Hey there, welcome back! We’ve been talking about some of the biggest myth people believe here in Michigan – about divorce, that is. Obviously we’re not talking about Big Foot or Swamp Thing or Kennedy’s alleged ‘jelly donut’ moment in Berlin, we’re talking about urban legends that people believe about divorce.
Specifically here in Michigan, where some folks persist in believing some very outdated and unfounded things about your rights during a divorce, or what you can expect along the way. So we’d like to set the record straight for you. In the previous article we covered the top 3 most common myths about divorce, and now we’re going to wrap it up with the last few…
4. Moms always get full custody of the kids.
For a very long time, this was true. Mothers were the primary caregivers in most homes, because for many people a “working dad and stay home mom” was the norm. But times have changed and so has the law. Mothers no longer automatically get full custody of the kids here in Michigan.
Nowadays, the court tries hard to allow both parents an opportunity to have relationships with their children. That doesn’t always mean custody agreements are automatically a 50/50 split between the parents, but it does mean that both parents are likely to get time with their children, and that in many cases custody is a somewhat even divide so that children can still have both their parents in their lives, which is important for emotional growth and mental health.
5. Children get to choose who they live with after a divorce.
Some children do have opinions about where and who they would like to live with when their parents get divorced. Sometimes (depending on the situation, and the child’s age) a Judge may take the child’s opinion into account, but they are in no way required to listen to anyone’s opinion when making a custody decision.
Family court Judges in Michigan are required to make custody decisions based on what they believe will be in the best interests of the child. Children aren’t always mature enough to make their own life decisions, and parents often have their own agendas when it comes to custody. So Judges always have the final say, and they usually try to make the fairest ruling possible.
6. Equitable division of assets means a 50/50 split
Michigan law generally allows you to keep property for yourself if it’s “separate property” which means it was your before the marriage. Otherwise, all marital assets get fairly divided between the divorcing spouses. However, fairly divided doesn’t mean an equal split down the middle!
One spouse may get the house, while the other spouse gets the retirement and savings accounts, because they have a similar value. Or both spouses may get to keep their cars, even if the two vehicles aren’t the same financial value because each getting a car to keep is considered ‘fair’. There are many factors involved here, and only a divorce attorney can help you navigate this tricky process.
Don’t let confusion and misunderstandings hold you back.
If you’re considering divorce but aren’t sure what to expect, or you’ve heard things that make you nervous, call 866 766 5245 and get the facts straight. Our skilled and experienced divorce attorneys have helped countless people over the years with every aspect of their divorces. Whether it’s alimony, custody, asset division, or simply explaining the law and setting them straight, it’s what we do. And we’re very good at it. So don’t let an urban legends confuse you. Come in and get the facts. We’re happy to help.