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Family Law/Divorce FAQs Archives

Post-Divorce Checklist

Once your divorce is final with the Court, there are several things you should do to wrap up any lose ends. Below is a checklist of some post-divorce issues you may encounter:

Does Moving Out of the Marital Home Mean You Are Abandoning the Home?

In short, the answer to this often answered question is no. When a relationship gets to the point of divorce, there are many reasons one of the parties considers moving out of the marital home. Certainly, if you decide to file for divorce or your spouse files for divorce (and serves you), you have every right to live in the marital home throughout the divorce process (2 month minimum without children and 6 month minimum with children-topic for another blog). However, if the living situation is simply unbearable, you may consider moving out since you're going to be living separately anyway in a matter of months. Of course, if you plan to try and keep the marital home following the divorce, it doesn't make sense for you to move out.

You've decided to file for divorce - now what?

Divorce creates profound stress and emotion, and often precipitates other changes in your life. The outcome of your case can affect you and your family for many years to come. For these reasons, it is essential to find attorneys that adequately represent your interests and make the divorce process as smooth as possible. Unlike other firms that generate frivolous charges, and drag out the court process for their own financial benefit, Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates focuses on the most cost-effective approach, so that this difficult time does not cause unnecessary financial stress.

Annulment versus Divorce

An annulment proceeding is instituted to obtain a ruling that a valid marriage never took place, because of a defect existing when the parties were married. A divorce proceeding is used to terminate a valid marriage, for reasons that occurred after the marriage took place. In Michigan, the statutory grounds for divorce is that there has been a breakdown in the marital relationship, to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there is no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. 

What questions to ask during your divorce consultation?

When your relationship has reached the point where divorce is imminent, you may realize that you need a divorce consultation, but may not realize which questions to ask or where to begin. Below is a list of questions that may help you more fully understand the divorce process and what your rights are:

Can you afford the marital home?

When divorcing your spouse, you need to understand the total amount of assets, including real estate, investment accounts, retirement accounts, etc. You also need to understand whether you are likely to receive spousal support. All of these factors will help you determine how your are going to support yourself after all of the assets are divided, and you are living on your own.

What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?

A legal separation and a divorce are two distinct court cases and two distinct marital statuses. Legal separation does result in a final division of marital assets but the parties are still married and therefore cannot re-marry. If you have gone through a legal separation, but you later decide you want to divorce, you can petition the court to convert your judgment of separate maintenance to a divorce judgment.

How to prepare for a divorce.

Many people contact our office and ask, "how do I prepare for a divorce?" If you are contemplating filing for divorce, there are a few things you can do to put yourself in the most favorable position.

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