DIVORCE, CHILD SUPPORT & CHILD CUSTODY


Table of Contents

  1. HOW LONG MUST I WAIT TO GET A DIVORCE IN MICHIGAN?
  2. HOW IS THE CONCEPT OF FAULT UNDER MICHIGAN DIVORCE LAW APPLIED?
  3. WHAT ARE THE FACTORS A COURT MAY USE IN MAKING AN AWARD OF ALIMONY ?
  4. JOINT CUSTODY CONSIDERATIONS.
  5. BEST INTEREST TEST FOR CHILD CUSTODY
  6. HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED IN MICHIGAN?
  7. MILITARY DIVORCE

 


HOW LONG MUST I WAIT TO GET A DIVORCE IN MICHIGAN?

Assuming residency requirements are met there is generally a mandatory 60 day cooling off or waiting period which applies. This period starts the day your complaint for divorce is filed. During this period the court cannot legally issue a divorce judgment.

If there are dependent minor children the waiting period is 6 months from the filing of the complaint for divorce. The court can waive the six month waiting period in cases of unusual hardship or such compelling necessity as shall appeal to the conscience of the court. The waiver can only be obtained by petitioning the court.

The times listed above are minimum times and do not take into account the dockets of individual judges. In my experience it will take longer to resolve your case if it proceeds to trial. Usually, at the request of the parties, most courts will expedite the resolution of cases that are settling.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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HOW IS THE CONCEPT OF FAULT UNDER MICHIGAN DIVORCE LAW APPLIED?

There is often a misunderstanding regarding the concept of fault as used in Michigan divorce law. The grounds for divorce are commonly referred to as "NO FAULT" because it is not necessary to establish fault to obtain a divorce.

In order to obtain a divorce in Michigan it is not necessary to establish that one or both parties were at fault in the marriage. All that is necessary is that there be a showing that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there remains no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved.

When the court makes a division of property in a divorce case "FAULT" may be taken into account by the court. The court can decide that one party is entitled to more property than the other because one party was at fault in the marriage.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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WHAT ARE THE FACTORS A COURT MAY USE IN MAKING AN AWARD OF ALIMONY ?

Michigan courts have the authority to make an award of alimony in appropriate cases. The factors the court applies in determining the question of alimony are found in Michigan case law.

Michigan case law reveals a number of factors which have been considered in evaluating whether alimony should be awarded. These factors include:

1. The past relations and conduct of the parties.

2. The length of the marriage.

3. The ability of the parties to work.

4. The source of and amount of property awarded to the parties.

5. The age of the parties.

6. The ability of the parties to pay alimony.

7. The present situation of the parties.

8. The needs of the parties.

9. The health of the parties.

10. The prior standard of living of the parties and whether either is responsible for the support of others.

11. General principles of equity.

Alimony can last for varying lengths of time and as a general rule can be modified or terminated as conditions warrant.

Some courts will also consider an award of rehabilitative alimony. This type of award is usually designed to allow one spouse to obtain schooling or special training so that they can earn more in the job market. This type of alimony is usually limited in its duration.

It is important to review the tax implications of alimony awards. Under certain circumstances the alimony payments may be tax deductible by the payer and included as income for the recipient. Often times the tax consequences of alimony plays an important role in structuring a divorce settlement.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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JOINT CUSTODY CONSIDERATIONS.

Whenever there is a custody dispute between parents in the state of Michigan the parents should be advised of joint custody. If either parent requests the court shall consider an award of joint custody.

The court must determine whether an award of joint custody is in the best interest of the child by using factors found in the statue. For a copy of the statutory provision regarding Joint Custody click on the link.

The first factor actually consists of the 12 factors that make up the Best Interest of The Child Test which is discussed below. See Best Interest Test For Child Custody.

The second factor found in the Joint Custody statutory provision is based on the ability of the parents to cooperate. Other important information regarding Joint Custody can also be found in the statue.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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BEST INTEREST TEST FOR CHILD CUSTODY

The starting point for any discussion regarding child custody in the state of Michigan is the "Best Interest of the Child Test". It is part of The Michigan Child Custody Act of 1970.

Before an award of custody can be made to either party, in a contested action, the judge must examine each factor in the test and make a determination as to whether one parent better fulfills that part of the test. For a copy of the test click on the link above.

If you are involved in a custody dispute or anticipate one in the future you will want to review the test carefully. This is the standard the court will apply in determining the all important question of child custody.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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HOW IS CHILD SUPPORT DETERMINED IN MICHIGAN?

Generally, the issue of the amount of child support is referred to the Friend of the Court. This agency will conduct an investigation and make a recommendation as to the amount of child support. The Friend of the Court utilizes a Child Support Formula incorporated into a computer program and manual. A copy of the Michigan Child Support Guidelines Software can be downloaded for FREE!

The Friend of the court will take into account many factors in making a recommendation which are included in the text version as well as software version of the Child Support Manual. As a general rule of thumb a non custodial parent will generally pay a percentage of their net income after taxes less than:

a. 20% of net income when there is one minor child,

b. 30% of net income when there are two minor children,

c. 40% of net income when there are three minor children, and

d. 50% of net income when there are four or more minor children

There are many adjustments which are taken into consideration which can increase or decrease the amount of child support. Some common ones include incomes from second jobs, income your spouse or former spouse earns and prior support obligations.

Once the Friend of the Court completes its recommendation each party is presented with its recommendation and the matter is referred to the judge or referee assigned to your case. If the parties cannot agree it will be up to your judge to determine the amount of child support. This is done by means of a hearing.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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MILITARY DIVORCE

Military divorces require expertise.  Special issues arise in military divorces and they require special attention.  One of the most important considerations is the division of the military pension.

Robert D. Mouradian, the founder of AAAA Legal Center has experience in these complicated matters.  Feel free to contact AAAA Legal Center if you are considering a Michigan divorce.

Whether you are stationed or living state-side or overseas does not matter.  If either you or your spouse have been residents of the state of Michigan for six months you can file for a divorce in Michigan no matter where you are living or are stationed.

If you have a question regarding a legal matter in the state of
Michigan contact AAAA Legal Center by Phone or E-Mail

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(E-Mail transmissions are not confidential)


Copyright 2001, 2002
Last modified: February 11, 2010