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Clinton Township Divorce Law Blog

What is the Michigan Parenting Time Guideline?

According to the Michigan Courts, the Michigan Parenting Time Guideline is in place to help parents navigate issues related to joint custody issues, parenting time, and supervision. Both custodial and noncustodial parents can use this guideline to make decisions regarding child care, which can be difficult in the aftermath of a divorce.

Much like most other courts, the state of Michigan believes a child is best served by having a relationship with both parents. Parenting plans must be created with this goal in mind so that the best interests of the child at the center of the dispute. Also, there are many different factors used when creating a parenting plan. For example, any claim of abuse or neglect will be taken seriously and investigated. If it’s determined that these claims are valid, the court will make all custody decisions bearing this information in mind.

Is my spouse being unfaithful?

Infidelity deals a huge blow to a marriage. As a result, many people in Michigan divorce over the actions of a cheating spouse, which can have a negative impact on the entire family unit. While you can’t stop your partner from straying you can educate yourself on the common signs of infidelity, as explained by Psychology Today.

Hiding phone or computer activities

4 ways to help your children thrive across 2 homes

Child custody cases are usually stressful for the parents because both adults have ideas about what they want to happen, but they usually don't agree on every point. It is imperative that parents take time to think about what is best for the children. Keeping an open mind about everything related to the situation can make things a bit easier.

When you are trying to work out a child custody plan with your ex, the focus can't be on what is best for either adult. The sole focus has to be what is going to help your children to have their needs met and how each parent can help them to thrive.

Is alienation of affection still a valid cause of action?

Most in Clinton Township likely recognize that a number of different factors may go into your decision to seek a divorce from your spouse. Infidelity is often one of the more common, and if that is present in your case, then that may certainly affect the trust you might have had in them. Yet the concept of no-fault divorce seems to have rendered the reason for a divorce moot, instead allowing couples to cite irreconcilable differences as the reason they want to end their marriage. Yet if your spouse was involved in an adulterous relationship, you may want to assign the blame for your divorce to their lover. 

The legal concept of alienation of affection assigns fault to a party whose actions might be viewed as having interfered with an existing marital relationship. Technically, this principle would allow you to bring legal action against the person with whom your spouse was having an affair, placing the responsibility for ending your marriage squarely on their shoulders (and allowing you to collect damages because of it). There is just one issue: according to the Michigan Legislature, in 1961 the state joined most others in abolishing alienation of affection as a legal cause of action. 

How can I maintain a relationship with my children?

When a family splits due to divorce, it is difficult for everyone. As a parent, you need to work to make things as easy on your children as possible. If you are the parent leaving the family home, this poses some challenges. You have to find a way to maintain your relationship and make adjusting easy for them.

According to Aha! Parenting, one of the main things you should do to stay close to your children after divorce is to keep the lines of communication open. You should talk to them often whether you call them or use text messaging. Check in often to see how they are doing or to just discuss the day's events.

Is all property eligible for division in a divorce?

If you file for divorce in Michigan, you may be faced with a host of issues to negotiate and include in your final divorce settlement. One of the most difficult may be that of dividing marital property. It can be exhausting and emotional trying to divide all of the property and assets that were accumulated during years of marriage. You may have grown attached to certain items and find it hard to part with them. Yet, not all property may be eligible for division in a divorce. There may be items that stay with you, even after the divorce is finalized.

There are different kinds of separate property, which remains in the possession of the original owner. For example, if you owned property prior to becoming married, and your name is the only name on the title, you may keep the entirety of the property even after the divorce. The key is that the property must remain in your name and cannot be combined with any marital property. Adjusting the title to include your spouse’s name may turn the property to marital and thus eligible for division in the divorce.

What if my ex won’t vaccinate our children?

The vaccination debate is occupied by passionate voices on both sides. This can make parenting with a person holding divergent views extremely difficult, as you both believe you’re doing what’s best for your kids. The following explains how to open a dialogue with an ex who is against vaccinations, as well as further steps you can take.

Parents Magazine recommends tips on how to talk to a person who has anti-vaccination views. First, allow your ex to give their side of the argument. Immediate objections or refutations will only cause a person to become firmer in their belief. Also, think about why your former spouse might harbor these beliefs. In some cases, women who’ve experienced issues with childbirth or doctors in general may be reluctant to trust in medical/scientific data. 

Do you know the signs of financial infidelity in a marriage?

When people hear the word infidelity, they usually think of a cheating spouse. The phrase is usually applied to individuals who engage in romantic or sexual relationships with individuals other than their spouses. However, that is not the only form of infidelity that can impact a marriage. Financial infidelity is also a serious concern.

For those unfamiliar with the term, financial infidelity involves intentionally hiding financial information from a spouse. It can take many different forms. Sometimes, financial infidelity involves debt or one person spending too much money. They may hide purchases or even obtain a line of credit without notifying their spouses.

Postnuptial agreements in Michigan

You often hear legal experts say that you should enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage in Clinton Township. Such advice is sound, as it protects both you and your spouse financially. Yet at the same time, many view them as being in poor taste given that prenuptial agreements leave open the possibility that marriages will end (which is likely something neither you nor your spouse wants to contemplate). Plus, you may have also heard that married couples can create postnuptial agreements. Many come to us here at The Law Office of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. asking if this is true. The answer we offer is often not what they were expecting. 

Michigan state court rulings have established that property and asset distribution agreements entered into by couples that are still married are not valid. The exact reason why was detailed in 2008 state Court of Appeals case. In it, the Court noted "...under Michigan law, a couple that is maintaining a marital relationship may not enter into an enforceable contract that anticipates and encourages a future separation or divorce." Even if you and your spouse consent to the terms of a proposed postnuptial agreement, it is viewed as unenforceable given that alludes to you potentially getting a divorce. 

How can I discipline my child as a single parent?

Disciplining kids can be difficult under the best of circumstances. For single parents with sole custody in Michigan, dealing with behavioral issues is often far more challenging. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure your child remains on a good path, while also ensuring that your relationship with your child remains healthy. Live About offers the following discipline tips suited to single parents.

Praise your child often

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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