GRAND RAPIDS' CRIMINAL, CIVIL, CUSTODY AND DIVORCE EXPERTS - (616) 330-2266
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There are a few advantages to being the first to file for a divorce or a change of custody with the Kent County Circuit Court. First, you set the tone for the proceedings and will put the other side on the defensive. Second, you can obtain an order from the court protecting your children and money from some adverse action of your spouse. Third, if your spouse tries to file something after-the-fact, it appears as though it was done in retaliation and it is less likely to be granted.
Having access to money and credit is an important issue to any divorce. Do not let your soon to be ex-spouse dictate whether you will have access to the necessary money or credit to file for a divorce. Try to secure the means just prior to filing. Otherwise, you will have to file a motion asking the court to force the other side to provide access to money or credit.
It is important to obtain and copy any useful information for your case. It may be social media posts, text messages with the kids or incriminating documents you come across. When there is a contested divorce or custody case, these pieces of information may be critical to getting the outcome you deserve.
Child support is determined by the Michigan Child Support Guidelines. It is based on each party's income and the number of overnights with the kids. Even if you are spending a lot of time with the kids, it does not count for calculating child support unless it is an overnight. In addition, if you suspect the other parent is hiding income, you will have to be ready to prove it in court. Click below for more information.
Unless the parties opt out, child support payments are tracked through the Kent County Friend of the Court. As a result, do not expect payments for additional expenses (i.e. school expenses, clothes, etc.) to count towards child support. If the parties opt out, then make sure you get a receipt for each payment. Click below for more information.
First, Michigan provides for legal custody, which is the ability to have input into the important decisions for each child's life, such as medical and educational choices. Second, there is parenting time, which dictates the actual schedule of the child with each parent. The sole focus being what is deemed to be in the child's best interests. The Jackson County Circuit Court will generally require these requests to be heard by a Friend of the Court Referee for a recommendation. Click below for more information.
For standard forms approved by the Michigan State Court Administrator's Office for divorce, custody and child support cases, click below. https://courts.michigan.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/Pages/Domestic-Relations.aspx
Click here for links to the State of Michigan Divorce and Custody Laws: https://statelaws.findlaw.com/michigan-law/michigan-legal-requirements-for-divorce.html
Click here to search State of Michigan Court of Appeals and Supreme Court Opinions: https://courts.michigan.gov/opinions_orders/opinions_orders/Pages/default.aspx
Click here to review the 2021 Michigan Child Support Formula Manual: https://courts.michigan.gov/Administration/SCAO/Resources/Documents/Publications/Manuals/focb/2021MCSF.pdf
Click here to calculate Child Support Payments according to the Michigan Child Support Guidelines: https://micase.state.mi.us/calculatorapp/public/welcome/load.html
Click here to order Birth, Death, Marriage and Divorce Records from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71551_4645---,00.html