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Divorcing a Mentally Ill Spouse

Posted on in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerThe vast majority of people who suffer from a mental illness live perfectly normal lives and form perfectly normal and healthy relationships. However, some severe mental illnesses can make it very difficult to remain married to a sufferer. If your spouse has serious mental health issues and you can no longer wait for them to start taking treatment seriously, divorce can give you the legal protections you need to make a clean break. Divorcing someone with major mental health issues can be challenging in a number of ways. They may make you feel as if you are “abandoning” them or make empty gestures like making a therapy appointment they do not intend to follow through with. It may also try to prevent or stall the divorce - or at least make it as difficult as possible for you. Good legal representation is important in these cases. It is best to have your divorce managed by an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer

Avoiding Efforts to Make You Stay

When your spouse realizes that their refusal to address their mental health issues has driven you to divorce them, they are very likely to resist the divorce. Their first attempt is likely to involve emotional manipulation. They may cry and beg you to stay, promise to start taking treatment seriously, or even threaten to self-harm if you follow through with the divorce. It is important to be prepared for this when you file for divorce. Your attorney may suggest you find a safe place to stay temporarily or get a protection order before filing. The less opportunity your spouse has to manipulate you, the better. 

Legal Stalling Tactics 

If your spouse realizes that they cannot talk you into calling off the divorce, they might resort to using legal tactics to delay your divorce. They may agree to mediation, make an appointment, and fail to attend. They may try to convince the judge that you do not have irreconcilable differences and are not entitled to a divorce, although this strategy is incredibly unlikely to work. 


Divorce Issues Affecting Older Adults

Posted on in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerDivorce can be difficult for adults of all ages. Even for young spouses whose marriages did not last very long, many different issues need to be addressed during divorce proceedings. Older adults who are getting divorced often have a rather different set of concerns. Nearly everything they own will likely be marital property - including retirement savings. While those undergoing gray divorce are often more mature and capable of compromise than their younger counterparts, they often face higher stakes. While a young adult could likely return to school or learn a trade, a senior citizen may not be able to re-enter the workforce at all due to age-related disability. It is essential that these individuals be represented by a passionate and skilled Michigan divorce attorney who has experience with gray divorce. 

Dividing Retirement Accounts

Under the law, gray divorces proceed exactly like any other divorce. In practice, gray divorce can be quite different. Married young adults often both work and are more likely to keep their finances separate. They likely have not saved all that much together and may not have any interest in a future pension. For long-married older adults, dividing substantial savings, pensions, and other retirement benefits is likely to be a high priority. The closer you are to retirement, the more critical it is to get a fair share of your retirement accounts, pensions, and other retirement benefits. 

Spousal Support for Older Adults

Spousal support can also be a hugely important issue for older people getting divorced. If you were in a traditional marriage, with one spouse working for pay and the other working to maintain the household or raise the children, it is quite likely that the court will consider spousal support appropriate in your case. This is especially true if your age or health would make it more difficult for you to find and keep work that would pay enough to live on. 


Tips for Divorce as a Young Adult

Posted on in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerLast week, we discussed the benefits of getting divorced as an older adult in our blog. While adults over 50 might have certain advantages in divorce, so do young adults. Younger adults who get divorced are far more likely to have strong social support already in place and also more likely to remarry. However, getting divorced when you are a young adult can also be difficult. If you are only in your 20s or early 30s when you begin the Michigan divorce process, you might feel as if your life has been launched into chaos. Most people who get divorced at this age got married quite young and have not truly experienced adult life without their spouse. You may also experience issues like not qualifying for spousal support, even if you were a homemaker. If you are getting divorced young, it is very important to have an experienced divorce attorney representing your interests. 

