Divorce And Child Custody FAQs
If you have a lot of questions about how divorce and child custody law works in Michigan, you are not alone. Most people in Metro Detroit know very little about family law until something comes up in their personal lives that requires an attorney’s help. A big part of our work at Rebeck & Allen is answering our clients’ questions clearly and honestly.
Here are answers to some of the most common questions from our clients:
How Do Family Law Courts Determine Child Custody?
As in other states, Michigan law requires family court judges to make the child’s best interests the most important consideration. When the parents work out a custody plan, they must present it to the judge for approval based on this criterion. Otherwise, the judge will decide on a plan. Your child’s “best interests” will include their educational, emotional and medical needs. It can also include the child’s personal preference, if they are old enough to have input in such an important decision.
When Is It Time To Take My Divorce Or Custody Dispute To Court?
Trial is usually a last resort in family law. We usually encourage our clients to try to work with their spouse or co-parent to find common ground. A successful out-of-court settlement gives you more control over the outcome, and preserves a cordial relationship with your co-parent
However, there are cases where negotiations are impossible, such as when domestic violence or mental illness are involved — or when the other party refuses to discuss a settlement in good faith, putting your interests at risk. In those cases, we will take your case to trial and do everything possible to obtain a favorable verdict.
When Is Alimony Awarded?
Spousal support, commonly known as alimony, is intended to help a divorcing spouse who has little or no ability to support themselves financially. This is often the case when one spouse was in charge of the household and child-rearing while the other spouse worked outside the home. Alimony is usually limited to a reasonable length of time to give the recipient time to get necessary education or training to find a job. But in some cases, lifetime alimony is possible.