Michigan Family Law Questions & Answers

Q: My husband's biological kids are in foster care currently, placed with his mother. Can a judge force me out of our home?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on May 15, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
These situations are always messy and complex. I assume that you are legally married. You do have rights as the spouse, including the right to remain living in the marital home. HOWEVER, your husband is at risk of having his parental rights terminated. Whether the basis for that action is your actions, his actions, or some combination, they are his rights to lose at this point.

They can and will force your husband to make some difficult choices. At times, this takes the form of removing...

Q: I'm 17 my parents want to put a restraining order on my boyfriend he's 19, he has done nothing wrong, can they do that?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Juvenile Law for Michigan on
Answered on May 6, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
This scenario falls under what I call the "my house, my rules" law. When you are under 18, and when you live in your parents' house, parents can do what they feel necessary to ensure your general welfare. This includes using any legal means to keep you away from what they believe to be a bad situation, and to keep others away from you whom your parents deem a threat.

To get a restraining order - properly called a personal protection order (PPO) - your parents would need to assert some...

Q: My fiancé was with someone about five years ago. She got pregnant, they were never married she left and disappeared.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Michigan on
Answered on May 6, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
Your fiance could be obligated to pay support going back to the filing of the paternity action AND the child's birth expenses if provided through state assistance.

In a paternity action, the court is not concerned about the relationship - or lack thereof - of the parties. What matters is whether the child is biologically your fiance's. If it is, then he will be considered the legal father and obligated to pay support.

Q: How difficult is it to petition the court to move out of state with my 16 year old?

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 30, 2019
Laurie Schmitt's answer
CHANGE OF DOMICILE AND THE 100 MILE RULE

Are you contemplating moving out of town or out of state with your child? Will this move be more than 100 miles from the child's current legal residence? Has the court awarded you joint legal custody or sole legal custody?

Before you decide to move with your child, you should review your court order. Did it grant both of you joint legal custody of the minor child? If so, you will be unable to move with the child more than 100 miles...

Q: How does the friend of the court work in regards to paternity, custody, and child support?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 17, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
The 2-month old's paternity is clear: he or she was born during the marriage and so your husband is by default the father whether he acknowledges it or not. The paternity of your oldest child is less clear, and you may eventually need a court ordered DNA test if your husband challenges paternity.

If you are planning for a divorce, it would seem that you could list both children, and paternity would be determined through that proceeding.

Q: Divorced 1 yr, joint custody, I pay CS. Ex's pay has increased and we now have same salary. Can I request CS mod in MI?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Support and Divorce for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 8, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
The threshold for a modification is whether any change of circumstance would change the support amount by more than $50 or 10%. The state offers a free online child support calculator that you can input your numbers to see if you would meet the criteria.

Q: What do I have to do for my Father to legally adopt me?

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
I am confused by your question. If the man you consider to be your father is on your birth certificate, I don't think an adoption is possible or even what you're after. The adoption process is, very simplistically, a means to name a legal father. In the eyes of the law, that man is already your legal father. Even if an adoption is possible, of course, it cannot change who your biological father might be.

Q: Ok did adoption in Michigan n the adopt parents kept babies name with my last name. .

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
Likely not. Once the adopt is finalized, the adoptive parents have all the same rights (and responsibilities) that any parent has - including the right to petition a court to change a child's name.

Q: I need help on finding a pro bono lawyer or legal aid lawyers through roscommon county Michigan for family law

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 2, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
You should contact your local bar association or, I believe, you are within the area serviced by Legal Aid of Northern Michigan.

As you might imagine, the demand for pro bono legal services is greater than the number of lawyers able and willing to provide such services. Most attorneys are legal aid organizations operate under strict parameters, and of course, there might be income or age qualifications.

Q: Had a one night stand with a lady she says she's pregnant now an im the father to the unborn child I want nothin to do

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 1, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
The one thing you cannot get out of is child support if its determined that you are the legal father. Whether you are involved with the child (and the mother) is ultimately up to you.

Q: Non-custodial parent moved out of state without permission. Court soon, what to expect?

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Apr 1, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
If he doesn't show up, the court will likely grant you the relief you want. Just know that a court can only order specific parenting time; they cannot make a parent actually exercise it.

Generally, as the parent who moved away, he would be responsible for all or a significant portion of the cost to exercise parenting time.

Courts generally don't ask kids under 14 which parent they prefer, and even when they do, the judge uses the kids' opinion as just one of several factors in...

Q: Will the court reduce my CS Obligation (Michigan) (Genesee County)

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 26, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
You may ask the Friend of the Court for an income review.

Q: My ex won't cooperate about pick and drop off times with my kids. He is unresponsive and being very passive aggressive.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 23, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
You will, most likely, need to file a parenting time complaint with the Friend of the Court for any violations of the exchange times.

Q: For wills, what is the law in the US ? Is there someone appointed to open the will after death?Is he obliged?Deadline?

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
The correct legal procedure is probate. You may contact the probate court in the county where your aunt died to determine whether a file is open and pending.

Q: In my husband's divorce papers it was written in to pay child support through college is there a way to get this change

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 21, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
Probably not as terms in the judgment of divorce may be changed only under a few select circumstances (e.g. fraud, misrepresentation, mistake, etc.); it, like all court orders, are meant to be final and permanent.

Q: I was a vicitm of domestic violence over the weekend with my ex husband with the children, what do i do to protect them?

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 19, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
Sounds like you did the right thing to get a PPO. Now, you should talk with a local attorney to see about an ex parte order regarding custody and parenting time.

Q: if I have 50% legal custody is the other party allowed to refuse parenting time

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 19, 2019
Laurie Schmitt's answer
If you have a court order that specifically defines your parenting time, the other party would be in violation of that court order if they refuse parenting time.

Legal custody does not have anything to do with parenting time. Legal custody defines who can make major decisions for the child such as where they go to school, medical issues, etc.

If you are not receiving your parenting time as defined in your court order, you can file a parenting time complaint with the friend...

Q: Is a parent allowed to take a 15 year olds cell phone that the other parent purchased as form of punishment

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Communications Law for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 18, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
Absent some court order to the contrary, while exercising parenting time, the parent may decide if and when the child has access to a cell phone.

Q: My sister and I are co-executors on my fathers will. Can she settle the estate without my knowledge

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 14, 2019
Trent Harris' answer
It would depend on (1) whether she has been appointed as the personal representative of the estate, and (2) how the personal representative's name was worded on the letters of authority that were issued.

If the letters said that you OR your sister were appointed as personal representative, then she might be able to act unilaterally without you. But if the letters say that is you AND your sister are appointed PR, then presumably you both would need to act together, she could not take...

Q: I am looking for help on child custody law in Hartland, MI. It seems like I only have visitation rights only.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Michigan on
Answered on Mar 12, 2019
Brent T. Geers' answer
You will need to file a motion. You may do so either through a local attorney or some courthouses have a legal assistance center that can provide you with the appropriate forms to get you started. Until a motion is granted and a new custody or parenting time order is in place, things will stay the same.

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