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Legal Separation

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Pets and Divorce in Michigan


There are many issues that can come up in any divorce case.  One issue that is sometimes overlooked, is what to do about the family pets?  There can be a very strong emotional bond between the divorcing couple and their dogs or cats.  If there are children, some couples try to keep the pets in the same home where the children spend most of the time.  In some cases, one person may be moving to a new residence where he or she may not be able to have a pet and this resolves the issue, but what happens when each of the divorcing partners wants to keep the pet or pets?

In Michigan, pets, and all animals are treated as chattel or property, so unlike child custody, visitation or support, the pet's best interests will not be taken into account.  Technically, the pets could be divided along with the other property the parties must divide in the divorce or separation.


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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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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Can I Get Spousal Support During a Separation in Michigan?

Divorce laws in some states recognize what is referred to as a legal separation.  A legal separation in those states defines a situation in which the parties are living separate and apart. A court order dictates the duties and rights of the couple while they are living apart. In states in which a minimum amount of time living apart is required to obtain a no-fault divorce, legal separations are used to settle various matters while the parties are waiting until they may petition the court for a divorce. If you contact a Michigan legal separation lawyer regarding legal separation, he will inform you that our state does not recognize legal separations.

However, Michigan does have something remarkably similar to a legal separation called separate maintenance. A Michigan divorce attorney can help you seek separate maintenance, provided you meet the requirements under Michigan Compiled Laws Code §552. 7.


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Friday, October 19, 2018

What Happens if We Agree on Custody and Parenting Time in a Divorce?


Custody and parenting time are generally guided by what are called the statutory "best interest factors"  There are two types of custody, legal custody - ability to make decisions on behalf of the child such as religion and education, and physical custody which generally refers to with whom the child resides.  Parenting time refers to the schedule of where the child will be on any given day during a week, for instance the parents may agree to a parenting time schedule where the child is with mom on Monday and Tuesday, dad Wednesday and Thursday and the parents alternate weekends with the child.

Custody and parenting time are determined by the court by examining the best interest factors and applying them to the facts of each specific case.  This does not mean that the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding custody and parenting time for their children.  When the parents come to an  agreement regarding custody or parenting time, then, pursuant to statute, the court shall order the parenting time terms unless the court determines on the record by clear and convincing evidence that the parenting time terms are not in the best interests of the child.
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Friday, December 29, 2017

Top Six Reasons to File for Legal Separation

Legal separation (called “separate maintenance” in Michigan), is a divorce alternative that few people use. When you get a legal separation, you are still legally married. Neither of you is free to marry someone else. In some situations, however, a legal separation can meet at least some of the needs of a couple that wants to end their relationship but not get a divorce.


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Friday, August 25, 2017

Considering a Separation Agreement? Here’s What You Need to Know


Michigan does not have “legal separation” in the usual sense of the term. In Michigan, once you marry, you are either a married couple that lives together or a married couple that lives apart. A married couple that wants to live apart from each other can have a formal, written separation agreement, but they do not have to. Most separation agreements in Michigan are actually settlement agreements for divorces. A settlement agreement contains the terms the couple wants to live by when the judge grants the divorce.
Read more . . .


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