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DIVORCE 10: Plaintiff contends that the home is not marital property, but rather separate property not subject to invasion.

Plaintiff’s father, purchased a parcel of land and Plaintiff’s father intended that plaintiff and defendant would live in the home and, upon their death, pass the property to their daughters.

Plaintiff’s father testified that, while defendant was out of work, he helped oversee construction of the house. Plaintiff’s father paid for childcare for the children while defendant worked on the property, but did not pay defendant for his work. To fund the construction, Plaintiff’s father opened a bank account in his, plaintiff’s, and defendant’s names so that everything was managed from one account. Only Plaintiff’s father deposited funds into the account.

The record indicates that construction of the home was a team effort. Defendant was apparently on site working every day and performed considerable work on the house and surrounding property. Construction on the home ended in 2012, and on October 25, 2012, Plaintiff’s father quitclaimed his interest in the property to plaintiff. In December 2012, plaintiff, defendant, and their two daughters moved into the house.

Plaintiff and defendant made accommodations and alterations to the home after moving in. Plaintiff also took out a mortgage on the home in her name, but defendant, as her husband, was required to sign the paperwork. Plaintiff used the mortgage funds to pay for work on the house, outstanding bills for materials, and to pay off vehicle loans for her and defendant. During the marriage, the parties pooled their monies and used their joint resources to pay all the bills; both were in charge of finances. However, when plaintiff lost her job in 2014, defendant became employed to support the family. Although plaintiff became reemployed within a month and again began contributing to the mortgage payments and family bills, defendant continued depositing his paychecks into their joint account, made mortgage payments, and paid the bills for the next six months. Plaintiff filed for divorce on January 27, 2015.

At trial, plaintiff requested that the trial court award her the home, whereas defendant requested 50% of the home’s equity. The trial court concluded that the home was marital property subject to division because defendant contributed to the marital home by working on it; plaintiff and defendant lived together in the home for two years; and defendant paid for the expenses of the home for six months. The court found that the parties comingled funds to build and maintain the home. The court further concluded that, even if the home was to be considered separate property, it would be subject to invasion because defendant extensively improved the property.

Are you facing a divorce in Michigan? Do you have questions about how your assets and your debts will be divided with your soon-to-be ex-spouse? Financial issues are often the biggest concern for individuals and families who are facing divorce.

At the Plymouth and Ann Arbor law firm of Aldrich Legal Services, our attorneys understand the struggles you may face. We will work hard to help you obtain all to which you are entitled during your divorce.

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PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

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Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

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PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

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In a separate case, defendant’s parents filed a petition to terminate plaintiff’s parental rights and adopt RM on the ground that plaintiff had been absent from RM’s life for over three years. One month before the petition was...

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The parties have two children in common, and both children are now adults. The parties were never married, but plaintiff was granted custody and defendant was ordered to pay child support. After the youngest child turned eighteen, defendant sought a...

FAMILY LAW 65: The court held that because the ECE was not altered by the change of school districts, the referee properly applied the preponderance of the evidence standard when reviewing the best interest and parenting time factors.

BASIC FACTS The parties divorced in 2018. Their judgment of divorce provided that plaintiff would have primary physical custody and that the parties would have joint legal custody of the two minor children. The judgment of divorce stated that the...

FAMILY LAW 64: The court reversed the trial court’s order granting joint physical and legal custody of the parties’ children to defendant-father, concluding that the trial court improperly conflated his motion to change custody with plaintiff-mother

The parties divorced in 2013. The judgment of divorce granted mother sole physical and legal custody and ordered that the child’s domicile would remain in Michigan. In 2015, the trial court granted mother’s motion to change domicile,...

5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

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PROBATE 44: The court held that the probate court did not err by declaring a will executed by the decedent invalid on the basis that she lacked testamentary capacity to execute it and that it was the product of petitioner’s undue influence.

Defendant and Decedent met in August 2017. In approximately November 2017, Decedent began talking constantly about wanting Defendant to take her to see an attorney for the purpose of changing her will. On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a petition...

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new law regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

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