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Michigan Family Law Blog

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Our Kids Are Growing Up. Can We Modify Our Custody Order?

Our Kids Are Growing Up. Can We Modify Our Custody Order?

One of the greatest joys of having children is watching them grow and thrive. As children grow, however, they need things around them to change in order to fit their new abilities and roles—everything from new shoes to fit their feet to new custody arrangements to fit their schedules and growing sense of independence.

While a child custody order sets rules for your co-parenting of your children, it is not set in stone. The order can be changed to reflect the changing nature of your growing children and your family.
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Looking to Calculate Child Support? Michigan Just Made it Easier…

Calculating child support can be a daunting task. Under the law, the calculation must take into account both parents’ income and expenses, as well as various other factors relating to the child’s unique financial needs (e.
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Friday, May 12, 2017

FAQ About the Appeals Process in Michigan

An unfavorable ruling on the trial court level is not necessarily the end of the case. Fortunately, the Michigan court system is designed to allow for judicial review of lower court orders, and reversal is possible under certain circumstances.

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Thinking of Moving the Kids Out-of-State?: What you need to know about relocation in Michigan

As a general principle, parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing of their children – including where they will live and with whom. However, when a custody order is in place and/or one parent objects to the possible relocation of the children with the other parent, this fundamental right becomes restricted in certain ways. In today’s post, we explore the notion of parental relocation in Michigan, including the limitations, duties and parameters set by the law as pertaining to divorced or separated parents wishing to move out-of-state or abroad. As always, if you have a question about this highly-nuanced area of the law, do not hesitate to contact us today!

Relocation basics

Under Section 722.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Understanding Michigan’s Rapist Child Custody Law

The law was passed in late 2015, and enacted mid-year 2016. Its purpose? To close a frightening legal loophole in the state’s custody code that could technically allow a rapist to pursue visitation and/or custody with the product of the sexual assault -- i.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Child Custody Basics for Never-Married Co-Parents

According to data collected by the Pew Research Center, over 46 percent of children nationwide were living in an arrangement other than the “traditional” family structure – defined as two parents, both of whom were in their first marriage. Consequently, approximately 34 percent of children are living in homes with a single parent, while 4 percent of children live in homes with both parents who are unmarried but cohabitating.

What does this mean from a

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

FAQ About Gaining Visitation Rights as a Grandparent

According to a 2012 study published by the Journal of Family Issues, grandparents play an ever-increasing role in the lives of young grandchildren in the United States. The study pointed to factors like increasing lifespans, changing family dynamics and increased financial security among older Americans as underlying reasons for the growth in intergenerational bonds – along with geographic proximity and frequent interaction.

When it comes to interaction with grandchildren, some families have experienced great strains –

particularly if parents are reluctant to allow frequent contact due to extensive interpersonal issues between the parents and in-laws/grandparents. The following answers a few general questions about grandparent visitation in Michigan, and please be sure to follow up with an experienced Michigan family law attorney today!

FAQ #1: Can any grandparent petition for visitation at any time?

Not necessarily. Under Section 722.

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Friday, March 3, 2017

Parties Cannot Waive Statute in Prenuptial Agreement in Michigan

Prenuptial agreements or "prenups", are very useful for financial planning when parties are entering into a marriage.  This is particularly true when it is a second marriage, either party has children from a previous marriage, either party (or his/her family) has significant assets, either party has significant debts or either party is a business owner (or involved in a family business).  Case law has established that prenuptial agreements are binding and enforceable in Michigan.

To understand the issue I am about to discuss, it is necessary to give a brief background on divorce and property law.  Very simply speaking, the court will equally divide marital property but each party is typically awarded his or her own separate property.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

Post-Majority Child Support in Michigan

In Michigan, typically child support ends when the child reaches the age of 18 and the child is no longer a minor. However, an exception to this rule exists where the child is still attending high school and is residing on a full-time basis with the child support recipient.  In the matter of Weaver-Giffels v Giffels, COA 327844 (For Publication) November 10, 2016, the father challenged whether the daughter was actually residing with the mother on a full-time basis.

In that case, the daughter stayed with the father three nights per week and the mother four nights per week.  The father argued that support should not continue because the parties shared physical custody and the daughter did not live with the mother on a full-time basis.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Child Custody Considerations

What factors does the court consider when making child custody determinations?

In making determinations about child custody, or parenting time, the courts ultimately consider what is in the best interests of the child. While the assumption is that maintaining a close relationship with each parent is in the child's best interests, there are 12 factors that guide these decisions. Rather than breaking down each factor, let's take a look at some of the basic considerations.

What is the primary concern in determining parenting time?

The overarching concern is the physical health and safety of the child. In short, each parent must have the ability and willingness to provide for basic necessities: food, clothing and medical care.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Perils of Social Media Networking in a Divorce Case

How can social media activity impact a divorce?

Many people pride themselves on the number of Facebook friends they have, and also spend a great deal of time on other social media sites like Instagram, tumblr, Twitter and others too numerous to mention. The purpose of this post is not to weigh in on the pros and cons of social media, but rather to advise people that anything they post on one of these sites can be used against them in a divorce case.

While it has become quite common for adults in Michigan to network on social media, whether as a means to communicate with friends, participate in online discussions, or post comments and pictures, they often fail realize that nothing posted online is really completely private.

In fact, even when privacy settings are set up, a savvy divorce attorney can easily subpoena this information. And posts and comments can become critical evidence in a divorce proceeding that can lead to unfavorable rulings on a wide range of matters, especially questions of child custody and support.

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