Michigan Family Law
Family law issues usually arise in the context of divorce proceedings, child custody disputes, and child protective proceedings. Child protective proceedings arise when the state, usually alleging neglect or abuse against minor children, attempts to place children into foster care, or to terminate parental rights and to place the children for adoption.
When you are filing for divorce, or if a divorce has been filed againt you, you will find that there are a wide range of attorneys who practice family law, and that the fees can vary enormously between law offices. The cheapest attorney is rarely the best, but in an amicable divorce you may find that all you really need is an attorney who won't stand in your way while you negotiate a settlement. You don't need to spend a lot on an attorney, if you are in agreement on custody and property issues.
When there are disagreements, choose your attorney carefully. If possible, get references from people you know who have recently divorced. As family law is very stressful, a great many attorneys do not practice in the area, and as a consequence it is relatively easy for attorneys with little skill or experience to develop a family law practice. While the most expensive option is not necessarily the best, when faced with contested divorce or custody litigation there is some truth to the old saying, "You get what you pay for." If you try to save money by hiring the cheapest attorney you can find, you may well learn that you gave up more in property, spousal support, or rights to retirement benefits than you "saved" by hiring the wrong lawyer for your case.
Most people do not need to hire the "best" divorce attorneys, or the most expensive. However, if you have a large marital estate, if you have issues of domestic violence, if the marital estate includes a family business, stock options, or shares in a "closely held" corporation, or if there are other factors which will complicate the evaluation of your fair share of the marital estate, you should consider a specialist. Also, if false accusations of child abuse have been made against you, or if your spouse has accused you of making false allegations, you should consider selecting an attorney with experience with that type of allegation.
Michigan has enacted legislation providing granparents with the opportunity to seek court-ordered grandparenting time with their grandchildren. However the circumstances where grandparenting time may be ordered are narrow.
If you are a grandparent and are taking care of your grandchildren, or are concerned about your future ability to spend time with your grandchildren, it is a very good idea to speak with an attorney before a conflict arises with the parent or parents. Depending upon the circumstances, a lawyer may be able to help you protect your rights in advance of the conflict. However, if you wait until you are denied the right to visit your grandchildren, it may be too late for the attorney to act.
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Mr. Larson does not seek clients from outside of the state of Michigan. If you require legal advice, please contact an attorney licensed to practice in your state. We will be happy to assist you, if possible.
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