Daniel J. Andoni
Attorney at Law
Post Judgment Issues
Once you have decided that a divorce is necessary there are several issues you should take into consideration before doing anything. Your next few choices could have tremendous and unintended consequences for you and your family.
You probably have discovered this website because you are looking for answers. There are several websites that purport to provide answers to many of your questions. Unfortunately, I cannot endorse any of those pages. Since no two divorces are alike it is nearly impossible to provide solutions in this context. There are simply too many variables to take into consideration in order for you to make an informed decision about the future of your family.
That is why I invite you to call my office and set-up an appointment so that we may discuss your options and unique situation. For individual advice please feel free to call, text or send an email anytime day or night. In order to get the most out of your initial appointment please fill out our Domestic Information Questionnaire.
DOMESTIC INFORMATION QUESTIONAIRE
This area of the law has come full circle and, thankfully, evolved into a gender neutral standard of determining custody. In the late nineteenth century it was presumed that children should always go with the father and his side of the family. Later, as women were afforded more rights it was presumed that the children should always go with their mother.
Today, our courts employ the best interest of the child standard. There is no presumption that a child will be better off with either parent, instead our courts are mandated to look at the twelve best interest of the child factors and determine custody based on a analysis of those factors. I have linked a copy of the factors, be careful not to read them as a scorecard. The court will not simply tally the results and award custody to one party rather it will balance each of the factors.
If custody has been previously decided by the court then a party who wants to change custody, will be required to show a “substantial change in circumstances or proper cause”. Unless a litigant demonstrates one of those two things the court will not change the custody of a child. Many motions to change custody have been denied because of parties failure to met this important hurdle.
For an in depth analysis of your child custody situation and opportunity to go through the best interest of the child factors, please feel free to call email or text, anytime day or night..
This area of the law is perhaps the most deceptive, because it seems so simple. Generally, we calculate support by taking each of the parent’s income and the overnights they spend with child and determine a monthly child support obligation. If it were that simple our courts would not be crowded with litigants attempting to reduce or increase child support.
Unfortunately, the Michigan Child Support Manual is loaded with legal pitfalls and it takes knowledge of the intricacies of the manual to calculate child support.
Post Judgment Issues
Post-judgment matters arise after entry of a judgment or formal court order. A post-judgment matter may be a request to modify custody, parenting time, child support or some other modifiable aspect of a judgment. The request may also be to clarify an ambiguous provision in a judgment, whether it is child-related or in a property settlement, or for enforcement of a provision of the judgment.
When initially establishing a judgment provision, the burden of proof is much lower than in a post-judgment matter. The standard for modification in a post-judgment matter is "clear and convincing" which is a high standard of proof. For custody/parenting time issues to be modified, if not by consent, there must be "proper cause and/or a change of circumstances." Property settlement provisions are generally non-modifiable except under very specific circumstances, such as mutual mistake or fraud.
Most modifications are fact driven. Parties may agree or disagree on facts, in which case the court will reach decision regarding the issues properly raised by a party. Expressing joint intent of the parties in a judgment assists with avoiding future confrontation with an ex-spouse.
Parenting time is exactly like it sounds, it governs the actual time a party spends with a child. Unlike custody which requires a change in circumstances or proper cause to modify an order. Parenting time can change as the child grows and his/her needs change. As well as the schedule of the parties.
For example a nursing infant will need to spend more time with his or her mother just because logistically speaking the child needs to be fed. However, as the child grows he or she should spend more time with the father.
MCLA 722.27a provides that “parenting time shall be granted to a parent in a frequency, duration, and type reasonably calculated to promote a strong relationship between the child and the parent granted parenting time.”
Feel free to read Michigan’s parenting time texas laws and statues, I provided a link to the left, after reviewing the factors a court may take into consideration in determining parenting time, call our office make an appointment so we may do a fact specific analysis for you individual case.
Law Offices of Daniel J. Andoni
503 S. Saginaw Street, Suite 510, Flint Michigan 48502 | 810-232-7822 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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