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Michigan Divorce Video Journal

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April 9, 2010
9 yearsago

One of the most common questions in the divorce process is, “How long is this going to take?” For couples who are filing a DM divorce – in other words, a divorce that involves children – they can expect the process to last a minimum of six months, or 180 days. Divorces that do not involve children are labeled DO – these take a minimum of 60 days to complete.

Before you get too hopeful about the prospect of having a divorce finalized in two months, listen to Michigan lawyer Jacob Femminineo in this video as he delves more deeply into the 180- and 60-day divorce laws. Learn about possible waivers that a judge may grant if it’s in the best interest of children who are wrapped up in a divorce. Understand why divorces take so much time and why so much paperwork needs to be filed. And find out why a 60-day divorce is the minimum for every couple in Michigan, no matter their marital, financial, or parental situation.

April 9, 2010
9 yearsago

When referring to Michigan divorce cases, the term “jurisdiction” means one thing – which court will be hearing your divorce case. In the state of Michigan, all divorce cases are held in the circuit court of the county in which the person who has filed for divorce lives. This may seem simple enough, but there are two crucial details that can affect how timely, costly, and inconvenient a divorce may be (beyond the obvious).

In this video, Michigan divorce lawyer Jacob Femminineo explains the two most important numbers to remember when it comes to jurisdiction in Macomb County and beyond. Learn about the laws of establishing Michigan residency before legally filing for divorce, as well as the 10-Day Rule for county residency. And find out why, if you’re at all suspicious about a soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s “vacation” or “visit” to another part of the state, it’s in your best interest to file for divorce before they do.

April 9, 2010
9 yearsago

Download the Initial Divorce Interview form

Divorce is never easy, no matter how amicable a couple’s situation may be. Oftentimes, the most difficult part of a divorce is deciding when to file, particularly if children are involved. Working with the right Michigan attorney to ease the burden and simplify the process is half the battle in managing a divorce. In this video, Macomb County lawyer Jacob Femminineo explains how an initial interview with a divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys will proceed. The biggest takeaway – that first consultation is completely free.

Femminineo Attorneys will tell you what you can expect from the divorce process every step of the way, whether or not you can use one attorney in your Michigan divorce, what will likely happen at the end of the divorce process, and they’ll help you determine when to file. In addition to the free, confidential, initial interview, these Michigan divorce lawyers have simplified the divorce process by offering an online divorce questionnaire that describes what information to prepare for your first meeting with your lawyer. Whether you decide to file for divorce immediately or not, this basic information will be at the ready to quickly get the process underway.

April 16, 2010
9 yearsago

There are two types of conferences in a Michigan divorce case: status and settlement. Conferences such as these occur during the divorce process when both parties have retained lawyers individually.

In a status conference in Macomb County, the two attorneys – and sometimes the parties as well – will meet with one of the judge’s referees. Conferences of this nature may occur early on in the divorce process and, though some people may consider them a waste of time, they are helpful in getting the divorce case moving and that much closer to settlement.

A settlement conference is somewhat similar to a status conference but, in this type of meeting, the parties and lawyers are sitting down with the judge who, believe it or not, wants to keep his or her finger on the pulse of what’s happening with the cases on their docket and move them along.

Watch this video, featuring Michigan lawyer Jacob Femminineo, for more details about exactly what happens, what matters are discussed, and what decisions are made during status and settlement conferences in the Michigan divorce process.

April 16, 2010
9 yearsago

Custody issues in a divorce case can easily become controversial and complicate the divorce process. While there are a variety of elements concerning custody, in this video Michigan lawyer Jacob Femminineo delves more deeply into two aspects of the matter: physical custody and legal custody.

Physical custody is, simply enough, where the child lives. Whether the child ultimately resides with the mother or father or is split between both parents’ homes will be decided during the divorce process. Typically, there is usually one parent who has sole physical custody.

The concept of legal custody is more involved. This type of custody takes into account all the major decisions regarding the child such as care, education, religion, and health. Michigan divorce cases involving children almost always end with joint legal custody. Watch this video to find out why, to get specific examples of situations involving legal custody, and to find out what circumstances will have a judge getting involved.

April 22, 2010
9 yearsago

In a divorce case involving child custody, what was once referred to as “visitation” is now called “parenting time.” Michigan divorce law defines “standard” custody to be when one party has sole physical custody of the child (or children) and the other party – known as the non-custodial parent – has reasonable parenting time to spend with their child. In other words, the parent without sole custody gets to see their kids on weekends, holidays, and in the summer.

This weekend-holiday-summer arrangement isn’t set in stone though. Jacob Femminineo gets into the specifics of parenting time in this video and describes the many, many ways that parenting time can be divided between divorced parents. Naturally, the goal is to consider what is in the best interest of the child – but there is a way to get to a “magic number” so that both parents can get equal quality parenting time with their kids.

April 22, 2010
9 yearsago

Whether two people are married or not, when a couple who has a child together decides to end their relationship, there is one legal constant: One party will have custody of the child and the other party will pay child support.

In this video, Macomb County lawyer Jacob Femminineo goes into detail about the three main factors that are involved in determining what your child support payment will be in the state of Michigan. The first two factors involve money – your income and the other party’s income. The third factor involves the number of overnights the child will have at one party’s residence and at the other party’s home.

When added together, these factors create a non-negotiable number that one party will have to pay to the other. If more than one child is involved, the numbers get multiplied accordingly. That’s the objective formula. But there’s more – watch this video to learn about the other elements that can affect what that final child support number will actually be.

April 24, 2010
9 yearsago

When a couple decides to go their separate ways, they must always file a complaint for divorce. In the most basic terms, this filing alleges that there has been a breakdown of the marriage and that there is no reasonable likelihood that the relationship can be preserved.

