Suppose you are involved in a contested child custody battle and lose. Why can’t you simply refile the case and try again? The answer is provided in the seminal case of Vodvarka v. Grassmeyer. In Vodvarka, the Michigan Court of Appeals created a barrier to changing custody in order to avoid repeated custody evaluations.
After the Friend of the Court makes a recommendation, either party may request a de novo hearing or a hearing “from the beginning” with the trial court judge. This right is codified in Michigan Compiled Laws section 552.507(4).
A divorce plan is an important first step to taking back control of your situation and is different for a dependent spouse than the primary wage earner. A divorce plan is an important first step to set goals and help take control of your situation. If you make more money than your spouse, you will[…]
Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. It is a complex and often emotional process that can have far-reaching effects on individuals and their families. The decision to divorce is never easy and it is often the result of long-standing issues within a marriage. Some common reasons for seeking a divorce include infidelity, financial[…]
The majority of Michigan divorce cases settle and divorce mediation is one of the most common forms of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party tries to facilitate a fair settlement outside of the courtroom, avoiding the formalities of trial and saving costs. Court ordered divorce mediation Divorce mediation is usually court ordered and[…]
A Restraining Order is an order used to protect the parties property and finances in a divorce case. There are two types of restraining orders typically filed in every Michigan divorce. First, is a Restraining Order against property transfer and preservation of the marital estate. Second, is a Financial Status Quo Order.
The first step is a threshold question which asks, what has changed since the entry of the last court order under Vodvarka; The second step requires determining the existence of an established custodial environment and the burden of proof. The third step is to apply the best interest factors using the appropriate burden of proof.
Under MCL 552.507(4), if a party timely objects to a referee’s recommendation, the trial court “shall hold a de novo hearing.” The Michigan Court of Appeals further decided that a trial court cannot simply review the record created at the referee hearing, however the trial court can impose reasonable restrictions on duplicative evidence (e.g. only allowing new evidence).
Visitation and parenting time mean exactly the same thing under Michigan law. The term visitation is old and more appropriate for visiting someone in prison than enjoying time with a child. Some time ago, in an effort to avoid marginalizing or insulting a parent, courts began replacing visitation with the term parenting time, a kinder[…]
Court’s will not rewrite an unambiguous agreement negotiated and signed (or placed on the record) by consenting adults absent, fraud or duress.
A trial court can enter and order changing custody, however, before a court may consider modification, the party requesting the change must demonstrate proper cause or a change of circumstances since the entry of the last custody order.
Although the threshold requirements to modify custody or a motion to modify parenting time go by the same names, proper cause or a change of circumstance to change custody or modify parenting time have different meanings.
There is a general perception that court’s are reluctant to change custody because it can create a lack of stability in a child’s life and the perception is true.
A determination of an established custodial environment is important because a court cannot enter an order for child custody (or modify an existing order) without first determining if an established custodial environment exists and the trial court must make clear findings on this issue before deciding custody.
Do you love your spouse but at the same time realize you cannot be with each other? Many marriages are filled with disfunction in communication, sex, fidelity or how you spend money and no matter how much work you put into the marriage, your not sure you can make things workout. Divorce and separation are[…]
On August 26, 2021, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Shipley v. Shipley In this case, the father appeals the trial court’s order to modify custody and decided that there was proper cause to modify custody. The first step in modifying an existing child custody award is for the[…]
Adultery (when your spouse cheats is the ultimate betrayal in a marriage. In many circumstances a couple can find a way to move past the betrayal. However, in many situations, the damage is done and fixing the problem is not an option. When God gave Moses the 10 Commandments it is no surprise that one[…]
In this article, we cover the top 10 divorce myths. When it comes to Michigan divorce law, everyone has a story about a ‘friend’ who went through a divorce and (fill in the blank) happened. Further complicating matters are the countless television shows and tabloid articles regarding divorce. While gossip, television shows and tabloid articles[…]
Michigan Compiled Laws section 722.26a, requires parents to be advised of joint custody and the court must consider an award of joint custody at the request of either party.
When property is divided in a Judgment of Divorce is typically final and non-modifiable. However, a party can petition the court for relief from a Judgment of Divorce under MCR 2.612 in certain instances.
You may think that there is no difference in the divorce laws by County and you are right, sort of. Divorce law is uniform throughout the state, a divorce in Oakland County is different for a number of reasons.
Adultery under Michigan adultery law is never enforced. However, the adultery statute provides: “Adultery is the sexual intercourse of 2 persons, either of whom is married to a third person.” Michigan Compiled Laws 750.29 The punishment for the crime of adultery is severe. Adultery is a felony, which means adultery is punishable by more than[…]
When love and respect run out and a divorce is pending, it is important to understand what is separate property because under most circumstances separate property is not divided in a divorce case. Typically, separate property is identified as: “[p]roperty that a spouse owned before marriage or acquired during marriage by inheritance or by gift from a[…]
When negotiating a Michigan divorce, is it appropriate to deduct an unrealized real estate commission? In this case, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided that it is not appropriate to do so. When a marital home is at issue in a Michigan divorce, a court has three choices. The court can either award the home[…]
In Michigan, a custodial parent is the the parent with whom a child spends the majority of overnights with during the course of a year. This definition is similar to that used by the Internal Revenue Service when determining dependent status for tax purposes.