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.

We offer a free consultation to provide you with straightforward information, so that you have peace of mind during this difficult time. We make sure you are knowledgeable about the entire divorce process, as well as all of your potential options. Moreover, we continually keep you updated throughout your case.

To initiate the divorce proceedings, we will file a Complaint for Divorce in the county in which you reside.
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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.

Examples of unbearable situations may include abuse (physical, verbal, etc.), substance abuse or other obnoxious or harmful behavior. There are many factors to consider before you move out (i.e. cost, ensure your personal belongings do not disappear, etc.) but if for your own mental well-being, you believe moving out is necessary, you will not be punished in the divorce process for leaving (or abandoning as many people incorrectly put it) the marital home. The marital home will still be an asset/liability to be equitably divided during the divorce process whether you’ve moved out or not.

Keep in mind, if you move out of the marital home, the parties must still maintain the status quo. That is, all of the household bills must continue to be paid in the manner that they always have been paid. So, by moving out, you now have an additional set of expenses so you should not take this decision lightly inasmuch as your right to remain in the marital home can provide you some necessary transition time to plan for your new financial situation. In addition, if you have children and you move out of the marital home during the divorce (or in anticipation of divorce), there will need to be an interim (or temporary) custody, parenting time and child support order to ensure that each parent maintains a healthy relationship with the children.

A canadian couple was able to agree on the majority of their divorce terms; however, they had to have a judge decide who would get their Edmonton Oilers season tickets. Beverly and Donald McLeod separated in 2015, with Donald agreeing to pay Beverly $15,000 per month in spousal support. However, the couple needed a court order to determine what to do with the hockey tickets that the couple had shared for the past 11 years.

Generally, it is in your best interest to sit down with your spouse and try to come to a resolution of all outstanding issues. If you are both involved in the property division process, there is more flexibility and satisfaction with the outcome, as opposed to having a judge make a decision where both parties feel like they “lost.”

For more information on handling property division, contact our office for a free consultation.

Family law is making headlines this week, as a Hawaii mom faces jail time for illegally taking her son to Japan, amid a bitter custody battle. Eileen Tojo took her infant son and three other children from another father from Oahu to Japan for four and a half years during a bitter custody dispute, even though the court ordered her to keep the boy in Hawaii. As a result, she is facing up to five (5) years in prison.

The headline serves as a reminder that there are serious consequences for failing to abide by a court order.  If you fear for your safety, or want to leave the state with your child(ren), you need to follow the proper steps. Most of the time, that would require filing a motion and having the judge grant an order allowing a move or change in custody/parenting time.

For more information on removing your child from the State, contact our office for a free consultation.

Currently, spousal support is tax deductible for the payer, and taxable for the payee. However, a proposed change in the tax reform bill would eliminate the tax deduction for spousal support and make alimony income tax-free to the recipient for divorce judgments that are executed after December 31, 2017.

Currently, in most cases, the spouse paying alimony is in a considerably higher tax bracket than the spouse receiving the support. The difference between the tax brackets provides a benefit to the spouse paying the alimony and a benefit to the one receiving it. The difference in tax rates has been a large factor in negotiating settlements, especially to the party that will be paying support.

If the provision goes into effect, negotiating spousal support will certainly change.

If you have a family business, you will want to have a plan in the event of death or divorce of any of the partners. Not only will you need to plan – but you will need to plan early. Valuing businesses and determining which percentage will be awarded to the non-owner spouse in a divorce is very costly and time consuming.

There are several “tools” that business owners can use to avoid common problems:

1.) Prenuptial Agreement. The single most effective tool is to deal with the issue while a couple is on good terms. In a best case scenario, the non-owner spouse will waive any interest in the business. When negotiating a pre-nuptial agreement, it is essential that both parties have counsel of their own, and that there is full disclosure by both parties.

Divorce is in the news this week, as Miguel Cabrera is involved in a divorce proceeding with his soon-to-be ex-wife Rosangel Cabrera. Cabrera has been married for fifteen (15) years, and met his wife in high school. However, the couple is calling it quits.

Rosangel Cabrera filed for divorce, stating that the relationship with baseball star husband, Miguel Cabrera, was “irretrievably broken.” The case was filed in Miami-Dade County in Florida. Had the case been filed in Michigan, the basis for divorce would have been that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship, to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed, and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. As a no fault state, the party filing for divorce does not need a specific reason, and relies solely on the aforementioned statutory language in order to grant a divorce.

According to player statistics, the 2017 baseball season has been the worst year of Miguel’s professional career. Although Miguel has injuries contributing to his shortfalls in his career, this also shows the emotional toll that divorce takes on both parties throughout the divorce process. It is our goal to minimize the stress of a divorce, and resolve the case as efficiently as possible.

According to a recent study, the profession with the lowest divorce rates was actuaries, with a rate of 17%. Other professions with low divorce rates were physical scientists, life scientists, clergy, and software developers.

The study found that people who make less money are in general more likely to get divorced. Gaming managers have the highest divorce rate, at 52.9%, followed by bartenders, flight attendants, gaming service workers, rolling machine setters, and machine operators.

If you find yourself in the latter category, and are considering divorce, contact our office for a free consultation at (586) 264-3756.