So where does the “no fault” divorce come into play? By law, Michigan is a “no fault” divorce state, which essentially means that neither party is legally at fault regarding the dissolution of the marriage. While that sounds simple enough, the matter can get a little complicated. Jacob Femminineo explains in detail in this video that fault can indeed matter. If there is a definitive cause for the breakdown of the marriage, such as addiction or infidelity, fault certainly comes into play.

Watch this video to find out how the fault of one party can affect the divorce settlement, particularly the division of assets.

April 24, 2010
9 yearsago

In the state of Michigan, an initial interview with the Friend of the Court must take place when a divorce involves children. This interview will occur very early on in the divorce process, usually within the first one or two months of filing. It’s highly recommended that each party have their attorney present for this meeting.

During this initial interview, there is more of an emphasis placed on the physical custody of the children than the legal custody. On the table for discussion: the number of overnights each parent will have and the income of both parents. These very crucial details are taken into consideration to help the Friend of the Court make a recommendation of how much child support should be paid, and which party should be paying it.

In this video, lawyer Jacob Femminineo explains where this initial interview is held in Macomb County, why it’s required, how to prepare, and what can be expected from the Friend of the Court.

April 24, 2010
9 yearsago

Anyone who is divorced with children in the state of Michigan is well-acquainted with child support. There is one important facet with this area of the law, however, that often results in some confusion: child support modification.

The first thing to know is that child support modification cannot happen independently of the courtroom. The judge who is assigned to a divorce case when the divorce papers are filed has jurisdiction on all issues thereafter involving custody, parenting time, and, yes, child support… at least until the child turns 19.5 years old or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. That judge will make the decision about when, or if, any modification to child support can occur.

So when can the amount of child support be increased or decreased? What has to take place to convince a judge that a modification is in order? Watch this video featuring Macomb County lawyer Jacob Femminineo for insight into this complex matter.

May 6, 2010
9 yearsago

In the state of Michigan, in a divorce case involving child support, it is required by law that an income withholding order go into effect and be entered into the final judgment of a divorce. The employer of the party who will be paying child support is ordered to deduct the determined amount from the party’s paycheck and send it to the Michigan State Disbursement Unit (MiSDU).

While it may sound like a hassle, MiSDU actually makes life easier for the divorcing parties. They disburse child support payments to the other party, they track payments that are in arrears, and so on. Watch this video featuring divorce lawyer Jacob Femminineo as he addresses common financial concerns that arise when it comes to child support, income withholding, and the duties of MiSDU.

May 6, 2010
9 yearsago

The questions surrounding spousal support are not always easy to answer. Parties who are divorcing want to know when they have to pay spousal support, for how long, how much it’s going to be, and so on, but there are a lot of ingredients in the spousal support recipe. While child support is calculated through an objective formula, spousal support is a completely subjective matter.

There are a great number of factors that surround the determination of spousal support (also known as alimony), but the one thing that remains constant is that there is no right or wrong answer. It may feel like there’s a difference between what’s right and what’s wrong to the parties involved, but a judge will make his or her determination based on what they think is appropriate for the situation. Divorce lawyer Jacob Femminineo talks more about the subjectivity of spousal support in this video and how each divorce case can be affected differently.

May 6, 2010
9 yearsago

There are two big questions surrounding spousal support: How much do I have to pay? And how long do I have to pay it? If you have a good divorce attorney, they will argue and negotiate for you to get an equal and fair settlement. However, there are plenty of factors that can come into play to change these numbers – which leads to one of the biggest choices you will make surrounding spousal support: modification.

In this video, Macomb County divorce lawyer Jacob Femminineo explains the difference between a modifiable spousal support arrangement (it can change) and a non-modifiable arrangement (it is set in stone no matter what happens). There are dangers in both choices that must be taken into consideration when considering the final judgment in a divorce. Find out what they are.

May 6, 2010
9 yearsago

There are some divorcing couples who prefer to opt out of the Friend of the Court in Michigan when it comes to child support and income withholding. They feel that, no matter their differences in the marriage, they can get along for the sake of the kids and exchange monies as agreed upon – in cases like this, opting out makes sense. However, there are plenty of scenarios when opting out doesn’t make sense, and it’s a choice that Femminineo Attorneys, PLLC will never recommend to any client, no matter how amicable the divorce may seem to be.

The bottom line is this: Financial situations can change. Watch this video featuring divorce lawyer Jacob Femminineo to find out why opting out of Friend of the Court can go so very wrong. And why it’s beneficial – and just plain smart – to take advantage of this free service.

May 6, 2010
9 yearsago

Motions can be brought before the court to deal with any and all issues surrounding a divorce, from child custody to child support, parenting time to bill payment. Essentially, if two parties can’t come to an agreement on a major issue, they can file a motion asking the court to decide for them. This can happen during the divorce process and after the divorce has been finalized.

In this video, divorce attorney Jacob Femminineo talks about the jurisdiction of the judge in a divorce case and why this is important to understand when it comes to motions. He also spends some time on what happens with motions specifically in Macomb County.

Fast fact: Motions are the busiest days in court. Watch this video to find out the best days to file your motion in Macomb County, Oakland County, or Wayne County.

May 6, 2010
9 yearsago

There is one phrase that divorce attorneys often hear from their clients: “I want a legal separation from my spouse.” Here’s the reality – there is no such thing as a legal separation in the state of Michigan. A married couple either lives together or, if they no longer want to be a pair, they choose to live apart – but there is no legal separation. Once the divorce process begins, legal documents and interim orders will come into play telling both parties where they (and their children, as the case may be) will take up residence. Once a divorce is in motion, even then there is no legal separation that occurs.

In this video, Macomb County lawyer Jacob Femminineo explains the reasons why legal separations don’t exist in Michigan and goes into detail about the differences between separation and abandonment.

