I filed a Motion to change parenting time and the Referee said I did not meet the “threshold” pursuant to Vodvarka and Shade. What does this mean?

 Answer:  Vodvarka and Shade are the names of two Michigan Court Of Appeals opinions that set the standards for when custody and parenting time can be reviewed. When you file a Motion to modify custody or parenting time the Court must first determine if there has been a change in circumstances since the entry of… Read More »

I filed a Motion regarding Child Support. Why is the Friend of the Court handling this and not the Judge?

Answer:  I get asked often about the process for hearing Motions in Livingston County. When someone files a Motion that has to do with Custody, Parenting Time or Support, the Judge assigns the case to be heard by a FOC Referee. The Referee first conducts a Screening Hearing. At the Screening Hearing the Referee attempts… Read More »

My Ex is trying to register the kids for summer camp and at a time that will interfere with my summer parenting time. This is a problem every year. Can I file my own motion to deal with this or do I need to have a lawyer?

Issues like this come up a lot, particularly at this time of year when summer plans are being made. Certainly you can file a Motion on your own but often it takes a long time for Motions to get through the system, particularly when you don’t have a good handle on how these things are… Read More »

How is Child Support calculated?

There are a number of different factors used to determine how much the child support obligation will be. First and foremost are the incomes of the parties and the number of overnights that the children will spend with each parent over the year. Other factors are the amount paid for day care (if a child is… Read More »

Will I have to pay Alimony? I have a fairly short term marriage (3 years), no kids but I make a lot more than my wife. I am not sure how to plan.

There are a number of different factors used to determine whether alimony (referred to as spousal support) should be considered. Length of marriage, difference in income, education of parties, special needs of the parties, earning potential and history, fault and other factors are all considered. You will need to provide more information to determine the… Read More »

I was awarded money, plus interest, in my Judgment of Divorce. The Judgment was finalized some years ago. My ex has paid very little and still owes me most of that money. I was told I only have a limited amount of time to go to Court to enforce the Judgment and make my ex pay. Is this true?

YES! It is true that a Judgment of Divorce must be enforced within a specific time period. The “Statute of Limitations” bars legal action after a certain amount of time. For example, in most personal injury cases you have 3 years to sue and in most contracts cases you have 6 years to sue. To… Read More »

I am contemplating filing for divorce but my spouse makes virtually all of the family income. I am certain when I file my spouse will take me off the bank accounts and deny me access to money. If I ask my spouse to move out I am concerned that the marital bills will not get paid. What can I do to protect myself?

This issue often comes up right at the beginning of a divorce. Most Judges issue an initial Order called a “Status Quo Order” which requires people to continue doing what they were doing prior to the filing for divorce. These Orders bar people from closing bank accounts, changing beneficiaries or ceasing contributions to the marital… Read More »