In what appears to be a rush to judgment to protect a minor child’s mental health, the trial court in the Barretta case, changed custody without following the three steps to modify child custody.
On June 29, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals overturned an an award of sole physical custody and instructed the trial court to conduct further proceedings in the case of Bitar v. Baroody. In this case, the trial court granted the mother sole physical custody with the father having parenting time every other weekend. However,[…]
There are three different laws governing who pays attorney fees in divorce. MCR 3.206(D), MCL 552.13 and Common Law.
While agreements on custody are usually “rubber stamped” and approved by the court, the court must make an independent determination that the agreement is in the best interest of the minor child. However, you can agree on parenting time.
In Michigan, the parenting time statute provides that parenting time shall be granted in the best interest of the child. The State Court Administrative Office publishes the guidelines for parenting time which is directed to help Friend of the court’s around the State. Each county also has their own guidelines. We help you understand what you need to know.
Take two long term marriages with the exact same marital estate. The first marriage is 30 years and the parties lived as husband and wife. The second marriage is 30 years and the parties have not seen each other for 29 years. Obviously it would not be equitable (fair) to treat both of these cases the same. In the first example, a 50/50 division would seem appropriate, but not in the second example.
Marriage struggles are real and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan. If your unhappy and are considering a divorce in Michigan, here is everything you need to know. Sometimes things don’t get better. However, the proverb “knowledge is power” can help you take control of your situation with a fresh start[…]
For over 10 years we have been writing articles on Michigan child custody and in this blog post we reflect back on over 70 articles and videos on this important topic on Michigan divorce and custody law. Child Custody Videos In Michigan, Child custody refers to the legal and practical arrangement regarding the care, control,[…]
In sum, although court’s have created two types of custody (Physical and Legal), however, there is really only one type of custody that has two parts (The frequency of parenting time (MCL 722.26a(7)(a)) and decision making authority (MCL 722.26a(b)(b).
It is imperative to understand the nature and extent of the marital estate before reaching a property settlement in divorce. In a Michigan divorce case, the formal process of finding assets is called discovery. After all, you cannot negotiate a good deal until you have an understanding about what there is to divide and the[…]
The science behind the effects of divorce on children in sound. Although each family is unique, divorce has been shown to have a negative impact on a child. However, research supports the notion that the impact of staying in an unhealthy marriage can be worse, as a child learns that it is ok to be[…]
The Oakland County Friend of the Court (FOC) consists of a group of attorneys, counselors and support staff which assist the court in cases involving minor children or support by providing a formal (or informal) dispute resolution service including custody and support valuations. Another important function of the FOC is to conduct an Early Intervention[…]
You or your spouse worked hard and it has finally paid off with the right to purchase stocks at a discount from your employer. When stock options are granted they typically provide an opportunity to purchase shares of stock in the future at a fixed price and can be highly valuable. The future date is[…]
Michigan statutory law authorizes a court to divide property in a divorce that was acquired “by reason of the marriage” MCL 552.19. Generally speaking, property acquired by reason of the marriage is considered marital property whereas property acquired before or after marriage is considered separate property. Simply put, a court will divide marital property (See: Byington v Byington ) and not divide separate property (See: Reeves vs. Reeves , providing that: “each party takes away from the marriage that party’s own separate estate with no invasion by the other party”). However, there are certain circumstances when separate property can be invaded.
On January 26, 2023, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the highly contentious case of Hawes v. Cromie, the unmarried parents of a 13 year old son. For more than ten years, the child’s parents have litigated over every aspect resulting in the court noting that: Throughout the last decade, the parents’[…]
When a parent is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed, or has an unexercised ability to earn, the Michigan Child Support Formula Manual allows a court to include the potential income that parent could earn as income for support purposes (MCSFM 2.01(G)).
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.
A trial court must follow certain steps when making a child custody determination and when the trial court fails to do so, it is the basis for an appeal.
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[…]
On October 20, 2022, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued its opinion in the case of Krieg v. Krieg after the trial court changed primary custody of the parties minor child to the mother and addressing the issue of supervised parenting time. The parties married in July 2014. Shortly after the parties married, father began[…]
Simply put, the power of the Friend of the Court is limited to making recommendations for the trial court to review. However, if no objections to a Friend of the Court recommendation are made, the Friend of the Court Recommendation will become an Order of the Court.
There is a three step process to change legal custody. First, a showing of proper cause or change of circumstances since the entry of the last order. Second, the established custodial environment determines the burden of proof and; Third a best interest of the child analysis.
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[…]