Divorce / Legal Seperation / Annulments / Paternity & Support Issues
One of the major duties of the Family Division is the handling of all matters related to divorce/legal seperation.
The Michigan Supreme Court has approved some forms for family issues. They can be viewed at http://www.courts.mi.gov/scao/courtforms.
In Michigan, the granting of a divorce is automatic, regardless of fault, when a judge determines that there has been a breakdown in the marriage relationship.
As part of a Judgment of Divorce or separation agreement the judge decides how to divide property in a fair manner. The Court will provide assistance to parties in reaching an agreement on how property should be divided.
If children under age 18 are involved, the Judgment provides for custody, child support and parenting time. The court's primary goals are to protect the child and to do what is in the best interest of the child while promoting the parent-child relationship. The Friend of the Court assists the court by helping families develop a parenting plan that states where the children will live, who may make decisions about them, and how the children will spend time with the parent who does not have custody.
The court may order one parent to pay child support to the other as part of the judgment. The judge uses a table known as the Child Support guidelines to determine the amount of the support. The guidelines can be found at http://courts.michigan.gov/scao/services/focb/mcsf.htm.
In a case where there is both a dispute between the parents and a question of neglect against the parent(s) with custody, the decisions by the Family Court regarding the neglect issues will override the parental dispute decision in regards to child custody and placement.