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Michigan Family Law Blog

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Can I Quit My Job To Avoid Paying Spousal Support?

Paying spousal support can be a painful reminder of a failed marriage. Spousal support can also be a financial burden that you would like to end. However, voluntarily quitting your job may not eliminate or reduce your spousal support payments. You could place yourself in a worse financial situation if you attempt to avoid paying spousal support by eliminating or reducing your income. Before taking such drastic steps, you may want to consult a Michigan alimony and spousal support lawyer to discuss legal options for reducing or eliminating spousal support payments.


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Monday, October 8, 2018

Can I Make My Spouse Pay My Attorney Fees In A Divorce?


Can I Make My Spouse Pay My Attorney Fees In A Divorce?

Typically, when parties engage in litigation, each party pays for his, her or its attorney fees regardless of winning or losing.  This is also true realistically regardless of whether the party that starts the litigation had any good grounds or legal reasons for filing the case.  This is known as the "American Rule".

In domestic litigation cases, there are two instances where a party may ask that the other side pay for his or her attorney fees and the court may order the other side to pay.  The courts may order the other spouse to pay where (1) a person is not able to pay for his or her attorney fees and the other person has the ability to pay for them or (2) where a party's misconduct has caused the other party to incur unnecessary or unreasonable legal fees or costs.


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Friday, October 5, 2018

Is an Amicable Divorce Possible?

While bitter celebrity divorces often make the news, untying the knot doesn’t always mean a knock-down drag-out fight for the rich and famous. And it doesn’t have to be that way for people of more modest means either. Getting a divorce can be amicable.

After all, while there may be more marital property to divide for wealthier couples getting divorced, the more important issues of child custody, visitation, and support generally find parents willing to put what’s in the best interest of their children before their issues as a couple. They do this in the spirit of attempting to co-parent successfully if only for the sake of their children.


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Are Bonuses Included In Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?


Are Bonuses Included in Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?

In Michigan, child support is calculated by use of a formula that takes into account each parent's income; the number of overnights each child has with each parent, health care premiums paid by a parent for the child, and childcare expenses until August after a child's twelfth (12th) birthday.  Alimony, also known as spousal support, should be determined by considering fourteen (14)  different factors.  The factors are overlapping so that income and ability to earn are referenced or are relevant to several of those factors.  Currently, most divorce lawyers, mediators and even the courts (due to a relatively recent change in the case law) use prognosticator programs to help determine at least a starting point for alimony and income is a primary factor in those formulas.

In any case, either through negotiation, mediation or trial, the determination of what constitutes the proper income for each party is very important and may have a significant effect on the ultimate award of support.


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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Are Business-related Expense Deductions Allowed When Calculating Alimony?

​Are Business-related Expenses Deductible From Income When Calculating Alimony or Child Support?

Child support and alimony 


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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Can I Get Additional Child Support if My Child Attends Private School?


Can I Get Additional Child Support If My Child Attend Private School?

In Michigan, if parents of minor children separate (whether married or not) the court must determine child support based upon the child support formula.  Basically, the formula calculates support based upon each parent's income (as reported by the parent to the Friend of the Court), the number of overnights each parent has with the children, health insurance premiums paid by one parent for the children and work-related verifiable child-care expenses until August after a child's twelfth (12th) birthday.  If a parent is not represented by an attorney, this will be the end of the analysis.

However, an attorney that really knows family law should be able to help a client obtain more child support in certain situations based upon the circumstances of each case.  Divorce law, custody and support are very case specific and the outcome in each case may be determined by even a slight variation in the facts.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Can I Get More Child Support If My Child Has Special Needs?


 

In Michigan, child support is strictly determined by a formula by statute.  The statute requires the court to use a formula to calculate child support based upon the income of each parent and the number of overnights the children have with each parent.  The formula also provides an additional sum to the parent that has more overnights to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses and deductibles for the children and a credit to the parent that covers the children's health insurance.  Finally, for children under the age of twelve (12), the formula will reimburse a parent for a portion of his or her verifiable work related child care payments.  This is how basis child support is calculated by the Friend of the Court, without an attorney, these are really the only factors the court will consider in calculating child support.


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Friday, September 14, 2018

If We (the parents) Agree, Will the Court Order No Child Support?


If The Parents Agree, Will the Court Order No Child Support?

In Michigan, child support is determined by a formula.  This formula was created by the State legislature and according to statute, the court is to apply the formula in every case.  However, as always in the law, there are some exceptions.  Most of these exceptions can be easily found in the 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (If you are reading this after January 1, 2019, there should be an updated version, but most of the exceptions will remain the same).  

One of the exceptions is where the parties agree to deviate from the child support formula.


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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

How Is Child Support Calculated in Michigan

HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATED IN MICHIGAN

This blog is the first in a series of blogs about child support in Michigan.  This first blog explains in a basic way how the family law court in Michigan calculates child support for people that are not represented by an attorney.  The remaining blogs in the series will explain the various ways that a good divorce lawyer may argue to increase or decrease the child support based upon the facts of the case.

 


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Friday, September 7, 2018

Do I Have to Claim Spousal Support on my Taxes?

Spousal support can be one of the most contested issues in a divorce action. One spouse believes he or she is owed more money while the other spouse believes he or she is paying too much money. In either case, the court’s job is to settle the dispute regarding spousal support when the parties cannot work the matter out between themselves.


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Friday, September 7, 2018

When the Court Dismisses Your Divorce Case

Q: Can the judge dismiss my divorce because of delays?

Couples considering getting divorced in Michigan have to work out the terms of their divorce amicably or, if they are unable to agree on terms, a judge will decide for them—or even dismiss their case.

All couples need to work out how their property will be divided.


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