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Michigan Family Law Blog

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.


Read more . . .


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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Friday, January 27, 2017

Failure to Report Income Fails in Michigan Child Support Case


In some divorce and post-divorce cases, one spouse or the other will underreport his or her income to the Friend of the Court (FOC)  in an attempt to avoid child support.  If an objection is not filed by one party, this may go unnoticed as the FOC is not really designed to investigate whether or not the documentation provided is full and accurate.  If one party objects then the FOC or the family law court will schedule a hearing and each side will present evidence.

This appears to be the situation in the matter of Thaxton v Thaxton, COA 327545, December 6, 2016 (unpublished), where the FOC recommended originally that the father pay the mother seventy-three ($73) dollars per month based upon tax returns provided by both parties.  The father hired an attorney and filed an objection.


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Friday, January 20, 2017

Grandparent Visitation in Michigan – Part II


In our last post, we began the discussion surrounding grandparent visitation under Michigan law. We discussed the various ways in which a grandparent may be able to have “standing” to petition the court for the right to “grandparent” time with their grandchild, including those grandparents whose child was never married to the grandchild’s co-parent.


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Friday, January 13, 2017

Securing Grandparent Visitation in Michigan – Part 1


Are you a grandparent with a beloved grandchild?

Are you also experiencing a bit of tension within the family, making it difficult for you to gain access to your grandchild(ren) on a regular basis? If so, the following may provide a bit of guidance if you are interested in pursuing legal visitation rights to that grandchild – and we are here to help!

Under Section 722.27(b) of the Michigan Compiled Laws, a child’s grandparent may have access to what is known as “grandparent time,” which is essentially the right to visitation with the grandchild provided certain conditions exist.


Read more . . .


Friday, January 6, 2017

Divorce in Michigan and Escrow of Funds


I am a divorce lawyer in Oakland County, Michigan.  I read every family law case decided by the State Court of Appeals and Supreme Court in order to keep on top of new decisions and developments.  The matter of Bergh v Bergh, COA 329152, October 13, 2016, was an interesting case with a reminder that if you cannot agree regarding a sum of money or the proceeds from the sale of a home, then it is always wise to make sure there is an order in place to escrow the funds until a final decision is made on how those funds should be disbursed.

 


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Friday, December 30, 2016

Child Support Enforcement in Michigan


Q: What Happens if I Don’t Pay Child Support?

A couple who creates a child together, through marriage or not, will often be bound for life through their mutual children’s lifetimes. Unlike a couple who splits without having children, they don’t make a clean break. If they have minor children, there will be custody issues and on-going decisions about their children's welfare, and the financial obligation of


Read more . . .


Friday, December 23, 2016

Divorce in Michigan and Worker's Comp Awards


I am a divorce lawyer in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  An issue that one must face in just about every divorce, is property division.  Generally marital property will be divided in a roughly equal fashion while separate property will be awarded to the party to whom it belongs.  The matter of Adamiak v Adamiak addressed the issue of worker's compensation benefits.

 


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Friday, December 16, 2016

Splitting Up Retirement Savings upon Divorce


How are various retirement savings accounts divided in a divorce?

Contrary to what couples might feel about their individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and other qualified retirement plans, the notion of “what’s mine is mine and what’s theirs is theirs” doesn’t apply. Retirement nest eggs accounts, if acquired during the marriage, are considered to be marital property and as such, are subject to equitable distribution between the parties upon divorce.

There are several types of retirement plan assets which may collectively represent a divorcing couple’s largest liquid assets.


Read more . . .


Friday, December 9, 2016

Divorce in Michigan and Payment of College for the Kids


I am a divorce lawyer in Oakland County, Michigan.  I recently met with a woman from Rochester Hills, Michigan who was contemplating a divorce from her husband.  One question she had was whether a court would order her husband to pay for their child's college education because he previously promised that he would pay for her education.

Generally, the power of a divorce court is limited to determining the spouse's rights and obligations to the exclusion of third parties.  This typically means that the court will not enforce a promise from a parent to a child such as a promise to pay for college or purchase the child a car.


Read more . . .


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