The Court recognizes that the object in awarding spousal support is to balance the incomes and needs of the parties so that neither will be impoverished; spousal support is to be based on what is just and reasonable under the circumstances of the case.
Browse Our Blog for Knowledge on How to Protect Yourself Legally and to See Examples of How We've Achieved Results
Posts in the Family Law category:
FAMILY LAW 53: The trial court erred by treating the parties’ GAL as an LGAL and denying the parties the right to question her at a hearing; however, the trial court did not err in requiring the parties to compensate the GAL for her services.
Plaintiff and Defendant were never married, but share a young son who was born in 2016. The parties have battled over custody, child support, and other parenting issues ever since. In the spring of 2019, the parties filed competing motions to modify...
FAMILY LAW 50: A Michigan Court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination when it is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding or within 6 months before the commencement of the proceeding.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY Plaintiff and defendant have twin sons, but never married. On August 13, 2008, the Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division in Montgomery County, Ohio established plaintiff as the legal father of the children and...
FAMILY LAW 49: Best interest factors must be used by the Court when designating the minor child’s school.
BACKGROUND Plaintiff and defendant, the parents of a minor child, never married. Over a year after the minor child’s birth, plaintiff filed a paternity action against defendant. Thereafter, the parties agreed upon a final...
This divorce action commenced in 2011 and the parties reached a settlement in 2013. Plaintiff submitted a proposed judgment under the seven-day rule, MCR 2.602(B)(3). Defendant filed objections. Judgment of Divorce Entered Ultimately, at an...
When a relationship just isn’t working, there is power in ending a bad situation. Many people rush to get a divorce, but there are other options for couples to explore. Legal separation is another avenue people use to gain distance from each...
In this case, the parties divorced by consent judgment in February 2018. Under the divorce judgment, the parties shared joint legal custody and plaintiff had primary physical custody of their minor child, who has special needs. In the divorce...
D and C married on October 4, 2008. The couple has no children together. During the marriage, the parties lived together in a home purchased by D before the marriage that had become marital property through C’s financial investments. They each...
In this case, B and S’s relationship began to deteriorate after AB’s birth. Money was tight and B claimed that S rejected B’s requests that she return to work. S, on the other hand, accused B of belittling her role as a...
During their marriage, the parties had eight children, five of whom are still minors. In the parties’ 2014 consent judgment of divorce, plaintiff was awarded primary physical custody of the children, and the parties were awarded joint...
The parties were never married, but they have a five-year-old daughter (ES). At the time the child was born, the parties lived in Colorado. When the child was approximately six months old, the parties agreed to a Parenting Plan in the District Court...
Plaintiff filed a motion to appoint a receiver noting that defendant had defied the court’s authority and was found in contempt, that defendant had refused to pay child support and other money owing to plaintiff, and that defendant had refused to offer any payment or plan for payment relative to his obligations.
FAMILY LAW 44: Father files motion to change the two minor children’s domicile from Michigan to Indiana.
In March 2018, defendant filed a motion to change the children’s domicile from Jackson, Michigan to Mishawaka, Indiana, a town approximately 140 miles away.
Money is an important factor whenever you work with a professional. When you go through a divorce, your money and time can get even tighter. Hiring a cheap lawyer to handle your case could be attractive. However, they will end up letting you down....
FAMILY LAW 43: Joint legal custody; court determines if parents can cooperate and generally agree concerning important decisions.
In this case, defendant requested joint legal custody. He testified that he believed that he and plaintiff would be able to co-parent effectively.
When a relationship comes to an end, there are many things to consider. It can be difficult to decide how to proceed with legally ending your marriage. If you are on speaking terms with your spouse, you may have another option to separate more...
In his motion for a new trial, defendant claimed to possess text messages—found sometime after trial concluded—apparently demonstrating (1) sexual infidelity by plaintiff, (2) that plaintiff suffered from undisclosed health concerns, and (3) that plaintiff was deceitful during her trial testimony.
FAMILY LAW 42: Motion to modify custody denied due to lack of supporting affidavits or documentation.
The lack of substantiation, again and again, could reasonably call into question plaintiff’s motives and credibility on all matters. The trial court appeared more than open to further considering a motion to modify custody if plaintiff would come forward with supporting documentary evidence, explaining why the court took the unusual step of denying the motion without prejudice.
FAMILY LAW 41: To minimize disruptive changes in children’s custody, moving party must establish cause or a change of circumstance.
To minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes in children’s custody, a trial court may only modify children’s custody if the moving party first establishes a proper cause or a change of circumstances. The purpose of this framework is to erect a barrier against removal of a child from an established custodial environment and to minimize unwarranted and disruptive changes of custody orders.
