I will be happy to handle your Family Law needs, including, divorce, custody, child support and parenting time. In general I will only be able to provide these services for people living in Shiawassee County. It is much more expensive for me to represent clients in other counties.
Half of everything earned or gained due to marriage are equally divided between spouses. Leaving the marital home at the time of filling for divorce does not change the division of marital interest in the home. Filing as soon as a divorce is imminent is important. This sets the time when marital assets value are determined. Generally, it is difficult and time consuming (meaning very expensive) for the court to determine who bought more milk or toilet paper during the marriage. So assets are often determined at the time of marriage and at the time of filing for divorce or when the divorce is completed. So, if one party is spending (or hiding) assets, it is better for the other to file for divorce quickly to have that date determined for what the “marital” assets are. Taking half (or any other fraction) of the bank accounts, etc. will be reviewed at the time of the Judgment for appropriateness. Sometimes securing the assets is easier than finding them later if the other spouse desires to hide them.
Custody (with or without marriage)
Leaving your children in the marital (or shared) home and moving out is only an issue for custody. You cannot argue that the parent that you leave the children with is not worthy of caring for your children. Do not leave your children if you want primary physical custody.
For general law, you can review the Michigan law website at:
In Shiawassee County there are currently two family law judges with another providing relief.
In general, Michigan does not allow for the courts to address the sex of the parent when deciding custody or parenting time. This means that mother and father are supposed to be considered equal as parents until something else makes the finder of fact (Friend of the Court investigator/referee or judge) lean toward one or the other. The established custodial environment is huge in deciding what should be maintained. The court should not change a child’s established custodial environment for less than a really good reason.
When the parents are married and living with the child, each is considered equal until something sways the fact finder one way or the other. In addition, each has full physical and legal custody until further order of the court.
Unmarried people will find that the hospital usually has the parents sign an “Affidavit of Parentage” which gives the mother custody until further order of the court. This means that an unmarried mother does not need to ask permission of the father for any medical care, educational decisions, or anything else.
Child support is a formula based on the income of both parents and the overnights each has with the child. The formula changed in the fall of 2008, the rates increased, but the “cliff effect” was eliminated. So based on the number of overnights the change is more linear than before the change.