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Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Phone: 248-851-3175
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E-mail: bplipman@blakelipmanatty.com
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Answers in Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Adoption from B. Lipman
  Answers
posted

Re: Qdro

  09/18/2007
Re: Divorce   06/11/2007
Re: Seperation   06/11/2007
Re: Power of attorney   06/11/2007
Re: Durable power of attorney   06/11/2007
Re: How to solve this problem   06/08/2007
Re: Evicting a spouse   06/08/2007
Re: She keeps moving   05/31/2006
Re: Stepparents and Child Support   05/30/2006
Re: Bio-mom arrested for Domestic assault   11/03/2005
Re: Transfer of house into guardian name   10/27/2005
Re: Who is responsible for payment of mortgage   10/27/2005
Re: Parenting time and child support   10/12/2005
Re: Alimony   09/26/2005
Re: Filing for Divorce with no kids   09/09/2005
Re: Custody of newborn mom is a mental case   08/18/2005
Re: Divorce   08/18/2005
Re: Planning for guardianship of a minor   08/18/2005
Re: Financial Info from children's private school   08/18/2005
Re: Parental Rights and Adoption   08/09/2005
Re: Denial of records   080/9/2005
Re: Protesting contents of child support orders   08/09/2005
Re: Prolonging finalization of divorce   080/9/2005
Re: Temporary Full Custody   08/01/2005
Re: Custody jurisdiction   07/27/2005
   1. QUESTION
  Qdro
 
My wife finished our divorce herself without a lawyer. In the divorce decree, she stated that she would supply me with all the proper paperwork, and I would turn the paperwork into my company to release the money from my 401k to her. She failed to have the QDRO drawn up by an attorney, and now is taking me to court for the money, about 2000 in cash, in leiu of the QDRO? What are my obligations here? Giving her cash was not my agreement.
       ANSWER
 

If the divorce judgment says that the retirement is transfered by QDRO, then that is how it should be transfered. With that in mind, it is important to have the judgment reviewed by an attorney. For more info, please contact my office at (248)8513171.

   2. QUESTION
  Divorce
 

I got divorced over a year ago. In the divorce my ex got the house, but she had to refinance it in her name. There was an equity line of credit on the house that she had to pay off. When she refinanced the house the loan was paid off and the equity line was paid off. Due to my ignorance, I did not check to see if she closed the equity line of credit that was in both our names. A few months later she pulled out all the money on that line of credit. Now it shows that I have a loan out there. In the divorce I was not to be held liable for anything pertaining to that house, which was used to originally open this loan. She won't close it and open it in just her name. I have requested she do this, but she's has not. What can I do now to get this out of my name?

       ANSWER
 

The family law court has continuing jurisdiction over the divorce. You probably need to file a motion. For more information, please contact me at (248)8513171.

   3. QUESTION
  Seperation
 

I am thinking of leaving my husband and taking our 1 year old daughter with me--name removed--What legal action do I need to take prior to leaving, so that I am not accused of kidnapping--name removed--We would stay at my grandmother's which is 30 minutes away.

       ANSWER
 

It is not kidnapping for you to leave with your daughter. Unless there is a serious risk of domestic violence, you should inform your husband where you and your daughter will be staying. You should not delay in contacting a family law attorney. For more info., please contact my office at (248)8513171.

   4. QUESTION
  Power of attorney
 

My father has power of attorney over my grandmother, but since the document became legal she has been widowed and remarried. Is the document still legal, or do they need a new one because her name changed?

       ANSWER
 

It is probably still effective, but given her change in circumstances she should probably see an attorney. A power of attorney is not a substitute for good estate planning. For more information, please contact my office at (248)8513171.

   5. QUESTION
  Durable power of attorney
 

I have a General Durable Power of Attorney over my mother and she has been widowed and remarried since it was signed. Her last name has changed. Is the document still legal or do we need a new one?

       ANSWER
 

It is probably still effective, but given her change in circumstances, you probably should have her estate/financial matters reviewed by an attorney. A Power of Attorney is not the same as full estate planning. For more info., please contact my office at (248)8513171.

