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Michigan Family Law Blog

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Special Issues Affecting Doctors Getting a Divorce

Divorce can be a difficult process for any couple. However, when one of the spouses is a doctor, there could be special issues that create additional disputes and complexities. A professional practice can be challenging to value. Strict laws regarding who can have an ownership interest in medical practice must be considered and followed.

Additionally, the demands on a medical professional’s time can make scheduling appointments, conferences, and hearings more difficult. Working with a Michigan divorce lawyer who handles divorce cases involving professionals can be an advantage.

Protecting Your Medical Practice

One of the most complicated issues in a divorce involving a doctor is the doctor’s medical practice. As with any other divorce case, the value of your medical practice is considered when dividing property, unless you have a marital agreement that resolves property division issues.

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to value a medical practice. It is not as simple as viewing a balance sheet. Many factors can impact the value of your medical practice. It can be helpful to take a proactive stance by hiring a professional business valuation expert that has experience valuing medical practices.

Also, it is important to demand a confidentiality agreement from anyone working to value the medical practice, as well as any parties who might receive information regarding the practice. Confidentiality agreements are necessary to protect patient lists and other proprietary information.

Resolving Custody and Visitation Schedules

A doctor’s schedule is rarely a Monday through Friday day job. Doctors can be on call during weekends, nights, and holidays. Figuring out time-sharing and parenting schedules can be difficult. The best solution is for both parents to be flexible in accommodating each other’s schedules. However, depending on the situation, the child’s schedule can also complicate the matter. School schedules and extra-curricular activities can also add another layer of difficulty in setting up time-sharing schedules.

Financial Consequences for the Medical Practice

A divorce can impact a doctor’s finances and cash flow. In return, those changes can impact the doctor’s medical practice. Your divorce attorney can discuss the possible repercussions the divorce could have on your medical practice. If you have partners, it may be necessary to discuss the potential effects your change in financial circumstances could have on the medical practice.

Spousal Support and Property Division

If you were married during medical school and your spouse supported you, the judge can consider that when awarding support and dividing property. Likewise, if your spouse remained at home to care for your home and children, thereby giving up his or her career, that is also a factor that can impact support and property division.

Spousal support can be expensive and long-term in some cases. Property division could be weighted toward the spouse with fewer resources. Negotiating an agreement might be a better choice than fighting about the issues in court.

Contact Our Michigan Divorce Lawyer for More Information

Consulting an attorney as soon as you begin thinking about divorce helps you protect your and your children’s best interests. Contact our office today. An experienced Michigan divorce lawyer helps you take steps to protect your financial, emotional, and physical wellbeing during and after the divorce proceeding.


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