: Special Considerations

"Happily ever after" is the story line we all want to live, but, increasingly, it just doesn't sum up married life. Unfortunately, older Americans are finding themselves among the divorced more than ever. In fact, five percent of the divorcees in America in 2010 were 65 and older and that statistic continues to rise yearly. If you are seeking a divorce and have concerns about the financial implications involved with pensions, Social Security, insurance etc., you want a firm with a proven track record of success on your side. You want the Michigan team of Michael A. Robbins.

Child Custody in Michigan: Best Interest of the Child Doctrine

Divorce is never an easy process; but the difficulties become compounded when children are involved. The emotional and legal strains may become overwhelming, particularly when both parents seek custody of a child. In such instances, having effective, confidential counsel is invaluable. If you find yourself in facing a divorce involving custody issues, contact the law office of Michael A. Robbins for the experienced legal guidance you deserve.

Types of Protective Orders

Restraining orders, or personal protective orders, are issued in order to protect someone from another person who is either threatening, harming or harassing the victim, and the victim has a reasonable fear for their personal safety. When filing for a personal protective order, the victim has to consider a few factors in deciding which order to file for, such as: the relationship to the harasser, whether the harasser is the spouse, someone they do not know, or is a minor. Also if the personal protective order is an emergency and the victim cannot wait for a court hearing due to reasonable fear of immediate danger, they may want to seek an ex parte personal protective order. There are three types of PPOs available in Michigan.

Postnuptial Agreements

What has become increasingly common in light of changed circumstances are postnuptial agreements made during a marriage. Postnuptial agreements are legal contracts similar to a prenuptial or premarital agreement, but are entered into after the couple is already married. The agreement sets out how property, as well as financial assets, would be divided in the event that the marriage fails and the couple separates. While this is not something most couples want to consider while happily married, it can provide for a much less stressful and time consuming separation, which can quickly become emotionally charged.

Arbitration in Divorce Proceedings

Arbitration is another alternative dispute resolution method in which parties agree to have a third party judge, called an arbitrator, hear the case and render a legally binding decision that both parties must abide by. Instead of participating in an official legal proceeding held in court, the parties meet, with their respective counsel and the arbitrator in a private setting and a hearing is conducted before the arbitrator.

Separate Agreements

When a marriage fails to work out, many states allow or require couples to go through a separate period in which they are still legally married, but are living separately. Legal separate allows couples to have time apart to consider their options, reconcile their differences, or start preparing for official divorce proceedings, including determining how assets are distributed and how custody will be handled in the event minor children are involved. In some situations, legal separates end with the couple working out their differences and the separate being reversed, while others result in official divorce papers being filed with the state court. Some states also mandate a specific legal separate period prior to filing for divorce.

Will I Get Spousal Support?

At the end of a marriage when you and your spouse have decided to part ways, you will have to handle a number of complex issues, including with whom your children will live, what will become of your house and your assets, whether or not you will change your name (if you changed it in the first place), and of course, how you will support yourself financially if you are the financially dependent spouse. Because many individuals rely on their spouse for financial support throughout the course of a marriage, knowing what they will do when the marriage is terminated can be scary. For this reason, Michigan allows for the financially dependent spouse to seek spousal support, or alimony, from the financially independent spouse.

The Importance of Establishing Paternity

For fathers who are unmarried at the time their child is born, parental rights are not automatically given. In fact, in order to establish legal fatherhood of a child, a father must take specific legal actions. The following considers the benefits of establishing paternity, as well as how to establish paternity in Michigan..

Business Valuation and Division During a Divorce


High asset divorces are sometimes much more complicated than divorces with little income and few assets. For business owners, divorce can be an especially complex legal undertaking, as their business may be up for division. Because Michigan is both an equitable distribution state, a business created during a marriage or the appreciation of a premarital business may be considered to be marital property, and is thereby subject to division in a manner that is just and equitable if parties decide to divorce.

S perm Bank Lawsuits and Same-Sex Parents’ Rights

A breaking storing in The New York Times earlier this month revealed what most parents would consider to be a nightmare: a sperm bank that lies about its donors' backgrounds. Commonly affecting same-sex couples who are unable to conceive on their own, sperm banks may not always be honest; lawsuits filed in Canada allege that a fertility clinic hid information that it had about donors - more specifically, the 15 families that are plaintiffs in the lawsuit purport that the 23 children that have been conceived - all using the same donor's sperm - have a "genetic predisposition to schizophrenia."

