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[…]
There are seven family division judges in Oakland County that make up the Divorce Court Judges of Oakland County and we provide the skinny on each of them.
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 –[…]
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,[…]
In today’s paper I read: “Pontiac man who won Mega Millions during divorce case during divorce case must share with ex-wife”. To the average person, the headline may seem shocking, however, to the sophisticated Michigan divorce lawyer who understands Michigan property division law, the decision is not. A. Background Richard and Beth Zelasko were married[…]
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[…]
When a party named in a divorce fails to respond or otherwise defend the lawsuit the other party can request the entry of a default by filing with the court a request and affidavit. Once a default is entered the other party can request the entry of a default Judgment of Divorce allowing the 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[…]
The decision to modify custody or modify parenting time depends on the gravity of the change being requested. If the change is minor, the modification request is generally considered a request to modify parenting time. If the requested modification is significant, the modification is generally considered a request to modify custody. Distinguishing between the two[…]
Approximately 37 years ago, the Gallagher’s divorced after 22 years of marriage. The Judgment of Divorce provided that alimony for the wife was “reserved”. 37 years after the divorce, Ms. Gallagher petitioned the trial court for an award of alimony. Remarkably, the trial court granted the request and ordered the former husband to pay $2,500.00[…]
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[…]
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[…]
How property is divided in a Michigan divorce can be complicated and technically complex yet at the same time relatively simple in many ways. Simply put, marital property is divided fairly in light of all of the circumstances. The seminal case on point is Byington v. Byington, 224 Mich App. 103 (1997). “To reach an[…]
Learn why it may not be ok to date before you are divorced.
Why lying under oath is a very big deal in a Michigan divorce.
Child support and educational expenses. The obligation to pay for college and education expenses is provided in MCL 552.452(1) of the Family Support Act.
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[…]
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[…]
If your unhappy and unfulfilled in your marriage? Should you stay in a marriage and be miserable or divorce? According to a recent article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the answer to the question: Why a person would stay in a marriage that leaves them unhappy and unfulfilled? is two fold: The[…]
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. […]
How is spousal support calculated? Spousal support is when one spouse pays money (also called alimony) to another spouse for a term of months or years after divorce. The general rule is that a spouse may need spousal support if he/she is substantially dependent on the income of the other spouse for the regular necessities of[…]
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[…]
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[…]
Fundamentally speaking – How property is divided and the role of fault. I have published many articles for the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Journal with the headline: “Fundamentally Speaking”. The articles were geared towards the divorce and family law bar and discussed the seminal cases on Michigan divorce and family law. This video[…]
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[…]