contempt of court

Contempt of court. Go to jail. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.00.

When a court enters an order, the power to enforce the order is by a finding of contempt of court and violating a court’s order is not a child’s game.  Contempt of court is the willful failure to obey a court’s order and can be punished by a civil penalty (money), criminally (jail) and sometimes[…]

Findling Law

A letter to the Newly Minted Attorney – Kristina Bilowus

The Ghost of a Lawyer Future – A letter to the Newly Minted Attorney Kristina Bilowus, is an associate attorney at Findling Law and adjunct professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School. Kristina had the honor of being published in the November 2017 Michigan Bar Journal, a publication by the State Bar of Michigan.[…]

Separate property

Marital and Separate Property? But my parents gave me the home . . .

In the case of Szcygiel v. Szcygiel, the husband challenged the trial court’s finding that a home acquired by the parties during the marriage by an inheritance was his wife’s separate property. The parties married in 1980 and had two children.  The marital home was on one acre in Kingston, Michigan.  The wife’s parents lived[…]

settlement agreement

Another case of an unfair settlement agreement or buyer’s remorse

On October 17, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Jaroh v. Jaroh. After the parties signed a settlement agreement at mediation. However, before the court entered the Judgment of Divorce, the wife filed a motion to set aside the settlement agreement, claiming the terms were not fair, duress[…]

Rancilo

The Judges of Macomb County Divorce Court

Macomb County Circuit Court – Family Division:  At Findling Law, we have the great privilege of appearing before divorce courts throughout the state of Michigan.  One of these courts is the Macomb County Circuit Court.   The Macomb County Circuit Court – Family Division is simply known as the Macomb County Divorce Court. The Macomb[…]

custody of an embryo

Custody of an embryo? The case is pending.

Sometimes the Court of Appeals refuses to make a decision and directs the trial court to do so before making a decision.  Such was the outcome in the case of Karungi v. Ejalu, which is case involving custody of an embryo. Gloria Karungi and Ronald Ejalu are the parents of a daughter who was naturally[…]

motion to change custody

Motion to change custody – Friend of the Court schooled!

On September 21, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals reviewed the case of Christopher Gucwa v. Maranda Lee.  Miranda asked the Court of Appeals to review the dismissal of her Motion to change custody. A Motion is a term of art used in the legal profession to ask the court to do something and Miranda[…]

Separation in Michigan

Legal separation in Michigan

There are three types of legal separation in Michigan. The first type of legal separation in Michigan is called a Separate Maintenance Agreement. A Separate Maintenance Agreement is similar to a divorce. One party files a Complaint for Separate Maintenance with the court. Unlike a divorce were the court ends the marriage with a Judgment[…]

move on

Losing the Emotional Baggage So You Can Move on with Your Life

Regardless of whether you think that your life was better or worse before your divorce, you’re still left with a lingering set of emotions as you maneuver your way through the process. These emotions – this baggage – can be holding you back from finding happiness again. Consider how losing the emotional baggage can help[…]

joint legal custody

Michigan mom facing jail time for not vaccinating her son.

In a recent report by ABC news, Rebecca Bredow indicated that she would “absolutely” rather go to jail than vaccinate her son.  Her former husband, on the other hand wants to follow a regular vaccination schedule and she is refusing to do so. The American Academy of Pediatrics consider vaccinations safe, effective and the most[…]

Fault

Fault.  Another fight of the century – Ali v. Ali (not really)

In the case of Ali v. Ali, the husband took an appeal from the trial court’s decision to award the wife 80% of the value of the marital home.  Why? Because the court found him at fault for lying to the court about his assets and income. While there is no requirement under Michigan law[…]

Oakland County Divorce

The Judges of Oakland County Divorce Court

Oakland County Circuit Court – Family Division:  At Findling Law, we have the great privilege of appearing before divorce courts throughout the state of Michigan.  One of these courts is the Oakland County Circuit Court.   The Oakland County Circuit Court – Family Division is simply known as the Oakland County Divorce Court. The Oakland[…]

change child custody

A soldier’s request to change child custody in Michigan.

