“I have endured, I have been broken, I have known hardship, I have lost myself. But here I stand, still moving forward, growing stronger each day. I will never forget the harsh lessons in my life. They made me stronger” - Unknown Author
"You're only one decision away from a totally different life"
Through mediation or litigation, our divorce lawyers can help you gain the most equitable results from your divorce, including fair distribution of assets, division of marital home, child support payments and child custody rights.
Our attorneys can help ensure that you receive or pay an equitable amount of the financial support required to raise your children in a healthy, happy environment. Child support is for the benefit of the minor child. While it is paid to the parent, child support is designed to balance known costs and established expenses between the parties in raising a child. This means, child support is viewed and intended as support to assist with costs of living such as housing, food, clothing, school expenses, extracurricular activities, medical care, child care, transportation and entertainment expenses.
Child support can be handled with or without Friend of the Court involvement, it can be an agreed upon amount by the parties or ordered at a set amount by the court. In determining child support, the court looks to the best interests of the minor child, the income and earning capacity of the parties, the amount of overnights spent with each of the parties, and any other special circumstances that are fair and equitable and, in the best interests of the minor child. Please see our our Child Support tab above for more detailed information.
Child support modification and enforcement
Child support payments do not change unless the court modifies the child support order. If either the custodial or noncustodial parent experiences a significant change in circumstances, our attorneys can guide you through the proper legal procedures to modify your child support payments accordingly. In short, if there is a change in your income, you are laid off or unemployed, or you seek to recalculate support based on a change in the other parents' circumstances, you must file a motion. Please note, there is NO retroactive modification of support. This means you cannot change or decrease the amount of past support owed and can only change the support amount from the date of the motion filing forward. As such, if you have a change in circumstances do not wait to modify your support. Please see our Child Support tab above for more detailed information.
Advocating for Parents in Child Custody and Parenting Time
Many times one parent or the other feel they should simply give in to the other parent for a variety of reasons and let them take primary custody and parenting time with the children. This is not the case. Parents are the crucial part of the healthy development of their children. Michigan is moving towards fostering a close relationship between the noncustodial parent and the child. This is because both parents are valuable and needed by children to promote healthy development. This is not to say that every family should have equal parenting time. Such a belief ignores the realities of life and the best interests of the minor child. After all, in any custody case, the factors considered are the best interests of the minor child or children. The best interests may be a straight 50-50 parenting time arrangement however, this is not true in every case. In some cases, the best interests do in fact reside with one parent or the other or even on a 90-10, 70-30, or 60-40 percent time allocation. Factors that impact the cases we handle include such items as work schedules, who has been the primary caretaker, addictions of a number of sorts, inability to reason or co-parent with the other parent, extended family issues, and even criminal issues. All of these, factor in to child custody, and parenting time.
Talking to an experienced attorney is crucial when dealing with child custody. Experience in the courtroom matters, and you need an attorney who can properly advise you of your rights, protect your wishes and see to it that your children are given the best chance to thrive. Call us today, our initial consultations are free and that little bit of advice we give you may just make the difference.
Same Sex Marriages
With the latest ruling in the United States Supreme Court on same sex marriages, same sex couples face the same challenges as any other married couple. If your marriage is ending, you will deal with issues like dividing property and debt in your divorce. If you have children together, your divorce will also cover custody, parenting time, and child support. You need a law firm who can help you navigate through these turbulent times.
Divorce is not an easy process. It is difficult, it is emotional, and while it is the end of one of your lifes' biggest experiences, it is also the start of something new. Getting you through this process with confidence is our goal. We will make sure you know what your rights are to marital property, what assets are marital and subject to division, division of debts, discuss retirements/401k's and pension amounts to which you are entitled, and ensure a fair and equitable distribution of property. Please see our Divorce/Separate Maintenance tab above for more information.
Divorce should not lead to financial crises. Alimony/Spousal is available in most cases and depends on numerous factors that should be discussed with one of our experienced attorneys. At its core, Alimony/Spousal Support is designed to level the playing field where there is a disparity in income or assets obtained during the marriage. Marital debt is another factor to consider when discussing Alimony/Spousal Support. There are a variety of reasons for an award of Alimony/Spousal Support and figuring out what you are entitled to can be difficult, as it is different for every divorce case. Our attorneys will help you establish an equitable amount of spousal support. Please see our Alimony/Spousal Support tab above for more specific information.
Child Custody and Parenting Time
Our divorce attorneys protect your parental rights to raise your children in an appropriate and supportive home. The most difficult process in a divorce involving minor children is working out a custody and parenting time schedule that will ensure a smooth and workable schedule for parenting time. In many cases, parents often do not agree on parenting time schedules, as it is scary to realize you will have to share custody with the person you are divorcing or a co-parent and may not see your children every day or every weekend. While this is an unfortunate result of divorces, we can help lessen the impact and work to obtained a schedule you can work with. Schedules often agreed upon are week on and week off, every other weekend, one weekend per month, etc. In some cases, one parent may not be fit to have joint legal or physical custody or even regular parenting time. In those cases, we will seek supervised parenting time, a gradual scale of increasing parenting time over a period of time, or no parenting time whatsoever. With parenting time, there is no standard benchmark and custody orders rest heavily on the facts and circumstances surrounding each case. If you fall in the category where you feel your spouse or significant other should not have parenting time or it should be limited, we encourage you to Please read our Do's and Dont's tab as well as more specific information in the Parenting Time tab above.
Help is a phone call away. Call us Today at (734) 282-6037 or send us a message.
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Mussin & Scanland, PLLC
13351 Reeck Court, Suite 5
Southgate, Michigan 48195