I Think My Spouse Is Hiding Income and Assets in Our Divorce – What Should I Do?

Under Michigan's divorce laws, the courts must divide a divorcing couple's assets in a way that is equitable. In order to make a determination about what is equitable, the court will consider a number of factors, including the income and assets of each party. However, if one party is hiding assets from the court, they may succeed in preventing the court from dividing those assets. If one party is hiding assets and income, they may further succeed in reducing their burden in terms of things like child support and spousal support, as both of these issues rely on an individual's financial status as well.

What Is a Domestic Relationship Personal Protection Order?

When you are a victim of domestic violence, taking action, especially legal action, to protect yourself can be frightening. Not only may you be intimidated by the legal process and be unsure of how to pursue protection in the first place, but you may also be fearful of your domestic partner's retaliation. While doing so can be challenging and emotional, if you are a victim of domestic abuse, seeking a domestic relationship personal protection order from a Michigan court can help to keep you safe - the attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins can help.

The Benefits of Mediation During Divorce

When you are going through a divorce, tough issues need to be resolved, such as custody of your children, child support, spousal support, and the division of your assets and debts. Finding a compromise can be difficult, and many couples find it difficult and expensive to turn to a court for answers rather than making these decisions on their own. When you are going through a divorce and need to resolve tough issues, turning to mediation can be one of the best methods.

Child Custody for Divorces Involving Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a complicated issue that affects one in three families in Michigan. Often times, the victims of domestic violence fear taking action, but the safety of their children can spur a victim to action. Because both parents have a legal right to custody in Michigan, a divorcing spouse could have concerns about the abusive spouse being granted custody of children. When domestic violence is involved, however, Michigan divorce courts take this into account when deciding child custody and visitation rights.

RFRA Legislation and Same-Sex Adoption in Michigan

Bringing a child into a family through adoption requires a great deal of work, time, and patience. For many same-sex couples, however, the battle uphill can be a lot more difficult despite the significant gains made in the past year. Despite the Supreme Court decision expanding same-sex marriage to all states, gay and lesbian couples in Michigan may still be denied adoption rights.

Understanding Divorce in Your Senior Years

After spending most of their lives together, many wonder why older couples divorce. The truth is, however, divorce for older couples is happening in greater numbers and for many of the same reasons as younger couples. Although the same factors, including infidelity, financial pressures, regrets of earlier decisions, and desire for greater independence, play a role in all divorces, older couples face special circumstances that younger couples do not.

Marriage vs. Cohabitation: Knowing Which is Right for Your Relationship

With the Supreme Court ruling last summer, it became possible for same-sex couples in Michigan to marry legally. Many same-sex couples rushed to obtain marriage licenses and complete a long awaited milestone in their relationships. Marriage, however, is a significant decision that should not be rushed into. While it is the right choice for many couples, both same-sex and heterosexual, it is not the only option for couples wishing to make a commitment to each other. In Michigan, couples may choose to cohabitate instead of getting married, but should be aware of the legal differences.

The Importance of Estate Planning

The idea of an estate plan may immediately conjure up images of people with vast riches and several houses that need management, but everyone has an estate. Your estate includes anything you own, such as your car, your personal belongings, your bank accounts and investments, and your life insurance policy. Estate planning is a key part of being single, married, or divorced because having a will in place is extremely important in the event that something happens to you, yet many Michigan residents do not even have a will. Not having a plan in place leaves their loved ones vulnerable to expensive court bills and legal fees. This can be avoided by taking the time to create an estate plan to communicate your last wishes.

Child Custody Issues For Same-Sex Divorce in Michigan

The United States Supreme Court decision last June to allow for same sex marriage also provides for divorce. Resolving matters of child custody can be even more complex in same-sex divorces. One such case in Michigan involving a same sex couple has gathered enough constitutional issues to garner the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Coping During Separation and Divorce

When a couple gets married, they never imagine that one day they could find themselves signing divorce papers to officially terminate their marriages. The process is emotional for everyone involved, full of tension and typically includes arguments for almost every couple. However, if you are getting ready for a divorce or already in the middle of one, there are ways to cope with the divorce and strategies that can make it less contentious.

