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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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Paying for college
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[…]

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[…]

best interest of child factors

What is really in your child’s best interest?

You learn some big words in law school.  Take for example the law school phrase, res ipsa loquitur, which is a legal principle that an occurrence of an accident implies negligence or escheat, which involves the forfeiture of property. While the phrase best interest of a child seems simple enough, applying the concept of what is[…]

Child Support

How to have your spouse pay your attorney fees?

Can you have your spouse pay your attorney fees for a divorce or other family law case?  The answer is yes! When someone starts to think about divorce, one of the first questions they have is how much is it going to cost? The cost of a divorce varies with the complexity of the case[…]

Can a child choose

Every other weekend parenting time not enough? – The case of Medford v. Verkade

In the recent case of Medford v. Verkade, the trial court entered an opinion and order awarding full legal and primary physical custody of the parties’ minor child to the father (Mr. Medford). The trial court also awarded limited parenting time to the mother. Specifically, every other weekend, three nonconsecutive weeks per year, and certain holidays.[…]

parental kidnapping

Parental kidnapping is child abuse – Understanding Michigan divorce law

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children there were 456,676 entries for missing children in 2016 about ½ of all of the entries involve parental kidnapping.  The NCMEC reports 203,000 children are victims of parental kidnapping. The law is clear, parental kidnapping is a serious crime. In this article, we will examine parental[…]

Court ordered therapy

Court ordered therapy does not modify parenting time.

On December 12, 2017, in the case of Ludwig v. Ludwing, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued an opinion for publication which is a pretty big deal. Unlike an unpublished opinion which is advisory, published opinions must be followed by every trial court in Michigan. The opinion determined that Court ordered therapy between a parent[…]

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[…]

joint legal custody

Michigan mom facing jail time for not vaccinating her son.

In a recent report by ABC news, Rebecca Bredow indicated that she would “absolutely” rather go to jail than vaccinate her son.  Her former husband, on the other hand wants to follow a regular vaccination schedule and she is refusing to do so. The American Academy of Pediatrics consider vaccinations safe, effective and the most[…]

Best interest of the child

Best interest of the child – The case of a stripper and the National Guard.

With a population of 21,000 people, Marquette Michigan may be considered a small town, however for the parties in Lessard v. Londo, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 336156, the small town was home to a big problem involving the best interest of the child, age 16 months. Mr. Lessard met Ms. Londo on the[…]

Grandparent time

Grandparent time when both parents say NO.

On June 13, 2017, the Michigan Court of appeals issued a published opinion on Grandparent time.  In the case of Geering v. King et. al., Mich. App. No. 335794, the trial court made a determination that the biological parents were unfit and that grandparent time was in the children’s best interest notwithstanding the biological parent’s[…]

Change custody in Michigan

How to change custody in Michigan? The checklist

Figuring out how to change custody in Michigan can be complicated.  To make things less complicated, we created the “How to change custody in Michigan checklist” to help you navigate the process. How to change custody in Michigan – The checklist. Watch the “How to change custody in Michigan” video; You cannot just show up[…]

first responders divorce

First Responders divorce – a high risk profession

First Responders: At Risk for Divorce First Responders are individuals who are first on the scene of an accident or disaster, such as firefighters, police officers, or other law or medical personnel.  It’s no wonder why this unique category of professionals are considered to be at higher risk for troubled marriages and divorce. First Responders[…]

Child custody laws in Michigan

Everything there is to know about Michigan Child Custody Laws.

On of the most prolific family law topics relates to child custody and in this article, we will cover more Michigan Child Custody Laws than anyone.  Everything from the basics, to the complex.  In this post we will review everything we have published on the topic of Michigan Child Custody Laws. Michigan child custody resource[…]

5 Tips for Introducing Your New Partner to Your Kids

After you and your spouse have separated, divorced, or found yourselves somewhere in between, you might find yourself in the position of finding a new love interest. And, if you already have kids, you might be wondering when the right time will be to share the news about your new partner with your kids. According[…]

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[…]

Parallel Parenting

Parallel Parenting: When You Just Can’t Co-Anything Anymore

You’ve probably heard of co-parenting, a term used to describe the situation in which a child’s parents are no longer married or living together. These parents are no longer together as a couple, but they work together to parent the child. But, what happens when the conflict between the parents is really high? They really[…]

Parenting Guilt

Feel Like a Parenting Failure After Divorce? Parenting guilt? You’re Not Alone

It’s called parenting guilt, and all parents feel it at one time or another. In fact, the best of parents in the most secure relationships with excellent financial and emotional security can feel it. So, if you’re in the process of divorce or are newly divorced, it’s not unusual to feel like a parenting failure.[…]

Michigan custody modification

Michigan custody modification

The Brady Bunch got it right when they sang the once well-known verse of their hit single: “When it’s time to change, you’ve got to rearrange.”  However, in custody cases, change does not always come easy. In fact, Michigan custody modification law makes it difficult to “rearrange” custody if the change is really big.  By[…]

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