How do you determine child custody?

Child custody is based on the best interest of the child or children. What that means is that the a judge has a broad range of factors to consider in determining custody all focus on the child not the parents. A judge will first look at legal custody. Can the parties agree on major decisions in the child’s life such as medical treatment and school. If they can, the court will usually order joint legal custody. Physical custody addresses where the child is primarily residing. The court is going to look at the age of the child, the parties work schedule, housing for the child, relationship of the child with each parent and ultimately try and create a schedule that works for the child and parents. What is typically undisputed is alternating holidays, alternating weekends, and a block of time in the summer. The most difficult time to determine is the school year from Monday to Friday.

How do you divide assets and debts?

Dividing assets and debts can be a complicated process. In Michigan, assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are typically divided equally. This included retirement benefits. Premarital assets, gifted assets, and inheritance are typically excluded in the formula. Separate assets is a constantly changing area of Michigan divorce law. Typically, student loans are paid by the person that received the education.

How do I get my maiden name back?

The final divorce judgment has a paragraph that restores your name. You can choose your maiden name or other prior names. It does not cost anything to restore your name with the court. You need to take your judgment to the Secretary of State to change your driver’s license and go to social security the same process as when you were married.

How is child support calculated?

In Michigan, child support is determined by the child support guidelines. The guidelines are a computer program that has you enter everyone’s income, tax filing status, daycare, amount of overnights, healthcare costs, and other information. It then give an amount for support. The guidelines are required if a judge determines the child support amounts. You can always agree on a child support amount (if you are not on public assistance).

How do you divide retirment benefits?

The are two ways to divide retirement benefits in a Michigan divorce. First, you determine the amount accumulated during the marriage and divide the amount with a court order called a QDRO. That order splits the retirement without causing a tax problem. The amount is merely transferred to the other person’s IRA as a rollover IRA. Second, the retirement amount can be off set against other assets (i.e. 50,000 of house equity for 50,000 of retirement benefits).

How long does it take to get a divorce?

Michigan has “waiting periods” before you can finalize a divorce case. If you do not have minor children the waiting period is only 60 days. If you have minor children the waiting period is 6 months. The time period starts when the case is filed. A judge cannot sign the judgment until the waiting period is over. However, you can sign a judgment immediately. After it is signed, it is binding on the parties even if the waiting period is not over. The court can enter temporary orders while the case is pending (after it is filed, but before a judgment is entered).

How much does it cost to get an uncontested divorce?

Krupp Law Offices offers uncontested divorce services for as little as 1,000.00 dollars. The cost can very based on the complexity of the divorce. After we talk to you on the phone we can usually give you an exact quote and review all of your costs.