How Michigan Spousal Support is Affected by Remarriage

When a divorce leaves either spouse with insufficient means to support themselves, Michigan law states that spousal support, or alimony, may be awarded. It may be requested by either divorcing spouse to balance the income and needs of a spouse who was financially dependent on the other.

Michigan Has a Lot of Work to do in 2016 Relating to Same Sex Marriage

Michigan residents passed a bill in 2004 banning marriage between same sex couples, which was struck down by the Supreme Court's June 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the decision legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states. Although the decision was a major victory for the gay and lesbian community, there are still many changes that need to be enacted under Michigan law to fully comply with the ruling of the Court.

Do You Wish You Had More Time With Your Children?

One of the best ways we can show our children we love them is by spending time with them, and there is no amount of time that is ever "enough." When divorcing, this can become one of the greatest struggles and heartaches to the non-custodial parent who is awarded only visitation rights. Almost all parents who have visitation rights would like to spend additional time with their children on certain occasions, or in some cases, whenever possible. However, if you are that non-custodial parent, you are all too aware that unless your ex agrees to the extended visitation you request, the only way to get any additional time is to petition the court for it. Petitioning the court for more visitation is not impossible, but you should be familiar of the rules surrounding such requests.

Divorce: Gone in Sixty Days?

Did you know that you can get a divorce in Michigan in as little as 60 days if there are no children involved? When there are children involved, there is a six-month waiting period prescribed by statute before a divorce can be granted. This helps ensure the parents have carefully considered all of their options and that reconciliation, if possible, has a chance to occur. In Michigan, if the parties have resolved all issues and convince the judge that the differences are irreconcilable, the six month waiting period can be waived if it is determined to be in the best interest of the minor children. However, the 60 day waiting period can never be waived.

Do Not Wait to Enforce a QDRO

Lawyers know all too well that clients who sit on their rights risk losing them. If you are familiar with the saying "you snooze you lose," it is especially true when it comes to your right to receive retirement benefits from your spouse after a divorce . To avoid this, never let a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) linger.

Adopting Your Stepchild in Michigan

It is possible under the law to adopt your stepchild in Michigan if certain circumstances exist. But it is not always easy. The most important question in stepparent adoption cases is whether or not the child's noncustodial biological parent is willing to terminate his or her parental rights. If the answer is yes, the stepparent will not have a difficult time adopting the child. However, if the biological parent does not wish to terminate parental rights, there could be a long, uphill battle ahead as a stepparent trying to adopt. When a biological parent's rights to the child are terminated, he or she loses the rights to seek child custody , visitation, and child support.

Custody Ruling By a Michigan Appellate Court Affirms Marital Equality

In the wake of the Obergefell decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in June of 2015 extending the right to marriage to same sex couples, Michigan appellate courts have issued some recent rulings in a case involving a custody battle between a same sex couple. The case, Stankevich v. Milliron, was originally filed in Dickenson County Family Court in the Upper Peninsula.  Same sex parents face the same issues that heterosexual parents face, such as custody and child support issues.

Grandparents Have the Constitutional Right to Visitation in Michigan

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled on a very significant case for grandparents' rights . The case dealt with the constitutionality of The Grandparent Visitation Act in Michigan and has finally concluded it is constitutional after several trips through the legal system.

Are You Suspicious That Your Spouse is Hiding Assets?

In divorce cases, a surprisingly large number of people set out to hide assets from the court, even though the law requires equitable distribution of marital assets. The reasons for doing so vary, although they are usually rooted in anger, greed, or spite. Divorce does not bring out the best in any of us and sometimes, these negative emotions lead to hiding assets in violation of Michigan law.

Religious Prenuptial Agreements?

In Michigan, for a marriage to be considered legitimate in the eyes of the law the marriage must be solemnized and the couple must obtain a marriage license. For a person to have a legal prenuptial agreement, a marriage must have occurred according to Michigan law. However, some religious marriages have both parties sign a religious marriage agreement that outlines what would happen in the event of divorce. Some have argued that this religious marriage contract should be recognized as a prenuptial agreement in a court of law.

When the Other Person Happens to Be a Bottle

Recently, a North Carolina website came up with a list of the drunkest cities in Michigan. Mount Clemens located in Macomb County was named the second drunkest city on the list. The list was determined by the amount that drinking is discussed on Twitter and the number of establishments that are available to either purchase alcohol or have a drink at. The study also looked at the divorce rate in each city that made the list due to the stereotype surrounding drinking and divorce. Regardless of whether the stereotype is warranted, some spouses do decide to divorce because of drinking.

