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The Top Divorce Myths in Michigan

By Iafrate & Salassa

Paper family holding hands with judge gavel and glasses on desk

When going through a divorce, it is natural for family and friends to pass on bits of advice while trying to inform you of the process and what to expect. Although this information is passed on by well-meaning folks, much of it is wrong. This practice has led to the creation of some popular myths surrounding divorce. To their own detriment, many going through divorce believe those myths until they go through the process themselves.

So, what are the most common myths surrounding divorce? They are listed below.

You can deny visitation if your ex does not pay child support.

This is not true. Child support is a court order, and if a spouse does not follow it by making proper payments, there are legal steps you can take to get the money owed to you. However, denying visitation is not one of them. Denying visitation will only get you into trouble for also violating a court order. A Michigan divorce lawyer can advise you on how to file a petition with the court to enforce a child support order.

Those who commit adultery lose everything.

After someone commits adultery, he or she may lose a spouse. Will that person lose everything else, though, including visitation time with children and other rights to property or support? No. While the courts may consider adultery as rightful grounds for divorce, it does not mean the spouse who engaged in it will lose everything. They may receive less in property division, but that is the extent of the impact adultery will have on a divorce case.

The courts can deny a divorce.

It is true that when you file for divorce, you are asking a judge to allow it. That does not mean there is a chance they will turn down your request. Neither the judge, or even your spouse, has to agree with the divorce. If you want to divorce your spouse, you likely can. Michigan only requires a breakdown of the marriage with no chance of preserving it. As long as one person in the marriage feels this way, a judge will grant the divorce.

Mothers always receive custody of the children.

Several years ago, this myth was more true. However, the courts have evolved along with society and judges today take all factors into consideration and make a decision based on what is in the children’s best interest.

Equitable distribution means equal division.

Michigan’s divorce laws dictate that property division in a divorce follows the concept of equitable distribution. Many divorcing couples hear this and think it means that marital property is split straight down the middle, with each spouse receiving exactly half. That is not true. Equitable simply means fair in Michigan and it is up to a judge’s discretion to determine what that is in a divorce case.

You do not need a Michigan divorce lawyer to help with your case.

This myth is fairly new. With methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce becoming popular today, many think you no longer need a divorce attorney in Michigan to help with your case. This is also not true. No matter which method you choose to finalize your divorce, an attorney can always advise on your rights and the laws surrounding your case.

If you are going through a divorce, contact us at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today. We are a knowledgeable legal team that can advise on the facts of your case and provide legal representation to help you get the most favorable terms in your divorce case. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation and we will begin reviewing your case.

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The Right of First Refusal

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