May 7, 2010
9 yearsago

A separate maintenance agreement does exist in the state of Michigan, but it has a somewhat tricky definition. Not to be mistaken for a separation agreement or a legal separation, a separate maintenance agreement essentially means that a couple is getting a divorce… but they’re not really divorced.

Confusing, right? There are various reasons why couples select a separate maintenance agreement rather than legally getting a full divorce – it can often involve matters of health care or religion. But there are also some snags that couples can encounter when trying to benefit from a marriage union through a separate maintenance agreement. Allow Jacob Femminineo, a Macomb County attorney, explain how a divorce can take place in a separate maintenance agreement, but still leave a couple with a married status.

May 7, 2010
9 yearsago

In today’s society, the majority of families have shifted from the “traditional” man goes to work and woman stays home to dual-income households. When these “modern” couples file for divorce, it’s only natural to expect that the ways and means surrounding child custody have changed with the times as well. Enter: joint custody.

Divorcing couples have made a push for joint custody rather than agreeing to one party having sole physical custody and the other having reasonable parenting time. There are caveats, however, to every arrangement. Jacob Femminineo, a lawyer in Macomb County, Michigan, explains in this video what joint custody really means, what’s involved in determining joint custody, and how parents can get creative about making their new family units work.

May 7, 2010
9 yearsago

This video covers the main factors that come into play when a Michigan court is determining the amount of spousal support to be paid in a divorce case, which party will be responsible for the payments, and, most importantly, if support will be paid at all. Remember – spousal support is subjective. There is no right or wrong answer. But there are plenty of ingredients that go into making the final decision.

The length of the marriage, the ability of one or both parties to work, the age of both parties, state of health, standard of living, and fault are all considered important components in the matter of spousal support.  Macomb County lawyer Jacob Femminineo goes into detail about each of these elements and discusses their relevancy in divorce proceedings.

July 3, 2018
10 monthsago

freedom after michigan divorceSome people feel stuck, stranded, or sidelined after a Michigan divorce. Eventually, however, you will feel free – free from marital discord, unhappiness, stress, and loneliness. You may not be able to make the feeling of liberation speed up, but thinking positive is one way to get started. Might sound impossible now, but you will get there.

The feeling of freedom will come and go throughout your divorce and afterward, but trust that the perks will be there eventually.

Free time.

If your marriage was fraught with tension and arguments, you may not have realized just how much time you were devoting to the negativity. Being mired down in unhappiness can be unmotivating, which means you’re less likely to achieve everything you want. Now you have time to be free to do, say, watch, and go wherever you want.

Plus, if you have kids and share joint custody with your ex, your parenting time will come into play and you’ll find yourself sans children on some weeks and weekends. And then you’ll really be free to do as you please all hours of the day and night. It may be lonely and sad at the start when your children aren’t around all the time, but you’ll very likely get used to the reprieve, and appreciate your new family unit even more when you’re reunited.

Freedom to be confident.

When you’re going through a divorce, even a divorce that is wanted and necessary, it can put a major dent in your confidence. Here is what you will soon realize: You got through this divorce, and you’ve come out on the other side. You will have scars and sadness from time to time, but you’ve survived. And knowing just how much you’ve achieved and how you’ve kept yourself in one piece through all the struggle will give you confidence and strength. That is true freedom.

Freedom to speak.

In an unhappy marriage, you may have kept your mouth shut a lot for the sake of peace, for the sake of the kids, for the sake of your own sanity. Now, however, you are free to say whatever you want and you’ll feel right about doing so.

For some people, a Michigan divorce lights a fire under them and gives them the freedom to speak up, speak out, and make their feelings known. If you can weather a divorce, you can deal with just about anything – and if you don’t want to deal with it, then you’ll probably feel perfectly comfortable saying so.

Freedom to be better.

When you’re stuck in a fractured union, there are many things in your life that can suffer: your relationship with your children and family, work performance, fitness, self-esteem. Ridding your life of the toxicity that has prevented you from being the best person you can be is so freeing.

You won’t have someone nagging you because of the parenting choices you’ve made – you can make it and hold yourself accountable. You won’t damage your ability to be professionally successful because you’re distracted by a bad marriage or always in a negative place.

Freedom to live.

Life during and after divorce will not be perfect, but there will be upsides, good moments, and eventually contentment in the new world you have drawn for yourself – because it will be your world, the world you have chosen freely.

If you are ready to file for divorce or have questions about divorce, schedule your free consultation with a Michigan divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Contact us to schedule your appointment.

July 16, 2018
9 monthsago

Michigan divorce summerSummer means relaxation, vacation, and family togetherness. But each of these areas is fraught with disaster when a marriage is already on the rocks. There are certain types of divorces that can come during or after summer, and there are some common reasons that catapult the Michigan divorce decision to the top of the to-do list. January may be known as “divorce month,” but August isn’t far behind.

The Post-Vacation Divorce

Most Americans vacation in July than any other month of the year. They may look forward to a much-needed getaway, whether as a couple or with the entire family. Some couples see their vacation as a chance to give their marriage one last shot and try to repair frayed connections, or as the last chance to be together as a family.

However, any vacation is fraught with stress and potential screw-ups: Someone forgets to bring the passports, print the boarding passes, reserve a hotel, pack the beach chairs, bring the vacation credit card, or simply takes their sweet time doing everything when you’re ready to leave, now. Any and every botched responsibility or moment of forgetfulness surrounding a vacation could expose fissures in a marriage and mean disaster for an unhappily married couple.

And it is post-vacation when a pair may finally decide that their irreconcilable differences cannot be overcome. The goodness they thought might happen away from home never materialized, and it never will. They are disillusioned, disappointed, and tired of trying.

The Pre-Back-to-School Divorce

Anticipating the start of the school year may make couples who are strongly considering a divorce accelerate their decision to split. The end of summer signals a return to reality after a lazy summer or highlights a common time of reevaluation. Instead of waiting until the kids’ school year is over, or breaking up the family on a major school break (and ruining holidays in the process), they pull the trigger right before school even begins.

