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Michigan Family Law Blog

Friday, July 20, 2018

What Happens if My Spouse Dies During Our Divorce?

Very generally speaking, a divorce case starts when one spouse files what is called a "Complaint for Divorce".  Once the Complaint is filed, then the filing spouse must formally serve a copy of the Complaint on the other spouse in order to proceed with the case.  The case ends when the parties either come to an agreement on all the issues (often at mediation), put that agreement into a written document called a Judgment of Divorce, present the Judgment to the Judge and the Judge signs the Judgment.  Alternatively, the parties have a trail, the court (judge) makes its decision and then it signs the Judgement of Divorce and provides notice of its decision to the parties.  In either case, the parties are not divorced until the Judge signs the Judgment.
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Social Workers May Testify Regarding Children's Statements in Divorce Cases

I am often contacted by a concerned parent who tells me that his or her child is saying that there is something problematic going on at the other parent's home.  The parent often asks if he or she can tell the court what the child has said in order to have the court review parenting time or custody.  The problem is that these statements are typically considered hearsay and may also not be reliable as children will sometimes say things that are not entirely accurate or because the child believes that this is what the parent believes or wants to hear.  So, the parent cannot testify as to what the child has said to him or her.  Further, the judge can interview the child but not about such statements, the judge may only ask the child whether he or she has a preference which parent the child would prefer to live with.
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mental Health Issues Do Not Have to Affect Custody

A concern that many people have when facing a possible divorce is how one's mental health may affect custody or parenting time.  There are more people that suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental or emotional difficulties than many people realize.  When it comes to divorce cases, the judges and family law practitioners often have a lot of experience in working with individuals that have to deal with these issues. 

These types of issues do not have to damage the person's ability to seek custody or parenting time.  It is however imperative to seek treatment for these issues.

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Thursday, July 5, 2018

How Do I Get A Modification Order for My Child Custody Arrangement?

Modifying the child custody arrangement you have with your child’s other parent can be difficult. Modifications to custody orders are only permitted under certain circumstances. Even if the custody agreement was negotiated and consensual, one of the parties might need to modify the arrangement for a variety of reasons. However, the other parent may be unwilling to modify custody. Therefore, it is prudent to contact a

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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Frozen Human Embryos and Michigan Child Custody Issues

Are frozen embryos persons subject to a custody determination?

Michigan divorce lawyers are tasked with helping couples and their marriages. To that end, couples must divide their assets and property and determine whether one spouse will pay alimony or spousal support to the other. If the couple has minor children, there are also issues of child support, custody and visitation to work out. When couples cannot agree on these issues, a Family Court judge will decide for them.

An interesting and controversial Read more . . .

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Importance of Civility in Divorce Cases

Parties to a divorce should attempt to at least be civil to one another in order to get through the process without causing unnecessary litigation and costs.  When the parties to a divorce have children, it is imperative that the parties to treat each other decently even when they disagree for the sake of the children and because the failure to do so may result in a loss of custody or parenting time.

There are two forms of custody in Michigan, legal custody and physical custody.  Physical custody is the classic notion of which parent has the most time with the child or with whom the child lives.  Legal custody involves the parent's right to make decisions about the child's life, such as medical care, religious upbringing and school related issues.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

My Spouse is Threatening me - How Can I Get a Personal Protection Order?

When someone is harassing, threatening, or stalking another person, a personal protective order may be required to prevent the person from taking any action that continues the threat or harassment. An order of the court can prohibit a person from encountering another person to assault, harass, molest, abuse, or take any other action that can physically, mentally, or emotionally injure the protected person.

There are several requirements for obtaining a protective order; therefore, you want to work with an experienced...

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Division of Debt During Divorce

If you are contemplating a divorce or going through a divorce, it can help to understand the laws and rules for dividing marital debt. Just like assets, debts are divided into marital debts and non-marital debts. However, a judge does not use this distinction as the only factor when dividing marital debt. Below are seven additional things our

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Impact of Vaccine Stances on Child Custody in Michigan

Q: Can a disagreement on vaccinations impact child custody?

A skilled Michigan family law attorney understands that each family in transition has a unique family dynamic and requires a personalized approach to dissolving the marital union.


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Friday, June 8, 2018

An Order for Reunification with Children Requires an Evidentiary Hearing

In Michigan divorce and child custody cases, in order to modify parenting time, the party seeking the modification must show good cause or a change in circumstances.  If a party is able to meet this threshold inquiry, then the a court must hold a mini-trial (known as an evidentiary hearing) focused specifically on whether the modification is in the best interests of the child before it can order a modification or deny the request for the modification.  However, conditions and certain restrictions on parenting time or the removal thereof, typically do not require an evidentiary hearing for the judge to enter an order regarding the imposition or removal of the restrictions.

In the recent case of Ludwig v Ludwig, (a case that originated in the Oakland County Circuit Court), the trial court entered an order for the father, whose parenting time was suspended, and the children, to participate in a six-month reunification process.  The court ordered the children and the father to first engage in a video conference under the supervision of two therapists.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Medical Marijuana, Child Custody and Parenting Time in Oakland County Michigan

Medical Marihuana, Child Custody and Parenting Time in Oakland County Michigan


An issue that comes up often in divorce consultations these days is how the use of marihuana may effect child custody or parenting time.  If a person is registered and has the proper medical marihuana licenses, then the Medical Marihuana Act (MMA) states that a person shall not be denied custody or visitation of a minor acting in accordance with this act.  So it seems that if one has a license to use marihuana then use of it should not effect custody or parenting time.  This applies to both providers (marihuana suppliers) and patients (marihuana users).  The family court division of Oakland County Circuit Court generally appears to accept these provisions and apply the protection.

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