Often, agreements between spouses are the result of what attorneys sometimes call the “kitchen table” approach. Husband and wife know their separation and divorce is inevitable, so they sit down, without attorneys, and decide how they want to divide their assets. Many times, these “kitchen table” agreements result in a formal, signed document, which then leads to a final judgment of divorce. Read more
One frustrating part about domestic relations judgments and orders has to do with the enforcement of them. If one party to a case is ordered to do something and fails to do it, the aggrieved party must file a motion to enforce the order. The result: another court order ordering the party to do what he or she has already been ordered to do! Read more
Whenever there are minor children one issue that must be addressed, whether a case is collaborative or not, is child-support. Obviously it costs money to raise children.
In the litigation realm generally the information requested by the Michigan Child Support Foundation (i.e. incomes, tax status, overnights, medical insurance for children, and childcare) is put into the state approved software and a for child support number is generated. This number reduces as each child reaches age eighteen or graduates from high school, whichever is later. Also there is a formula for paying children’s medical expenses. Read more
As a general principle, when cases are settled and judgments are entered, they are final, except for some fairly limited rights of appeal. Most people are of the opinion that if you do not like what a judge does you simply can appeal their decision. Usually, you have to do more than just show that the judge may be wrong. Often, the Court of Appeals will only reverse the trial judge if there was an “abuse of discretion.” The courts are even more reluctant to set aside a settlement. Read more
In Michigan, a grandparent may seek a court order for visitation with their grandchildren under one of the following circumstances: (1) an action for divorce, separate maintenance or annulment involving the child’s parents is pending before the court; (2) the child’s parents are divorced, separated under a judgment of separate maintenance or have had their marriage annulled; Read more
On June 12, 2012, the Revocation of Paternity Act (RPA) was enacted, which changes standing for a potential biological father seeking to revoke an acknowledgment of parentage from what it was in the Acknowledgment of Parentage Act (APA). Issues regarding standing in paternity cases have been a source of much attention because they involve questions of whether a biological father’s rights are inviolate compared to the “rights” of an equitable father or, even, the rights and best interests of the child at issue. Read more
One of the reasons why our firm specializes in family law is because of the interesting issues which come up when dealing with real people in real life situations. Some of the unusual situations almost defy the imagination.
In a sad case, the Michigan Court of Appeals had to decide whether or not the courts in Michigan could grant a divorce in a “same-sex marriage.” In this case a man and a woman were legally married. During the marriage the husband had a sex change operation. Read more