Divorce and Family Law Attorney

Serving all of Southeast Michigan

Phone

(248) 599-7036

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Michigan does not have legal separation. However, Michigan does have a Separate Maintenance action. This action is treated and filed just like a divorce. The advantage to a Separate Maintenance Action is that the parties will be allowed to maintain on each other’s health insurance as they do not get divorce or dissolve the bonds of matrimony. They do however, divide all of their assets as if they are divorced. The downside is that the shall the parties decide to divorce in the future,   they will have to refile the paperwork with the Courts.

    Caution: Parties should check with their health insurance company before decided on this option as some companies do not recognize Separate Maintenance actions.

  • Not really. However, the party that does file first does have the ability to file Orders along with the Complaint, which otherwise will need a hearing. This saves time and money and can prevent issues in the future. Further, the party that files is the one that generally is responsible for drafting the final paperwork.

  • A contested divorce is when parties cannot work things out and other means are needed such are mediation are needed. Non-contested is when the parties are able to resolve things on their own or when the other party decides to not fight at all.

  • No, in fact very few divorce cases go to trial. Most attorneys try to avoid trial as it is costly and very painful for the parties involved. The majority of cases that cannot settle go to mediation, where they usually are resolved.

  • There are two types of custody, legal and physical. Legal is who makes the legal decisions for the minor child; ie: medical, religions and educational. Physical is where the child lives. Most parents are awarded joint legal custody. Parenting time (visitation) tends to determine the physical custody of a child. 

  • Michigan looks at a variety of things to determine custody of a minor child. The main factors used are called the Best Interest Factors. This is a list of factors that the Court looks at to determine what custodial arrangement is best for the child.

  • Child support is calculated using the Michigan Child Support guidelines, which looks at the income of the parties and the overnights each parent has with the child, among a few other factors. It is a computerized formula and is almost always followed by the Court.

  • Spousal support is different than child support in that we can run guidelines, but they are just that. We will look at several factors, including the length of the marriage, the difference in income between the parties, the age and health of the parties and fault.

  • This depends. In most cases we try to make sure one party can keep the house. However, if neither party can afford the house, it usually is sold. 

  • Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning blame is not assigned to either party. Therefore, absent some extreme fault, property is split 50/50.

  • Yes, in Michigan, your spouse is entitled by law to 50% of the marital share, from the date of your marriage, to the date of your divorce, of all of your retirement savings. In short term marriages, it doesn’t always make sense to divide them as these can be difficult and costly to divide. You should always discuss in detail your options in regards to your plans with your attorney.