Religious Annulment Was Just Made Easier

Recently, the Pope announced that he is going to make changes to the annulment process that will make it significantly faster for Catholics to have their marriages annulled. In addition to speeding up the process, the Pope announced that the annulment process should be free. The new process should take as little as 45 days if both parties consent. However, the annulment process that the pope has reformed is different from an annulment that is allowed under the Michigan Court System.

Michigan's Battle After Same-Sex Marriage

This past June, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. This ruling made laws that banned same-sex marriage illegal and obsolete. The law not only affects same-sex couples in Michigan, who are now allowed to marry in the state and receive marital benefits, but it also will affect the future of Michigan law that deals with marriage.

Child Support Payments in Michigan

When a couple with children gets a divorce, child support is one of the complex legal issues that will be addressed during the divorce proceedings. Divorce is difficult enough; however, when children are involved it becomes an even more emotionally charged issue. This is why it is important for the parties in the divorce to have legal counsel.

Could your Child be Forced to Stay with an Abusive Parent?

Domestic violence does not just include physical abuse, but also verbal and emotional abuse. When determining the best interests of a child in a custody case, domestic abuse is only one of the factors taken into consideration. Some of the other factors that a judge considers include the emotional ties between each parent and the child, the moral fitness of each parent, and with whom the child would like to live. The judge takes each of these factors as well as others on the list into consideration when determining which parent should have custody as well as visitation.

Things to Consider in a High Asset Divorce

Although a marital union may not last a lifetime, the financial consequences could last for what feels like forever. The more assets that are involved and the more complicated the divorce, the more you will need an attorney who is able to meet your unique needs.

Same-Sex Couple in Mississippi Now Seeking Divorce

Same-sex marriage continues to be a hot topic since the Supreme Court's ruling in June which provided that states could no longer deny couples the right to marry based on sexual orientation. One question that has not been addressed, but that will certainly continue to come up more and more, is how will the ruling affect same-sex divorce. Many same-sex couples that were married in states where gay marriage was legal before the Supreme Court's ruling are now waiting to get a divorce, these couples could not legally divorce in prohibition states, including in Michigan.

Is It Possible That Divorce Is Not As Unhealthy As Once Thought?

Divorce is generally considered to be a negative thing. Most people look at divorce as something they never hope to go through. There are many legitimate reasons why divorce has a negative connotation, like child custody and visitation battles; or property division, spousal support and child support disputes. Another life challenge that many people reportedly experience after divorce is poor health. However, even though this belief has been common for many years, a recent study suggests the results might actually tell a different story.

Michigan Still Not Done With Same-Sex Marriage Issues

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on same-sex marriage, there's no doubt that more and more gay and lesbian couples will begin to get married throughout the country, including right here in Michigan. For many same-sex couples the Supreme Court ruling puts an end to a long wait to walk down the aisle. However, while same-sex couples are celebrating their victory, there are still many legal issues that are bound to arise as a result of the High Court's ruling. The state of Michigan will be no exception, as there are still several items that need to be addressed regarding same-sex marriage and same-sex families.

Understanding Finances in Divorce is Crucial

What comes to mind when you think of divorce? For most people, child custody and support, property division and spousal support are the most common issues that people think of. These are all very important aspects in many divorces. However, there are many other issues that divorcing couples need to keep in mind when they are in the process of splitting up.

Helping With Complex Property Division in Michigan

Aside from determining child custody, property division is usually the most difficult aspect of any divorce. Property division involves the splitting up of a couple's possessions, which usually elicits many harsh feelings and emotions. It can be very hard deciding who gets to keep what when many assets are important to both parties. Additionally, sometimes couples simply disagree out of spite for their ex-mate. These kinds of feelings can lead to a long, drawn-out settlement process, which no one really ever wants to experience. Things can get even more adversarial when couples are dealing with complex property division.

Technology's Increasing Role in Divorce

Technology is constantly changing and as it does it continues to play an increasingly larger role in just about every aspect of society. Technology also plays a role in divorce and its influence is actually being felt more and more all the time. Social media is beginning to be mentioned more often as one of the common factors that play a role in people ending their marriage. In fact, some couples have even put the majority of the blame for their failed marriage on their spouse's (or their own) social media use. Now, technology is even being used more as evidence in many divorce cases.

