Since nearly six percent of all couples who marry in Oakland County file for divorce, there is little doubt there are often concerns for both spouses. While Michigan law allows couples to file a "no-fault" divorce, oftentimes, other issues such as children and property cause problems. It is important to understand what factors go into determining spousal support payments, property division and even child support payments.
While it may seem logical for all property to be divided equally, Michigan courts may not see things that way. In addition, some of these factors may also be used to determine how much (if any) spousal support must be paid. Factors that may be considered include:
Contributions towards acquisition - the courts will determine how much each spouse contributed towards the purchase of property during the marriage
How property was acquired - the courts will generally look at inherited property and property purchased in a completely different manner
Overall health of spouses - if one spouse is ill or disabled and unable to support themselves, the court will weigh this as a factor in determining property division
Length of marriage - the longer-term the marriage, the more likely the court is to divide the marital property right down the middle
Couples in marriages and in long-term relationships that are dissolving generally have serious discussions about their child or children. Unmarried couples may have bitter arguments over paternity. Divorcing and unmarried couples often find custodial issues are very difficult to navigate since both parents have different ideas regarding what is best for the child. It is important to understand, when parents cannot agree, the court is mandated to protect the best interest of the child or children. Some factors they may consider include:
Financial capacity - the court may look at which parent is most able to financially take on the responsibility of caring for the child's needs including clothing, food, housing and education
Stability of home - if one parent must move a few times a year for work, the court may elect to award custody to the more stable home environment. While this does not mean the court necessarily favors one parent over the other, a more stable home is considered better for most children
Willingness to co-parent - it is preferable for both parents to encourage the child have a healthy relationship with both parents
Wishes of the child - depending on the age of the child, the court may take the child's preference into consideration when determining custody
Couples who have been involved in relationships that are in the process of ending face numerous challenges. A family law attorney can help with paternity issues, divorces, separation agreements and a whole host of other issues. Divorces and breakups can be extremely complex and both parties are typically angry and hurt. Having your own family law attorney working to protect your rights is important during this troublesome and emotional time. Pleasant Ridge Family Law services are available from attorney Jannelle Zawadieh. Contact her today for a free consultation.
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