If charged with domestic violence in Michigan, there is a chance that it could spill into a divorce or a child custody family court case as a secondary legal issue. That is quite common, and my firm handles both. Assuming a DV case goes in this direction, and my child has children, one topic of conversation is how child support is calculated in Michigan.
In Michigan child support is defined as a court-ordered payment of money from one parent of a child to another. Children in Michigan have an inherit right to the support of their natural or adoptive parents. Payment of child support in Michigan may include health care, child care and expenses for education.
In Michigan a court must order support in the amount determined by the child support formula unless the court finds that application of the formula would be unjust or inappropriate with specific facts on the record to support the deviation. The Michigan child support formula considers the needs of the child and the resources of the family in Michigan and assigns the child a share of those resources in the form of child support. The formula will consider the parents income, the allotment of custody/parenting time of each parent and the number of children to be supported. The formula for Michigan child support will also consider the division of health care costs and child care expenses.
The Michigan family court can consider an agreement between the parties about child support, but the court does not need to follow the agreement.
Michigan Divorce - Can my wife take my money, house and cars if she charges with me with domestic violence?
If you're charged with domestic violence in Michigan, and your wife has filed for divorce, you're fighting two uphill battles. Men charged with domestic violence in Michigan do not get the benefit of the doubt from the prosecutor and judge unless they earn it by being proactive and showing how they've reacted since the incident.
Being charged with domestic violence in Michigan does not help your divorce, but it is not the devastating factor that many people assume. Most divorce cases are worked out among the attorneys and yes, a DV charge creates leverage for your wife and her attorney, but in the end the assets, money and finances will be split up and agreed upon. Most divorce cases in Michigan, do not go to trial, so in the end, the DV is unlikely to be a direct factor where a charge is deciding you should get the short end of the stick because you are simply charged with a domestic violence offense.
Your wife will be taking some of your money, some breakdown of cars, home with or without the domestic violence charge - negotiating a divorce settlement is a whole other story. A DV charge should be taken seriously, addressed with your rights protected, all options on the table, but it is not going to sink your divorce simply because you're accused of something in a criminal court.
If you're charged with domestic violence in Michigan, and you believe you are falsely accused, we need to get to the bottom of why you're falsely accused.
Did things get out of hand with the alleged victim, the police were called, but both parties played a part, but you were arrested? If the alleged victim is willing to tell the whole truth to the prosecutor and victim advocate and be helpful to our case, then there would be no additional reason for you to file for divorce. Of course, if things are escalating to where the police are called to your home, it may be a good idea to at least explore how to address that problem so it doesn't happen again or talk to the victim about the next step in your marriage. Should you guys be together? That's for the both of you to decide.
Now, if you were arrested, but believe you were not the aggressor or the person truly at fault, and the alleged victim is throwing the blame on you and not being helpful to the case, it might be a good idea to consider removing yourself legally from that person to protect your relationship with your kids, your money, and your overall happiness.
I see it too many times, a client of mine has had issues with their spouse for years and years, and they've been fighting non-stop. They continue to fight then makeup, but the other spouse uses the threat of the police and prosecuting on my client until it actually happens. This is not a healthy lifestyle and situation for my client, and it may be time to finally put their foot down. If you're already charged with DV, it is a bit too late for this case, but a lot of people come to me with a prior incident with that same person, and I can't believe they stayed with them after being falsely prosecuted in the past. This person needs to file for divorce ASAP.
It depends on what happened with the domestic violence issue. If the DV charge is against the children then YES, a court may not allow you to see your children at least temporarily until something changes where the court is no longer concerned about your conduct as a parent with the children. That may progress to what is known as supervised parenting time, which involves a third party approved by the court who is present during the time you spend with the kids, and a report is generated to the court. The amount of supervision and the need for supervision will change over time.
In Michigan, there are two types of custody, physical and legal custody. The physical custody is being with the kids, spending time with them, spending time with you, and the legal is the decision making process for the kids as a parent. If the case is against a child, the Child Protective Services will be involved and there will be layers of legal issues.
As long as the domestic violence is not against one of the children, you will likely NOT lose custody of your children for a domestic violence charge. If Child Protective Services is not involved, and the case was simply a mom and dad fighting, and one is charged, there is nothing in place that would block you from being with your kids. The only way this would change is if one party files a case at the circuit court over custody or a full scale divorce. The non-defendant party will likely cite the domestic violence case and seek to limit or take away custody.
The court uses the "best interest of the child" analysis, and generally speaking it is always in the best interest of a child to have both parents in their life as much as possible. So yes, custody could be impacted by a DV case in Michigan, but it is usually temporary if there is any change at all.
How do I know if my spouse is filing for divorce in Michigan? I don't want to be caught by surprise by a Michigan divorce
Many clients who are charged with domestic violence are worried that their spouse is meeting with a high-powered divorce attorney who has the tools to take away my client's home, retirement accounts, clear out bank accounts, and take the kids away while demanding spousal and child support. This is terrifying on top of being charged with a serious crime.
As you'd read in my various survival guides, there are different types of domestic violence cases in Michigan, and many cases have a couple, spouse or family member who wants to remain with my client, and is working hard to help us resolve the case. We don't expect a family court case to be opened up against my client, but there are some cases where we need to worry.
If the alleged victim has requested that the no-contact order stay in place, and they have filed for a PPO and obstructed my client seeing his/her kids, and has been difficult about picking up items from the household, I have my team check the online circuit court case search on a regular basis to check for PPO filings and custody/divorce cases.
Along with the initial check of the online sites, I have a sit-down with my client about their options. If my client is falsely accused on domestic violence, and the alleged victim is doing everything in their power to ruin my client's life, I will usually discuss my client's options to file their own family court proceeding if kids are involved or the parties are married.
If kids are involved, especially young ones, it may be difficult to see those kids if they are living with the alleged victim and they don't have their own access to a vehicle or a cellphone. This is when my client needs a circuit court judge to step in and possibly sign an ex-parte order for parenting time and make sure that my client still has the ability to participate in decisions for the children. Just because my client is charged with DV, doesn't mean they are no longer a mom or dad to the kids.
If the parties are married, we discuss filing for a divorce and taking proactive measures with the finances such as filing for ex-parte orders to essentially put a freeze on spending, reallocating assets, closing, withdrawing accounts and money etc. A motivated victim will use the DV charges and potential conviction against my client in a divorce, if they are falsely accused, they need to file a divorce and essentially make a strong point that they do not want to be with someone who is falsely accusing them of a serious crime, and they are fighting the criminal charge and asserting their rights in the circuit court over the couples assets and privileges.