Sylvan Lake Family Law Attorney
For the first time ever, most children do not live in traditional households. Instead, most children live with a step-parent, adoptive parents, a single parent, or with other relatives. Such arrangements often involve ongoing disputes long after the initial divorce is finalized. Modification matters are much different from marriage dissolution proceedings. In many other situations, the parents may never have been married at all. A Sylvan Lake family law attorney can help here, as well.
At the office of Paul J. Tafelski, we aggressively stand up for your legal and financial rights in all these situations. We work hard during discovery to collect evidence that supports your positions. Then, either during mediation or at trial, we put this evidence together into a compelling picture. This approach has served us well in many previous legal encounters. So, we are confident that it will work for your case as well.
Premarital Agreements in Sylvan Lake
Michigan law contains a strong presumption in favor of spousal agreements. Such pacts allow spouses to decide matters on their own and not give these disputes over to a judge or a mediator. It is important to put this presumption to work for you.
Many premarital agreements are primarily property agreements. A prenuptial or postnuptial property agreement could classify the car, or any other item, as a specific kind of property. The agreement may also govern the division of that property upon divorce.
Additionally, the agreement could cover inheritance and succession matters. If either spouse had been married before, any prior children probably have no rights in this area. The parent might intend a different outcome, and a prenuptial agreement can address this area. It is also a good idea to draw up executory documents, like trusts and wills, that reflect the relevant provisions in the prenuptial agreement.
Since Michigan family law strongly favors spousal agreements, challenging a prenuptial agreement is an uphill climb. The judge will most likely uphold the agreement as long as it is:
- Reasonably Fair: This area is subjective. A division like “You get all the debts and I get all the assets” is clearly unreasonable. However, the agreement need not be 50-50 to be “reasonably” fair.
- Voluntary: Each spouse must make a full and complete financial disclosure. Otherwise, they do not know what they are signing, so the agreement cannot possibly be voluntary.
- No Undue Influence: Mere pressure to sign is probably inadequate. Even a “sign or else” ultimatum is probably insufficient. However, timing may be an issue. Husband can not spring a prenup on Wife at the last minute and expect her to sign it without reflecting on it first.
As a rule of thumb, if both spouses had an attorney at all stages of negotiation, drafting, and signing, a judge will probably uphold the agreement, even if it is a little shaky on these grounds.
Divorce Modification in Sylvan Lake
Families change quickly and frequently. So, divorce orders usually need to be legally modified at least once every three or four years. Whether the modification involves parenting time divisions or support obligations, the judge will change the prior order if circumstances have materially and substantially changed.
Michigan law usually streamlines agreed modifications, especially in child custody and visitation areas. However, it is important not to take too many shortcuts. Informal side agreements are unenforceable in a Sylvan Lake family law matter. Moreover, rushed matters often lead to overlooked details. These details could come back to haunt parents in future years.
Reach Out to an Experienced Lawyer
Today, more families than ever need professional legal services. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Sylvan Lake, contact Paul J. Tafelski, P.C. We routinely handle matters in Oakland County and nearby jurisdictions.