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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[…]

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[…]

move house divorce

The decision to move out of your house before divorce.

In almost every Michigan divorce the topic of moving out of the house must be addressed. Moving is tough especially when going through a divorce. Every Michigan divorce has an emotional component and the decision to move out of the home is not without emotional considerations. After all, you worked hard on making your home[…]

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.  […]

Discovery

The use of a Discovery deposition at trial

Discovery is the formal process by which you “discover” information relevant to the case. In a Michigan divorce, custody or family law case, discovery is conducted in three ways.  First, Interrogatories (think Interrogate) which are written questions which must be answered under oath and subject to the felony of perjury.  Second, a Subpoena, which is[…]

statute of limitations

Statute of Limitations on child support is no more – the work around!

On September 18, 2018, the traditional rule that a civil action to enforce a child support order is subject to a 10-year statutory limitations period. MCL 600.5809(4); People v Monaco, 474 Mich 48, 54-55; 710 NW2d 46 (2006) has been turned on its head by the Michigan Court of Appeals in a recently published opinion[…]

The legal authority for the Michigan child support guidelines.

Most people know that child support is determined by guidelines. In this article, we examine the legal authority for the Michigan child support guidelines. When I was a first year law student, a law school professor instilled a legal concept that every law has to have legitimacy and every lawyer should know the legitimacy of[…]

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[…]

Child Support

How much is too much child support? $129,000 per month!

The recent headlines are rampant with outrageous child support awards. Take for example Blake Griffin, the star forward on the Detroit Pistons who was reportedly ordered by a Los Angeles Court to pay child support in the sum of $258,000.00 per month for the support to two minor children he had with his ex-fiancé, former[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

The 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual and Supplement

The 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (“MCSFM”) The new Michigan Child Support Formula Manual has arrived. The last time the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual was updated was 2013. The major changes to the 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual are set forth on pages “i” and “ii” and are restated below.  You can[…]

When is a deal a deal?

When is a deal a deal?  Settlements. I was recently approached by the editors of the Michigan Family Law Journal to write a monthly column on Michigan Divorce and Family Law.  The Michigan Family Law Journal is a publication of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section and serves as “Family Law Council’s forum to[…]

Change of Circumstances

When Circumstances Change – Michigan Family Law Journal

When Circumstances Change I was recently approached by the editors of the Michigan Family Law Journal to write a monthly coulmn on Michigan Divorce and Family Law.  The Michigan Family Law Journal is a publication of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section and serves as “Family Law Council’s forum to share ideas; review, evaluate,[…]

Emotional Divorce

The artist, the engineer and the emotional divorce

The artist, the engineer and the emotional divorce. When I was in law school, a comment by my Constitutional law professor, Robert Sedler, remains imprinted in my mind.  Professor Sedler commented something along the lines of: “the problems with stereotypes is that they are usually true.”  When I first heard this, I disregarded it as[…]

Oakland County divorce help

Where to find divorce help in Oakland County

This article on where to find divorce help in Oakland County was inspired by the Oakland County Friend of the Court handout with the same title and I felt sharing it worth sharing with our audience. Divorce help in Oakland County at Findling Law While I recognize I may be stating the obvious, you can[…]

Wayne County Friend of the Court

Wayne County Friend of the Court contact information

The Wayne County Friend of the Court is changing its contact information. Beginning December 1, 2016, The Wayne County Friend of the Court will be changing its phone number. The change is in accordance with an upgrade in technology from the State of Michigan. The new Wayne County Friend of the Court telephone number will[…]

Child Support

The 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual

The 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual (“MCSFM”) The last time the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual was updated was 2013.  The major changes to the 2017 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual are set forth on pages “i” and “ii” and are restated below. The phrase “Extraordinary medical” was changed to “additional medical” and “third[…]

dog and divorce

My dog and divorce. (ok. cats too)

When I got married, my wife had a cat.  I love my wife but I don’t like cats.  Now we have a dog and ironically, the dog has bonded with my wife.  For many, issues relating to a dog and divorce (note – when I say dog, the same rules also apply to cats, horses, ferrets,[…]

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? […]