Posts

Man goes to jail for refusing to pay ex-wife’s lawyer

A Genesee Circuit Court judge’s decision to send a Swartz Creek man to jail over a divorce case has been upheld by the State of Michigan Court of Appeals.

According to court documents, the man claimed unemployment for almost two years and that “he has been unable to find employment despite having a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Tech and an MBA from Harvard” — statements which the court said it found not credible in “an expanding economic environment.”

The kicker may have been when he rolled up to the courthouse in a new car. “I mean, people who are flat broke don’t go buy new cars without showing, in mind, some level of disregard or flaunting their disrespect for court orders, that’s how I see it,” Behm said in court, also addressing that his living situation with his new partner was “essentially, for free.”

Should I move out?

One of the most common misconceptions is that a person will be found to have “abandoned” their home, by moving out, and that there will be a loss of rights resulting from this action. There is nothing in Michigan law that provides for a loss of rights if one moves out of the marital home. The home continues to be a marital asset and both spouses will be entitled to share in the value of the marital home, subject to other legal principles surrounding the source of the funds that were used to purchase the home.

However, there are considerations that should be made, in deciding whether to move out of your home when a divorce is being considered.

The first consideration is whether there are minor children. If there are minor children, and custody of those children is in dispute, the court may give stronger weight to award temporary custody to the parent who remains in the home. The reason for this is to provide stability for the children. For this reason, it is always preferable to have an agreement, in writing, with your spouse about the care and custody of the children before moving out. There are situations where this is impractical, such as when there are concerns for personal safety, and in those cases, one’s safety must always come first.

Another consideration is whether you and your spouse may both wish to be awarded the right to remain in the house after the divorce.  Again, this has nothing to do with the award of monetary value of the house, but instead comes up if both parties will be asking the court to award physical possession of the home to them at the conclusion of the divorce. Obviously, there is only one house, so if a court has to decide who should be allowed to remain, one consideration is who has remained in the home up to that point. If there are minor children, it is likely that a court will allow the parent who will be the primary custodian of the children to remain in the house if he or she wishes. But in a case where there aren’t minor children, the scale may tip toward the person who has remained in the house.
In the best of worlds, couples should come to an agreement before one moves out, covering how the expenses for the home will be maintained, the servicing of marital debt, whether income will be shared or kept separately, and if there are children, the parenting schedule that will be followed. This allows for both parties to be able to appropriately plan, and to know what can be expected. If reaching such an agreement is not possible, it is advisable to consult with an attorney before moving out, so there is an understanding of the possible ramifications.

Michigan Divorce Attorney with offices in Novi, Plymouth and Ann Arbor

Experienced Divorce Attorney

You have a lot to lose if you do not have a skilled divorce lawyer on your side. At the Shaw Group, P.C., we recognize that a divorce or family law matter is one of the most difficult life challenges that you may face. The resolution of your divorce case will have a lasting impact on your children, finances and family structure. Whether by vigorous negotiation or powerful litigation, we consistently deliver the finest legal services to our clients in all divorce and family law matters.

Experience Makes the Difference

Even though we have been involved in hundreds of divorce cases, we understand that each client presents a unique set of circumstances and special needs which require individualized attention. We strive to provide a high degree of service and personal care to each of our clients. Our philosophy is simple: provide competent and high quality divorce services at a reasonable fee. In fact, our fees for divorce cases are typically much lower than other Michigan divorce law firms.

Bankruptcy & Estate Planning

Our law firm’s experience in the complementary areas of bankruptcy and estate planning, allows for efficient, creative problem resolution. We are skilled in all areas of bankruptcy and debt relief, including interpretation of new government relief programs and tax debt relief negotiation with the Internal Revenue Service.

Call Us Today – Free Initial Consultation

If you are involved in Michigan divorce litigation or are considering filing for divorce in Oakland, Washtenaw, Livingston or Wayne County, it is crucial to obtain an experienced divorce lawyer to meet your needs and protect your rights. The Shaw Group, P.C. provides adept legal representation to people who are struggling with divorce or family law issues. Offices in Novi, Ann Arbor and Plymouth, Michigan.

Contact Us

Novi, MI
42705 Grand River, Suite 201
P: (248) 374-1800

Ann Arbor, MI
117 N. First St., Suite 111
P:(734) 451-1800

Plymouth, MI
342 S. Harvey
P:(734) 451-1800

Contact: shaw@eshawlaw.com

Website: www.eshawlaw.com