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In Birmingham, the statutes and rules on family law quickly become confusing for those who do not deal with these issues every day. To add to the complexity, matters such as prenuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, and child support are all emotional and stressful for those involved. There is a lot on the line, and to ensure your rights are protected, you must speak with an attorney who can help.
Family law attorneys in Birmingham must be well-versed in the legal statutes that apply to any case. They must also take a delicate approach with every case due to the sensitivity of the issues. At the same time, they must fight for those they represent to ensure their rights are upheld in any family legal dispute.
Michigan is a no-fault divorce state. This means that one spouse does not have to prove fault in order to get a divorce. When a divorce is considered no fault, the courts view it as a marriage that has become irreparably broken with no chance of reconciliation. No fault divorces save divorcing couples years of time during the divorce process, as well as thousands of dollars.
In Birmingham, there is also a waiting period for a divorce. When there are no children involved, this waiting period is 60 days from the time one spouse files for divorce. When there are children involved, the waiting period is extended to 180 days.
Property distribution is one of the most complex issues that arises in a Birmingham divorce. Michigan is an equitable distribution state, which means a judge will divide property fairly, but not necessarily equally. Only marital property, or that which was obtained together during the marriage, is divided in divorce. This often leads to even further disputes when the couple cannot agree on whether or not assets belonged to only one spouse before marriage. It also becomes complicated when the spouses cannot agree on issues such as an inheritance, which may have only been left to one spouse.
During a divorce, one spouse is sometimes required to pay the other spouse alimony. This is meant to allow the spouse receiving the alimony to continue to maintain a household. In some instances a judge may award alimony to allow one spouse to maintain the same standard of living they enjoyed during the marriage, but this is not always the case. Either spouse may wish to modify the alimony order in the future, such as if the recipient becomes disabled or the payer loses his or her job. Alimony can only be changed through a court order.
Child custody is one of the most emotionally charged issues in any divorce that involves children. However, it is of the utmost importance that both parents work together to coparent. This is the point of child custody. The courts will try to get the parents to create a Parenting Plan, which outlines the custody arrangement including holidays and extracurricular activities. Parents are encouraged to try and come to their own agreement for this plan. A judge will approve it if he or she determines the plan is in the child’s best interests. If a judge does not decide that, or the parents cannot work out a plan together, the case will go to litigation.
Child support is particularly complex in Birmingham due to the fact that Michigan follows the income shares model to calculate child support payments. This estimates the total expenses for the child if the parents were still living together. That figure is then divided between each parent based on his or her total income. These are just two steps involved with calculating child support payments, which is why so often, parents find it extremely difficult to do on their own.
If you are going through a divorce, do not do it on your own. Even the most amicable of divorces sometimes end in heated arguments, and there will be many emotions involved no matter what. Experienced Birmingham family law attorneys can help you sort out all the issues, and represent you to ensure your rights are upheld.
At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., we want to help make it easier for anyone going through a divorce. The laws on divorce in Michigan are confusing, and just one mistake could drastically alter the results. Do not let that happen to you. Call today for a free consultation and make sure you have the competent and professional legal representation you need during this difficult time.