On August 22, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals in the case of Roe v. Roe upheld the trial court’s decision to change child custody from the mother to the father. In the Roe case, the parties married in 2006, separated in 2010, and divorced in 2014.  The father is a soldier in the United[…]

child custody

Child custody hearing – sometimes you have to have one.

When a trial court is faced with a request to change child custody, it must first make a determination if there is proper cause or a change of circumstances since the last child custody order.  If a court determines that there is proper cause or a change of circumstances then the trial court must conduct[…]

Credibility

A divorce case of credibility.

On July 20, 2017, in the case of Guiles v. Guiles, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming a trial court ruling awarding the wife $3,000.00 in spousal support for 10 years.  The Guiles case was a case of credibility.  The trial court determined that the wife was more believable than the husband[…]

role of fault

The role of fault – “He hit me and gave me a bloody nose.”

It just happens that one of the most common questions asked is the role of fault in a Michigan divorce and on July 18, 2017, the Michigan Court of Appeals addressed the issue in the case of Koch v. Koch.  The Koch marriage began in 1987 and ended October 17, 2014.  The parties had one[…]

legal residence

Changing legal residence and the Michigan Child Custody Act.

Imagine getting divorced and learning you finally got that promotion.  However, the promotion requires you to change your legal residence to California?   Maybe the shoe is on the other foot.  What if you just got divorced only to learn your ex wants to move to California? There is nothing illegal about changing legal residence.  In[…]

Child support

Case law update:  Retirement Statute of limitations.

A statute of limitations is a law that defines how long a person has to bring a legal action.  In some cases, it simply is time to move on.  For example, the current statute of limitations on unpaid child support is 10 years from the date the last payment is due.  So, if your child[…]

bias judge

Justice? – the case of the biased judge.

When things don’t go your way, it is easy to blame the decision on a biased judge.  A bias judge is a judge who has a prejudice in favor or against one thing, person or group compared with another.  It the context of a divorce or custody case emotions are often running high and an[…]

big mistake

We made a “BIG” mistake in the Judgment of Divorce.

What happens when you make a mistake in a Judgment of Divorce?  The answer is it depends.  If both parties agree, a mistake is easily corrected.  However, if the mistake favors one party, it is not always easy. In the case of Amante v. Amante, Mich App. Case No. 331542, the parties entered into a[…]

50/50 property

Consider fault when a 50/50 property division is not fair

Michigan is a no-fault divorce state and many people (and some lawyers) are of the belief that means only a 50/50 property division is fair.   While it is not uncommon for a divorce to result in property acquired during the marriage to be divided 50/50, it is not what Michigan law requires. In fact, fault[…]

Best interest of the child

Best interest of the child – The case of a stripper and the National Guard.

With a population of 21,000 people, Marquette Michigan may be considered a small town, however for the parties in Lessard v. Londo, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 336156, the small town was home to a big problem involving the best interest of the child, age 16 months. Mr. Lessard met Ms. Londo on the[…]

Joint custody

Michigan legal update – Joint custody – Just say “know”.

This morning, I read an interesting article in The Detroit News advocating for a new custody law to promote a shared custody arrangement, which is often referred to as joint custody.  House Bill 4691, which was recently introduced by Rep. Jim Runestad, would joint custody and substantially equal parenting time as a starting point for[…]

Grandparent time

Grandparent time when both parents say NO.

On June 13, 2017, the Michigan Court of appeals issued a published opinion on Grandparent time.  In the case of Geering v. King et. al., Mich. App. No. 335794, the trial court made a determination that the biological parents were unfit and that grandparent time was in the children’s best interest notwithstanding the biological parent’s[…]

Divorce lawyer

Spare the Grey Hairs: 10 Way a Divorce Lawyer Can Save You Money and Aggravation

Here at Findling Law, we appreciate how anxious you may be to get your divorce over as soon as possible. In fact, you may be scrolling through the extensive library of divorce materials on our website right now, educating yourself on a variety of Michigan divorce law topics, as well as how to best prepare[…]