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Divorce is one of the most difficult things a family can go through. When children are involved, it becomes even more challenging. Emotions run high, and most of the time, everyone involved wants the divorce finalized as quickly as possible so they can move on with their lives. In addition to the emotional toll, there are many practically challenging aspects to a divorce in Michigan. Child custody, property division, child support, and spousal support are all often part of a divorce case. Due to all these different facets, no one should ever tackle divorce on his or her own. Calling a Troy divorce attorney to get legal support can make the entire process much easier.
During a divorce, any marital property is divided among the couple. Marital property consists of assets obtained during the marriage. Homes, vehicles, and sometimes even businesses are considered marital property. Separate property is any property that a person brought into the marriage, such as an inheritance. This type of property is not divisible and the person who brought it into the marriage will keep it in its entirety.
Michigan is an equitable distribution state, which means the courts will not necessarily distribute property equally among the couple. Instead, they will simply seek a fair solution for property division.
In Michigan, the Child Custody Act of 1970 governs child custody matters in a divorce. The Act provides judges with several factors to consider when awarding a parent sole custody or awarding both parents joint custody. All of these factors are written into the Act so that a judge’s decision is based on the best interests of the child.
Courts will also award both legal and physical custody. Physical custody refers to the parent the child will stay and live with at any period of time. Legal custody refers to the ability to make important decisions for the child. These include decisions about a child’s medical treatment, education, and more.
The courts will use a formula developed by the Michigan Friend of the Court to determine child support. These payments are made by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help with the child’s daily costs of living. When determining the amount of child support payments a parent is required to pay, the courts take two factors into consideration — the needs of the child involved, and the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay child support. The custodial parent may also claim the child as a dependent on his or her federal income tax, while the non-custodial parent cannot.
Spousal support, commonly called alimony, is sometimes awarded to one spouse during a divorce. Michigan courts are required to consider two factors when determining spousal support. These are the ability of either spouse to make spousal support payments, and the situation of both parties involved. Other factors a judge may consider include the past relationship and conduct of the spouses, ability or inability to work, needs of the spouses, general principles of equity, and more.
No divorce is ever easy. At a time when a couple is going through one of the most emotional times of their life, many practical decisions must also be made. Couples also typically have many questions about the divorce process. For all of this and more, a Troy divorce attorney can help.
If you are going through a divorce, contact Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today for a free consultation. We know what a difficult time this is for you, and we also know the many laws surrounding divorce in Michigan. Call us today and we will answer your questions and review your case. You do not need to go through this alone. We want to help you in any way we can.