This choice may not be the best thing for the kids, but for some couples it simplifies the parenting time planning that happens ahead of every school year. They determine who is responsible for buying school supplies and clothes, who’s doing pick-up and drop-off, who’s managing after-school activities, who will be where on what days of the week. Consistency is the main goal of a Michigan divorce that is filed at the end of August, but it certainly doesn’t get any child’s school year off to a great start.

The Too-Hot Divorce

When the temperatures rise, so do tempers. Relationship issues that you may have been able to deal with throughout the rest of the year may become unbearable in the hot and humid summer months. Any argument between fractured couples could be the last argument before one person finally snaps and says, “I want a divorce.”

Heat impairs a person’s ability to think clearly and negatively affects mood. Increased sweating and heart rate trigger the nervous system’s flight-or-fight response. While many people look forward to the unpredictability of summer, unhappily married couples can flounder in the lackadaisical schedule and behavior. Routine helps keep couples together. A break from the norm can also shed light on the cracks in a marriage.

Filing for a Michigan Divorce in Summer

Whether you’re ready to file for divorce now or you’re considering making your split official at the end of summer, schedule your free consultation with a Michigan divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Contact us to schedule your appointment.

August 2, 2018
9 monthsago

jilted spouse spousal support michiganDivorce is tough no matter where you live, but cheating laws in North Carolina are brutal. In San Antonio, NC, a judge ordered a man to pay $8.8 million for cheating with another man’s wife. The state’s “jilted spouses” law, or “alienation of affections” law, allows the deserted spouse to pursue monetary damages against the third party who allegedly caused the separation. Who needs spousal support with this kind of legal measure?

The Costly Infidelity Lawsuit

Keith King sued Francisco Huizar III for damages related to Huizar having an affair with King’s wife. Huizar’s attorney alleged that King manipulated his wife during their marriage and made her work without pay. Apparently, the judge was not swayed by Huizar’s argument, deciding on the nearly $9 million ruling.

Emotional distress, alienation of affection, and other charges formed the crux of King’s lawsuit. He holds Huizar responsible for breaking up his marriage to Danielle King. Since Danielle was an employee of King’s company, King also sued to cover lost revenue because of a lost employee. And, of course, he wanted to be compensated for the costs that would be increased regarding child care, household help, and counseling.

Is There Ever a Good Reason to Cheat?

It’s easy to see both sides of the argument. Yes, Danielle cheated on King with Huizar, and King has every right to claim the affair ruined his marriage. However, Danielle has her own story, explaining that she was unhappy for her entire marriage to a controlling husband who monitored her money, snooped through her phone, monopolized her time, and made demands about her attire and hair color.

The affair began in 2015, and in 2016 Danielle initiated the separation process from her husband, which quickly became messy. King claimed Huizar made it impossible for him to reconcile with his wife, attempting to make the timeline of the affair and separation a moot point.

Jilted – and Rich – in North Carolina

This isn’t the first time a jilted spouse law was relied upon in North Carolina, and it’s unlikely to be the last given such a major payout. In 2011, another judge in the state ordered a woman to pay $30 million in a jilted spouse case. And she lost when she tried to appeal the multi-million-dollar ruling.

Michigan is, by law, a no-fault divorce state, meaning that neither party can legally be at fault for the dissolution of the marriage (in other words, you’re not getting a hefty sum in Michigan for claiming your spouse cheated). But, if your marriage has been ruined by an affair, this information is relevant. If you’re seeking to do some hardball negotiating regarding spousal support, parenting time, and child support, definitive causes for the breakdown of a marriage come into play, and that includes infidelity.

Has your spouse cheated on you? Are you ready to call it quits? Find out more about whether separation matters in Michigan, and what you need to do if you’re ready to file for divorce. Schedule your free consultation with a Michigan divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Contact us today.

August 22, 2018
8 monthsago

back to school michigan divorceEvery milestone or holiday the first year after divorce comes with challenges. During back-to-school season especially, emotions are high. Navigating your changing feelings about your former spouse, interacting with your ex in new ways, and managing the anxiety of your kids are landmines. What’s important is respecting your kids’ needs after your Michigan divorce, no matter what time of year it is.

New Traditions

Have both of you always taken your child to the first day of school together, happily gathering at the bus stop or walking into the classroom as a family unit? It’s hard to fake it, especially when divorce is so fresh.

Kids who sense the tension between their parents can resent interference with the change they’re currently experiencing. Discussing your child’s hopes for how they see the first day of school will pan out better than trying to hit the target on your own. Above all, don’t make your child pick a team.

Different Routine

It’s no longer, mom does drop-off and dad does pick-up. It’s now, mom does drop-off from her house and dad does pick-up and we go to his house. Kids are the ones who feel the push and pull of divorce the most during back-to-school. Their usual routine has been altered, and not just because they’ve chosen a new extracurricular activity.

Come up with a parenting plan surrounding school that you can live with and that’s fair to your kids. The most important thing is to help your kids focus so they can succeed. Eliminate the relationship drama so they’re not distracted by it. Your kids need is to feel like you are both invested and engaged in what they have going on so there is some normalcy to this new way of life.

Double Everything

If kids are splitting parenting time between mom and dad during the week, things will get complicated. There are different bus schedules to keep track of and the need to remember to bring home books and binders that might or might not be needed. Inevitably, shuffling sports equipment or musical instruments around will result in something being forgotten and kids being stressed.

Kids are caught in the demands of post-divorce amid the emotions of adjusting to a new year at school. When you have joint custody, you have joint responsibilities, and that includes keeping the best interests of your kids at the forefront.

