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Dealing with financial challenges in divorce, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the financial challenges couples may go through after divorce, particularly an ex-spouse who left the workforce and made sacrifices to care for children and tend to the home during the marriage. Unfortunately, there are too many cases where disadvantaged spouses do not obtain the support they need in the final divorce settlement or decree.

Because of the risk of having one’s interests—financial and otherwise—swept under the rug in the divorce negotiation process, it is critical to work with an experienced family law attorney. There are a number of steps an experienced family law attorney can take to help work toward a better outcome for a financially disadvantaged party in the divorce process. Let’s look at one.

One important thing an experienced attorney can do for a financially disadvantaged spouse is to provide zealous advocacy for his or her interests in the property division process. Here in Michigan, judges deal with property division under an approach called equitable distribution. Under this approach, a variety of factors are taken into consideration. Really, any relevant factor can be taken into account, including things like the financial needs of the parties and the children, as well as the earning power of the parties.

In dividing property and debts, an experienced attorney can help steer the settlement or decree in the direction of affording greater compensation to the disadvantaged party, whether in terms of marital property or spousal support, or less responsibility for shared debts. This isn’t always an easy task, and having the help of an advocate can help highlight relevant factors for the judge who makes the final decision.  

In our next post, we’ll talk about some other ways an experienced advocate can a financially disadvantaged party in divorce.

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Dealing with financial challenges in divorce, P.2 | Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC