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meridian township family law

Noud & Noud stay current on ever-changing family laws

As the American family continues to evolve so have the laws regarding legal relationships. Marriage, divorce, annulment, children, property and a wide range of other issues involving domestic relations fall under “Family Law.”

Matters of divorce and child custody can be especially complicated and emotional. Bitter feelings can cause otherwise reasonable people to engage in long legal battles that consume vast amounts of time, money and energy. In recent years, the legal community has developed new ways of working with divorcing couples. Divorce mediation is a more amicable, non-adversarial alternative. With the assistance of a mediator, a couple entering a divorce agrees to property settlement and spousal support resolutions. The mediation results in a mutually agreed upon divorce document, and the couple avoids a trial with the potential for an undesirable outcome. Binding arbitration by a neutral party is another option for resolution.

Michigan custody laws are similar to the laws of other states, as all recognize the Uniform Child Custody Act (UCCA). In 1998 Michigan created the Family Division of Circuit Court, which assigned a single judge to all legal cases involving a family. The change allowed for expertise and continuity in family matters, and it decreased the burden on the courts.

The rule of law in child custody cases is “the best interest of the child.” Michigan courts support joint custody of the biological parents, and it is no longer unusual for grandparents to seek visitation rights with grandchildren of divorcing parents. If the biological parents are either incapable of or unwilling to care for children, a number of factors are taken into consideration, including the child’s wishes. Grandparents, stepparents, other relatives, close friends and foster parents all have petitioned courts to be granted legal standing of the children in question.

Same-sex marriage and related issues are also considered family law. Per the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage is legal in Michigan and throughout the United States of America. More and more gay and lesbian couples are fostering, adopting and conceiving children through in-vitro fertilization, and they cannot be denied the same rights available to opposite-sex couples.

Family law also encompasses criminal and civil cases of domestic violence, defined as a learned behavior in which the offender abuses another member of the household. Michigan state law provides protections such as temporary restraining orders, permanent restraining orders, and custody support orders.

Noud & Noud provide expert legal representation for their family law clients. Our attorneys are sensitive to the varying needs of each family. Noud & Noud will vigorously protect your rights and fight to protect your family.