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Michigan Family Law Blog

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Losing Custody Over Punishment Tactics

Q: Can punishment methods impact child custody?

There are many factors that might drive a couple to consider getting divorced in Michigan. Infidelity, financial stresses, and different parenting styles are just a few possible reasons couples may ultimately untie the knot.


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Friday, August 3, 2018

I Received An Inheritance While We Were Married - Do I Have To Share The Inheritance In My Divorce?

Property division can be a fiercely litigated issue in a Michigan divorce proceeding. Michigan divorce laws require that marital property is divided equitably between the parties.


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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What Happens to Alimony When an Ex Dies


Alimony is also known in Michigan as spousal support.  There are two basic different types of alimony.  Alimony in gross is more like a property settlement where one spouse gives the other spouse more of the property rather than paying support to the other spouse.  Typically this type of alimony is paid in a lump sum shortly after the divorce, but it may also be paid in installments or the lump sum payment could be delayed.  When it comes to alimony in gross, if the paying ex-spouse passes away, the surviving ex-spouse can collect the outstanding amount due from the deceased ex-spouse's estate.


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Friday, July 27, 2018

Your Michigan Prenup Checklist - Get Organized Before You Sign

Many couples are choosing to enter prenuptial agreements for a variety of reasons. Some couples want to protect premarital property, or they have children from a prior relationship they want to protect. Other couples may want to settle issues related to a family business or family wealth. Regardless of the reason you want to discuss a prenuptial agreement, it is important to be organized and prepared for the meeting with a...


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Monday, July 23, 2018

What if My Spouse Quits Working When I File for Divorce?


Divorce or separation are very emotional topics and can cause people to say any number of things which they may or may not mean.  One action often threatened is that a spouse will quit his or her job to avoid alimony, increase/decrease alimony or otherwise cause hardship to the spouse that wants out of the relationship if he or she files for divorce.  Conversely a spouse that is not employed outside of the home may threaten to refuse to seek any type of employment before, during or after a divorce.  This is actually a very bad idea, the loss of income will cause hardship on both parties in the short-term and it will be more damaging to the spouse that quits in the long-term.  The refusal to seek employment has a similar effect and can cause the person to actually receive less support than he or she actually should.


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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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