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What do you do when you know your divorced spouse won't abide by the agreements?

We All Need A Champion

Even just thinking about a divorce, well before you actually start down the path -- what do you do when you just know that the spouse won't pay the child support, won't do the parenting time promised, basically will let you down at each turn, just based on past actions?

This is plainly a real issue for many, many persons.

Indeed the reason for a divorce is centered on failures like the ones expected in the future because of any number of personal issues that spouse harbors.

Like too much drinking.  Like just doesn't play fair.  Is just to damn self-centered to care.  Never had to obey anyone, parents didn't enforce rules and now the child turned adult remains a spoiled child, basically.

Obviously the Court system can be a help, as can an attorney.  In divorce matters there are moments when that spouse could find themselves in contempt of a Court issued Order.  That can mean jail.

Of course it isn't that productive to have a spouse in jail.  Doesn't get the child support paid.  Might mean they lose their job and that isn't going to help the money situation.

And there can be expense to you in addition to what you are NOT getting from the spouse that isn't paying or doing.  Like a lawyer's bill?

That's fun.

Maybe this is self-serving to say keep your eyes wide and open when you select a lawyer.  Get their measure, so you feel comfortable that you will be treated fairly as any lawyer should do, but do they all do that, really and truly?

I am not supposed to answer that question.  Or say anything about how the Courts work either.  Surely not on a blog published all over the place...

Nevertheless I, myself, am VERY mindful of these potential problems in taking a first look at the chess board, before a complaint is filed, before the problem raises its little dragon head.

One of the most frustrating things for me as a divorce lawyer is those situations in which there really does need to be a divorce, physical and emotional abuse, dangers for children, the whole, bad apple department -- AND there just is no money, plain and simple, for a spouse to pay child support or make a decent property settlement that meets the Michigan divorce standard of "fair and reasonable," so that the parties could go forward in life with some chance of surviving financially.

We are asked often to "eyeball" the likely post divorce financial situation before someone decides to file a complaint.  And, you know, in most situations, if there has to be a divorce, there has to be a divorce.  You find a solution and you get a better life.  That is the point.  You just have to do what you have to do.

The "silver lining" is the new start.  The freedom to live a life without the BS (may I say) that was everywhere in that relationship that maybe never even got started.  There are plenty of marriages that were never really marriages in the first place.

The old saying that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear has some truth to it, as many old saying often do.

Can the situation be impossible?  Could you be medically unable to rise to the ocassion and figure out help from family, friends -- to get the future jump-started somehow?

I tell people that to be pessimistic is instinctual.  We are cautious because we know there are risks and dangers lurking out there.  If anyone gets cornered, instinct for self preservation is going to take over, even if you were just canonized as a saint...

But optimism is a choice.  An active decision to see the light, make the light shine, find a way, find a lawyer or someone that has enough humanity in them to help you get a way to go.  Believe me, while there really are bad surprises in life, there also are good surprises.  You have to hold on to that.

There are people out there that will stay up at night thinking about your welfare and churning mentally to get an answer.

I would like to think I just might be one of those persons.

My graduate school, University of Notre Dame, also would like to think I am one of those persons, too.

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