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Tips for Life After Gray Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

Novi, MI divorce lawyerGray divorce is becoming more and more common. As the population in general begins to live longer and healthier lives, older couples are beginning to see more benefits to getting divorced even when they are older. If you are in your late fifties or sixties, you may have many more years of healthy life ahead of you to enjoy without the burden of an unwanted marriage. Many gray divorcees go on to remarry, or even raise children again. 

Many older adults worry about what their day-to-day life and social activities will look like after a divorce. It is likely that you and your spouse have a lot of friends and family members in common after many years of marriage. It has likely been a long time since you were single, and it is normal to have fears. You may worry about things like being lonely, or not having the type of help with daily tasks your spouse used to provide. 

None of this should be a barrier to filing for divorce. You should know that there are steps you can take to help you enjoy your post-divorce years. An attorney can help you plan for success after your divorce. 


Northville Divorce LawyerA divorce is mentally and emotionally exhausting and is one of the most challenging things an individual can go through. Many couples turn to mediation as a helpful technique to address complex issues like alimony and creating a parenting plan. An experienced attorney with Elkouri Heath, PLC can act as your mediator, or can represent you in your divorce case.

What Are the Advantages of Mediation in a Divorce?

The court system encourages couples to use mediation and typically will not allow a case to proceed to litigation without attempting mediation first. The court provides a list of approved mediators, but if you and your spouse believe hiring a private mediator is in your best interest, you can do so. Here are a few significant benefits of utilizing mediation in your divorce process: 

  • Productive communication - Open communication allows spouses to discuss sensitive topics like spousal support, child custody, and distribution of assets knowing they can get their perspective heard. 


Novi, MI divorce lawyerDivorce is a common and painful process that impacts many families. While every marriage is unique, there are common scenarios that lead to marital breakups. If you are facing the possibility of a divorce, you do not have to go through the process alone. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you negotiate the different areas that need to be addressed in a divorce settlement. 

What Are the Most Common Reasons People File for Divorce?

Here are five of the most common reasons for divorce: 

  • Infidelity: When one partner is unfaithful, it can destroy trust within a marriage 


Novi Child Custody LawyerChild custody issues can be among the most emotionally challenging and legally complex situations that parents have to work through when getting a divorce. When one parent in a joint custody agreement decides to relocate with the child, the situation becomes more challenging and potentially more contentious. Today, we will highlight the key factors Michigan courts consider when evaluating parental relocation requests. If you have questions or concerns related to your divorce, child custody, or any other family law matter, contact an experienced lawyer to give yourself the best shot at obtaining a favorable custody ruling.

Protecting Parental Rights is Most Important 

For the court to move a child, there must be sufficient reasons as to why the move must take place. Michigan law states that for parents in a joint custody agreement, neither parent may move more than 100 miles without the expressed consent of the other parent or court. In situations further than 100 miles, the court refers to this as a “change of domicile.” In cases where both parents agree to the move, the move may happen. However, if the parent who is not moving does not consent to the move, that is where things get tricky. In such situations, the moving parent may need to petition the court to grant approval for the move.

Relevant Factors for Parental Relocation 

  1. Reason for relocation – An essential factor assessed by Michigan courts is the ultimate reason for moving. Motivations such as a better job opportunity, a higher standard of living, or being closer to family may be viewed as valid reasons. 


How Will My Life Change After Divorce?

Posted on in Divorce

Northville Divorce LawyersDivorce constitutes a major life event that can leave people feeling overwhelmed, uncertain, and even fearful about what may lie ahead. It is normal to have concerns about the future and how your life will change after your divorce. Suppose you are getting a divorce or are thinking of pursuing one. In that case, there are some common areas where significant transformations can occur. Guidance on how to navigate these changes with confidence is important. 

For legal guidance, consult with a divorce lawyer. Not only are they legal professionals who know what they are talking about, but knowledgeable and highly qualified attorneys likely have experience understanding the psychology behind divorce and how one’s life may change once it is finalized. For these reasons and more, do not go through a divorce without hiring an attorney.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Divorce often triggers a variety of emotional responses, such as sadness, intense anger, or perhaps even relief. Acknowledging and processing these feelings is essential to promote healing, personal growth, and improvement. Seeking support from friends, family, or even a therapist or mental health specialist can help provide a safe space to express emotions and gain valuable perspective during this delicate and emotional time.


