The primary purpose of spousal support is to balance the parties' incomes and needs so that neither party will be impoverished, and spousal support must be based on what is just and reasonable considering the circumstances of the case.
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The fact that plaintiff offered defendant the RFR for numerous Tuesday overnights over the course of approximately nine months does not support defendant’s position that a change of circumstances or proper cause has arisen.
Defendant’s attorney stated that the total fees incurred by both sides are far beyond what he usually sees in divorce cases. Regarding the reasonableness of five depositions, he testified that he has not conducted five depositions in an average divorce case in the last few years.
At that hearing, the trial court signed the proffered judgment of divorce, which it now characterized as a default judgment despite the fact that no default had been entered, nor had plaintiff ever filed a motion for entry of default judgment.
Defendant ultimately not being in full compliance did not make the filing of the motions or the signing of them by defense counsel frivolous.
The Michigan statute governing spousal support favors a case-by-case approach to determining spousal support.
At issue in this case is whether Plaintiff satisfied the jurisdictional residency requirement contained in MCL 552.9(1), which provides that a judgment of divorce shall not be granted by a court in this state in an action for divorce unless the complainant or defendant has resided in this state for 180 days immediately preceding the filing of the complaint.
DIVORCE 17: Judgment states, obligations owed to each other shall be deemed a support obligation which is not dischargeable in Bankruptcy.
In essence, while a bankruptcy court could discharge the debts, they still remained owing to that party to whom they were payable as support, which is not dischargeable.
With regard to defendant’s income, the trial court found that defendant earned an average of $15,300 per year from his drywall business and $120,000 per year from his medical marijuana grow operation during that same period.
DIVORCE 10: For an agreement to be unconscionable, there must be both procedural unconscionability and substantive unconscionability.
Despite having signed the proposed divorce judgment, defendant filed an answer to the divorce complaint on February 28, 2017, and on March 2, 2017, she filed a response to plaintiff’s motion for entry of proofs and judgment, along with a motion to restore her possession of the marital home. Defendant claimed arguments premised on unconscionability.
To award fees on the basis of misconduct, the trial court must determine that misconduct, in fact, occurred and that the misconduct caused the party seeking fees to incur the fees awarded.
DIVORCE 14: A temporary order remains in effect until modified or until the entry of the final judgment of divorce.
Plaintiff contends that the trial court erred in extending the status quo beyond entry of the JOD. Pursuant to MCR 3.207(C)(5), a temporary order remains in effect until modified or until the entry of the final judgment or order.
The appeals court agreed with the trial court that plaintiff’s conduct in filing for divorce in another county while the Oakland County divorce judgment was still in effect violated that judgment of divorce.
The circuit court entered a default judgment of divorce ordering Defendant to pay Plaintiff $2,000 in spousal support each month. Only then did Defendant realize the divorce would not be as easy as he anticipated.
Separate assets may lose their character as separate property and transform into marital property if they are commingled with marital assets and treated by the parties as marital property.
DIVORCE 10: Plaintiff contends that the home is not marital property, but rather separate property not subject to invasion.
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.
FAMILY LAW 16: Provisions of a judgment of separate maintenance do not preclude a court from addressing those issues in a later divorce.
It is mandatory that the court dispose of the related matters of alimony, support and property. Accordingly, the court erred in concluding that the judgment of separate maintenance necessarily controlled.
Plaintiff argues that failing to place a value on defendant’s two businesses and awarding them to defendant, is depriving plaintiff of assets to which she is entitled.
The fact that an asset is obtained as a separate asset does not mean its status cannot change. Separate assets may lose their character as separate property and transform into marital property.
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.
After the judgment of divorce was entered, plaintiff moved for relief from judgment, claiming that defendants-ex-wife and her attorney engaged in fraudulent conduct and that there was newly discovered evidence supporting that position.
The court ruled that the husband’s home was a premarital asset belonging to him alone, denied the wife’s request for spousal support and awarded minimal attorney fees.
The 10-year statute of limitations on a claim relating to a property settlement in a judgment of divorce begins to run at the time the claim accrues and that the claim accrues when the money owing under the property settlement comes due.
