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 UCCJEA provides a road map to resolve conflicts arising from another state or country asserting jurisdiction over a child custody proceeding.
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[…]
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[…]
The Michigan Court Rules governing Appellate Rules can be found in Chapter 7 of the Michigan Court Rules. In simple terms a custody or parenting time appeal means judicial review by the Court of Appeals of a trial court decision. There are two types of appeals, an appeal of right and an appeal by leave.[…]
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[…]
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[…]
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. […]
The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (herein: “UCCJEA”) is found in Michigan Compiled Laws section 722.1101. The UCCJEA was designed, among other things to resolve conflicts relating to jurisdiction in a child custody action by prioritizing the home state of a child. The UCCJEA also clarifies continuing jurisdiction for the state that entered the[…]
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[…]
The purpose of alimony in Michigan is to balance the unfair economic effects of a divorce. Simply put alimony (which is the same as spousal support) is paid by one party to financially support a spouse after divorce if the property award is insufficient to support either party. This video webinar examines alimony in Michigan[…]
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[…]