Helpful Ideas for Young Adults Getting Divorced

You may feel as if there are so many different things to do and think about that you will never be able to do it all. This is one of the reasons it is so important to have a lawyer. Your attorney can be the one in charge of making sure everything gets addressed on time. Helpful tips may include: 

  • Separate your separate property - If you have not been married very long, you likely owned a lot of the property you have now before you got married. Anything you owned yourself before marriage is likely your separate property. Make a list of things that are not marital property your spouse has a claim to. 
  • Rely on family - Younger adults are more likely to have older generations of relatives, like parents or grandparents, who are able to help them. Relying on your family and strengthening those bonds can help from both a practical and emotional standpoint. 
  • Get therapy - While a failed marriage can happen to anyone, if yours went especially wrong, it might be helpful to seek therapy before dating again. This is especially important if you were abused during your marriage. 
  • Be social - You might feel like hiding in your apartment alone, but going out and seeing friends can help boost your mood and remind you that you are loved. If you and your spouse had a lot of friends in common, it might also be time to look for friends of your own in interest-based clubs or social groups. 

The great news is that once you are divorced, you are still a young adult with your entire life ahead of you. The only difference is that you will be free of an unhappy marriage. 


The Advantages of Gray Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

MI divorce laywerA lot of older adults are afraid to get divorced. This is especially true for those who married young and have been with their spouse for decades. They might have complex marital property to divide equitably. It can take a bit of courage to get divorced after 50. There are certain disadvantages older adults face during divorce, like suddenly having to learn how to do the things you depended on your spouse for most of your adult life. However, there are also some distinct advantages of gray divorce. You may not have some of the challenges or complications younger adults do, and you may have an easier time compromising than less mature individuals. If you are planning to proceed with a gray divorce, you should be represented by your own Oakland County attorney even if the split is amicable. It is wise to have a lawyer who knows your rights there to protect them. 

The Benefits of Gray Divorce

Older adults enjoy some advantages over younger adults who are also getting divorced. Some of the benefits of gray divorce include: 

  • Advanced maturity - Younger adults are generally less mature and more prone to fighting over inconsequential issues just to spite their spouse. Older adults are typically more mature and more likely to compromise quickly in the interest of resolving the divorce. 
  • Greater understanding - After a very long marriage, you and your spouse likely understand each other better than anyone else in the world. This can improve communication and hasten the process of making agreements. There is little guesswork as to what your spouse wants or would agree to. 
  • No minor children - Adults over 50 with similarly-aged partners are less likely to have minor children, and if they do, the children are usually teenagers. This can simplify the divorce process, as no parenting plan is needed. 
  • Financial stability - Older spouses who have been together a long time are more likely to be financially stable and prepared for retirement. Long-married homemakers are more likely to be granted spousal support, and less likely to be expected to return to the workforce. 
  • Starting fresh with confidence - Many younger adults who are getting divorced worry about things like finding a new social circle, attracting a new partner, or being a part-time single parent. Older adults might not have these difficulties, as they are less likely to lose friends after divorce due to amicability, and may not care about finding a new partner. 

While gray divorce can be difficult at first, seniors often find that it is less difficult than they initially feared. 


MI divorce lawyerHaving a family business can be a joy or a headache depending on how things are going. If your marriage is heading towards divorce, you may have some concerns regarding what will happen to the family business. Fortunately, there are quite a few options for family business owners who are filing for divorce. Different solutions will work for different people. What type of solution is likely to work best for you depends on a lot of factors, including how amicable your relationship is and whether you have children who will one day take over the business. Your priorities play a large role in deciding how to divide up your company fairly. If you and your spouse own a business together, it is important that you each have your own legal representation. You will want a Michigan divorce attorney looking out for your personal interests. 

Working Together After Divorce

If your divorce is largely amicable and you feel that you can still work together with your spouse, keeping the business largely as-is may be a good solution. This is often a good option when each spouse has particular skills they bring to the business. For example, if you run a catering business and one of you is excellent at party planning while the other is a professional chef, then continuing your business relationship may be the best option. The downside is that you must keep seeing each other. The benefit is that your company is likely to remain as profitable as it was before with minimal restructuring. 

Arrange a Buy-Out

If working together is no longer an option, it may be best for one spouse to buy out the other’s shares in the company. This can often be done through an exchange of other marital property in the divorce decree. One benefit is that this does keep the business in the family to allow for a more seamless transfer should one of your adult children take over the company one day.

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