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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

the needs of the parties

Alimony in Michigan – The needs of the parties.

Alimony and spousal support are payments made to support a former spouse.  Most attorneys use guidelines to estimate an alimony payment.  However, Michigan alimony law allows for an evaluation of the needs of the parties in determining alimony or spousal support, something that alimony guidelines don’t do. The most popular alimony guidelines take into consideration[…]

Change custody in Michigan

How to change custody in Michigan? The checklist

Figuring out how to change custody in Michigan can be complicated.  To make things less complicated, we created the “How to change custody in Michigan checklist” to help you navigate the process. How to change custody in Michigan – The checklist. Watch the “How to change custody in Michigan” video; You cannot just show up[…]

divorced

The Path Toward Your New Happiness: Resolutions for the Newly-Divorced

For the newly-divorced, the goals might be less about decluttering, a regular workout schedule, or eating clean. A divorce offers the chance to forge a path toward your new happiness.    Healthy Boundaries (It’s Not About Salad) During the course of your marriage, you and your spouse had a set of boundaries, often unspoken, about[…]

college and Michigan divorce

Can a court order a parent to pay for college in a Michigan divorce?

Markus Moos a University of Waterloo Professor conducted research published in Forbes magazine that millennials are earning less than their parents.  One way to curb this trend is to ensure that children attend college, which begs the question:  Can a court order a parent to pay for college in a Michigan divorce? Child support in[…]

first responders divorce

First Responders divorce – a high risk profession

First Responders: At Risk for Divorce First Responders are individuals who are first on the scene of an accident or disaster, such as firefighters, police officers, or other law or medical personnel.  It’s no wonder why this unique category of professionals are considered to be at higher risk for troubled marriages and divorce. First Responders[…]