Family Law & Divorce
Our attorneys can assist in multiple areas of Family Law.
Family Law & Divorce Attorneys
Family Law and Divorce in Michigan
Our Family Law attorneys understand that few things in life can be as emotionally draining as filing for divorce, particularly when children are involved. Even filing for separate maintenance (legal separation) can be a heavy load to carry. At such a time, you don’t need the additional burden of worrying about whether your legal counsel is up to the task.
Cunningham Dalman’s Attorneys, based in Holland, Michigan, have extensive experience in all aspects of family law. We will guide you through these trying times and provide you with the most beneficial results possible.
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Divorce in Michigan
Our attorneys at Cunningham Dalman understand the emotional stress of going through a divorce and all of the important decisions to be made. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney can be one of the best decisions you make. As emotions run high, you need someone to guide you through today’s immediate challenges while also planning for your future.
Michigan is a “no-fault” divorce state which simply means you don’t have to prove a spouse did anything wrong to file for divorce.
Ways We Assist Our Clients:
protecting the interests of children
Child Support in Michigan
Michigan, like many states, uses a standard child support formula for determining which parent will be required to pay support and the amount. Child support is designed to help offset the costs of raising a child usually until they reach the age of 18. Generally, there is a base amount and then provisions for health care insurance premiums and ordinary medical expenses (uninsured medical expenses like co-pays & deductibles).
Our attorneys can assist you with understanding the Michigan calculator and the factors used to determine support. Although it’s possible to use the calculator on your own, we suggest performing a review with your attorney just to be sure you’ve accounted for all current expenses and any additional expenses due to the divorce (additional daycare, etc.)
Common Areas We Assist:
spousal support in michigan
Alimony / Spousal Support
Michigan permits a spouse to request alimony (spousal support) based on financial need and the other party being able to afford it. It’s important to remember, there is no specific formula used to calculate spousal support. Each case is judged separately and based on the facts presented. In general, there are four types of spousal support in Michigan:
- Temporary – court may order one spouse to pay the other temporarily during the divorce to offset existing expenses.
- Periodic – is the most common in Michigan and most states. The court recognizes one spouse gave up a career to help raise a family or support the other spouse’s career and needs a period of time to refresh their job skills in order to become financially self sufficient.
- Permanent – is quickly becoming the exception in Michigan and usually only applies when the marriage lasted for an extended number of years and the party is unable to make their own living due to age or health reasons.
- Lump-Sum Payment – is not common in Michigan but allows one to pay the entire support award in a single payment of cash or real property.
Factors Commonly Used in Determining Spousal Support:
helping clients understand child custody in michigan
Child Custody & Parenting Time
In Michigan, child custody is focused on what’s in the best interest of the child. The Michigan Child Custody Act is centered around the premise that it is in the best interests of a child to have a strong relationship with both parents. Our courts look heavily at the parenting situation of the home prior to a divorce or custody case being filed and look at a number of factors to decide on custody arrangements.
The courts would rather see parents work through these arrangements on their own and then present their plan for consideration. There are really two main types of custody in Michigan:
- Legal Custody – gives a parent or parents the ability to make decisions on education, medical, child care, and those of general welfare.
- Physical Custody – provides direction for where the child will primarily live. Joint physical custody allows for the child to have residency with both parents. Usually, Michigan will grant one parent as the primary custodian and parenting time to the other on a set schedule.
"Best Interest of the Child" Factors used in Michigan:
Michigan uses the term "separate maintenance"
In the State of Michigan, legal separations are referred to as “separate maintenance” or “maintenance of separate households”. Couples can draft “separate maintenance” agreements which divide assets and responsibilities as they contemplate their longer-term intentions. In our experience, it’s best to work with an experienced attorney to ensure plans accommodate for the possibility of one party eventually filing for divorce. These “separation agreements” are often times used as documentation when the divorce complaint is filed.
Our attorneys work with clients to ensure these plans cover important items such as: assets, debt, property, spousal support, child support, child custody arrangements, parenting time, and more. You need to be comfortable with the decisions you make in a “separate maintenance” agreement just in case you end up filing for divorce.
Common Reasons to Consider Separate Maintenance:
adoption attorneys for michigan
Our Family Law attorneys are here to assist your family as you go through the legal process of adoption. Cunningham Dalman will work as your independent counsel or alongside an adoption agency you have chosen. The adoption process is guided by state and federal laws & having an experienced attorney on your side can assist with all of the paperwork and filings required.
Types of Adoptions We Assist With:
Pre-marital / prenuptial agreements are becoming more common place as young adults marry later and second marriages can involve significant financial portfolios, family businesses, and more. Our attorneys can assist you in drafting one and guiding you through a list of things to consider.
Items to Consider in a Prenuptial:
Family Law FAQ
Most frequent questions and answers
In a recent survey, most attorney firms have seen an increase over the last 10 years. Millennials are delaying marriage longer and realizing many of their friend’s marriages are not successful.