   6. QUESTION
  How to solve this problem
 

I am an indian married to a girl in india and lived together for the past 8 years in USA. Both of us got US citizenship a few months back. we have a little kid of 3 years.of late, my wife is harping on very simple and silly points of earlier years say 1999, 2004,2006 etc , involving my old parents and dragging me into confrontation. i feel her parents are behind this problem. i feel that the time is ripend to get divorced. please advise me what to do. my wife is now in conception and expecting a child in the month of feb 2008.

       ANSWER
 

You should consult a family law attorney to discuss what you can expect in a divorce. There will be issues of child custody, support, and possibly property division. For more info., please contact my office at (248)8513171.

   7. QUESTION
  Evicting a spouse
 

I left my house because my husband has caused harm to my child . The house is in my name. What am I able to do to get him to leave my house.

       ANSWER
 

In my experience you cannot get your husband out of the marital home unless there is domestic violence, a PPO, or you file for divorce and get a court order. Merely being the titled owner will generally not work. A judge hearing the eviction will probably instruct you to file for divorce. For more info., please contact my office at (248)8513171.

   8. QUESTION
  She keeps moving
 

Since last christmas my ex- girlfriend has moved 5 times with our daughter. What kind of options do I have to keep her from doing this? I may have several witnesses that may testify to this. She has also assaulted me in front of our daughter, and the police were called. Nobody was charged though, but she was in the wrong.The custody case is in Jackson county. Thanks

       ANSWER
 

The custody order should address the issue of domicile of the child. There should be language in the order limiting the mother's ability to move the child around without prior court approval. For more info., please contact my office at bplipman@sbcglobal.net and leave a call back number.

   9. QUESTION
  Stepparents and Child Support
 

I am recently re-married (less than a year). My new husband is the non-custodial parent of a 10 yo daughter. He is ordered to pay support, but has recently lost his job and is in arrears. Will I be required to make his child support payments? Should I file for divorce? We never have any contact with this child. Everything I own is in my name and I had before we were married. I can't make him pay his child support.

       ANSWER
 

You are not obligated for the child support of your husband. He, on the other hand should file a petition with the court if he has lost his job and his ability to pay the child support is impaired. For more info., please contact me at bplipman@sbcglobal.net and leave a call back number.

   10. QUESTION
  Bio-mom arrested for Domestic assault
 

My step sons mother and her boyfriend were recently arrested for Domestic violence. The charges were dropped against her, but this was her third arrest for dv. My husband obtained and ex parte order for custody and they go to court next week. During the last week of her parenting time, when the assault occured, bio mom left her son with the abusive boyfriend for the majority of the week, after the assault had taken place. Not sure how the arrest will effect the custody situation, seeing that she had the charges dismissed (the boyfriend took all the blame). Isn't it equally ''bad'' that she left her son in the care of her abuser while she was available to exercise her parenting time? and how do you think a judge will respond to this situation. Like I said, this is her third arrest for dv, 1st one was when she was 17, the 2nd was against my husband, and now this one. She was convicted on the first offense, plead down to disturbing the peace on the second and now the charges have been dropped on the third, even though there was physical evidence that she was the one doing the hitting. Her boyfriend said that it ws self defence on her part because he knew that this would affect the custody situation. Any advice?

       ANSWER
 

Yes, I would imagine the situation would have a bearing on the custody and parenting time. The court/FOC should be advised of all events. This is not to say that the judge or referee will make the correct decision. If you don't have an attorney, GET ONE! It should be made very clear that the mother is an unfit/marginal parent. For more info., please contact my office at my phone number on the Lawguru website.

   11. QUESTION
  Transfer of house into guardian name
 

I am guardian and conservator for my mother. I am trying to have her house put into my name. First, is this possible? I know I can sell the house with court approval, but it will make it much easier if the house were in my name in order to get the house sold. If I can have the house put into my name, what forms, etc would be involved?

       ANSWER
 

Generally, you cannot put your ward's assets in your name. You could try to buy the house at fair market value, but there might still be the appearance of impropriety. Also, you would need the permission of the probate court. For more info., please contact my office at my number on the lawguru website.

