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Clinton Township Divorce Law Blog

Which factors are used when deciding on sole custody?

Many courts prefer to award divorcing couples joint custody. It's believed that having a strong relationship with both parents is in the best interest of the child. However, some situations warrant sole custody, such as allegations of abuse or neglect. If you plan on filing for sole custody during your divorce, Very Well Family recommends the following advice. 

The most important consideration during custody hearings is the best interest of the child. For example, if your ex has a substance abuse problem, your child might not be safe at his or her home. If your ex provided lackluster care during the course of your marriage and you're concerned about neglect, this is another matter that should be brought up in court. When communicating your position, try to do so in a reasonable, informed manner. Emotional outbursts, even when warranted, are not looked upon favorably in court. 

Divorce and the fear of living alone

For some people, the decision to bring a marriage to an end can be challenging because of fears about living alone. People may have many reasons for feeling this way, whether they had a very bad experience when they were younger, or they have lived with their marital partner for so long that they do not know how they will adjust to life on their own. If you are going through these challenges, it is important to review your options and take steps to prepare yourself for what lies ahead.

There are countless reasons why it can be hard to live by yourself after breaking up with a spouse. For starters, some people are worried about their safety and they may feel very uncomfortable by themselves. Others may be unable to take care of certain responsibilities around the house due to a health problem or permanent injury, and they may worry about how they will take care of things once their spouse is gone (or after they move into a new place).

Psychological trauma can come with a divorce

Many changes occur when you are going through a divorce. People tend to focus on the ones like the property division and child custody matters. What most people don't take the time to think about is how the divorce is going to impact their mental health as time progresses.

There are many reasons why you are going to go through some psychological trauma even if you were the one who initiated the divorce. This surprises many people because they assume that if they file, they will always be overjoyed about the new start.

How can I co-parent with a narcissist?

Co-parenting with a former partner is rarely easy. This is especially true when you suspect your ex may be exhibiting signs of narcissistic personality disorder, which is a condition that causes much stress and strife within families. You can learn to cope with your ex's behavior, however, which will also enable you to provide coping tools to your kids if your ex plays a significant role in their lives. 

Narcissists aren't usually very encouraging of kids and their pursuits. These people have difficulty connecting to others that don't share their exact interests, which means your former partner might be dismissive of your child's passion for sports or playing music. If lack of parental support is bringing your child down, try discussing the issue with your ex. Frame it as a way for your child to grow and expand in ways that your ex finds important. For example, emphasize how playing sports increases confidence, or point out how music lessons can positively impact academic performance. 

How is artwork valued during a divorce?

While property division is rarely easy during a divorce, dealing with valuable artwork is particularly challenging. In most cases, couples need to determine how much a piece is actually worth so it can be split between them equitably by the court. Art Law Journal offers the following insight into the valuation process so you can rest assured of a fair outcome. 

Keep in mind that all artwork made or purchased prior to a marriage will be the property of the person who purchased or created it. The only artwork in question during the property division process are those pieces that originated during the course of the marriage. Any pieces that fall into this category should be inventoried so they can be properly evaluated to determine their worth. 

What can I expect during a supervised visit?

When it comes to child custody and visitation, courts prefer that both parents play a role in the life of their kids. However, if safety is a concern the judge might mandate supervised visits for the non-custodial parent. These visits entail having a third-party attend the visit with the parent and child. This can be a social worker, counselor, or even an impartial family member. While supervised visits often take place in a childcare center, they can also occur at a person's home provided the situation is well-monitored. 

Supervised visits typically come about when one parent has safety concerns about the other. This could stem from allegations of abuse or neglect, which the court takes very seriously. The parent may also have a substance abuse issue that prevents him or her from properly caring for a child during visits. When allegations are made, the court will investigate the matter fully to determine the best possible course of action. Supervised visits will be recommended until the investigation is complete or the other parent establishes that the problematic behavior has been corrected.

How are family businesses handled during divorce?

Running a business with your spouse can be an exciting prospect, that is until you experience problems with your marriage. In this case, you'll need to make some tough decisions about what to do with the business, which can be heart-wrenching when you put so much hard work into the enterprise. To help you make the best decisions for you and your business, Forbes offers the following advice. 

In general, you'll need to select one of three options when facing divorce as a business owner. One option is to simply sell the business. In this case, the proceeds from the sale will be split equitably among you and your ex based at the discretion of the judge presiding over your divorce. Valuing a business can be a bit tricky. Hiring an appraiser is a must in this case, as a professional appraisal is the best way to gain an accurate idea of how much your business is worth. You may also run into issues if you can't sell your business quickly enough.

Lifestyle choices and filing for divorce

Marriages are brought to an end for countless reasons. Sometimes, a divorce is relatively abrupt, while other couples may divorce after discussing the idea for a number of years. Some marriages end because of abuse or financial hardships, while others may be the result of lifestyle choices. Sometimes, these issues can be intertwined. For example, a spouse may regularly go out at night with friends and come home intoxicated, which can lead to various marital problems. Or, a spouse may be unhappy with their partner’s gambling addiction, excessive travel or any other behavior that leads to disagreement and friction in the marriage.

On the other hand, you may want to end your marriage as a result of your own lifestyle preferences. You may feel that you and your spouse want different things in life and are no longer compatible. For example, you may want to move to the city for work opportunities and for social reasons, while your spouse may be content in the countryside. Or, your spouse may be unhappy with your dedication to a particular interest, such as regular social media use, surfing, bodybuilding, classic cars or any other number of pursuits. Sometimes, these hobbies and interests can actually cause a marriage to fail.

Plan for sharing the news of the end of your marriage

The decision to end a marriage is one that people don't make lightly. When it is made, the focus centers on how you will tell others about the split. You might not think much about this, however, you don't want some individuals to find out through word of mouth.

Creating a plan for how you will announce the divorce should be done with your ex, if possible. This can help to ensure that the people who need to know find out directly from one of you. Not only is this good for relationships and friendships you plan to keep, it can also help to keep speculation and misinformation down.

How can I save money on school supplies?

With the new school year rapidly approaching, many divorced parents in Michigan are thinking about ways to save on back to school supplies. Budgets are tight for many people these days, but it can be especially difficult to cover any additional costs after being recently divorced. The Balance offers a few ways you can save on school costs while also ensuring your kids are well prepared for the upcoming school year. 

Don't splurge

Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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