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Either parent can also file a motion to ask that the amount of child support be changed. This may happen when custody arrangements change or one parent goes through a job change. Michigan has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Act to help govern child custody issues related to a divorce in the state. All decisions regarding child custody are based on the principle that decisions will be made with the best interests of the child in mind. Custody in Michigan is determined by the best interests of the child and there are several factors that go into deciding this. Michigan courts encourage parents to come up with a joint parenting agreement in cases where there are no significant negative factors i.

The plan outlines the rights and responsibilities of each parent in a very detailed fashion.

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Because Michigan is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, substance abuse cannot be cited as a reason to get a divorce. However, where substance abuse is present in a marriage, it can be used in determining other divorce-related issues. This is probably most prevalent when determining child custody and visitation. If there is a danger to the child, as there would be with drug or alcohol abuse being present, then courts may restrict or deny visitation or custody of a child for the spouse in question.

Courts will always take the best interests of the child into primary consideration and this type of problem represents a clear and present threat to the well-being of the child. If you plan on using substance abuse as an issue in a divorce, it is best to document the abuse as best as possible and how it has impacted your marriage.

This can be done by gathering statements from witnesses or law enforcement, social services agencies, family members or others who can provide first-hand evidence and insights. Bifurcation means that both parties in a divorce can legally divide their divorce into two stages.

Divorce Laws in Michigan: A Beginner’s Guide

The first part satisfies the grounds for the divorce. The marriage is terminated at that point. It also means that the financial aspects of the divorce such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony or other contentious issues that may have stalled or that have become major sticking points will be finalized at a later date. The downside of bifurcation is that it can result in two trials and more expenses and if a spouse is looking for a fresh start more quickly, bifurcation can hold one spouse hostage at the whims of the other.

QDROs: Protecting Retirement Accounts in Divorce

Michigan is one of the handful of states that does not allow bifurcation. All issues in the divorce must be resolved before a divorce in the state can be finalized and each person can claim legal single status. For this reason, couple often choose mediation or arbitration as a way to work out their differences before filing in court.

Michigan law is simple and straightforward when it comes to disclosing assets in a divorce. It is illegal for one spouse to hide marital assets to the detriment of the other. To achieve a full and equitable division of assets, all marital property and all separate property must be disclosed by both parties. If there are disagreements about what constitutes a marital vs. Accurate disclosure of assets is also required because is impacts whether or not spousal support should be required and what amount of child support should be ordered. Defiance of this legal requirement can result in fines and other penalties.

In some cases, the issuance of a subpoena may be required or a party may want to engage the services of a forensic accountant. When a spouse does not participate in a divorce in Michigan due to non-cooperation, it is possible for the other spouse to move forward and get a divorce anyways. After an initial complaint has been filed and served, a spouse has 21 days to respond to the complaint in the live in Michigan. They have 28 days to respond if they live out of state. In the complaint, you will tell the court how you want to end the marriage in terms of child custody, support, alimony, shared debts and a division of assets, among other things.

If your spouse fails to respond during the allotted timeframe, then you can file a default request with the court. The exception to this is if your spouse is a active members of the U.

Michigan has a waiting period of two months if you do not have any children. If you do, the waiting period is six months. At the end of either of these periods, you can submit the default judgment to the court for final approval and signature. A default judgment is the same as granting a final divorce decree. For the set aside to take place, a person must have a good reason for not responding during the initial 21 or day response period.

In relationships where domestic violence is taking place, any actions you take related to divorce are secondary to making sure that your immediate safety or the safety of any children are taken care of first. There are strong safeguards in place by law enforcement and they will take swift actions to make sure all parties are protected. Prior to filing for divorce, you can ask the court for a Personal Protection Order PPO to legally keep your spouse away from you. This action can extend throughout the divorce process.

Domestic violence can include any kind of physical abuse, emotional abuse, stalking, or any other kind of harassment including those made through phone calls, mail, or social media inflicted on one spouse by the other. In cases where domestic violence is suspected, an abuser can be charged and may face serious legal consequences. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, domestic violence is not cited as a reason for divorce, but it can still have a big impact on aspects of the divorce.

If domestic violence can be documented, the abuser may not be allowed any child custody privileges, or visitation may be granted but on a severely restricted and supervised basis. Some communities have supervised visitation centers for this purpose. The other spouse relies on this coverage and this can be a major life changing issue when a divorce takes place.

In general, courts require that parties maintain what is already in place during a divorce proceeding, and that will extend to health insurance in most cases. In fact, if you cancel health insurance when a spouse is used to getting coverage from you, then you could be held liable for medical bills if your spouse is injured or needs medical attention before you are divorced.

This also extends to cases where you are already legally separated. Once a divorce has been finalized, employers will not allow an ex-spouse to remain on a health insurance policy.

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Changes to Illinois Child Support Laws for 12222

This is a law that protects people from losing health coverage during major life transitions. The only drawback is that this can be very expensive because an employer will no longer cover any portion of the premium. A better option may be to purchase health insurance on an exchange as part of the Affordable Care Act. Infidelity and adultery occur when a spouse has sex voluntarily with someone other than their spouse while they are still married. In Michigan, cheating on a spouse is a felony, punishable by a minimum of one year in jail.

It can only be prosecuted if the spouse who is the victim files a criminal complaint, and it must be filed within one year of the offense. Prosecution for this type of crime rarely happens. However, because Michigan is a no-fault state, adultery cannot be used as a grounds for divorce.

Division of Pension Benefits in Divorce

But it can still have an impact on other parts of the divorce. Infidelity or adultery may become more of an issue in things such as alimony, child custody or in a division of assets. The court places a primary concern on the well-being of children in a marriage and if it can be shown that adultery has created a negative environment, then custody may be affected to some degree. If it can be shown that an adulterous spouse spent considerable marital assets on an affair, then this may also have some impact in certain cases when it comes to a division of assets or alimony.

The past relations and conduct of the spouses is one of the factors a court can use in reaching an alimony decision. Judges are required to look at the issue of fault when determining alimony. As a result, adultery can have a significant impact when making this type of decision. If you or your spouse are a member of the military and want to get a divorce in Michigan, you or your spouse must have legal residency in the state or you or your spouse must be stationed in Michigan.

The grounds for a military divorce are the same as they are for a civilian divorce and only irreconcilable differences must be cited.

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Just as in a civilian divorce, once paperwork has been filed in Michigan to begin a divorce, copies must be served on a spouse to give him or her a chance to respond. However, when that spouse is in the military, they have certain protections afforded to them by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. This allows them to postpone the divorce while they are overseas or otherwise not able to adequately respond to the petition due to military service commitments.