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All divorces are emotional and difficult for the couples going through them, and typically for the entire family. Divorces always have the potential to become contentious, particularly when issues involving property division, spousal support, and child custody are raised. The law on these terms is explained below. Still, a divorce attorney in St. Clair Shores can advise on how the laws apply to your case and can help you secure the fair settlement you deserve.
Equitable distribution laws govern property division issues in Michigan. This means that while marital property is divided fairly, it is not necessarily an equal distribution. Marital property refers to any assets or liabilities, including debts, that were acquired by the couple during the marriage. Even when only one spouse purchased an asset, such as a vehicle during the marriage, it is still typically considered marital property because it is likely that marital funds were used to acquire it.
It is typically in the couple’s best interests to agree to property division terms in a manner that benefits both spouses. However, when they cannot reach an agreement, the matter will go to court and a judge will make the final decision after considering many different factors.
Child custody is one of the most contentious issues in any divorce that involves children because no parent wants to face the possibility of not spending as much time with their children post-divorce. During a divorce, decisions on both physical and legal custody are made. Legal custody refers to the parent that can make important decisions for the child while physical custody refers to which parent the child will live with after the divorce.
Just like property division issues, parents can reach an agreement on their own when it comes to child custody issues. If the agreement is fair and in the child’s best interests, a judge will then approve that agreement. In Michigan, there are 12 factors that determine the child’s best interests, including any history of domestic violence and the emotional bond between the child and each parent.
In many divorce cases, it is determined that one spouse will require financial support during and after the divorce. There are many different types of spousal support in Michigan and there is no specific formula to follow when determining the amount a spouse should receive. Judges typically have a great deal of discretion when making decisions on spousal support, but couples can come to an agreement on their own, as well.
If you are going through a divorce, our divorce attorneys in St. Clair Shores are here to help. At Iafrate & Salassa, our experienced lawyers can advise on all aspects of your case and can secure the settlement you deserve. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation and to obtain the sound legal advice you need.