Northville Divorce AttorneyDuring divorce proceedings, the equitable distribution of assets is a critical component in ensuring a fair resolution. However, some spouses may attempt to deceive their partners and hide assets to secure a dishonest advantage. Today, we will be discussing where to look to find hidden assets. If you think your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be hiding assets during your Michigan divorce, alert your divorce attorney as soon as possible to ensure these hidden assets can be revealed at once. 

Offshore Accounts and Foreign Investments

One tactic utilized to conceal assets is directing funds to offshore accounts or investments in foreign jurisdictions. These can be in the form of secret bank accounts, shell companies, or foreign real estate. Conducting a thorough investigation into international financial transactions and utilizing the assistance of forensic accountants can help uncover such offshore holdings.

Unreported Income

Spouses may intentionally underreport their income to distort the financial picture in a divorce. This can be achieved through cash-based businesses, inflated business expenses, or diverting income to third parties. Requesting tax returns, examining bank statements, pay stubs, and reviewing business records can be beneficial toward uncovering discrepancies and revealing the true income. 


Novi Divorce LawyerDivorce has a funny way of significantly impacting just about every part of your life, including your credit. Of course, many individuals are credit-conscious month-to-month, as maintaining a good credit score can make buying things like a house or a car easier. However, for those getting a divorce, it is crucial to take proactive and aggressive steps to protect your credit during the divorce process in Michigan. Today, we will discuss practical tips and strategies to safeguard your creditworthiness, navigate joint debts, and establish a solid financial foundation for your post-divorce life. Discuss with your divorce attorney how your divorce may affect your credit and seek advice on how to protect it as best you can. 

Know Your Credit Status

Before taking any steps to protect your credit, assessing your current credit situation is 

essential. Obtain copies of your credit reports from the major bureaus and review them for accuracy. Monitoring your credit regularly will help identify any unusual or unauthorized activity during the divorce.


Novi Family LawyersThere is a good chance what one parent may file for a child support modification at some point while the other is paying. Although a judge may apply child support guidelines, modifications are not simple matters. They can have significant impact on the finances of both parents. Thus, a child support lawyer is recommended for the modification process.

The Numbers Are Not Always How They Appear

Each parent needs to disclose their income, so the judge can calculate the new amount of child support if a modification is warranted. Your income may be challenged, or you may have issues about what the other parent has claimed as their income. There are issues such as how to calculate a parent’s income and claims of voluntary impoverishment. The court may adjust a parent’s income for purposes of calculating child support. 

Child Support Is Not Just the Monthly Payment

The main part of child support is the monthly payment that one parent makes to the other. However, child support also includes other things. For example, one parent may want the other to pay their share when they believe that private school is necessary. In that event, the parent would reopen child support for the judge to consider the disputed matter. The court would weigh all factors in determining whether the parent must pay towards private education and how that payment would be considered in conjunction with child support. 


Oakland County Gray Divorce LawyerYou and your spouse likely had one or more life insurance policies during the course of your marriage. The need for life insurance does not end just because you no longer have a spouse. Divorce should cause you to reconsider your insurance situation and potentially make changes. A divorce attorney with experience in gray divorces can advise you on how life insurance is treated in a divorce. 

Cash Life Insurance May Be Divided

If you had a permanent life insurance policy, it has built up a cash value over time. This cash is akin to equity, and it grows over time based on your investment performance. Even if you terminated the policy, you would still be left with money. The cash value of the policy is considered a marital asset. You may agree to terminate coverage and divide the cash value, after accounting for a surrender policy. 

Term Life Insurance May Have Different Treatment

Term life insurance is treated as separate property, and it is not subject to division. The benefit from term life insurance only comes at some point after the marriage ends. Therefore, each spouse would likely keep their own term life insurance policy after the divorce. There is no equity in a term life insurance policy to divide. 


Novi Family Law AttorneyYour financial fortunes could change when you receive an inheritance. If you go through a divorce after you receive the inheritance, you want to ensure that you keep the entire amount. The good news is that Michigan law would largely protect the property you have received, unless you have mixed it with marital property. A divorce attorney could advise you further on how an inheritance is treated in your own specific circumstances. 