In this case, defendant appeals order requiring him to pay plaintiff attorney fees in the amount of $22,000, consisting of $10,000 for plaintiff’s divorce attorney and $12,000 for a business attorney.
The only fact the trial court used to rule that defendant should receive 25% of the value was that he contributed and sacrificed little to the Book of Business and this was not a concerted effort.
Plaintiff moved to set aside the revised proposed QDRO, arguing that it was time-barred under the ten-year statute of limitations set forth in MCL 600.5809(3).
Plaintiff ex-wife appeals trial court’s order awarding defendant ex-husband over $22,000 in attorney fees and costs incurred by defendant in addressing plaintiff’s contempt of court for violation of the parties’ divorce judgment.
Defendant argues that the trial court’s 60/40 distribution of the marital estate in plaintiff’s favor was inappropriately punitive. According to defendant, the trial court placed a disproportionate amount of weight on the parties’ respective fault, while ignoring defendant’s significant financial contributions to the marital estate.
When dividing property in a divorce, trial courts must first determine marital and separate assets.
Defendant appeals the trial court's order denying spousal support. Defendant argued that the trial court should have conducted a spousal support review and that any language restricting the modification of spousal support in the judgment must be...
Plaintiff filed for divorce, after a marriage of almost 33 years. Defendant was employed as a gas mechanic. Plaintiff previously worked part time for school districts for approximately 11 years, cut hair for several years, and worked as a...
Plaintiff filed divorce action after a nearly 20-year marriage. Although defendant apparently participated in various pretrial conferences and discussed the terms of the divorce judgment, he did not answer the complaint, a default was entered, and...
The parties were married in 1998 and their divorce was finalized in 2015. Following entry of the judgment of divorce, both parties filed motions for attorney fees. Defendant argued that he was entitled to attorney fees because plaintiff had driven...
The Judgment of Divorce declared that Plaintiff was entitled one-half of the pension benefits Defendant had accrued during his marriage to Plaintiff, with full rights of survivorship, and that these benefits were due to Plaintiff when they became...
Concluding that the ex-husband was engaging in an impermissible collateral attack on their consent divorce judgment, the court also rejected his challenges to the trial court's order holding him in contempt.
Plaintiff was awarded 50% of defendant's retirement pay, or "disposable military retired pay," as calculated based on his creditable military service during the marriage. They also agreed to an "offset provision," which was designed to "address a...
The court remanded the case to the trial court for more complete findings and conclusions of law as to the contempt proceedings.
The plaintiff-wife challenged the trial court's order finding her in contempt on two grounds. First, she contended that the trial court clearly erred in concluding that she willfully disobeyed its orders requiring that her children be afforded...
The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err by awarding spousal support to the defendant-former husband, or by requiring the plaintiff-former wife to pay some of his attorney fees incurred in their divorce action.
The court rejected plaintiff's argument that the award of spousal support was unfair and inequitable under the circumstances. "Although the trial court imputed $35,000 to defendant in annual income," he was unemployed and needed "to secure and...
A trial court properly awarded attorney fees in a post-divorce matter as an award of attorney fees is appropriate where fees and expenses were incurred because the other party refused to comply with a previous court order
Rejecting the plaintiff-husband's claim that the trial court, on remand, again failed to make sufficient factual findings to support its attorney fee award to the defendant-wife, the court affirmed the award. The court held in the prior appeal that...
A trial court did not clearly err by interpreting a parties' divorce consent agreement as requiring that they equally divide their 2012 tax refund
The trial court did not clearly err by interpreting the parties' divorce consent agreement as requiring that they equally divide their 2012 tax refund. The defendant-husband represented to the trial court and to the plaintiff-wife that their 2012...
A trial did not abuse its discretion by awarding the plaintiff-ex-wife 75% of her attorney fees incurred where plaintiff had an annual surplus of only $1,560, while defendant had $6 million in liquid assets
The court held that the trial did not abuse its discretion by awarding the plaintiff-ex-wife 75% of her attorney fees incurred in the trial court proceedings, or by finding she could bear 25% of the costs, and the defendant-ex-husband 75%, as to...