Michigan Divorce FAQs

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Divorce FAQs

The Answers You Need from an Experienced Macomb County Divorce Lawyer

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about divorce. At Aiello & Associates PLLC, we know that our clients have a lot of questions about what to expect in their divorce or family law case. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive. To discuss your unique legal needs, call us today or send us a message online to schedule a free consultation.

Does It Matter Who Files First in a Michigan Divorce?

It is important to file first, and please do not wait, especially in difficult situations such as domestic violence, custody, property issues, and move-away cases. The party filing for divorce first is able to ask the court for relief in the form of ex-parte orders, which can prevent an angry spouse from liquidating bank accounts, running up debt, and removing children from the home.

Do not wait to see our firm if you are contemplating a divorce so that we can sit down in our office at the first free consultation and discuss your case and develop a winning strategy.

My Spouse Wants a Divorce, Do I Have to Move Out of Our Home?

Once it becomes clear that a divorce is imminent, it’s understandable for one or both spouses to want their own space. You may want to leave, or conversely, you may want your spouse to leave immediately. But it’s important to know that Michigan law does not include any requirement for one spouse to leave, and it does not give one spouse the automatic right to kick the other out after filing for divorce. Individual courts handle this situation differently. While you may want to move out to minimize conflict, the reality is that leaving the shared home could make you vulnerable in other divorce proceedings.

Courts will usually require the parties to pay for all marital expenses, taking each partner’s income into account. Moving out and renting or buying a second home may cost more than your budget allows for, considering the expenses of both households, which the court may obligate you to pay. This concern does not arise if you stay in the marital residence.

The court will usually keep the children at their current home during or after a divorce, especially if they are attending school. Moving out can negatively impact your chances of being awarded temporary or permanent custody and require you to pay child support.

Can One Spouse Force the Other to Move Out?

Most courts will not remove one spouse unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Domestic violence, threats, harassment, and abuse are commonly accepted reasons for spouse removal. If you are the victim of this type of misconduct, it is important to thoroughly document each instance to have the best chance of the judge ordering your spouse out of the marital residence.

If you are considering moving out of the marital residence immediately after filing for divorce, do not do so until after you have spoken to Chris Aiello and his team. If you would like to have your spouse removed from the house, speak to us as well so that you are properly advised and represented in your motion for the exclusive use of the marital residence.

Do I Need Permission from the Court to Relocate with My Children after a Divorce?

If you plan to move your children to another state or somewhere that is over one hundred miles from the residence at the time of divorce, you will need a court order. This is called a domicile order and can be granted or denied by a judge after a trial. A party has the right to oppose/contest this request. Courts will consider several factors when evaluating a motion for change of domicile.

If your former spouse or partner has moved your child(ren) more than one hundred miles or out of state without a domicile order, you should call Chris Aiello immediately. Objections in these cases must be filed immediately due to Michigan’s Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, which states that Michigan will lose jurisdiction in the matter after just six months.

When a child’s time with each parent is relatively equal, it may be more difficult to get a change of domicile approved. If a move will significantly disrupt the child’s current environment or relationships, the court will require solid proof that the move is in the child’s best interests. You have the right to object to a change of domicile, and a child custody attorney can help.

Can Property Settlements Be Changed After a Divorce Judgment is Finalized?

Some assets are considered marital assets and are subject to division in a divorce. Other assets are considered separate property and are not subject to division in a divorce. Michigan’s laws on property division can be complex. The state recognizes several categorizations and exceptions, and each one has specific criteria.

Once a divorce judgment has been entered, property distribution cannot be modified. Unlike awards for child support or spousal maintenance (alimony), property settlements are non-modifiable, regardless of changes to your financial situation. You will only get one shot at your property settlement, so it is critical to ensure it is handled properly.

Are Both Spouses Entitled to a Portion of a Business that was Started or Maintained during a Marriage?

A business or its assets may be considered marital property in Michigan, depending on each spouse’s involvement and contributions. It is very important to have a business evaluation and appraisal done on a business that is owned by you or your spouse. Hiring an accountant, financial analyst, or other expert is critical to obtain an accurate dollar value for a business. The wrong valuation of a business could lead to an unfair division of marital assets.

Can I Keep Property Separate that is Obtained by Gift or Inheritance Without Awarding an Interest to My Spouse?

Michigan is an equity state that does not follow community property rules famous in states such as California. Michigan does recognize separate property claims of individual spouses for assets they brought into a marriage and for items such as gifts or inheritance. A lengthy list of Michigan Appellate decisions makes it clear that Michigan law does allow one party to be awarded substantial property without marital division. This is meant to help protect inheritances and property that the other spouse did not purchase or contribute towards, but it also has undesirable aspects, such as allowing one spouse to leave a long-term marriage with substantially greater wealth than the other, often later in life after years of dependence.

Many detailed exceptions and nuances apply to this complex area of the law. If you have accumulated substantial separate property during your marriage that you would like to protect, call Chris Aiello to discuss the facts of your situation. Likewise, if you are facing a divorce where you are concerned that your spouse will be awarded most of the assets, leaving you broke and in poverty, there are provisions of the law designed to protect your interests which Chris Aiello can discuss with you in detail.

If you are facing a tough legal issue, the decisions you make now can affect you for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced and aggressive lawyer.
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Seasoned and Proficient Legal Team with Extensive Experience

We boast a team of highly
experienced and skilled attorneys who work in
divorce and family law. With a deep understanding of the legal intricacies involved in these matters, our team is well-equipped to handle even the most complex cases. We leverage our knowledge to provide comprehensive legal counsel and representation, ensuring that our clients’ interests are protected.

Client-Focused Approach and Personalized Legal Strategies

We prioritize building strong client relationships based on trust, open communication, and empathy. Our accomplished attorneys take the time to listen to your concerns, thoroughly assess your needs, and develop personalized legal strategies that align with your goals. With our unwavering dedication to client satisfaction, we ensure that your interests are prioritized throughout the legal process.

Proven Track Record of Success in Resolving Complex Cases

We have established a solid track record of success in handling intricate and highly contested divorce and family law cases. Our firm has successfully resolved numerous complex legal issues, including but not limited to contentious divorces, child custody disputes, property division challenges, and spousal support matters. We take a strategic approach to deliver favorable outcomes for our clients.

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