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Michigan Choice of school law. The nitty gritty details.

Most divorce and custody cases include an award of joint legal custody. As a joint legal custodian, both parents share equally in major decisions involving a minor child and one of those major decisions is the choice of school a child should attend. If a dispute arises, here are the nitty gritty details on choice[…]

Oakland County Divorce
Emotional Divorce

The decision to divorce – How to decide. Is divorce in your future?

The decision to divorce is not easy. After all, you committed to stating married “for better or worse”.  While some people get married for the wrong reason, others were once built on love and mutual respect which has evolved to disdain and conflict. How to make the decision to divorce? The decision to divorce –[…]

Court Order

A court speaks through its orders, not its oral statements.

In the majority of divorce and family law cases, a court will issue its opinion from the bench. This is more common during motion call. The other times a court will issue a written opinion. Careful drafting is important because a court speaks through its orders. When a court issues its opinion from the bench,[…]

Can you force your spouse to move out of the house?

Sometimes “forever or worse” becomes “get out of the house” which begs the question, what can you do if your spouse won’t move out of the house? In the context of a Michigan divorce there are only two ways to compel someone to move out of the house. The first way to compel your spouse[…]

Physical and Legal Custody

When legal custody won’t work. (What is physical and legal custody?)

Physical custody if Michigan is an archaic term to describe the parent that spends the majority of parenting time with a minor child. Traditionally, the parent who is awarded the most parenting time was awarded sole physical custody. So, what happened to physical custody in Michigan?, in simple terms the phrase physical custody has gone[…]

child custody

Michigan child Custody and Parenting Time Appeals

The Michigan Court Rules governing Appellate Rules can be found in Chapter 7 of the Michigan Court Rules. In simple terms a custody or parenting time appeal means judicial review by the Court of Appeals of a trial court decision. There are two types of appeals, an appeal of right and an appeal by leave.[…]

Michigan Divorce

Should you get a divorce?

One of the hardest conversations I ever have is when someone asks me what I think about the question: “Should I get a divorce?” Although I am an attorney and counselor of law, I am not clergy or a therapist. Divorce may be good for business, however, it is not what we are about. We[…]

Divorce Alternatives

How to get relief from a Judgment of Divorce.

Once a Michigan Judgment of Divorce is entered most people think that things are final and they are right. The limited exception to this rule applies to custody, parenting time and support which can change when there is a change of circumstances.  However, there are certain limited circumstances when you can request a court to[…]

A failed challenge to an expert Child custody and parenting time evaluation

On February 12, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided the custody and parenting time case of Amy Oglive v. Eric Oglive.  In this case, the trial court ordered the parties to participate in a psychological evaluation to address concerns of custody and parenting time. Eric was incarcerated when the parties divorced in 2012 and[…]

alimony in Michigan

Wife awarded $58,500.00 in divorce attorney fees

On January 3, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the Ingham Circuit Court award of $58,500 in divorce attorney fees in the case of Baker v. Baker. The Baker’s married in 1998 and filed for divorce on May 31, 2014. The parties had two minor children. Both Mr. & Mrs. Baker sought contribution for[…]

How a shoplifter avoided a change of custody.

On December 20, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals examined a motion for change of custody filed by the father in the case Argel vs. Argel. At the divorce trial, the trial court determined that the child’s custodial environment was with mother and that the child’s best interests were served by awarding sole physical custody[…]

settlement agreement

Can you change your mind after settlement?

You successfully settled your divorce case when you wake up the next morning with regret, buyer’s remorse, or simply that sinking feeling experienced about what you just did. Can you change your mind after settlement? The first step in the analysis is determining if your settlement is in fact a contract. Was there an offer[…]

Jake Cunningham

The “new” Judges of Oakland County Divorce Court

With the midterm elections now over, we welcome two newly elected Oakland County judges. Traditionally, newly elected Oakland County judges serve on the Family Court. Family Court includes cases involving divorce, child custody, parenting time, child support and spousal support (alimony). The two newly elected Oakland County judges are Julie McDonald and Jake Cunningham.  […]

Child Custody

Fundamentally Speaking – Custody Modification in Michigan – Vodvarka – the seminal case.

The seminal case in a Michigan custody modification case is Vodvarka vs. Grasmeyer which defines the threshold requirements to change custody. The threshold requirements are proper cause or change of circumstances. Under Michigan law, without establishing either proper cause or a change of circumstance, you cannot modify an award of child custody. In Vodvarka, the mother[…]

Child Custody

Michigan Child Custody determination of sole legal custody reversed by Court of Appeals

On September 11, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals in the case of Holmes v. Holmes reversed the trial court’s Michigan child custody determination awarding the father sole legal custody, requiring the trial court to examine the case again. What makes this case unique is the notion that a child custody award can only be[…]

file for divorce

Did you really file for divorce? How to check now!

The decision to file for divorce can be painful. Sometimes more painful when you realize your spouse beat you to the punch. In this article, we will help you discover if your spouse (or friend) has already filed for divorce. Some lawyers will tell you that it is important to file for divorce first. The[…]

abandonment

Dear John letter? Abandonment in a Michigan divorce case.

“By the time you read this line, I’ll be gone. . .” originates from a popular 1980’s sit-com by the name Dear John starring Judd Hirsch, premised the abandonment of his wife, who simply got up and left his relationship. Abandonment may be relevant in a Michigan divorce but is not an independent cause of action[…]

He say, She say?  I say hearsay.

The rules of evidence are sometimes lost in the emotional turmoil of a Michigan divorce or custody case. However, the rules apply. The hearsay rule of evidence is one of the most important rules and is found in the Michigan Rules of Evidence (“MRE”) sections 801-806. Hearsay is a statement (an oral or written assertion or[…]

Findling Law

Creating an Effective Divorce Attorney-Client Relationship: Part II

In the first part of this three-section discussion of an effective divorce attorney-client relationship, meaningful communication was discussed. In this second installment, the concept of professionalism, as it relates to both attorney and client, is explored. Professional responsibility is a concept attorneys study as students. As an overall concept, professionalism is something we consider when[…]

best interest of child factors

What is really in your child’s best interest?

You learn some big words in law school.  Take for example the law school phrase, res ipsa loquitur, which is a legal principle that an occurrence of an accident implies negligence or escheat, which involves the forfeiture of property. While the phrase best interest of a child seems simple enough, applying the concept of what is[…]

Custody Modification- Failing to establish proper cause or a change of circumstances

The threshold requirement for custody modification was recently addressed by the Court of appeals in the case of Reyes v. Herron.  The threshold requirement is proper cause or a change of circumstances. In Reyes v. Herron, Mr. Herron took an appeal from the trial court’s order denying his motion to change custody, parenting time and[…]

Child Support

How to have your spouse pay your attorney fees?

Can you have your spouse pay your attorney fees for a divorce or other family law case?  The answer is yes! When someone starts to think about divorce, one of the first questions they have is how much is it going to cost? The cost of a divorce varies with the complexity of the case[…]

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