• Jennifer D. Larson

Top Issues to Consider Before Filing for Divorce in Michigan

For many Michigan families, going through a divorce was never a consideration when deciding to marry. If this happens, it is vital to evaluate your relationship and determine the best course of action to resolve your differences. Every family law situation is unique, and whatever circumstances leads your family to separation and dissolution of marriage, try to do so with the best interests of all in mind.

Consider the below questions to ask yourself before deciding to go forward with a divorce. The answers you find will help in making this high-stakes life choice that could carry ramifications for years to come.

Is Your Relationship Irreparable?

Before deciding that divorce is the best course to deal with the unhappy state of your union, determine if your relationship is irreparable first. Many marriages that struggle often rely on speaking with a counselor or therapist first before pulling the plug and throwing family life into upheaval. As a couple, make it a priority to evaluate the severity of your differences. Ask yourselves if this is just a rough patch or is the relationship fundamentally broken and needs to end.

Whether you decide to go through with your separation or work out the issues, the below steps are critical to maintaining a healthy relationship, especially if children are in the middle.

Don’t rely on just your perceptions; get outside help. Marital strife often suffers from an underlying communication problem and emotionally-charged issues that could benefit from a third-party perspective. This step will make it possible to better negotiate your divorce, possibly save your relationship, or both.

Is your marital problem only temporary? If you plan to undergo marriage counseling to determine if your union is salvageable, you may discover that divorce is not the answer due to differences in your relationship that maybe only lasting temporarily. Maybe, the stress of a new job has changed responsibilities and taken a toll but will get better, or perhaps it is a more deep-seated conflict that only divorce can solve. Being able to evaluate the reality of your current situation is critical in making the right decision about ending your marriage.

No matter what path you take as a family, improve communication. Acknowledging that communication is key to a relationship is much easier said than done for many of us. Having the ability to have hard conversations about your family’s future while not focusing on your emotions is critical for divorce.

Figure out primary conflict points ahead of time. If you opt to work things out with your partner or accept that separating is best, staying ahead of stressors can make either process more difficult to negotiate.

Do You Risk Physical Harm Staying in the Home?

Whether there is a previous history of domestic abuse in your marriage or the implication of divorce has brought out unusually aggressive behavior from your partner, deciding to stay in the marital home during this period may risk your physical safety. This reality is even more essential to prepare for if you have children from your union.

If you are a victim of domestic violence or battery, it is critical to take the necessary steps and remove yourself from that situation. Increased abuse is a common occurrence during separation, so speak with a local or national abuse hotline for more information about what options may be available in the city and state you live.

What Advice Does Your Attorney Offer?

If you haven’t spoken with an attorney about the divorce process, you may wish to do so before bringing it up to your spouse. Understanding what the landscape of separation and potential child custody battles look like in the state of Michigan is a critical step you should not skip. An experienced family law attorney evaluates your current family situation and gives you an idea of what to expect should you go through with the process.

If you are certain divorce is the only solution, you will also learn what steps you need to take to begin this process. It is common for a divorcing spouse to protect their valuables and assets from liquidation by their partner. Your counsel may also suggest some

additional preparatory actions if children are at issue, as well.

Speak with an Experienced Michigan Lawyer

Preparing yourself for the emotional, financial, and physical demands of divorce and the toll it will take on your life is crucial when taking this drastic step to correct a relationship gone wrong. Speak with a Michigan family law attorney who has significant experience in sensitive divorce negotiations involving child custody, contestestation, prenuptial agreements, and other related legal issues.

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