The Bright Side

Some kids thrive after divorce, especially when school begins. They have consistency, at least for a set number of hours, five days a week, and appreciate this constant. Some parents try to make divorce as easy as possible on the kids, making sure that the weekdays are always the same so there is no confusion about who needs to be where and when. They save parenting time switches for weekends and holidays and share responsibilities when it comes to back-to-school nights or school performances and parent-teacher conferences.

If you need help developing a successful parenting plan as you begin your Michigan divorce, or want to change your existing divorce settlement, schedule your consultation with a Michigan divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Contact us today.

September 5, 2018
7 monthsago

protect business in Michigan divorceWhat’s yours is mine, what’s mine is yours? Divorcing couples who have a business together not only need to settle their personal financial situation, but also their professional one. If only one-half of a couple owns a business, protecting your interests in case of Michigan divorce is crucial.

If Only There Were Marital Insurance

While some companies are trying hard to make “divorce insurance” or “marriage insurance” fly, the best protection you have in a marriage is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, especially if you own a business. You don’t have to be filthy rich to get a prenup in Michigan, or anywhere – this legal documentation can protect one thing or multiple things in the event of a divorce.

The point of insurance is to protect yourself financially should an unforeseen, unexpected, and undesirable situation arises. All these adjectives could be used to describe a divorce.

Whether you are a principal of a major corporation or run the popular pizza joint in town, divorce is a threat to any business-owner, and the future of their operation. Getting a business of any sort off the ground requires major capital. Maybe you and your spouse have made it happen together. Perhaps you did it all on your own before you got married. Whatever the situation, when your business is your livelihood, you need to protect it – and yourself – in case of divorce. Enter the prenup.

  • If you own your own business: Designating your business as separate property in a prenup can keep your business out of the marital estate, no matter how much your spouse contributes to the business.
  • If you start a business alone while you’re married: If your business start-up is not a joint venture, creating a formal agreement to structure your company will typically include a provision that outlines what will happen to the business should you get a divorce. Where does a prenup come in? The language in the prenuptial agreement can waive the spouse’s interest in the business and limit their ability to acquire ownership.
  • If you and your spouse start a business together: Unless your prenup states how your business shakes out for each party in the event of a divorce, your ex could make a very good case – based on effort, their own financial contribution, or otherwise – that they’re entitled to a large portion of the business, especially if you didn’t pay them a competitive salary.

Protect Your Business – and Yourself – from Financial Ruin

Divorce is about separating from each other in all ways. It stands to follow that keeping your business separate from the marriage in all ways helps protect everyone’s interests should your marriage go south. If you invest marital money in your business, your spouse could be entitled to a percentage of the biz. The complications just get bigger the more your personal relationship gets wrapped up in your professional dealings, from taxes to bill paying.

If you do not have a prenup or postnup, you need to know how to protect yourself and your business before filing for a Michigan divorce. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb, Michigan, for help and advice.

September 20, 2018
7 monthsago

michigan divorce physically sickYou would be hard pressed to find any divorced person who, in the throes of their worst marital fights, didn’t feel like they were going to vomit, pass out, or have a heart attack or stroke. Even the most amicable of divorces can cause health problems to develop. The stress of separating two lives, handling the needs of children, negotiating financial matters, and starting over is difficult mentally and emotionally. But research has shown that the challenges of navigating a Michigan divorce are also physically taxing.

  1. The fallout from a broken heart.

Heart attack risks for women increase 24 percent after divorce. Women who are divorced two or more times have a staggering 77 percent increase of heart attack. There is also a condition known as Broken Heart Syndrome which, the Mayo Clinic explains, is “the heart’s reaction to a surge of stress hormones.”

While men who remarry may actually improve their heart health, the opposite is true for women. Other factors in studies about heart disease and divorce included symptoms of depression, alcohol use, level of exercise, weight, occupation, and income. Even accounting for all of these elements, women divorced multiple times still had a tremendously high risk of coronary heart disease.

  1. The consequences of a compromised gut.

A recent study conducted at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that couples who had particularly heated and hostile disagreements had higher levels of bacteria in their blood. The source of this bacteria? The intestines.

Inflammation known as leaky gut weakens the lining of the intestines and is associated with many health conditions, including depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, and, of course, stress. Targeted research shows that marital stress exacerbates these conditions and, therefore, the inflammation.

  1. The dangers of mental and emotional stress.

Some people thrive after divorce. Ridding themselves of a relationship that was fraught with tension, arguments, and unhappiness is the escape they have long been seeking and the opportunity to start over. There are certainly men and women who live better lives after divorce.

However, studies show that both divorced men and women have a higher risk of depression than people who stayed with their spouses. Men are six times more likely to report depressive episodes than men who remain married and four times more likely to commit suicide, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Men are also more likely to exhibit risk behavior, abusing alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms after divorce. Some have suggested that this emotional struggle comes from a decline in social support.

Anxiety is another arm of mental health that can escalate for divorced men. Consider the fallout for many divorced men who find themselves in a financial struggle to pay child support and spousal support and who mourn the loss of time with their children.

Divorce is not easy under any circumstances. Get support from an experienced Michigan divorce lawyer. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

October 1, 2018
7 monthsago

hot or cold michigan divorceEvery couple has that ongoing argument. One wants to go to a movie and the other wants to stay in and watch TV. One wants Chinese food and the other wants pizza. One person likes it warm in the house and the other wants the temperature to stay low. As it turns out, that hot-cold fight may be more indicative of marital problems than anyone realized and, at its heart, that argument could lead to a Michigan divorce.

Reasons Room Temp Can Ruin a Marriage

Little differences and arguments in a marriage are good. You learn how to compromise and occasionally give in to please the person you love. However, research has shown that couples can be pushed over the edge when they differ in their preference for room temperature.

The disagreement over the temperature of a room or the house is, essentially, about comfort. You are more comfortable when the room is toasty. You are more comfortable when you’re bundled up under the covers in a cold room. You are more comfortable when you are paying less on the heating and air conditioning bill.

