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Marital Property & Divorce In Michigan

Jun 9, 2016



MARITAL PROPERTY



      Marital property is refers to property that a couple acquires during the course of their marriage.  This includes, but is not limited to, real property, bank accounts, furniture, electronics, and other personal property items.   What you may not realize is that other items are also included.  Retirement accounts, 401 Ks and IRAs are also considered marital property.  If the marriage is lengthy, then social security benefits may also be subject to division. 

      If an individual owns some real property before the marriage and puts his/her spouses name on the deed after marriage, then the property is considered marital property.  If the property is kept in just the one spouse's name, and was owned before the marriage, then any increase in value is considered marital property.  An inheritance can be considered marital property, when inherited during the course of the marriage.  This is also true of monies that was inherited before the marriage, if the funds are commingled  in a joint account with the other spouse.  Commingled funds of any kind may be subject to division as marital property during a divorce action. 

     Marital property is most often divided evenly in Michigan during the course of a divorce.  A fifty/fifty split is the most desired outcome.  However, parties can enter into an agreement with each other to give up some, or all of his/her rights to some, or all of the marital property.  


JRothstein Law Group PLLC serving the greater Lansing, MI area of Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Shiawassee Counties
    

Child Custody Act Michigan

May 11, 2016

Best Interest Factors:  MCL 722.23

   In Michigan the Court considers several factors when determining child custody issues.  These factors are often referred to as the Best Interest Factors.  The Michigan Legislature has compiled a list and incorporated these factors in the Child Custody Act of 1970.

722.23 "Best Interest of the Child"

Sec. 3:  As used in this act, 'best interest of the child' means the sum total of the following factors to be considered, evaluated, and determined by the court: 

a.) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parties involved and the child.
b.) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to continue the education and raising of the child in his or her religion or creed, if any.
c.) The capacity and disposition of the parties involved to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under the laws of this state in place of medical care, and other material needs.
d.) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment, and the desirability of maintaining continuity.  
e.) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home or homes.
f.) The moral fitness of the parties involved.
g.) The mental and physical health of the parties involved.
h.) The home, school, and community record of the child.
i.) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court considers the child to be of sufficient age to express preference.
j.) The willingness and ability of each of the parties to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent or the child and the parents.
k.) Domestic violence, regardless of whether the violence was directed against or witnessed by the child.
l.) Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to a particular child custody dispute.

   These factors are not weighed evenly.  Some factors are more important than others.  For instance, factor j is considered one the, if not the, most important factor.  This factor refers to the parents ability to act appropriately regarding each other.  Posting negative things about each other on social media is a huge no, no.  Criticizing each other, especially in front of the minor child(ren) is another big no, no.  When dealing with child custody issues it is ALWAYS better to take the high road.  Avoid mud slinging.  This behavior will only incur the Court's wrath and make you look bad in front of your child(ren).

The JRothstein Law Group PLLC located in DeWitt, MI and serving the tri-county area of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties.  If you are having any child custody issues, please call us at (517) 575-8039 for a free phone consultation.

Divorce And Custody Of The Minor Child

Apr 19, 2016

Types of Custody:  Joint, Sole, Legal and Physical


     Child custody issues come up whenever the relationship between the parents comes to an end.  These issues arise between parents who divorce, but also between parents who were never married. Sharing a child after a relationship ends can be challenging, but always remember to take the high road.  Do not criticize the other parent in front of the child.  Research has shown that this has a negative affect on the child's self esteem.

     Custody has 4 main areas that need to be worked out between the parties:

  • Legal Custody:  is the decision making power to make decisions regarding the child's medical, educational, religious  upbringing, etc...  Legal custody allows the party or parties to make any and all decisions for the child.  What doctor will the child see, what school will the child attend, what dentist will the child visit.  These are all examples of the decision making power involved in legal custody.  
  • Physical Custody:  is where the child resides.  
     Legal and Physical Custody can be either joint or sole custody depending on the circumstances surrounding the dissolution of the relationship.  The status can also be agreed to by the parties.  

  • Joint Custody:  where both parties share equally in regards to the minor child.  This can pertain to legal custody, physical custody or both.  This is also arrangement preferred by most Michigan courts.  Sometimes, due to the age of the child, one parent may have sole physical custody, but the parties share joint legal custody, or vice versa.  When parents share joint legal custody, both parties have equal right to make decisions regarding the minor child.  When both parties share joint physical custody, then the child usually lives part time with each party.
  • Sole Custody:  where one party has the sole say over the child.  This is not the preferred outcome of most Michigan courts.  It most often occurs when one parent has sole physical custody and the other parent has parenting time.  However, it can also occur that one party has sole legal custody over the minor child as well.  This usually happens because it has become a necessity for some reason.  Perhaps one party lives out of state, or is unable, (in jail or in prison) or unwilling to accept legal or physical custody of the minor child.  When that occurs the courts allow for the remaining parent to retain sole legal and/or sole physical custody of the minor child(ren).
The JRothstein Law Group PLLC represents people in Ingham, Clinton, Eaton, Shiawassee and Livingston Counties.  Our office is located in DeWitt, Michigan

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