upset child

Deciding to Stay Together or Divorce: Effects on Kids

We talk about the mechanics and strategies of divorce a lot in our blog, as you would expect.  But, it’s important to also take a wider look at the effects on kids that your divorce – or decision not to divorce- may have. Staying Together may have negative effects on kids You may have been[…]

church

Can a divorce court require a parent to take a child to church?

Lawyers in Oakland County fondly refer to Wednesday as cattle call day because Wednesday is miscellaneous motion call.  A motion requests a judge to make a decision on an issue and one of the issues argued last Wednesday was if a divorce court can require a parent to take a child to church? My opposing[…]

divorce is your fault

What if the divorce is your fault?

There is confusion among clients and even some lawyers of the role fault plays in a divorce.  Which beg’s the question:  Does it matter if the divorce is your fault? The answer to the question is it may. Michigan No-fault divorce It is important to understand what no-fault divorce actually is.  No-fault divorce is the[…]

The seven stages of divorce (Brexit)

The seven stages of the Brexit divorce

The seven stages of the Brexit divorce The European Union is breaking up.  The UK is leaving the European Union and the world reaction is similar to the seven stages of divorce. The headlines are as dramatic as the most emotional divorce. “Political chaos hits Britain Labor Party leader fights ‘coup’ try, Scotland may attempt[…]

extracurricular

Extracurricular activities – Paying for baseball, dance, hockey, music, soccer . . .

Dance support, baseball support, hockey . . . The National Center for Education Statistics reports that students who participate in extracurricular activities have higher grade point averages, fewer unexcused absences and have higher expectations to continue in college.  Simply put, children who participate in extracurricular activities do better in school; Sounds like a no-brainer right? […]

college support

College Support

Every year thousands of Michigan children will start college for the first time and college support is an agreement to provide support for college expenses.  Unlike child support which typically ends when a child turns 18 and graduates high school, college support continues after graduation from high school (and after a child turns 18). There[…]

House

Who gets the house in a divorce?

Who gets the house in a divorce? Sometimes the answer to simple questions are complex and the question “who gets the house in a divorce?” is a perfect example of this adage. The answer to the question, “who gets the house in a divorce?” is . . . it depends. The general rules of property[…]

burden of proof

The burden of child custody – burden of proof case law

When fighting for custody in a Michigan divorce or custody case you have an obligation to prove your claims with evidence.  This obligation is called the burden of proof. The different Michigan child custody burden of proofs are: Clear and convincing evidence which requires evidence that the claim is very highly probable; and Preponderance of[…]

Endofchildsupport

The end of child support in Michigan

The end of child support in Michigan Everything comes to an end, including the obligation to pay child support.  Which begs the question, when is the end of child support in Michigan? The answer to the question is found in two Michigan laws, the Child Custody Act of 1970 and the Michigan Support and Parenting[…]

living together

Living in sin? It’s against the law to live together before marriage in Michigan!

Think twice before deciding to live together before marriage in Michigan – It’s against the law! It is really true.  It is against the law to live together before marriage in Michigan.  Living together before marriage is also called cohabitation and is a crime in Michigan.  The law likely enacted to promote marriage. The cohabitation[…]

legal dictionary

A car accident defines physical custody in Michigan (finally).

The phrase “physical custody” has a troubled history and future in Michigan.  In fact, the “physical custody” is also viewed by many as politically incorrect.  After all, who wants to think of a parent having physical custody of a child. The future of the phrase also seems at risk as many Michigan divorce and custody[…]

rape2

Michigan Custody update: Snyder signs the Rape Survivor Custody Act

The Rape Survivor Custody Act protects woman who become impregnated by a rapist. Governor Snyder singed the Rape Survivor Custody Act set forth in Michigan Senate bill 858 and Michigan House bill 4481 were reconciled and signed into law by Governor Snyder on May 3, 2016. Widely lauded by conservative right to life groups who[…]

lets make a deal

Let’s make a deal – Child support agreement?

