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Family Law Bloomfield Hills Michigan

Spousal Support/Alimony Division of Marital Assets
Change of Domicile Pre-nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
Grandparent's Rights Annulments


Post Judgment Proceedings

Spousal Support/Alimony 

Spousal support or alimony is a sum of money paid by one spouse to another spouse for financial support and maintenance of that spouse. Courts have established the following factors in determining whether spousal support should be awarded and the amount of such an award:

  1. The past relations and conduct of the parties;

  2. The length of the marriage;

  3. The parties ability to work;

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

  5. The age of the parties;

  6. The ability of the parties to pay spousal support;

  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 the parties are responsible for the support of others;

  11. General principles of equity.

Alimony is usually paid through the office of the Friend of the Court. This enables a party to obtain an accurate record of these payments. Also, it makes it easier to request assistance from the Friend of the Court in the event that payments are not forthcoming, or if a spouse denies receiving said payments. Enforcement of regular or periodic alimony payments is usually instituted by an Order to Show Cause. Furthermore, spousal support/alimony clauses in a Judgment of Divorce are generally modifiable due to a change in circumstances.

Change of Domicile
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Domicile or residence is the place at which a person is physically present and that the person regards as their home. Michigan law provides that a child whose parental custody is governed by court order may not change the domicile or residence of the minor child outside of Michigan without the approval of the judge who awarded custody or the judge's successor. Furthermore, if the parents have joint legal custody, a parent may not change a legal residence of the child to a location that is more than 100 miles from the child's legal residence at the time of the commencement of the action in which the order is issued.

Accordingly, to change the child's residence outside of Michigan or more than 100 miles within the state requires court action.

Grandparent's Rights
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Courts may award visitation, called "grandparenting time," to grandparents if the parents of the grandchild are divorced, separated under a judgment of separate maintenance or have had their marriage annulled, or if such an action is pending before the court. In addition, grandparents may receive visitation if the child's parent is deceased; if the child's parents have never been married, they are not residing in the same household and paternity has been established; or if custody of the child has been given to a third party.

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Paternity establishment is needed to identify a child's legal father and the rights associated therein. If the mother is married when the child is born, her husband is recognized as the legal father. If the mother is not married, the mother and father may establish paternity voluntarily by completing an Affidavit of Parentage form. Paternity may also be established through a court order, which can be used as legal proof of paternity.

Division of Marital Assets
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In Michigan, division of marital property follows the rule of equitable distribution. In most cases, the parties usually arrive at a settlement of all their property rights after negotiation or after mediation and an agreement is drafted. However, if an agreement is not reached, the matter will be decided by the court after the trial is conducted.

In dividing marital property, the courts consider the following factors: length/duration of the marriage; necessities of the parties and/or their children; contributions of the parties to the marital estate; earning power of the parties; age of the parties; health of the parties; conduct of the parties, including fault in the breakdown of the marriage; and general principles of equity.

Understanding the process of dividing property in a divorce and the difference between martial and separate property is paramount when negotiating, litigating or drafting a property division agreement as property settlements are not modifiable, except in cases of fraud, clerical error, mistake, or gross unfairness in the initial trial. Accordingly, it is in the best interest of both parties to consult with an experienced attorney when property division is at issue.

Pre-nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements
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Pre-nuptial agreements are made by the parties prior to their marriage and provide each party certainty regarding what will occur if one of them seeks to dissolve the marriage relationship.

Post-nuptial agreements are made by the parties during their marriage to govern the disposition of their property and their rights and obligations regarding support if their marriage terminates.

Entering into pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, with the assistance of an attorney, enables the parties to determine their own financial future in the event of the termination of the marriage.

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Annulment is a judicial proceeding declaring a marriage null and void. If a marriage is voidable, it is valid until one of the parties brings an action to have it annulled. Furthermore, until a court declares the marriage annulled, the marriage is legally binding. The statutory grounds for declaring a marriage void are consanguinity, affinity, that either party was not capable in law of contracting at the time of the solemnization, bigamy, fraud, duress, and nonage. In addition to declaring a marriage null and void, judicial action must also be taken to restore the parties former property rights, to clarify the rights of any children of the marriage, and to prevent any subsequent complications.

Post Judgment Proceedings
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A judgment of divorce must be granted if the court finds 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. MCL 552.6(3). Some provisions of a divorce judgment, such as custody, parenting time, child support, and periodic spousal support, are modifiable on a partys motion. A court that had personal jurisdiction in the original divorce proceeding retains jurisdiction to modify the judgment.

Family Law Bloomfield Hills Michigan

Based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Robbins and Licavoli, PLLC represents clients throughout Metropolitan Detroit including Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, Berkley, Ferndale, Huntington Woods, Farmington Hills, Troy, Novi, Northville, Walled Lake, Commerce Township, Grosse Pointe, Auburn Hills, Clarkston, Sterling Heights, Mount Clemens and St. Clair Shores. The Law Offices of Robbins and Licavoli, also represents clients throughout the counties of Oakland County, Livingston County, Macomb County, Washtenaw County, and Wayne County.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has
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Robbins & Licavoli, PLLC
3910 Telegraph Road, #200
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 48302