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Michigan Choice of school law. The nitty gritty details.

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[…]

Oakland County Divorce
Emotional Divorce

The decision to divorce – How to decide. Is divorce in your future?

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 –[…]

Court Order

A court speaks through its orders, not its oral statements.

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,[…]

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[…]

Can you force your spouse to move out of the house?

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[…]

Physical and Legal Custody

When legal custody won’t work. (What is physical and legal custody?)

Physical custody if Michigan is an archaic term to describe the parent that spends the majority of parenting time with a minor child. Traditionally, the parent who is awarded the most parenting time was awarded sole physical custody. So, what happened to physical custody in Michigan?, in simple terms the phrase physical custody has gone[…]

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[…]

child custody

Michigan child Custody and Parenting Time Appeals

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.[…]

Michigan Divorce

Should you get a 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[…]

parenting time

Should you modify custody or modify parenting time?

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[…]

the needs of the parties

Award of alimony 37 years after divorce overturned

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[…]

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[…]

A failed challenge to an expert Child custody and parenting time evaluation

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 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[…]

Paying for college
Post-nuptial

Legal Separation Agreements in Michigan

Common sense suggests that it is important to ask the right questions before making the decision to divorce. One of those questions might involve Legal Separation. Legal Separation Agreements vary in scope and enforceability. One type of Legal Separation Agreement is simply a private agreement between parties to live separately. There are no formal court[…]

alimony in Michigan

Wife awarded $58,500.00 in divorce attorney fees

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[…]

How a shoplifter avoided a change of custody.

On December 20, 2018, the Michigan Court of Appeals examined a motion for change of custody filed by the father in the case Argel vs. Argel. At the divorce trial, the trial court determined that the child’s custodial environment was with mother and that the child’s best interests were served by awarding sole physical custody[…]

default judgment

Default and default Judgments in divorce and Family law cases

If you fail to make a timely credit card payment you are in default which literally means a “failure to fulfill an obligation”. In divorce and family court cases a default may occurs if you fail to appear, respond or otherwise defend the divorce, custody or family court case. Michigan Court Rule (“MCR”) 3.210(B) addresses[…]

Parenting time schedules in a Michigan divorce.

Parenting time options in a Michigan divorce. Sometimes the biggest challenge in a divorce or custody case is deciding when a child will spend time with each parent. Parenting time (formally visitation) is the legal term used to describe simply that time and in this article we discuss some of the most popular parenting time[…]

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