DIVORCE 35: Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit are generally considered separate property.
Proceeds received by one spouse in a personal injury lawsuit meant to compensate for pain and suffering, as opposed to lost wages, are generally considered separate property. Moreover, 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.
FAMILY LAW 40: Trial court found that the children’s unexcused absences justified a reevaluation of the last custody order.
Defendant sent plaintiff text messages strongly indicating that she would not comply with the order limiting her parenting time, the trial court entered a second ex parte temporary order suspending defendant’s parenting time, which was later modified to grant defendant supervised parenting time.
FAMILY LAW 39: If postnuptial agreement seeks to promote marriage, Michigan courts may enforce the agreement.
Under Michigan law, a couple that is maintaining a marital relationship may not enter into an enforceable contract that anticipates and encourages a future separation or divorce. If a postnuptial agreement seeks to promote marriage by keeping a husband and wife together, Michigan courts may enforce the agreement if it is equitable to do so.
PROBATE 31: What does a court need for a determination that an individual continues to be involuntarily hospitalized?
Before ordering a course of involuntary mental health treatment or of care and treatment at a center, the court must receive a written report or oral testimony describing the type and extent of treatment that will be provided to the individual and the appropriateness and adequacy of this treatment.
FAMILY LAW 38: Trial court did not consider joint physical custody an option because both parties requested sole physical custody.
Because the trial court found that an established custodial environment existed with both parties and acknowledged that plaintiff’s request for sole physical custody would change the established custodial environment, it held plaintiff to the appropriate clear and convincing evidence standard of proof.
Plaintiff and defendant were married in December 2008 and had one minor child born during the marriage, AM. Plaintiff also had a daughter from a prior marriage, who is not at issue in this matter. During the parties’ marriage, plaintiff was...
Plaintiff requested sole legal custody, arguing that she and defendant had difficulty co-parenting and that defendant would not agree to medical treatment for the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD, need for orthodontic work, and need for vision testing and glasses. Plaintiff also requested an alternating weekly or biweekly schedule during the summer, which would increase her overall parenting time.
FAMILY LAW 36: Trial court found proper cause because health and education are important subjects relating to custody.
The trial court found that proper cause was established because the children’s health and education are two very important subjects relating to custody. When parents cannot agree on a child’s medical treatment and educational course, these topics can have significant effects on a child’s well-being.
In this case, plaintiff received approximately $57,000 or $67,000 from her parents. The trial court included the money from plaintiff’s parents as income for its 2017 child support calculation.
The court found the requested change of domicile will not change the children’s established custodial environment. Additionally, at the January 8, 2019 hearing, the trial court discusses the established custodial environment, and father’s counsel acknowledges that the established custodial environment is with the mother.
The trial court’s observation that defendant was able to live in the house rent-free for 14 years was an additional equitable reason for rejecting defendant’s claim that she should be awarded part of the value of the real property.
DIVORCE 27: Settlement reached at mediation must be signed to be binding, or recorded by audio or video.
The fact that this agreement as to custody and parenting time did not resolve all the disputes between the parties, with the court recognizing that some other little things purportedly agreed to at mediation were going to be added to the judgment, does not render the partial agreement invalid. Plaintiff is entitled to a trial on these remaining, unresolved issues.
The appeals court was concerned with the trial court’s minimization of the effect of the domestic violence in the home upon the parties’ children.
FAMILY LAW 33: Defendant posited that he was an affiliated father under the Revocation of Paternity Act.
Following entry of the judgment of divorce, plaintiff filed a motion for revocation of an acknowledged father’s paternity under MCL 722.14371 of the Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA).
FAMILY LAW 31: Custody decisions require all best interest factors, but parenting time decisions only contested issues.
Custody decisions require findings under all the best interest factors, but parenting time decisions may be made with findings on only the contested issues.
FAMILY LAW 30: Discretionary trust assets cannot be reached to satisfy claims for child support and alimony.
The key difference between discretionary trusts, support trusts, and spendthrift trusts is that creditors cannot compel the trustee of a discretionary trust to pay any part of the income or principal in order that the creditors may be paid. The opposite is true of spendthrift and support trusts, which allow trust assets to be reached to satisfy creditors, including creditors seeking to satisfy claims for child support and alimony.
The court ruled that title to the land prevails and that once the deed was signed, the property became the undivided whole interest for both the decedent and appellee and became appellee’s property upon the decedent’s death. Consequently, the court concluded that the prenuptial agreement did not have any impact on the property rights of appellee in this case.
The party requesting the change of domicile of the minor child has the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the change is warranted.
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.
The court shall not modify or amend its previous judgments or orders or issue a new order so as to change the established custodial environment of a child unless there is presented clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child.
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.