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Intro to U.S. Law <ul><ul><li>Family Law and Related Topics </li></ul></ul>
Dissolution of Marriage <ul><li>Divorce </li></ul><ul><li>Annulment and Legal Separation </li></ul><ul><li>Alimony and Pro...
Grounds for Divorce <ul><li>Civil lawsuit in equity </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Grounds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other part...
Michigan No-Fault Statute
Procedural Requirements <ul><li>Domicile Requirement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At least one spouse must be permanent resident ...
Michigan Residency Requirement
Other Dissolution Forms <ul><li>Annulments – legal recognition the marriage was invalid. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is dif...
MI Annulment Law
Legal Separation Revocation <ul><li>Note – legal separation is often referred to as “divorce from bed and board”. </li></u...
Alimony <ul><li>Payment of sum by one spouse to another. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes referred to as spousal support </...
Property Settlement <ul><li>Goal – equitable division of marital property </li></ul><ul><li>Lump sum or awards of specific...
What's the Difference? <ul><li>Taxable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property settlements are not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alim...
Determining Alimony <ul><li>Some states allow for fault to be considered, some prohibit it, others give wide discretion to...
Determining Property Settlements <ul><li>Goal – equitable distribution of marital property </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courts ar...
Settlement Agreements <ul><li>The division of property in most instances is a result of a settlement agreement. </li></ul>...
Property Subject to Division <ul><li>Virtually anything of value is considered. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Obvious – houses...
Custody of Children <ul><li>Courts do not distinguish between custody as part of divorce and custody between two unmarried...
Presumption and Factors <ul><li>Presumption in favor of birth parents </li></ul><ul><li>Presumptions as between Parents </...
Visitation Rights <ul><li>Generally grated to non-custodial parent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only denied when court finds visi...
Joint Custody <ul><li>Child lives on a rotating basis with each parent </li></ul><ul><li>Parents have shared decision-maki...
Enforcement of Custody Order <ul><li>Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes clear that Full Faith ...
Child Support: Overview <ul><li>Support order usually runs to age of majority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be longer by agree...
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Family Law 02

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Family Law 02

  1. 1. Intro to U.S. Law <ul><ul><li>Family Law and Related Topics </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Dissolution of Marriage <ul><li>Divorce </li></ul><ul><li>Annulment and Legal Separation </li></ul><ul><li>Alimony and Property Settlement </li></ul><ul><li>Custody of Children </li></ul><ul><li>Child Support </li></ul>
  3. 3. Grounds for Divorce <ul><li>Civil lawsuit in equity </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional Grounds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Other party was at fault </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Habitual drunkenness, adultery, physical cruelty, mental cruelty, abandonment, insanity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Modern Grounds – No Fault </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“irreconcilable differences” which have caused an “irremediable breakdown of marriage” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Original no-fault statute from California </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Michigan No-Fault Statute
  5. 5. Procedural Requirements <ul><li>Domicile Requirement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>At least one spouse must be permanent resident of the state. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Durational Requirement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Varies from state-to-state (6 weeks to 2 years) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most common is 6 months </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution are used to assist with settlements. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Michigan Residency Requirement
  7. 7. Other Dissolution Forms <ul><li>Annulments – legal recognition the marriage was invalid. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is different than a religious annulment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal Separation – does everything a divorce does except: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The parties cannot remarry (they are technically still married) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Done for a variety of reasons (religious, tax, fringe benefits, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. MI Annulment Law
  9. 9. Legal Separation Revocation <ul><li>Note – legal separation is often referred to as “divorce from bed and board”. </li></ul><ul><li>It takes another court action to revoke the separation agreement. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Alimony <ul><li>Payment of sum by one spouse to another. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes referred to as spousal support </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lump sum or periodic payments </li></ul><ul><li>Terminates upon death of spouse </li></ul><ul><li>Can be modified upon showing of changed financial circumstances </li></ul>
  11. 11. Property Settlement <ul><li>Goal – equitable division of marital property </li></ul><ul><li>Lump sum or awards of specific property </li></ul><ul><li>Based upon contributions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monetary and service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Homemaking and childrearing are given value </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court will also look at duration of marriage and what property was brought into the marriage. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. What's the Difference? <ul><li>Taxable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property settlements are not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alimony is </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dischargeable in Bankruptcy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property settlement obligation is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alimony is not </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modifiable? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Property Settlements are not </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alimony is </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Determining Alimony <ul><li>Some states allow for fault to be considered, some prohibit it, others give wide discretion to court. </li></ul><ul><li>Typical factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial situation of requesting party, time necessary for requesting party to re-enter workforce, standard of living est. during marriage, duration of marriage, age/condition requesting party, financial status of non-requesting party. </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Determining Property Settlements <ul><li>Goal – equitable distribution of marital property </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courts are given wide discretion to achieve this goal. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common factors: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Duration of marriage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prior marriages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prenuptial Agreements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age, health, earning power of parties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alimony received </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Settlement Agreements <ul><li>The division of property in most instances is a result of a settlement agreement. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>These must be voluntary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These are usually incorporated into the divorce decree </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>These are difficult to set aside </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Property Subject to Division <ul><li>Virtually anything of value is considered. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Obvious – houses, cars, stocks, bonds, accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also – pension rights, disability payments and medical insurance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And Increasingly Common - “good will” generated by business or professional practice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Human Capital” - growing trend </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Custody of Children <ul><li>Courts do not distinguish between custody as part of divorce and custody between two unmarried people. </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Custody </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Right to make all decision pertaining to the child's upbringing, including education, health care, religion, growth and development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually lasts until age of majority. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Presumption and Factors <ul><li>Presumption in favor of birth parents </li></ul><ul><li>Presumptions as between Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Religion and Race </li></ul><ul><li>Lifestyles of Parents </li></ul><ul><li>Preference of the Child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually done outside of court by judge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some states have age limit </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Visitation Rights <ul><li>Generally grated to non-custodial parent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only denied when court finds visitation could harm child. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Court could still grant supervised visitation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Using “best interest of child” standard, courts can grant visitation rights to extended family members. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Joint Custody <ul><li>Child lives on a rotating basis with each parent </li></ul><ul><li>Parents have shared decision-making power </li></ul><ul><li>Permitted in a majority of states </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Courts in a few states have ruled this not to be in the best interest of the child </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key consideration is willingness of parents to cooperate with each other </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Must distinguish between joint legal and physical custody. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Enforcement of Custody Order <ul><li>Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes clear that Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution applies to custody orders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thus, parent cannot take child to another state to avoid custody order. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Strict enforcement is common </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In re Clausen </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Child Support: Overview <ul><li>Support order usually runs to age of majority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be longer by agreement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Amount of support is set by statutory guidelines </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General test is the amount should be reasonable considering the financial limits of the parents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reasonable needs include clothing, food, education, medical care and entertainment. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Court can modify the award when justice requires. </li></ul>

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