It's the Little Things That Can Make a Divorce Go Smoother

Everyone knows that divorce can be hard, and that it usually is. No one really ever wants to go through divorce, but unfortunately many couples do. However, like anything else in life, divorce can be what you make it. In other words, if you choose to make things difficult then your divorce will be difficult. If you choose to have a positive attitude and avoid confrontation then chances are your divorce will go smoother. Even if your estranged spouse chooses to make things difficult, you can still take a positive approach.

Which Parent is More Likely to be Granted Physical Custody?

Are you about to go through the divorce process? Do you have small children? Are you worried about keeping custody of those children? Perhaps you are even going to seek for physical custody, or maybe your estranged spouse is doing the same. There are always many questions and concerns with any child custody battle, but perhaps one of the most common questions we hear is what parent is most likely to get physical custody of the children? The answer, as with many aspects of divorce, depends on several factors, and every situation is different.

How Often Can My Ex Ask for Child Support Modification?

When couples with dependent children get divorced part of the settlement process will always include a child custody decision. In most cases there will also be a determination on child support as well. Typically the non-custodial parent, will be ordered to pay some amount of child support to his or her former spouse who is now acting as the custodial parent. Child support payments are often one of the most common reasons for a post-divorce modification petition.

How Is Divorce Different Among the Elderly?

While many people think of divorce happening to younger couples, or perhaps to those who have been married for 15-20 years, the fact is divorce really knows no age limits. Even some couples that have been married for decades end up getting divorced. In addition, some couples that marry later in life also decide that being married is not for them. Whatever the reason people in all stages of marriage do end up getting divorced. However, divorce can be different for every couple, and how your divorce plays out can have a lot to do with what stage of life you find yourself in.

Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage/Divorce Legal in Michigan

The battle over gay marriage in the United States, as well as in Michigan, took a dramatic turn late last week, as the United States Supreme Court ruled that banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. That means gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states, including the 14 states that still had laws that banned such unions. The ruling means that the law that Michigan voters passed in 2004 that prevented same-sex couples from marrying has been struck down. That law called for marriage to only be legal for heterosexual couples.

Is There Any Way to Protect Your Money Without a Prenup?

When couples choose to get married, they are usually madly in love and can only imagine a life full of love and happiness together. The thought of divorce most likely never crosses their minds. No one who is about to get married wants to even consider the possibility that his or her marriage could end unhappily or prematurely. However, many marriages do end in divorce, and divorce can be a very unpleasant situation to go through. One of the factors that make divorce so combative is money. That's why having a prenuptial agreement can go a long ways in making the divorce process smoother.

What's the Best Living Arrangement for Children After Divorce?

Everyone has their own opinion on divorce and children of divorce. Parents who have raised children after divorce could all share their insight and experience as to what works well and what doesn't. Obviously, all parents and children are different and no two situations are exactly the same, so it would be impossible to say that one rule applies to everyone. In addition, if you ask children of divorce what they preferred, you would also get many different answers and opinions, especially as it pertains to their living situation.

Is Social Media Leading Your Marriage to the Path of Divorce?

Just about everyone is aware of social media and its influence on individuals and societies all over the world. Social media is now a common part of every day life and its reach knows almost no boundaries. People use social media for a wide variety of reasons and for many different purposes. For some people social media is a hobby, while others use it for business or simply to connect with family and friends. On the other end of the spectrum there are those who use social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, so much that they can become addicted. It's no surprise that studies are now finding that social media is playing an increasingly larger role in divorce.

Avoid These Money Mistakes in Divorce

There are a lot of possible battles you could end up fighting when you go through divorce. Child custody and child support are very common issues, as well as property division and spousal support. One of the toughest parts of divorce can be dealing with a completely new financial status when the divorce is final. In many cases that means having to adjust to a much smaller income. Knowing your current expenses and future budget is essential in the decision making process. While most people get caught up in the immediate financial adjustments and battles over who gets to keep what, there are many other long-term aspects to consider. Overlooking them could be costly.

What Should You Look for When Choosing a Family Law Attorney?

