Christopher E. Podoll Family Law Attorney
Christopher E. Podoll Family Law Attorney
In Michigan, there are two ways to file for divorce. The first way is by filing a Complaint for Divorce. Once the Complaint is filed, there is a waiting period for your spouse or his or her attorney to respond. If a Response is received, the Court will begin to schedule hearings that will move your case along. If no Response is received, the Plaintiff must then seek to default the non-responsive party. The typical timeline for finalizing a divorce in this matter is one (1) year. Depending on the circumstances in your case, there are many potential issues that may need to be litigated. The court will also require the parties in most cases to attend mediation. These costs are in addition to any fees you may have already paid to an attorney.
The second way to file for divorce in Michigan is by filing a Petition. This process is sometimes referred to as a collaborative divorce. It can be desirable for some parties to file this way, because it has the potential to drastically reduce personal costs both financially and mentally during the divorce process.
As a cautionary tale, keep in mind that in order to file a Petition, both parties must be willing to come to an agreement regarding all issues before the Petition is filed. Those issues may or may not include issues of debts, assets, personal and real property, custody, child support, spousal support, parenting time and more. Here at Podoll Law, we take the time to discuss all your options and will help you make the best choice for how to proceed with your own divorce action. Be sure to call today and schedule a free consultation!
Child Custody matters deal with a complex body of law that can be difficult for parents navigating this arena to follow. Generally speaking, child custody issues are either pre or post judgement. This is important because your case will be treated differently depending on whether there is a prior Order in your case effecting custody.
In prejudgment matters affecting custody, there are other potential issues beyond simply what is in the best interest of the minor children such as whether the parties were married when the child was born, or whether the father of the child or children signed an affidavit of parentage. These types of paternity issues are always addressed prior to making a determination of a minor child's best interests and the help of an attorney is strongly advised.
In post-judgement matters regarding custody, a party seeking to change custody, will need to first establish proper cause or a change in circumstance. Only then will the court address the best interest factors regarding the minor children. However, even after a change is circumstance or proper cause is shown, the court will need to address whether an established custodial environment exists which will also have an impact on the weight of the evidence that is being presented to seek a change in custody. Understanding this complex area of law is imperative to any custody case. Here at Podoll Law, we take the time to discuss all your options and will help you make the best choice for how to proceed with your custody issue.
No matter what your child support issue is, attorney Christopher Podoll can help! There is a common misconception in Michigan that child support may only be reviewed every three years and that you are otherwise barred from reviewing the child support in between. This is neither true for the payor nor the payee of child support in Michigan. Generally speaking, child support may reviewed at any time by either party if one or both of the parties incomes have changed, or there is some other reasonable/financial reason to review child support.
Failing to pay child support can have other significant impacts on your life as well. In most cases, child support may be retroactively applied. This means that the effectual date of the Order may be different than the actual date that the order for child support is enforced. In addition, failing to pay child support can result in contempt proceedings, driver's license suspension, interception of tax returns and more. Whether you are seeking to enforce child support or are having trouble paying child support, having attorney Christopher Podoll in your corner to negotiate the most favorable outcome in your child support case will help!
In Michigan there is a general rule stating that a married woman's husband is presumed to be the legal father. This means that even in scenarios where both the mother, alleged father and husband all agree that the child at issue is not the husband's, the Court will still restrict who has standing to challenge paternity. These restrictions can be based on knowledge of marriage at the time of conception, the length of time, after the child was born that parties knew the Husband was not the father and more. If you have a paternity issue, you will want to seek immediate legal representation as paternity matters are often quite time sensitive. If you do not act
immediately you could be barred at a later date from seeking a paternity determination. Attorney Christopher Podoll has handled many paternity cases and can help! Call today for a free consultation!