Now Accepting New Clients!

DIVORCE 7: Parties agreed and entered a stipulation to arbitrate.

This case arises out of a divorce proceeding commenced in early 2011 that resulted in entry of a judgment of divorce in 2012, followed by extensive disputes over implementation details. The parties eventually stipulated to binding arbitration, which, after further contentiousness before the arbitrator, resulted in an award that plaintiff found acceptable but defendant did not

The parties were married in 1992, and they had three children, the youngest of whom was born in May of 2000. The divorce was contested, but apparently the parties were able to cooperate effectively regarding parenting time, custody, their children’s various issues, and payment of expenses. The trial court ultimately entered a judgment of divorce, along with a uniform child support order and a uniform spousal support order. Both had attachments describing additional obligations. After the parties divorced, they continued to file motions and eventually stipulated to binding arbitration.

This dispute appears to be whether the arbitrator effectively modified the parties’ Uniform Spousal Support Order by awarding plaintiff 19.5% of the profits from the sale of defendant’s stock.

The parties’ post-divorce can best be described as mutually distrustful and antagonistic, both engaging in voluminous motion practice. Relevant to the instant appeal, the parties agreed and entered a stipulation to arbitrate. In relevant part, the stipulation specifically enumerated six motions that were outstanding as of the date of the stipulation, and it further provided that the arbitrator shall arbitrate all of the remaining, post judgment issues in the case. The arbitrator issued his first opinion almost two years after the parties stipulated to arbitrate.

The arbitrator deemed the only reasonable interpretation of the Uniform Spousal Support Order Attachment to be that any subsequent compensation or stock was to be considered income for support purposes, and that the stock purchase necessarily had to be considered compensation, although limited only to gains realized from the stock rather than the entire buy-back price.

Plaintiff moved in the trial court to confirm the ultimate award, and defendant moved to vacate or modify portions of it. It appears that the arbitrator’s opinion did not clearly distinguish between the two categories of stock. For the most part, the trial court did confirm the arbitration award. The trial court also concluded, after holding a hearing, that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority by improperly modifying the Uniform Spousal Support Orders.  The trial court denied the remainder of defendant’s request.

It is important to remember that decrees regarding child support and spousal support (alimony) are not always final. Our family law attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services have helped countless family law clients across southeast Michigan, including in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland counties, with changes to child support and spousal support orders.  Our focus is on resolving your dispute as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, while fully safeguarding your rights. 

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

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.

A basic introduction to wills

Originally posted on 10/31/2016 It can be difficult to consider the end of our lives when we are in good health. However, lives can change at any moment, so it is wise to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Despite the many...

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...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

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...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000