While divorce is the most common thing that comes to mind when people think of family law issues, there are actually many different legal matters that family law attorneys deal with on a regular basis. There are many attorneys in Michigan that claim to work on family-related law issues, which means you have a lot of choices. However, what kinds of things should you be looking for when choosing a family law attorney?

What Factors Determine Property Division for Divorce in Michigan?

Are you considering, or have already decided to file for divorce in Michigan? If so, then you most surely will have a lot of questions that need to be answered before you proceed. Divorce is a serious matter and you should not take it lightly. If you enter the divorce process without caution and understanding, then you could end up with very little when the process is over and the settlement is finalized. One of the most important parts of any divorce is dividing the marital property. This is often contentious and can lead to a long, drawn out battle. So how does property division work in Michigan?

How Can Divorce Be Better Than Marriage for Children?

Although there are many possible negative outcomes that are associated with divorce, for many people divorce is actually a positive step forward. While most people don't want to see their marriage come to an end, staying in an unhappy relationship that causes constant stress, anxiety and other negative feelings and emotions is not a promising alternative. The effects of divorce on children have been well documented and there are definitely some difficult adjustments that children have to make when their parents split up. However, living in a home with parents that are constantly at each other throats is not a healthy option either.

Are Certain Life Events More Likely to Lead to Divorce?

Life is full of ups and downs. No matter who you are, what you do or where you live, everyone deals with stress and the many changes life can bring. Sometimes those changes are good and sometimes they are bad. Other times changes can be completely unexpected and throw people way off course. The fact is there is no shortage of life events that can affect people both positively and negatively. Everyone is different, so everyone will respond to these kinds of events in their own way.

How Long Does Divorce Take in Michigan?

If you have reached that point in your marriage that you feel divorce is the only answer, then most likely you want to come to a resolution quickly. If being married is causing you a lot of strife and stress in your life, then getting it over with is probably the top priority on your mind. One of the most common questions we hear at the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins in Michigan is: "How long will my divorce take?"

The Twelve Factors of Child Custody in Michigan

If you are considering divorce in Michigan and you have children, then you have probably wondered how child custody is determined. Child custody can be the single most difficult issue to resolve for anyone going through divorce. While you have many things to worry about and several issues to resolve, most parents are extremely concerned about the well-being of their children over anything else. That can lead to a lot of anxiety and stress. However, there are several factors to be aware of that can help you know what to expect.

What Is Considered Separate Property in a Divorce?

When you have come to the decision to end your marriage you will have to also determine how to separate your property. This can be one of the biggest challenges of any divorce. However, there are certain aspects of property division that couples must follow. For example, Michigan is an equitable distribution state. That means that a judge may divide the marital property in any way that he or she deems fair. Equitable does not mean equal.

Establishing a Custodial Environment When Related to a Change of Domicile

Anytime a couple with children ends their marriage that couple will have to reach an agreement regarding child custody. They can either make that decision together or they can leave it up to the court. However, regardless of how they come to their decision, a court will have to approve their agreement.

Michigan Change of Domicile: When a New Job or Remarriage Requires a Parent to Move

It's not unusual for divorced parents to remarry or one parent to be offered a new job that might make it necessary to move the children covered by a Michigan child custody order more than a 100 miles from their current legal residence. When this type of situation develops, both parents may need to speak with lawyers.

What Rights Are Included With Joint Custody?

When parents with children under the age of 18 split up they will have to determine with whom those children will live and whether or not they will share custody. Many people in Michigan have misconceptions when they think of the term child custody. For example, you may have heard of legal custody and physical custody as well as sole custody and joint custody. If you're about to go through a custody battle you need to understand what these different terms mean.

Michigan Prenuptial Agreements Checklist

Nearly all of us would like to think that we're marrying our prospective spouses based upon mutual love and respect. However, America's high divorce rates are now motivating even first-time brides and grooms to ask their loved ones to sign prenuptial (or "premarital") agreements.

What Is the Impact of Gay Marriage in Michigan?

While Michigan still does not legally recognize same-sex marriage and divorce, there are signs that change could be coming later this year. If same-sex marriage were to become legal in the state the impact could be far-reaching.

Can You Lose Your Michigan Spousal Support While Cohabitating?

Historically, when courts granted spousal support (alimony) in a Michigan divorce decree, the recipient could count on receiving monthly checks until remarrying -- or at least until the agreement's stated time period came to an end. Of course, times have changed in many ways.

Should I Move Out of the House During A Divorce?

