Family Law

Everyone knows someone that has survived a divorce.  When I represent a divorce client, I always express to them that winning doesn’t necessarily apply, rather getting through the process intake is the measure of success.  If you are looking for an attorney that takes the time to educate and advise the client, you will be satisfied with my services. 

Motion for Contempt of Court

Another area of family law is motions for contempt, otherwise known as s “motion to show cause.” In this situation, the parties are under the jurisdiction of a court order. These court orders may include a divorce judgment, a child custody order, a personal protection order, or a child support order. This motion is filled to stop a party from failing to follow a court order. In other words, this motion is filed to enforce an order against a party. When this motion is filed, there will be a hearing before the court. The court will decide whether or not to hold the offending party is in contempt of the court order. A motion for contempt is a useful tool to force a party to conform their conduct to the specific court order. Conversely, these motions are also wrongfully filed, requiring an aggressive defense. I represent clients seeking to enforce a prior order and defended clients against contempt proceedings. My litigation experience and careful preparation benefit my clients in motion for show cause hearings.

Motion to Change a Legal Residence

Many people after a divorce move on with their lives, this includes moving to a new area for employment.  However, most custody orders require the court to approve a move away from a child’s co-parent.  Change of legal residence motion varies in complexity, depending on which party holds legal custody of the minor child.  No party should move without first consulting an attorney.  The general rule is a co-parent, with shared custody or visitation with the other co-parent, may not move, with the child, over 100 miles from the other co-parent. A move over 100 miles from the other co-parent requires prior court approval. The Michigan Friend of the Court publishes a form FC 115 for filing a motion to change legal residence. This form, nor the instructions, provide any insight into the law involved in this motion. Read my article: Motion Regarding Change of Domicile or Legal Residence in Michigan to learn more at my Family Law blog.

Motion to Change Child Custody

A motion to change child custody involves changing a prior custody order or divorce judgment. This motion is both the most difficult to prove and the most expensive to prosecute or defend. Michigan disfavors a change in a child custody order due to the damage caused to the minor. As a result, there is a threshold requirement of demonstrating “proper cause,” or “a material change in circumstances,” that warrants a change in custody. Furthermore, once this threshold is met, the court will thoroughly examine the best interest of the child factors found in MCL 722.23. A full-blown contested custody hearing could last 1 to 3 days in court.

family law attorney talking to client on courthouse steps

Family law encompasses one of the most passionate aspects of adult life; a parent’s relationship with their children. I understand how important child custody and parenting time are to my clients because I am a parent.

Motion to Change Parenting Time

A motion to Change Parenting Time is a motion related to the operation of the current custody order. Normally these motions involve a systemic problem between the two co-parents. Examples would be problems related to live-in boyfriends or girlfriends, problems with child exchanges, and failures to follow the custody order rules.

Emergency Ex Parte Order for Child Custody or Parenting Time

An ex parte order for child custody and or an ex parte order to terminate parenting time are emergency motions. This motion is governed by MCR 3.207, MCL 722.27a (12) – (15). These motions have specific requirements that must be pled. The court rule indicates there are two conditions upon which an ex parte order may be used:
a. Irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay required to effect notice; or
b. the notice itself will precipitate adverse action before an order can be issued.

In short, the person seeking the motion must demonstrate that the child is currently, and will continue to experience, harm, “irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result from the delay” when using normal methods to change custody or parenting time. An ex parte motion is a motion without a hearing, the judge will quickly read the motion and make a decision, usually within 24 hours of filing the motion. An ex parte motion is an aggressive first move by a parent made in conjunction with a normal motion to change child custody and parenting time.

An Ex Parte Order for Child Custody or Parenting Time has special notice language and specific service requirements according to MCR 3.207.

Emergency Ex Parte Order for Child Custody Form in Michigan

Michigan SCAO publishes a large number of family law forms for people without an attorney. They do not publish a form to initiate an ex parte motion to change child custody or parenting time. I will help the right clients draft an ex parte motion and order for $350.00. I also offer up to an hour consultation for $160.00 related to emergency ex parte motions for child custody. I would rather represent a client fulling in court, but I understand that some people can not afford an attorney’s help throughout their case.

Client Reviews

Mr. Benedict helped me with my custody case. He was outstanding! He explained everything to me and helped me achieve having 50/50 custody of my son. I recommend him 100%.