The General Rule Is that an Inheritance Is Separate Property

In general, property received by inheritance during a marriage would be considered separate property, and it would not be subject to equitable division under Michigan law. This rule applies, regardless of whether you inherited the property before the marriage or during the marriage. While that is the general rule, there are reasons why an inheritance could be subject to division. For example, if you have commingled the inheritance with marital assets, it could become marital property. If you have deposited the inheritance into a joint account, or you used it to purchase an asset that was jointly titled, your spouse may then be entitled to their share

You must be careful what you do with the inheritance after you receive it. Always make sure to put it into a separate account and keep it there. The character of separate funds can change, depending on what you do with them. 


Novi Divorce AttorneyMichigan is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital assets are divided based on equitable principles. The legal process depends on spouses to make full and fair disclosure of their assets. Some spouses may try to hide assets to keep them for all for themselves after the divorce. A divorce attorney can help you locate hidden assets during the divorce process.

You Can Obtain Financial Information from Your Spouse

In any divorce, contested or uncontested, the two spouses will exchange information about their assets with each other. This can include statements from bank and investment accounts. Each spouse must make full disclosure of their own finances to the other. The settlement that you reach will be based on the disclosures that both of you make. There are serious consequences if one spouse tries to hide assets. Nevertheless, many people try it, thinking that they can get away with it.

Contested Divorces Go Through Discovery

If your case is going through the courts, you will have the right to request financial information under the auspices of the court. Your attorney can make broad-based requests for information with which the other spouse must comply. There are penalties from the court for failing to comply with discovery. If the other spouse is not cooperating, the judge can compel them to produce certain documents. If you believe that the disclosure was incomplete, you can hire a forensic expert to track down what you believe are hidden accounts. Your attorney, or an expert, can find additional information by following the money trail.


MI divorce lawyerSpousal support, or alimony, ensures the financial stability of spouses who earn less than their ex-spouse. In Michigan, judges consider several factors when determining this amount. In other words, unlike child support, there is no formula for determining spousal support in the state.

The state does not guarantee that spousal support will be awarded in each divorce case. Some of the factors that judges in Michigan look into when they have to determine spousal support include the following:


Alimony may not be applicable if the recipient is living with or cohabitating with someone after their divorce.


Northville military servicemember divorce lawyerGetting a divorce is not an easy decision, but it can be especially challenging if one or both spouses are active United States Armed Forces members. Deployments can significantly impact the outcome and timing of a divorce case. 

Issues That May Affect a Military Divorce

Michigan is a no-fault state, which means the grounds for divorce will involve an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” These grounds will apply in military divorce cases. In the state, one spouse can file a complaint with the circuit court in their county of residence and serve their spouse with a summons. Both the summons and a copy of the divorce must be personally served to the spouse in order for the court to have jurisdiction over the military member.

In cases where the military member is deployed overseas or in a location other than where the divorce has been initiated, they can sign an affidavit proving they know the summons and court action. This may allow the to be delayed until the spouse returns from wherever they are stationed. The active military spouse can also sign an affidavit allowing the divorce to proceed in their absence, although this is generally not recommended, since it is important for a spouse to play a role in the decisions made about the end of their marriage. 


novi divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can have significant financial implications. In addition to dividing assets and determining support payments, it's essential to understand the tax consequences involved during a divorce. This blog will explore the key aspects of divorce and tax implications in Michigan, providing valuable insights to help you make informed decisions during this complex process.

Filing Status and Exemptions

One of the crucial considerations during divorce is the change in filing status. You have two options in Michigan: Married Filing Jointly or Separately. Each option has its own impact on tax rates and deductions.

If you file jointly, both spouses are equally responsible for the tax liability. However, filing separately may be necessary in certain situations, especially if there are concerns about the accuracy of reported income or potential tax fraud. It's important to carefully evaluate the tax consequences of both options before making a decision.


novi divorce lawyerGoing through a divorce can be emotionally challenging and legally complex. In Michigan, couples will pursue a no-fault divorce, meaning the spouses will not need to assign fault for the marital breakdown. If you are getting divorced, you will not be required to list adultery, abuse, or other fault-based reasons on the divorce petition to be granted a divorce. However, fault can still affect the outcome of a Michigan divorce case. 

What is a No-Fault Divorce?