There are many people who go through divorce who most likely want to move out of the marital home as soon as possible just so they can get away from their estranged spouse and avoid the volatile situation. However, that might not be the best move.

Can I Date While I'm Still Going Through a Divorce?

While many divorces are very difficult and emotionally draining there are some people who can't wait to be done with their marriage and move on.

What Happens to My Retirement Benefits When I Divorce?

Retirement benefits can be among the most significant assets acquired during a marriage.

The Uses of Ex Parte and Temporary Orders

Once you decide to file for divorce, you probably want the process to be over as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, getting a divorce takes time.

Can You Move Away from Your Marital Home And Take the Kids With You?

Many recently divorced people decide to move to another city. They may want to be closer to their families or to put their pasts behind them and start fresh somewhere else.

Establishing Child Support for Third-Party Custodians

Third parties may have custody of your child for a variety of reasons: You may be unable to care for your children due to physical or mental illness or addiction or you may be in the military and stationed overseas.

Exploring the Benefits and Drawbacks of Mediation

Mediation has become an increasingly common way to settle disputes. In mediation, the two parties sit down with an impartial third party whose job it is to help them work out a settlement that is mutually advantageous.

When Can You Deviate from Michigan’s Child Support Formula?

Michigan law provides a formula for calculating child support. The formula provides an amount of child support to be awarded in a specific case, and there is a rebuttable presumption that the amount arrived at through the formula is correct.

Myland v. Myland (2010) The Imprecise Nature of Spousal Support in Michigan

If you are contemplating divorce, you may already know that child support in Michigan is usually determined by a formula.

How Much Is Your Business Worth?

Divorce becomes more complicated when one party owns a business which was acquired or the value increased during the marriage.

Do Michigan Grandparents Have the Right to See Their Grandchildren?

Grandparents and grandchildren have a special relationship. If you are a grandparent who is being denied the opportunity to spend time with your grandchild, Michigan law may be able to help you -- or it may not, depending on the specific circumstances.

Can I Keep My Separate Assets From Division During Divorce?

In divorce proceedings, Michigan law divides property according to equitable distribution. The word equitable implies that the court attempts to be fair in the division of the marital property, taking into consideration how much each spouse earned, how each spouse contributed to the household and how the distribution of assets would affect all parties involved -- including minor children.

How to Avoid a Public and Acrimonious Divorce

Nothing can spoil a political career like a messy divorce. Take it from Michigan treasurer Andy Dillon, who resigned in 2013 following a divorce scandal.

What Constitutes a Child’s Best Interests in Divorce?

When parents divorce, a number of decisions are made that affect the children of the marriage. Among these decisions are the primary place of residence, time-sharing and custody issues, and, in some cases, the issue of relocation with one parent.

What’s Wrong With a $199 Divorce?

The Internet is flooded with ads promising that you can get a cheap, fast and easy divorce. While that may be true for some people, it is not common.

More Women are Requesting Premarital Agreements

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers has released a recent study showing an increase in the number of premarital agreements requested by clients.

Domestic Violence Exploding in Michigan

According to statistics, a woman is assaulted every nine seconds in the United States. In Michigan alone, 68,500 women were victims of domestic and intimate partner violence in 2011.

Divorce and its Stress on Children

Divorce can be a difficult time for children, and children handle stress in a variety of ways. As parents you can help your children manage the stress they may suffer from your divorce by employing some simple strategies and keeping the channels of communication open.

Does DNA Make You a Dad?

One could argue that there are a number of things that make a person a father, and DNA is one of them. The law assumes that the man who is married to or living with the mother of a child at the time of conception is the child's father.

How to Get Your Marriage Annulled in Michigan

In order for a marriage to be legal in Michigan, both the couple and the marriage itself must meet certain conditions. If those conditions are not met, the marriage does not legally exist.

Is Bird’s Nest Parenting for Us?

There is a new trend in child custody arrangements that is slowly gaining popularity in the United States -- though it does not seem to be catching on as quickly as some would hope.

Preparing for Litigation in Your Divorce

We recommend that you try to settle any disputed issues with your spouse whenever possible, whether on your own (with your attorney's assistance) or with the help of a mediator.

Dividing Investments Upon Divorce

If you are considering divorce, or are already in the midst of getting one, it is critically important that you understand Michigan rules regarding the division of marital property.