Do you Need a Family Law Attorney in Michigan?
Family law is the practice of law involving issues arising out of family matters, such as divorces, adoption, custody, property rights, and so on. Family law attorneys are lawyers that typically handle those issues. The family law field is fairly wide and encompasses a number of matters that can and do arise. This outline is a general piece on what is covered in family law matters. Bazzi Law focuses on family related legal matters and can help you with virtually everything that does arise in this context.
Divorce proceedings are probably the single most popular family service rendered by family law attorneys. Divorces are proceedings that seek to undo the legal bond created by a marriage between a couple. To simplify this concept, you can think of a marriage as a contract between two individuals. Two parties get married and combine many aspects of their lives, such as their assets, family lives, etc. A divorce can then be thought of as an unwinding of that contract. During the divorce proceedings, both parties seek to claim their rights to their children, income streams, property acquired during the marriage, etc.
Typically during a divorce, both parties will seek to stake their claim in the property that was jointly owned during the marriage. The court will attempt to split the property in a fair and just manner. However, complications always arise. Questions that commonly arise address the proper distributions of those properties. Complications exist as to how that property came into being, who paid for the property, and how it should be divided fairly.
Michigan Child Custody
Child custody is an issue that also arises during divorces, given that children are involved. This is oftentimes the most emotional part of the divorce and cause the most fighting between the two parties, aside from property division issues. Michigan child custody laws guide the courts to grant child custody based on what is in the child’s best interests. There are a number of factors the court considers in granting custody and the extent of which custody is granted.
Child Support in Michigan
Child support payments in Michigan is decided largely on a formula, or guidelines that have been developed by the Michigan Friend of the Court. The idea behind child support is for the non-custodial parent to make payments to the custodial parent for the needs of the children involved. Courts are required to consider two factors when determining the payments: (1) The needs of the children involved, and (2) the ability of the non-custodial parent to pay his/her share. Only one parent, usually the custodial parent, is allowed to claim the children as dependents for federal income tax reasons.
Michigan Spousal Support or Alimony
In a divorce proceeding, spousal support is often awarded to a spouse, as the court deems reasonable, for the suitable support. The court is required to consider two factors: (1) the ability of either party to pay and (2) the situation of the parties, along with other circumstances.
The factors the court will look at are as follows:
- Past relations and conduct of the parties
- Length of the marriage
- Ability of the parties to work
- Source of and amount of property awarded to the parties
- Ages of the parties
- Ability of the parties to pay spousal support
- Present situation of the parties
- Needs of the parties
- Prior standard of living of the parties
- Whether either party is responsible for the support of others
- General principles of equity