Although Michigan law requires child support to be paid in accordance with the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual, people often enter into a child support agreement that deviates from the formula.  In certain circumstances were application of the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual would be unjust or inappropriate, the parties, with approval of the court[…]

Changes at Oakland County Divorce Court

Changes at the Oakland County divorce court

The Oakland County divorce court is changing.  Mandatory retirement, judicial appointments and elections in November will result in even more changes at Oakland County divorce court.  The Oakland County divorce court is made up of Judges from both circuit court and probate court.  These judges specialize in hearing family law cases such as divorce, custody,[…]

divorce with children

Some thoughts on divorce with children

Some thoughts on divorce with children This letter is written from the perspective of an experienced divorce and family lawyer and not an expert opinion of a mental health professional.  A mental health professional may agree or disagree with this letter.  If you are considering divorce, have been divorced or are going through a divorce[…]

Margarine causes divorce

Eating margarine causes divorce in Michigan.

If you are married and live in Michigan . . . DO NOT EAT MARGARINE!   Eating margarine causes divorce in Michigan. When marketing my divorce practice, I rely on data.  I examine divorce metrics such as the divorce rate, income, age and education of potential divorcees.  After all, marketing is expensive and data can[…]

Arbitration

Arbitration and Michigan Divorce

In a Michigan divorce, the parties can agree to arbitration instead of trial. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution which is also referred to as ADR.  Arbitration is similar to mediation except the arbitrator can make a binding decision if the parties cannot agree on an issue. When parties mediate a divorce case,[…]

hiding assets

How to hide assets in a divorce case.

Why hide assets in a divorce case?   The answer is simple, to prevent sharing the assets with your spouse.   WARNING:  Do not hide assets in a divorce case!  –  “Don’t do the crime, if you can’t do the time” – Baretta.  Hiding assets in a divorce case may be illegal and the consequences will[…]

Security for support

Support security

Support security is important in Michigan divorce or child custody cases where child support or alimony (spousal support) payments are awarded.  The security provides protection in the event the person responsible for paying child support or alimony stops paying. Support security in cases of death When the person responsible for paying child support or alimony[…]

Canyousueajudge

Can you sue a Judge in Michigan?

Can you sue a Judge in Michigan?  Let’s face it, sometimes Judges get things wrong.  When they do, one option is to take an appeal, but can you sue a Judge in Michigan? The Michigan Court of Appeals is an intermediate higher court and can overturn a lower court’s decision when it makes an error[…]

Michigan child custody law - the statutes.

Michigan child custody law – the statutes

Michigan child custody law – the statutes. In this article we examine the most commonly cited statutes relating to Michigan child custody law. Sources of Michigan child custody law Michigan child custody law comes from four sources, statutes, precedent, court rules and English common law.  When the legislature passes a Michigan child custody law, the[…]

child tax credit

Child tax exemption and Michigan law.

Child tax exemption rules The rules for claiming a child tax exemption are complex.  Add a divorce or custody determination to the mix and the rules for claiming a child tax exemption can give even a seasoned tax professional a headache.   The first rule is that the child must be your qualifying child.  […]

child-abduction

Child abduction by a parent is a crime in Michigan

Custody in Michigan – Child abduction law in Michigan Child abduction by a parent is a felony Michigan which means it is punishable by more than 1 year in prison.  The Michigan Penal Code Act 328 of 1931 can be found in MCL 750.350a and is commonly known as the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act.  […]

Vaccination

Is securing vaccination in a child’s best interest?

Like any parent with children there came a time where my wife and I discussed vaccination for our children was appropriate.  After all, every parent wants to protect their child from every possible risk and the information (or misinformation) regarding vaccination is all over the map.  When parents cannot agree on an issue, Michigan divorce and[…]

custodyappeal

Child custody appeal – What you can do if the court got it wrong.

Sometimes things do not go as planned. Parents typically celebrate after a child is born.  Unfortunately, many relationships end, and if parents cannot agree on custody or parenting time of a child, the Michigan divorce or custody court will decide how custody is awarded and parenting time is spent.  When a court makes the wrong[…]