adultery and divorce

Adultery and divorce

Adultery is the ultimate betrayal and the cause of many divorces it is also a crime. Adultery is defined in the Michigan Penal Code Section 750.29 which defines adultery as: 50.29 Adultery; definition.Sec. 29.   Definition—Adultery is the sexual intercourse of 2 persons, either of whom is married to a third person. Interesting enough, other sexual[…]

nitty gritty

Prenups – The nitty gritty details part three.

. . . we recognize that antenuptial agreements are no longer considered “void ab initio as contrary to public policy” in Michigan so long as certain fairness standards are met

nitty gritty

Prenupital Agreements – The nitty gritty details part two.

In part one of this series on prenuptial agreements (an agreement made by a couple before they marry concerning their assets and support should they divorce), we discussed the seminal case law on prenuptial agreements in Michigan.

nitty gritty

Prenuptial Agreements – The nitty gritty details part one.

Under most circumstances, a prenuptial agreement is enforceable under Michigan law. An exception exists if a spouse is left with nothing, in such an instant a court may invade the separate property of the other spouse.

Alimony

I won the lottery in my divorce! Do I have to share it? MI Property Division Law

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[…]

default judgment

Default and Default Judgments

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[…]

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[…]

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