Few events in life are as difficult and traumatic as a divorce. The family law attorneys at Bolhouse, Hofstee & McLean have the experience, competence and compassion necessary to assist clients through the strenuous and painful divorce process. We have a thorough understanding of the stress, anxiety and sense of loss clients feel throughout this process and are dedicated to providing the attentive, personal service that can help alleviate some of these pressures. We have handled hundreds of divorces and are able to bring the invaluable experience gained in handling a wide variety of divorce cases to every client.

In addition to divorce, our family law attorneys represent clients in all aspects of family law, including:

  • Child Custody
  • Parenting Time
  • Spousal Support
  • Child Support
  • Grandparent Rights/Visitation
  • Separate Maintenance
  • Property Division
  • Pre/Post Nuptial Agreements
  • Paternity
  • Post-judgment Agreements
  • Adoption
  • Abuse and Neglect


Related Questions & Answers

Q. If I file for divorce, in what county must I file?

A person must reside in the State of Michigan for at least 180 days and live in the county in which they wish to file for at least 10 days before filing.

Q. After a person has filed for divorce, how is their spouse notified that the divorce is pending?

Your spouse, the Defendant, must be served with the relevant documents that were filed with the court. This can be done by having someone deliver the paperwork to the spouse and have them sign an Acknowledgment that they have received it sending the paperwork to them by First Class Mail, Return Receipt and having them sign the green return receipt card by having a court officer or sheriff personally serve them with the paperwork and fill out of Proof of Service which is them sent to the court.

Q. How long does a divorce take?

If there are no minor children, there is a minimum waiting period of 60 days from the date the Complaint was filed. If there are minor children, there is a minimum waiting period of 180 days after the date the Complaint was filed. These are minimum waiting periods. If a case is contested and the assigned judge is involved in either settling the case or trying the case, a divorce can take a year or longer.

Q. Is it possible for me to get custody of my children?

Michigan law provides that a judge should award joint legal custody to both parents. Joint legal custody means both parents have the right to be involved in decisions concerning their children's education, medical treatment, religious training, and similar decisions. The judge also has the power to award physical custody to one or both parents. A child will typically spend most of his/her time with a parent who has physical custody. A parent who does not have primary physical custody of the children is generally granted visitation, or parenting time.

Q. How does a judge determine who gets custody?

Michigan has what is known as the Uniform Child Custody Act. The Act details various criteria which the court must consider when determining where the children should be placed. These criteria are collectively known as the best interests of the minor children.

Q. How is child support calculated?

Michigan has child support guidelines which are used by the court to determine child support. Guidelines are now required or mandatory in the State of Michigan. The guidelines consider each parent's income, the number of children involved, the amount of time each parent spends with the children, and other factors when determining child support.

Q. If the parents have joint custody, is either parent required to pay child support?

Yes. The child support guidelines are still used to determine how much parents are obligated to pay for the support of their children. This is true because parents may have different incomes, and despite having shared custody, they may spend different amounts of time with the children. While it is possible that the guidelines would suggest no support be paid, that would be unusual.

Q. Does the judge that is assigned ever review the amount of support that is being paid?

The judge is allowed to review the amount of child support any time there has been a significant change in circumstances. This means if one parent or the other loses their job, gets a significant pay increase, or there is some other change which requires the court to modify support, the judge is at liberty to do so. Either party may request the judge review support any time there has been a significant change in circumstance, but usually not more than one every couple of years.

Q. Can I get my child support reviewed without using an attorney?

It is possible to ask the Friend of the Court in the county in which the Judgment of Divorce has been entered to review the income levels of the party and make a recommendation. There are forms you can obtain through the Friend of the Court to accomplish this. It may still be necessary to appear before a judge or referee to actually get an order changing support.

Q. How long does the law require child support to be paid?

The general answer is that child support is paid until a child reaches 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs last.

Q. Is child support taxable as income?

Child support is not taxable. It is not considered income to the person who receives it, nor is it deductible by the person who is paying it.

Q. How are the marital assets or property of the parties typically divided?

The general rule in Michigan is that the judge will try to make an equitable distribution of the assets of the parties. Michigan law provides that property division must be fair and equitable under the circumstances. As a general rule, most judges try to divide the assets equally between the parties.

Q. Are pensions considered a marital asset?

Pensions are considered marital assets which the court must consider when they divide the property of the parties. Judges divide pensions by assigning the present-day value of the pension to one party or the other, or pensions are divided by way of court orders called Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO), or Eligible Domestic Relations Orders (EDRO).

Q. What is a QDRO or an EDRO?

QDROs and EDROs are court orders which direct the pension administrators to divide a pension in a specified manner which awards part of the pension to the spouse that is not a participant or does not own the pension. These orders can direct a specific dollar amount be awarded, or a percentage of the pension be segregated and awarded.

Q. Is an inheritance considered a marital asset?

An inheritance is generally not considered to be a marital asset. However, if an inheritance is commingled, or placed in the spouse's name, or the spouse contributed to the acquisition, improvement, or accumulation of the inheritance, the court may then consider it to be a marital asset and divide it between the parties.

Q. How do I know if I am entitled to alimony or spousal support?

Judges look at a number of criteria to determine whether spousal support should be paid. While there are a number of factors to be looked at, judges usually look at the age of the parties, the income of the parties, the educational levels of the parties, and the length of the marriage. If possible, Judges will try to maintain both parties in a lifestyle that is as close as possible to the one that they were enjoying before the divorce took place. Judges can award spousal support on a weekly or monthly basis for a specific period of time or indefinitely.