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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[…]

How is property divided in a Michigan divorce?

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[…]

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.  […]

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[…]

Property division

How property is divided and the role of fault.

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[…]

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[…]

Divorce Arbitration

Divorce Arbitration – A hybrid of mediation and trial

In family law, most cases settle prior to trial. In the event a settlement cannot be reached, a trial may be the only sensible option. Both scenarios have been discussed in prior posts. However, the procedure known as divorce arbitration is unique. As outlined below, divorce arbitration encompasses components found in both mediation and a[…]

Free pension calculator

Free Divorce Pension Calculator

Free Divorce Pension Calculator. The Divorce Pension Calculator is a Google spreadsheet that you can use to calculate the marital portion of a pension benefit in a divorce. The Divorce Pension Calculator estimates the marital portion of a pension benefit utilizing the coverture fraction. While there are a few different ways to divorce as divorce[…]

Findling Law

Someone to Lean On during a Divorce

Need someone to lean on during divorce? It may come as no surprise that a divorce may bring difficult times. The parties involved, the family, and even close friends may feel the impact of the process. You likely need someone to lean on. Emotions can range from relief, to despair, to anger, to hurt, to[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Christmas divorce

Christmas gifts, wedding gifts, engagement ring and divorce.

Tis the season to be merry. . . but what if you don’t want to be?  How does a court decide who gets the Christmas gifts? Michigan law regarding property division provides the answer.  A general rule of Michigan divorce property law is the notion that property acquired during the course of the marriage is[…]

Selling the house and divorce

When Selling the House Determines If You Should Divorce

Couples consider their finances and investments very carefully when deciding whether to divorce. In fact, some couples intentionally avoid starting the divorce process despite being miserable together. Why? Because they believe that the home they own together is keeping them from moving forward. In a past article, we tackled the question of who gets to[…]

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[…]

Considering divorce

6 Things to Know When Considering Divorce

Making the choice to divorce is a big deal. A really big deal.  You won’t be making this decision on a whim, nor should you make it without empowering yourself with information. Here are 6 things you need to know when considering divorce.       Know when to see a lawyer. A divorce is[…]

divorce is your fault

What if the divorce is your fault?

There is confusion among clients and even some lawyers of the role fault plays in a divorce.  Which beg’s the question:  Does it matter if the divorce is your fault? The answer to the question is it may. Michigan No-fault divorce It is important to understand what no-fault divorce actually is.  No-fault divorce is the[…]