Here are the facts:

  • Some couples argue more when the heat level rises. Hotter days make for hotter heads, and what might have been a minor issue becomes a major quarrel.
  • The literal fight over hot and cold can be the jumping off point for airing resentments about annoyances, both large and small.
  • If the core of the argument over room temperature is the utility bill, then there is a fundamental difference in how a couple functions financially, and that can sink a marriage.
  • The person who has control over the thermostat and guards it like a hawk can signify a power struggle.
  • Research has shown that females are biologically tuned to prefer hot over cold, based on a woman’s lower ratio of body mass to surface area, lessening muscle mass, and slower resting metabolism. Gender aside, if one person runs hot and the other runs cold, conflict is likely to ensue.
  • One person may change the thermostat without alerting their partner, and this “underhanded” behavior can begin building a layer of resentment about secrets and have a spouse questioning what other little things their partner is doing without their knowledge.

Some of these examples may seem silly and not worth an argument, but far less has been the driving force behind a divorce. Room temp is just one more way for a couple in dire straits to get to a Michigan divorce attorney faster.

Testing the Foundation of Your Marriage

Small degrees of change, pun intended, can change the temperature of your marriage and, by affecting the total of your utility bill, identify the saver and spender in your union. Though you should already know which one of you is more willing to shell out for a night on the town and who would prefer a quiet evening at home, these preferences highlight other ways couples can butt heads and, without the tools to overcome their differences and compromise, couples may be doomed to divorce.

Ultimately, sparring over room temp repeatedly and with increasing malice is a sign that there are greater foundations in a relationship that are crumbling. If you ready to discuss filing for a Michigan divorce. Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb, Michigan, for help and advice.

October 15, 2018
6 monthsago

Michigan divorce financial benefitsDivorce is painful, difficult, and sometimes it can be very expensive. Household income is reduced, debt is split, investments go up in smoke. You can, however, always find a bright side to your Michigan divorce and your finances are one place where this unexpected discovery may just happen.

Your Money, Your Decisions

When you share a bank account with one person, you must agree about how money is spent and saved. If you fought over money regularly in your marriage, that struggle disappears with divorce. Sure, there are things like spousal support and child support to consider, but only one party is responsible for those.

You have the chance to budget the way you want, splurge where you want, and save as much as you need. You control your money and no one else gets a vote. Talk about freedom.

Prioritize Finances for a Better Life

Was your family living beyond its means? Were you stretched every month because of your mortgage and lifestyle? Were you overcompensating for a bad marriage by splurging on treats for the kids or yourself? Divorce makes people take stock of what they really want and need in life and prioritize accordingly. Unloading the big house and all the expenses that come with it and getting rid of the pricey SUV and replacing it with a lower car payment can save you money.

Divorce might force you to make difficult financial decisions, but it also gives you the opportunity to realize that living smaller may be just right for you after all.

Retirement Right Now

When you reach a qualified domestic relations agreement as part of your Michigan divorce, you can take an early withdrawal of funds from a retirement account without paying a penalty. People under the age of 59.5 typically are charged a 10 percent penalty for accessing retirement funds early, but not divorcing couples. Income tax will still need to be paid if you don’t roll the money into an IRA and instead use it to, say, pay for your divorce or set yourself up with some fresh savings and needed cash flow.

Dealing with retirement money is a tricky part of divorce – how it’s split, whether you should split it, and what should happen to the money. Always consult with a financial planner with the help of your divorce attorney or on your own.

College Financial Aid Boost

Anyone with children has considered how they will pay for college when the time comes. A big financial perk of divorce is how kindly the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) looks at divorced parents. Only the financial information from the custodial parent is required by FAFSA. While child support and alimony are counted as income, one parent is more likely to have a minimized income, which makes you more likely to get more financial aid for your child that wouldn’t have happened by reporting your income as a married couple.

Get the best help and most help for your Michigan divorce. At Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb, we understand the financial challenges you will encounter along the way and do all we can to ease your burden. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and ask your questions about divorce and money and everything in between.

February 24, 2019
2 monthsago

michigan divorce lawyer femminineo attorneysOnce you’ve made the decision to divorce, your next major decision will be selecting your Michigan divorce lawyer. It’s important for you to research your options, interview several candidates in person, and select the right attorney for you.

Here are four qualities to look for when you’re vetting Michigan divorce attorneys.

1. Experience

You want your lawyer to have experience, but you want them to have the right kind of experience. You don’t go to a tax attorney for a divorce, and you don’t go to a divorce attorney for help with tax problems. Whether you are particularly concerned about child custody, spousal support, or otherwise, choose an attorney who is well-versed in all manner of divorce law.

2. Location

You might hear great things about a Michigan divorce lawyer, but if they don’t practice regularly in the jurisdiction where your divorce will be settled, turn elsewhere. An attorney may be qualified but you want a lawyer who works regularly with your court, knows the judges and the Friend of the Court, and has an excellent working relationship with all so they can fight effectively on your behalf.

3. Personality

Maybe you want a bulldog in your divorce, or someone with a gentle hand. Maybe you’re looking for empathy above all, or perhaps you want someone who will keep you focused on your money goals without any room for sentimentality. Ultimately, you need to know what you want out of your Michigan divorce attorney so you can settle on the person who understands your unique goals and keeps them at the forefront from start to finish.

4. Communication

You know yourself, but you don’t necessarily know how you’re going to behave within the confines of divorce proceedings. Where you might be hands-off in the rest of your business dealings, you may want a weekly play-by-play of what’s happening with your divorce. Select an attorney who is prepared to communicate the way you want them to and with the frequency in which you need it.

Choose the Right Michigan Divorce Attorney for You

Divorces happen every day, but that doesn’t mean yours will be straightforward or like anyone else’s. Divorce can be complicated and you need the right kind of Michigan divorce attorney on your side, supporting your goals, fighting on your behalf, and making sure that you and your children are taken care of during and after your divorce.

