Divorce Q&A: Part 1

By Attorney Daniel H. Moss

If you’re thinking about divorce, you probably have many concerns and questions. With this in mind, I’ve compiled the following list of some common divorce questions and answers. These do not, of course, replace specific legal counsel, but they should give you some food for thought in getting started.

What if my name is not on our house?

Many people come to me with concerns about home or vehicle ownership. If your name is not on the title and your spouse’s is, this does not mean your spouse is automatically granted ownership of the property. If your home or your car was purchased during your marriage, or marital funds were used to make payments on them, they will be considered marital property.

I left the home, how do I get my personal belongings back?

The answer to this will depend on many factors. If you are able to safely return to the home to retrieve your belongings when your spouse is out, this might be the best course of action. In some cases, a court order is required to retrieve your items. In such a case, I always suggest weighing out the value of these items compared to the aggravation of retrieving them. If they are important to you as keepsakes or are valuable monetarily, it may be more worth your time and effort to go to greater lengths to ensure you are able to retrieve them. In this case, you should consult your attorney on next steps.

Is a legal separation the same thing as a divorce?

No. If you are legally separated, you are still married. You may have your own property, live separately and support may be payable, but legally you are still married

What if we change our minds about the divorce?

If you or your spouse has already filed divorce papers, you may either put the divorce on hold or dismiss the divorce. It is not unusual that people change their minds or decide to seek counseling and dismiss their divorce filings.

Should I use the same attorney as my spouse?

No. You should have your own attorney to represent you and your interests in the divorce. It’s an inherent conflict of interest for an attorney to represent both parties. For more information, please see my article, “Divorce: One Attorney for Both Parties?”

These are some of the most common questions that arise for people thinking about divorce. I will address more of these questions and provide answers in future articles. In the meantime, if you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or [email protected].

Contact: 248.855.5656 | [email protected]