In addition, for Friend of the Court cases or cases involving children or support:
Alimony in Michigan is called “spousal support.” The court may award temporary spousal support during the action and rehabilitative or permanent support in the final judgment if the judge determines that the awarded party “needs” support and the other party is able to pay it
Custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Usually, the parties share legal custody. This means the power to make the child’s important life decisions, such as educational and medical decisions.
Physical custody is the actual possession and time with the child. (Because the term physical custody suggests the other parent has no time with the child, courts increasingly call physical custody “allocation of parenting time.”) The court must presume each child deserves an equal relationship with both parents, and the court must inform the parties of the option for joint custody. The court must also try to maintain the child’s established custodial environment.
An established custodial environment is a physical and a psychological environment marked by security and stability, where the child naturally looks for comfort, guidance and necessities.
Any custody decision must be in the child’s best interests, considering the love, bond, home and school environment, capacity and disposition of the parties to provide for the child, religion, if any, history of care-giving, willingness to foster and encourage a relationship with the other parent, domestic violence, and any other fact relevant to the child.
Child support is based on the Michigan Child Support Formula. The MCSF calculates support using each parent’s income and overnights with the child, with credit given for actual childcare and healthcare costs.
The Friend of the Court utilizes a computer program with the MCSF to calculate each party’s support obligation, if any. The paying parent may ask to deviate from the formula amount if it is “unjust or inappropriate.”
Parties may opt out of the Friend of the Court system, but should only after a thorough consultation with an attorney because the Friend of the Court offers order enforcement, monitoring, counseling and complaint services for a nominal fee, and often for free.
Related Articled: Ten Things You Can Do To Sabotage Your Custody Battle