In Michigan, a no-fault divorce is based on the concept that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and there is no reasonable likelihood of reconciliation. To initiate a no-fault divorce in Michigan, one spouse will file a Complaint for Divorce with the appropriate county court. The complaint outlines the reasons for seeking divorce and may include requests for child custody, support, and property division.To file for divorce in Michigan, at least one spouse must have resided in the state for a minimum of 180 days before filing. Additionally, the divorce must be filed in the county where either spouse currently resides or where the couple last resided together.

Negotiation Of Divorce Issues

During the divorce process, both spouses are encouraged to negotiate and reach agreements on various issues, such as the division of marital property. Mediation or collaborative divorce methods can be utilized to facilitate productive discussions and achieve mutually satisfactory outcomes.
Michigan courts also ask parents to work together to create a mutually agreeable parenting plan. This plan outlines each parent’s responsibilities and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.
If divorcing spouses are unable to reach an agreement on one or more divorce issues, the court will step in and make a decision for the couple. 


Novi Divorce LawyerAlimony, or spousal support, is awarded by Michigan courts to a spouse after a divorce. Each state has its own laws, and the court can be flexible in its judgment based on the circumstances surrounding a case. This includes determining if awarding support is appropriate, how much alimony should be awarded, and how long the payments will last.

Factors Considered When Determining Alimony

During a divorce, it is common for a judge to decide if a spouse qualifies for alimony and how much they should receive. When a spouse requests alimony, a judge may base their decision on the following factors:

  1. The career and education of each party during the marriage: It is important to consider if each spouse has the resources to support themselves after the divorce, including their employment status.


Novi Divorce LawyerDid you know Michigan was the first state to adopt a no-fault divorce system? This means that fault is not taken into consideration during divorce proceedings. This is just one fact out of many that people who wish to end their marriage must know before they file for divorce. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding divorce in Michigan and their answers:

Does Michigan Have a Residency Requirement for Divorce Filings?

You and your spouse must have lived in the state for at least six months before you file for divorce. Additionally, you must live in the county you are filing for at least 10 days before submitting the required paperwork.

Can Infidelity be Used as Grounds For Divorce?

Michigan is a no-fault state. This means neither party has to prove wrongdoing to dissolve a marriage. However, you can file for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences by stating the marriage is irreparably broken. A judge may consider fault when determining spousal support obligations.


Novi Military Divorce AttorneyDivorce can be complicated, but a military divorce comes with additional complexities that must be carefully considered. If you or your spouse are in the military and considering a divorce, it is important to understand the unique challenges and legal considerations that come with it.

In this blog, we will discuss some important facts that you should know about a military divorce in Michigan. 

Here is everything you need to know:


Novi Family Law AttorneyDivorce is a difficult process that can be emotionally and financially draining. One of the most challenging aspects of divorce is property and debt division. Dividing property and debt during a divorce can be complicated, especially when spouses have significant assets or debts.

It is important to have a thorough understanding of Michigan divorce laws and work with an experienced divorce attorney to ensure a fair distribution of property and debt. This blog will discuss some important considerations and steps for dividing property and debt during a Michigan divorce.

What Is Considered Marital Property and Debt?

Marital property and debt are assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned the income or whose name is on the title or account. Examples of marital property and debt may include marital homes, vehicles, bank accounts, credit card debts, and mortgages.


Novi Co-Parenting LawyersThe process of divorce can be difficult for everyone involved. Spouses will need to address many different concerns, and in addition to resolving legal issues, they will need to separate their finances and determine new living arrangements. At the same time, children can struggle to adjust to the changes in their lives after their parents split. To ensure that children's needs will be met after a divorce, parents will need to try to put their differences aside as much as possible and prioritize the best interests of their children.

Co-parenting is not always easy, but with dedication, cooperation, and positive communication, it is possible to raise happy and healthy children after a divorce. If you are in this situation, the following tips may help you work together with your ex to effectively co-parent your children:

Keep the Communication Lines Open

Effective communication is key to a successful co-parenting arrangement. It is essential to keep each other informed of your children's needs, their daily activities, and updates on changes in their lives. You can make an effort to discuss things related to your children's education, health, and extracurricular activities while working together to make decisions on important matters. Good communication will help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts, and it can ensure that your children will feel loved and supported by both parents.

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