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Michigan Family Law Blog

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Never Try to Represent Yourself in a Divorce Case.


Never Try to Represent Yourself in a Divorce Case.

Some people believe that it is ok to go through a divorce without an attorney.  When that happens the court considers that person to be acting as his or her own attorney.  The legal term for a person that represents her or himself is in propria persona.  In Michigan, the court are required to hold a person acting in propria persona to the same standards as an attorney or member of the state bar.


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Sunday, May 5, 2019

You Are the Most Important Witness in Your Divorce Case.


In all divorce cases, the court will schedule a deadline for the parties (the people getting divorced) to submit witness lists to the court.  Clients always ask who they should list as witnesses for the case or whom does the judge want to hear from about the case.  In virtually every case, the two most important witnesses that the judge will want to hear from is the two people actually getting divorced.  Your attorney will be able to provide expert witnesses to testify regarding finances, business valuation, real estate appraisals and even which school would be better for the children to attend, but in the end, the court's decision will come down to the testimony of the two parties and the arguments of their attorneys.

​Working With Oakland County, Michigan, Divorce Lawyers Can Help Develop Your Testimony.


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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

How Does a Judge Decide Who Gets What in a Divorce

When it comes to a divorce, most of the time the parties (the people getting divorce) and counsel negotiate the division of the parties assets, debts, real estate and personal property.  This is called the property settlement or property division part of the case.  Sometimes the parties are able to reach an agreement on how to do this between themselves with some guidance from the attorneys, then the attorneys prepare the appropriate documents to accurately reflect the agreements and make them legally binding.  In many cases the parties are not able to reach an agreement between themselves, 


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Saturday, April 27, 2019

What if My Spouse Refuses to Transfer Me My Share of Property After a Divorce?


Sometimes people who are facing a divorce are concerned that their husband or wife will simply refuse to transfer assets or somehow avoid it.  This is a particular concern for the spouse that has the lower income or where the other spouse has always had control of the finances and retirement accounts.  In some of these situations, the other spouse will refuse to provide even basic information or account statements.  Other cases there are situations where one spouse will hide all of the statements or lock all the financial information away in a cabinet that the other spouse does not have access to.

 

Forcing Division and Transfer of Property in a Divorce 

Fortunately there are many ways that the attorney is able to determine where the money is invested and the value of those investments.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

What if My Spouse Makes Cash Money That Isn't Reported to the IRS?


In a divorce case, one of the biggest factors that the court will consider when granting or denying alimony is the parties' incomes.  Many people are concerned that their spouse either works in an occupation that involves cash tips or the other spouse may own a business that handles cash but the parties have not reported this income to the Internal Revenue Service during the marriage.  The concern (other than potential issues with the IRS - the divorce court or judge will typically not report such activity to the IRS) is that the court will not consider this income when calculating alimony with a result of an inequitable alimony award.

Proving Cash Income in a Divorce Case 

Fortunately there are many ways that the court will allow a spouse to prove income in a divorce.  In one recent case decided by the Michigan Court of Appeals, Csercse v Csercse, March 19, 2019; the lower court awarded alimony to the wife for two (2) years after a three (3) year marriage based upon a number of factors, including the dominating and abusive nature of the husband.


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Friday, April 19, 2019

Can Our Teenager Refuse to Spend Time with the Other Parent?


A teenager can have some input on how much time he spends with each parent when the parents are going through a divorce in Michigan. The wishes of the teenager are one of the many factors the judge will consider when deciding custody and parenting time and determining what is in the best interests of the child. Speaking with a Michigan child custody attorney can help guide you if your teen wants to spend more time with the other parent.

Once the judge enters an order of custody and visitation, the child should follow the schedule of visitation. If a teenager wants to stop seeing one parent, the court will need to decide whether a modification of the decree is appropriate.
Read more . . .


Monday, April 15, 2019

How Can a Prenuptial Agreement Protect Me From Alimony?

The parties’ manifestation of intent to lead separate lives, such as by filing a complaint for divorce or maintaining separate homes, can be of crucial significance when apportioning the marital estate. However, property earned after such a manifestation of intent should still be considered a marital asset, although the presumption of congruence that exists with respect to the distribution of marital assets becomes attenuated and may result in the nonacquiring spouse being entitled to no share or a lesser share of the property in light of all the apportionment factors.
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

5 Factors a Judge Will Consider in Relocation


It is common for parents to relocate for a variety of reasons when their children are minors. They may move because they have a better job opportunity, to be closer to family, or because they enter a new relationship. When parents have a time-sharing agreement, relocating the child’s residence can make it difficult to continue under the current time-sharing agreement. A parent may lose quality time with his or her child.

Therefore, laws are in place to ensure the child has every possible chance to foster a close relationship with both parents, if that is in the child’s best interest.
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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Tips to Avoid 4 Costly Divorce Mistakes


What is divorce mediation?

If you’re considering getting divorced in North Oakland, Michigan, or anywhere else, there are several mistakes you could make prior to or during the divorce process that could really cost you.

One is not considering whether


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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

What Date Will the Court Use When Valuing Property or Dividing Accounts in a Divorce?


Custody, parenting time and child support are only an issue in cases where people have children.  Alimony may be applicable in cases where there is a serious wage disparity or other grounds to order it.  Property division is an issue in almost every single divorce case.  One thing the court or the parties must determine is what date does the court or the parties use to value the parties property and divide accounts. 

Why Does it Matter What Date is Used to Value Accounts or Property?

In a very simple divorce, the date of valuation might not make much if any difference.


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Saturday, March 30, 2019

What is a Right of First Refusal and Can it be Modified?


Some divorce or separation cases where there are children involved will include a right-of-first-refusal (RFR) provision.  Basically an RFR will provide that if one parent is not able to be available to be present (absent parent) for over a specific period of time while the child is supposed to be with the absent parent, then the absent parent must notify the other parent and offer the other parent the right to exercise time with the child before asking a relative or other person to watch the child until the absent parent is able to be present.  It is typically intended to handle the situations such as where one parent will be out of town for one night of his or her weekend parenting time.   An example of a standard RFR is as follows: each parent shall have the right of first refusal if they are going to be away from the minor child overnight OR for a twelve (12) hour work shift. If they will be away because of either of these, that parent must notify the other parent to offer them the first right of refusal for overnight parenting time.


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