Schedule a free consultation with a divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys PLLC in Macomb, Michigan, to ask all of your divorce questions and determine whether our firm is the right fit for you. Contact us today to schedule your visit.

March 4, 2019
1 monthago

Nostalgia can be a beast, especially in the wake of a divorce. No matter how much you wanted your split from your spouse and couldn’t wait to be finished with your marriage, there will come moments when you’ll remember the good things about your former relationship. What’s worth hanging onto? What’s better to toss out? Time to figure out how to tidy up your life post-divorce.

1. Get rid of the physical clutter.

When you split up with your spouse and he or she moves out, things will inevitably be left behind. It can be daunting to imagine ridding every element of this person from your entire life – that is the heart of divorce, after all – but starting small will help you tackle the big job.

Begin by decluttering a drawer or a closet. You hated their favorite chair? If your ex doesn’t come pick it up by the date you’ve provided, give it away or sell it. Any unwanted or unloved items can go. You will be amazed at how positive and free your space feels – even a space that you once shared together – when you remove objects that can remind you of your former spouse. Don’t allow “stuff” to trigger anger, guilt, or remorse.

2. Get rid of the emotional clutter.

It’s not only physical objects that need some tidying up after a divorce. Emotionally, you have a lot swirling about in your heart and mind. What you feel will run the spectrum, before and after your split. You may want to enlist the help of a therapist to get support in eliminating any mental or emotional clutter – negative thoughts, unresolved problems, resentment, fear, rejection, betrayal, anger.

Stepping back and taking inventory of what you feel and what you want to feel can help you deal with your emotions and let go of unhealthy thought patterns. When you let go of the negative, joy can be found in its place.

3. Review the intimate stuff.

If you’ve always been a saver and you have every movie stub, anniversary card, or special memento that your partner gave you over the years, it may be time to let everything go. You’ll be tempted to keep some of the more special items – but do you really want to be reminded of your 10-year anniversary trip to Paris? Probably not.

By ridding your home of the intimate traces of your marriage, you create a healthier space for yourself. Instead of being weighed down by memories, give yourself permission to make and save new memories.

4. You don’t have to let it all go.

Sometimes, giving yourself permission to feel joy about what once was is perfectly fine. If you have children, parenting time and child support may be sticking points for you and your ex, but you did create some beautiful people together. Give yourself permission to hold onto the good things. It’s OK to admit that it wasn’t all bad.

If you are ready to tidy up your life and file for divorce, contact Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb, Michigan, to schedule a free consultation with a divorce lawyer. We are here to help you through your divorce, support your goals, and give you the opportunity to find joy. Contact us today to schedule your visit.

March 18, 2019
1 monthago

cannot use same michigan divorce lawyer femminineo attorneysYou may think that sharing a divorce lawyer with your ex will save you both money and simplify and expedite the process. A nice thought, in theory, especially if you are both looking forward to a speedy divorce and believe you can put your differences aside for the sake of the kids. There are plenty of reasons, however, that you can’t use the same Michigan divorce lawyer.

1. It’s unethical to share a divorce attorney.

Michigan divorce attorneys are prohibited from representing two clients who have conflicting interests. You are, quite clearly, opposing parties in a divorce lawsuit, so how can the same divorce lawyer adequately advocate for both of you?

A divorce lawyer is your legal wunderkind, your support system, your advisor. They are on your side and negotiate for you – that’s not a relationship you want to share, even if you could.

2. You and your ex aren’t as amicable as you might think.

If your choice to split up is mutual and you and your ex are on good terms, don’t be swayed by a momentary peace. That ability to get along during divorce that you brag about is often too good to be true. When it’s time to talk about assets and kids, you’ll argue.

When your opinion differs from your ex’s, your lawyer can’t be in both your corners. You want to make sure you get the house or the dog. You want full custody of your kids or you want a more generous allotment of parenting time. Whatever the issue on the table, you and your soon-to-be ex will have disagreements, and you want a lawyer who knows what’s in your best interest and fights to reach your goals, not your ex’s.

If you truly believe you can get through you divorce without conflict, mediation is always an option, or the collaborative law process. However, both situations can go up in flames, which will lead to you needing to hire your own divorce lawyer anyway. When you meet with Michigan divorce attorneys for your free consultation, ask questions about how your divorce can happen and whether mediation is right for you.

3. Your divorce will be costly no matter what.

In one last effort to work together and save money together, some divorcing couples take the risk of hiring one divorce attorney to represent only one of them. The ex without their own legal representation agrees to the divorce judgment that is drawn up. Potentially, you could blindly sign away assets and rights and find out too late that everything you agreed to was not in your best interest. At that point, it’s nearly impossible to undo what has been done.

You may think you’re winning and outsmarting the system by not hiring a divorce lawyer, but you could find yourself responsible for paying a bigger share of marital debt, getting screwed come tax season, or having far less time with your children than you deserve.

Choose Your Macomb County Divorce Lawyer

When you are in the process of hiring a Macomb County divorce lawyer, it’s important know the qualities to look for in a Michigan divorce lawyer. Schedule your consultation with Femminineo Attorneys PLLC in Mount Clemens. Get the free advice you need to get your divorce started the right way. Contact us today.

April 1, 2019
2 weeksago

michigan child custody parenting timeThe simplest way to describe the difference between child custody and parenting time is this: Child custody is who gets to make decisions about the kid; parenting time is who gets to see the kid and for how long. When you get a divorce in Michigan, the legal system typically allows parents to come up with the best situation possible for their children. Every divorce is different, and so is every parent, but the consistent variable is that everything – in the court’s eyes – must be done in the best interest of the child.

Understanding Child Custody

Michigan courts categorize child custody as either legal or physical.

