Thank you for joining us again. In this series we are examining the many factors that a couple should consider when deciding on the right forum for their divorce. In the previous two articles we looked at the first eight items on our list, however in this piece we are going to wrap up our list with the last few critical items. We understand that this can be a difficult subject to discuss. However, we also know, from many years of experience, that choices made now – at this early stage in the game – will have a major impact on the outcome of your divorce.
Custody is often the hardest part of the process
Deciding how to handle custody during and after a divorce can be one of the most complex parts of ending a marriage. Breaking the news to them, dealing with the fallout, managing their emotional and psychological responses to the breakdown of their family. None of it is easy, and none of it is fun. So the easier and simpler you can make the process, the better. Anything that helps to make the situation less volatile and to maintain some semblance of normalcy, will be a big help. Our attorneys often recommend specially trained counselors that can assist with divorce counseling, family counseling and counseling for children in divorce cases.
Dividing assets can be complicated
Another item you need to take into consideration is asset division. If your divorce ends up in court, a judge will try their very best to divide your marital assets in a way that is fair. However, they obviously don’t know your family’s history and they have no sentimental investment in the items being divvied up. Sometimes something means more to one person than another, even though it’s financial value may not reflect that. This can mean that a division made by a Michigan court may not take into account personal preferences. Do you see where we’re headed? Yes, we almost always recommend that the attorneys and parties work through their issues without need for the family court judge.
While the court may try to take your personal preferences into consideration when deciding how to divide your assets and debts, the best people to tackle that job is you. You and your spouse and your respective attorneys are far more likely to be able to work out a deal that takes into consideration all of your personal choices. You can explain in detail to your attorney why you should have your grandmother’s china, and why your spouse should get to keep Great Uncle Hubert’s collection of waterfowl paintings, whereas the Judge doesn’t have time to hear all of those details.
Divorce court often makes the process longer
Because court drags the divorce out over many months, sometimes even longer than a year, the effect it has on your children is to drag out a painful process even more. As a result, the healing process can be stilted. Also, because court pits you against your spouse and creates an adversarial dynamic between you two, your children tend to suffer as a result. Choosing divorce court may result in a longer, more conflicted divorce which can have negative effects on all of you.
Who do you want deciding your future?
So while there is something to be said for allowing an Oakland County family court judge to make the hard decisions, the truth is that, while the judge might make them, you have to live with them. Wouldn’t you rather have more of a say in the outcome of your divorce? If so, in the majority of cases, perhaps you should settle out of court. Take guidance from an experienced and trusted divorce lawyer.
Either way, whatever your choice, we are here to help you make the best of a difficult situation. If you are considering divorce in southeastern Michigan, and are curious about your options, contact us at (248) 479-6200. The skilled family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience helping families navigate the complexities of divorce. We can help you too. If this feels like a crisis, please remember that we have attorneys available 24/7 for emergencies.