   12. QUESTION
  Who is responsible for payment of mortgage
 

I am getting a divorce. We are seperated (I live at my parents-he lives at ''our'' house), but not legally seperated. Courts have not been involved at all. My husband bought the house on his own by obtaining a mortgage. He wanted to live in the house. He closed on the loan and is now having trouble making the payment and is telling me that since we are still married that I am responsible for payment or it will go on my credit report to. Is this true? Do I have any responsibility for the home when he got his own mortgage on the house?

       ANSWER
 

Generally, you are not responsible for the debts of your spouse. If you co-signed the note/mortgage for the loan, you will be liable for the payment and non-payment will effect your credit. For more info., please contact me at my phone number on the lawguru website.

   13. QUESTION
  Parenting time and child support
 

At what age can a child decide which parent they would like to live with or spend more overnights with, and if my ex-spouse starts to earn more money, when can I see about getting a reduction in child support payments?

       ANSWER
 

The courts will begin to consider the wishes of the child when they are over 13/14 years old. It is still case specific and the judge has great discretion as to allowing the childs desire to factor into a custody or parenting time arrangement. If you believe yopu can prove a change in your ex spouses financial circumstances, you can petition the court for a reduction in support. For more info., please contact my office at my phone number on the lawguru website.

   14. QUESTION
  Alimony
 

I have been married to my husband for 31 years. Our Marriage has been horrible for over half of that time. I would like to know more about alimony. I was a stay at home mom for 15 years while raising 2 children and never went to college. I am a secretary and my salary would not allow for me to live on my own. My fear is that if I request alimony my husband would quit his job and move in with his parents in Florida hence he would basically clacim he had no income for alimony. Would he have the option of doing this, or would he have to try to keep his current income level? Thanks.

       ANSWER
 

Yours is a good case for alimony. I would not worry about your husband quiting his job to avoid paying alimony. The court will impute income to him whether he is working or not. For more info, please contact my office by phone.

   15. QUESTION
  Filing for Divorce with no kids
 

My son will turn 18 on sept 17, 2005, and do I have to wait until the 18th to file the divorce papers to avoid any child custody/support issues and 6 month waiting period? Or can I file now before his 18th birthday because my husband and I have agreed on everything (kids/property) and don't have any disputes....we want to get it over as quickly as possible but don't want any snags if we file too soon.

       ANSWER
 

Good question. As a practical matter, the court has the ability to waive the 6 month waiting period if the parties have an agreement as to the final terms of divorce. (Consent Judgment) As to an actual black letter law answer, it has never come up in my practice. I presume that the judge would not delay the entry of a consent judgment for this reason. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   16. QUESTION
  Custody of newborn mom is a mental case
 

my wife left me when she was 1 month pregnant had the baby its currently 2 months old i have never seen the baby because she moved to pennsylvania before it was born i would like sole custody of the baby because my wife has a mental issue (bi polar dis) and has seeked treatment for it before i would like to know what are my chances of getting sole custody & moving the baby with me to michigan because i think she is unfit to take care of it.

       ANSWER
 

I'm not an odds maker, but it sounds like you certainly have grounds for a custody argument. You will need to file for divorce in Michigan to create jurisdiction here. I would act quickly before she files elsewhere. For more info., please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   17. QUESTION
  Divorce
 

Do you have to be in a State for 180 days before you can begin the process of filing for divorce in Michigan?

       ANSWER
 

Yes, 180 days in Michigan, 10 days in the county you are filing in. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   18. QUESTION
  Planning for guardianship of a minor
 

My wife and I have a 1 year old daughter. We were wondering what would happen if we were both killed in an accident, specifically, who would become guardian of our daughter? Is there a legal document that can establish a guardian in this instance?

       ANSWER
 

YES!!! Make a will. Absent a will, it will be a free-for-all with every relative of yours and your wife's coming into court demanding to be made guardian. I've seen it happen. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   19. QUESTION
  Financial Info from children's private school
 

FOC recommended an imputation of income of over 3x my actual. Their reason, ''Without the imputation the children would have to be removed from their private school where they are doing very well.'' I am quite sure my childrens' grandparents are footing the bill. The school will not release the financial information to me since I am not the one who has enrolled them.

Are they allowed to withhold this information from me?

