Experienced Legal Counsel From A Local Law Firm

Dedicated Divorce Attorney

Whether you saw red flags or were blindsided, ending a marriage is rarely easy. The emotional issues involved can become magnified when legal issues need to be addressed. You may have fears about the unknown but an experienced divorce attorney can help you face the future knowing your best interests will be protected.

Decades Of Experience Helping Clients Untangle Complex Divorce Issues

At the law offices of Robert D. Paulbeck, Attorney at Law, we are committed to helping you start the next chapter of your life on the right footing. Our Trenton divorce lawyer, Robert Paulbeck, has 30 years of experience helping clients throughout southeast Michigan untangle the personal and financial issues stemming from a divorce. He seeks to protect his clients’ best interests without adding fuel to potentially contentious situations.

Often, he is able to use alternative dispute resolution methods to help clients resolve family law disputes in an amicable and cost-effective manner outside of trial. He will tailor his approach based on your needs and will not shy away from trial, if that is in your best interests.

While you may feel like your life is spiraling out of control, an experienced divorce attorney can help you regain control. Contact our family law firm in Trenton, Michigan, to learn how we can help you rebuild your life and protect your interests during a free initial consultation.

Offering A Client-Driven Approach To Protect Your Best Interests

Just as every family is unique, no two divorces are the same. Our Trenton divorce lawyer has handled hundreds of cases but will not jump into your case pretending to know everything. He will work with you to understand all the dynamics involved and your concerns about:

After taking the time to understand your situation, he will explain how the law applies to your case, whether you are dealing with a significant amount of assets or debts. Mr. Paulbeck is especially sensitive to the emotional needs of children involved in a divorce. Decisions need to be made in their best interests, but parents often clash over what would be in their children’s best interests.

When this happens, Mr. Paulbeck works with clients to establish creative solutions that address both parties’ concerns. No matter what conflicts you are facing, attorney Robert Paulbeck will work with you to develop an approach that effectively resolves your concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce In Michigan

A divorce brings a lot of different concerns to everybody’s mind. Below are some of the most common questions we hear.

Is legal separation different from divorce in Michigan?

Divorce is a complicated social issue, so some people prefer to remain married even when they no longer desire a relationship. Often this is related either to religious reasons or because one spouse needs to stay on the other’s health insurance plan.

While “legal separation” is not actually an official status in Michigan, couples can enter into a legally binding agreement for “separate maintenance.” This essentially allows the court to enter rulings that will divide the couple’s property, split their debts and decide on all matters of support. In essence, it achieves most of the same results as a divorce, but the couple remains married.

The benefits and drawbacks of a separation agreement as opposed to a divorce are something that you should only consider with the guidance of an experienced attorney. That way, you understand exactly how each could affect your specific situation.

How is property divided in a Michigan divorce?

Before the court can decide who gets what, they have to determine who owns what. The marital property and each party’s separate property have to be divided first.

Separate property can be any non-commingled assets or debts that a spouse brought into the marriage, as well as those that were carved out through premarital agreements. It may also include gifts and inheritances. Marital property is anything acquired after the marriage began, including appreciation on a home or increases in a 401(k) plan.

Michigan follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital estates. This means that the court strives for a fair – though not necessarily equal – distribution of assets and debts. Factors the court may consider include the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse to the marriage and the financial needs of each party.

How is parenting time decided in a Michigan divorce?

Parenting time, formerly known as “custody and visitation,” is determined based on the best interests of the child. Michigan courts actively encourage joint custody arrangements, and it is generally presumed to be better for the children to maintain relationships with both parents. However, the ultimate decision depends on factors like the child’s relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent to provide a stable home and the child’s adjustment to their community and school, among other things.

Are there mediation requirements for divorce in Michigan?

Some states do require divorcing couples to attend mediation as part of the process or before moving to litigation. However, there is no such requirement in this state.

That being said, the court may order a couple to try to work out disagreements about the division of property, parenting time or support through mediation before permitting litigation to proceed. Mediation may also be voluntary on the part of couples who are having trouble agreeing on the terms of their divorce but who still hope to avoid litigation.

How does divorce affect my estate plan?

If you divorce, Michigan law says that any provisions in your will that benefit your ex-spouse are generally to be treated as if your ex-spouse predeceased you. Your will is not invalidated, but it is still crucial to update your will, trusts and other estate planning documents to reflect your current wishes, taking into account the dissolution of the marriage. Additionally, you may need to update beneficiaries on life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other assets to ensure they fit your new goals.

Contact Our Experienced Custody Dispute Lawyer

Even if you and your estranged spouse are on amicable terms, you cannot afford to deal with your divorce without an experienced family law attorney on your side. Untangling the issues involved in a divorce can be highly complicated. Contact our Wayne County divorce law firm to learn how we can help make sure all the details are addressed correctly. We will listen to your concerns, and we offer a free initial consultation to help you begin sorting through the issues involved. Call us at 734-800-2699.