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FAQs

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When Can a Child Choose What Parent to Live With?

Parents who divorce in Novi, MI, and have minor children often face challenges regarding who their children will live with. Most assume the mother will be the custodial parent, but this is not always the case. No parent wants their child to be caught in the crossfire of a contentious custody battle. Divorce is difficult…

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What Is A Special Needs Trust?

What Is A Special Needs Trust? If you are thinking about drafting an estate plan and have a family member with a chronic illness or special needs, then the discussion with the attorney should include the benefits of having a special needs trust. Before you have this conversation, you should have a basic understanding of…

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What Documents Does My Divorce Attorney Need?

What Documents Does My Divorce Attorney Need?  One of the most asked questions here at Melissa Pearce & Associates, PLC, is: “What information do you need from me for my divorce?” Sometimes that answer is not simple. It depends on what is requested during the discovery process. However, we want to share with you our…

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Can I Legally Adopt My Step-Child?

Can I Legally Adopt My Step-Child? Yes, you may be able to adopt your step-child legally. However, it is essential to note that a child can only have two legal parents in Michigan, so for a new spouse to adopt their step-child, the child’s birth parent must agree to terminate their parental rights. In rare…

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Can I Change My Parenting Time Agreement in Michigan?

Can I Change My Parenting Time Agreement in Michigan? Even though parenting time arrangements may feel final, primarily when issued by court order, it is essential to understand that they can change over time. Michigan courts understand that as children grow and evolve, their needs change, as do the parents' circumstances. Although the parenting time…

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We Have Joint Legal Custody but Cannot Agree. What do I do?

We have joint Legal Custody but cannot agree on decisions for our children. What do my ex-spouse and I need to do? If you and your ex-spouse decided to - or the court ordered - joint legal custody as part of your judgment, then both parents must agree on major decisions that would affect the…

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a certificate of divorce is stamped and finalized

Do All Attorneys Charge By The Hour?

Do all attorneys charge by the hour? The quick answer is no; most attorneys do not charge by the hour. In 2020, Melissa Pearce changed how we bill our clients for our services. Now, every matter that we handle is billed on a flat fee basis. This means that the price for your representation is…

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a certificate of divorce is stamped and finalized

What if I Fail to Answer the Complaint for Divorce?

What if I fail to Answer the Complaint for Divorce? When you are served with a Complaint for Divorce, you are given 21 days if served in person or 28 days if served by mail. If you fail to file an Answer to the Complaint for Divorce, the Plaintiff can file a Request for Entry…

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wedding rings on top of a dictionary open to the word "divorce"

What Should I Do Now That My Divorce is Final?

Now that my divorce is final, what should I do? The first instruction to every client is to retain a hard copy of the Judgment of Divorce and any accompanying order. This is a legal document provided by the judge that finalizes the divorce process. It will contain the judge's ruling on all aspects of…

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hands with wedding ring typing on a laptop

Can Social Media Impact My Divorce?

You decided to file for divorce, or you just received divorce pleadings. What do you do next? While most people understand that the next decision should be to consult with an attorney, they forget the second step. That step is to take a vacation – from all social media accounts. Social media has become the…

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How Do I Protect My Separate Property in Divorce?

How Do I Protect My Separate Property in Divorce? Lately, I have been receiving questions about how one spouse can protect assets they bring into the marriage or separate property. The answer is not always clear at first, as it requires an investigation into how the property was held throughout the marriage. Clients do not…

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divorce attorney hourly charge

Why Do Divorce Attorneys Charge Hourly?

One of the top reasons individuals do not hire an attorney to represent them in a divorce is fear of the total fees. Potential clients are worried that attorneys who charge an hourly rate can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. For some individuals, this is not financially feasible, or the marital estate…

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parenting time and covid-19

How Does Covid-19 Impact Parenting Time?

Discussions, memes, news reports, and social media are inundated with information about the pandemic. Missing is information for divorced and single parents with custody orders while struggling under Covid-19 and managing parenting time amidst these restrictions. Here are some things you can do to maintain normalcy during this time of health concerns and crisis. Follow…

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child support michigan

Will I Receive Or Pay Child Support?

Will I Receive Or Pay Child Support? Child Support. It is one issue that can slow down a divorce case. But there are five things that you should know about Michigan child support before you bring your divorce to a standstill over the amount of child support being proposed or ordered. Child Support is controlled…

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custody change

Can My Custody Order be Changed?

Can My Custody Order be Changed? Your Judgment of Divorce has been entered with the court. But the entry of the Judgment of Divorce has not stopped the issues with your ex-spouse that led to the divorce. Now, you are being denied parenting time or being left in the dark on decisions about medical care,…

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What is Medical Support?

What is Medical Support? Medical support is a form of child support often provided through an employer’s health insurance plan. Child support agencies will send a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to the employer to order coverage for an employee’s children. The specific language is contained within the Uniform Child Support Order. It will designate…

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What are the Types of Child Custody?

What are the Types of Child Custody? Regarding children and divorce, there can be confusion on the types of child custody and related issues. Legal custody, physical custody, parenting time, and child support are each separate issues that must be resolved before the Judgment of Divorce is entered. Legal Custody First, legal custody means a…

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divorced parents communicate

How Should Divorced Parents Communicate?

How Should Divorced Parents Communicate? While divorce ends a legal marital status, it does not end the co-parenting relationship between mothers and fathers. Divorced parents communicate successfully with the best interest of their children in mind. Understanding that your ex-spouse will still be involved in your life when you have children together can be the…

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mediator for divorce

Do I Need A Mediator for Divorce?

Do I Need A Mediator for Divorce? You have just been served with divorce papers. Your mind immediately envisions scenes from War of the Roses or Kramer v Kramer. This vision you have may not happen in southeast Michigan. Most divorces in southeast Michigan are resolved not by the court but by the parties during mediation. In…

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100-Mile Rule

What is the 100-Mile Rule?

What is the 100 Mile Rule in Michigan? Divorce or separation often opens an opportunity for a person to start fresh and take on opportunities they might not have been able to previously. Sometimes, this involves making a big move a far distance from the area where they lived while with their former partner. However,…

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