       ANSWER
 

Typically, the FOC will impute income if they feel that the party to pay is understating his/her income. The FOC usually arrives at that conclusion through a number of methods including an evaluation of the spending of the party and whether the stated income can support that party's lifestyle. Also, the FOC will look at education, professional licenses, and that party's past earnings or earning potential. I doubt that the reason as stated was the FOC's reason. All that being said, you can always subpoena records from the private school to get the payment records. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   20. QUESTION
  Parental Rights and Adoption
 

My husband wants to adopt my son as his own and give him the same last name we do. My son's biologcal father is not on his birth-certificate. So does his bio. father have rights? And how can we go about the adoption situation?

       ANSWER
 

You will need to consult with a local attorney about the adoption process. Part of that will include an action to terminate the father's rights.

   21. QUESTION
  Denial of records
 

My step son is enrolled in an early head start program and my husband is trying to obtain his records. Head start is denying him because he was not the enrolling parent, even though he has 50-50 custody of his son, and his son resides with us during the week. He showed them the custody papers and they are still denying him. They say they do not have to comply with FERPA regulations, because they are funded by the US dept. of health and human services, not US dept. of education. Is there any way to obtain these records, without getting a subpoena? Why would they deny a custodial parent these records? They say dh has to get birth moms permission, in writting, but she will not give him permission. What to do?

       ANSWER
 

Get a lawyer . There is no reason they should deny him access to educational records if your husband has joint legal custody. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   22. QUESTION
  Protesting contents of child support orders
 

Hi,

I am from PA, she from MI, never married together and there is a 4 year old child involved.

I am staring now at a Consent Judgement of Support Final Judgement form that I am to sign and return. The biggest problem is my current inabilty to pay it due to other debts and medical costs. In addition to that I have reason to suspect she may be lying about her income, and I already know she will not abide by the Custody clause in the order.

When do I start fighting this stuff? I keep seeing references to a ''friend of the court'' but have yet to get any contact info. Do I need to actually have the support order signed by a judge before I can start voicing my protests? I've read about a ''full discovery'' process that would scrutinize her income a little more... is this accurate and is it something I can use?

Any help or info anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated!

       ANSWER
 

If you have reason to disagree with the support payment, do not sign the consent judgemnt! You should seek a lawyer and insist on a hearing to determine support. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   23. QUESTION
  Prolonging finalization of divorce
 

My husband and I are in volved in divorce. We have 2 children , custody has been settled. Joint legal and physical. He filed in Dec of 2004, our first pro-confesso was supposed to be july 11. Changed to Aug by his atty because it conflicted w/ her schedule. Changed again to September and now again to Oct. I don't have an atty and I just want this over with. Can I stop them from rescheduling unless it's absolutely necessary? My husband didn't want the divorce I did. Right now I think he's just dragging this out to be mean.

       ANSWER
 

This is why it is usually wise to have an attorney. It appears that your husband's attorney is getting dates changed with the court at will. If you had an attorney, the court would require a stipulation to adjourn dates. Technically, the court should require your agreement to adjourn dates (stipulation), but apparently the court is not concerned with the desires of a "pro per" (self represented) plaintiff. For more info., please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   24. QUESTION
  Temporary Full Custody
 

If the child's mother goes to jail for violation of probation, and a warrant for a report of a false felony, and was arrested while the child was present. What are the chances of getting temporary full custody granted to the father if the mother has been in jail for 4 days and counting? Joint legal and Physical custody is what is stated in the custody papers now. No decision has been made about where the child will go to school this year.

       ANSWER
 

Sounds like you may have a good argument for a change in custody. For more info., please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

   25. QUESTION
  Custody jurisdiction
 

I have had custody of my 2 boys since 1996. They are currently visiting their mother in MI and now she has filed for custody and will be keeping them after the date they were to return to us. We live in CA and the jurisdiction is in HI. We have been living in CA for 5 years. Can the court in MI change jurisdiction even if the boys have never lived there? Which state has jurisdiction?

       ANSWER
 

The court in Michigan can retain jurisdiction over the children and all matters impacting the children if the original order was from a Michigan court.(Was the original order from Michigan or Hawaii?) Under certain circumstances, a court in another state can acquire jurisdiction. For more info, please contact my office at (248)851-3171.

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