Legal custody is usually awarded to both parents. This allows both parties to have a say in the major elements of their child’s life, from education decisions to healthcare choices to religious upbringing. Some parents may fight for sole legal custody, so an absentee parent does not get a vote in what’s best for the child.

Physical custody describes where a child lives most of the time. This category is split into two pieces: sole physical custody or joint physical custody.

  • In cases of sole custody, the parent who has the child all the time is known as the custodial parent. The other, non-custodial parent has reasonable parenting time, which means there may not be any overnights or holidays spent with that parent. The details can be hashed out in different ways until both parties are satisfied. Often, if a parent has sole custody it’s because the other parent is largely uninvolved.
  • When parents have joint physical custody, they essentially share the child and split their time with the child. This arrangement has a variety of configurations – one week with one parent, the next week with the other parent, and so on; holidays and weekends and a month in summer with one parent and the rest of the time with the other parent; one night a week and every other weekend with one parent and all other times with the other parent. The configurations are endless, though many amicable splits aim to have joint physical custody work out as close to 50-50 as possible.

Understanding Parenting Time

Parenting time is a privilege. If one parent has sole custody but the other parent cannot prove their worthiness to be awarded parenting time – whether because of abuse, addiction, or other variables – parenting time may not be allowed at all.

Sometimes parenting time is referred to as visitation rights in matters of sole custody. Visitation may be supervised or severely limited in location and scope. In some situations, grandparents may petition for visitation rights even if their son or daughter does not get to see the child.

Parenting time in shared custody usually works out fairly enough with an outlined schedule, agreed upon by both parties, that is to be followed to the letter. The details can get as specific as where the child spends his or her birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and all major and minor holidays.

Are you unsatisfied with your custody or parenting time arrangement? Get help from a Macomb County divorce lawyer. Schedule your consultation with Femminineo Attorneys PLLC in Mount Clemens to get advice and the help you need to protect your time with your child.

April 17, 2019
12 hoursago

blended family michigan divorce lawyer femminineo attorneysThe Brady Bunch showed the innocent ups and downs of children in a blended family. Divorced mom, widowed dad, a new family of eight, plus a flighty housekeeper and a large pet. This combo made for interesting, wholesome TV but, in real life, a blended family – beautiful as it may be – is a challenge.

Causes of Stress in a Blended Family

The divorce rate for a first marriage maintains its position right around the 50 percent mark. That means there are plenty of people entering second marriages and cohabitation. Whether you legally wed someone again or just live together, everyone brings to a new relationship their own unique “baggage.” For many, this baggage is children.

Second marriages are difficult and the divorce rate among them is high. Dealing with stepchildren can complicate matters, as navigating the waters of parenting someone else’s children is a minefield, for you, the kids, and your new spouse.

Here are just some of the difficulties blended families face as they merge their lives and take on new roles:

  1. Divided loyalties: Most kids are fiercely loyal to their parents. After a divorce, mom and dad will still be #1, but what happens when there is a stepparent in the mix? A child may love them but feel guilty about it. Another child may be inclined to rebel or do all he or she can to hate the new person, refuse to bond, or nurse jealousy or resentment. Then there are the exes who feed their kids with negative stuff to pit them against their new stepparent.
  2. Stepsiblings: Stepsiblings don’t always get along, even though they’re in the same boat. Depending on the reestablished living arrangements, there may be a new school to acclimate to, a different home, and a new neighborhood. Some stepsiblings find joy in each other, while just as many butt heads, causing grief and strain within the home.
  3. Discipline: “You’re not my mom!” “You’re not my dad!” Blended households echo with statements like these, especially when the blending isn’t going smoothly. Quite often, stepparents unintentionally favor their biological children and clash with their stepchildren when it come to rules. Or, they may be more lenient to gain favor. These dynamics drive a wedge between stepparent and stepchild, but also between parent and biological child and the newlyweds.
  4. A new baby: Some couples who have blended their families choose to unite the entire crew by having a baby of their own. This move can help some children bond knowing they truly share something now, while other kids may see this new child as an intrusion who is taking their place or who symbolizes the new relationship, disregarding all that happened in the past.
  5. The in-laws: If your former in-laws are involved grandparents, they will want to maintain an active role in your kids’ lives. Then there are the new grandparents who have entered the mix. A child in a blended home can end up with eight grandparents or more, though some may not embrace your kids as much as you might like, or they may welcome them into the family a little too heartily for your taste. Managing the expectations of extended family is just one more challenge for a blended home.

Making a Blended Family Work

It may seem like creating a harmonious blended family is almost impossible, but it’s not. Couples who actively prepare for stepparent roles have greater success in their relationship. They know the merging of two families is going to be a challenge, and they’re prepared to face it head-on.

Just because you’re in love with a new person, that doesn’t mean these feelings will be enough to hold a blended family together. Preparation is key. And, it is not guaranteed that everything will eventually iron itself out in a blended family. If you find yourself facing child custody challenges, paternity questions, or another Michigan divorce, contact Femminineo Attorneys PLLC in Mount Clemens for support.


What makes us the right divorce attorneys for you?

  • Family Law Expertise

    Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.

  • Strong Relationships

    We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.

  • Experience

    Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.

  • We Care

    Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Femminineo Attorneys cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.

  • Commitment

    Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.

  • Flexibility

    Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.

  • Effectiveness

    We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.

  • Tenacity

    When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.

  • Expert Staff

    Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day through our hot line at 586-854-3654.

  • Personal Service

    At Femminineo Attorneys, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.

We encourage you to see these differences for yourself and call today to speak with one of our partners or schedule a free consultation at our office.

During traditional business hours, please call us at:

(586) 954-9500

After hours and weekends, we are still available for you to speak to an attorney via our 24 Hour messaging center:

(586) 854 3654

Michigan Divorce Attorney

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The information presented within this website is for general information purposes and is NOT and should not be considered as being “legal advice”. You should not act on any information presented herein without the verifying same with your attorney.

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