Biggs & Gunst P.C.
Counselors, Problem Solvers, Results

COUNSELORS•PROBLEM SOLVERS•RESULTS

Family Law

Matters involving family can often be the most difficult to deal with. Family matters are often very personal and are emotionally charged situations.  Our attorneys will work hard to put you and your family’s mind at ease and work hard to exceed your expectations, minimize the stress and be available to answer all your questions and resolve these matters as quickly and with as little stress as possible. From the moment of your initial consultation we will work closely with you to address your questions and concerns, as well as educate and counsel you throughout the process.  Our goal is to help you resolve your matter as quickly as possible while protecting your interests and get you results you deserve.

Free Consultation

Unlike  law firms who charge a large fees just to get in the door, our initial consultations are free.  At your initial consultation you will sit with an attorney who will listen to your individual needs and help you understand how best to move forward.  Our goal is that after the initial consultation you will have a clearer understand of the legal process and how best to proceed to get you your desired results with as little stress as possible. Contact us today for your free one-hour initial consultation.

Family Law Examples:

Divorce, Legal Separation & Annulment

The end of a marriage is often an emotionally charged event for all those involved regardless of the circumstances. It is often said that in a divorce the only ones who win are the attorneys, our goal is to change that perception.  From the moment you meet with one of our attorneys we will work hard to get you the results you desire and deserve while minimizing the emotional and financial stress felt throughout the process. Our attorneys will advise you on the best way to achieve your desired results and keep the process as simple as possible.  

Alimony & Spousal Support

Spousal support or more commonly known as alimony is monetary support paid by one spouse to the other after the dissolution of marriage in order to maintain the lifestyle that that spouse was accustom to during the marriage. Every case is handled individually and not everyone is eligible to receive spousal support at the conclusion of a marriage. 

Michigan case law applies 11 factors when determining whether to grant spousal support and for how long such support should be awarded.  These factors are:

1.     The past relationship and conduct of the parties, including fault;
2.     The length of the marriage;
3.     The ability of the parties to work;
4.     The source of and amount of property awarded to the parties;
5.     The age of the parties;
6.     The ability of the parties to pay spousal support;
7.     The present situation of the parties;
8.     The needs of the parties;
9.     The health of the parties;
10.  The prior standard of living of the parties and whether the parties support others;
11.  General principles of equity.

These are simply factors that the court takes into consideration on an individual basis.  There are no statutorily mandated formulas to consider when determining spousal support, each situation is unique.  Contact us today to discuss your unique circumstances and determine whether you are entitled to spousal support.

Post-Judgement Modifications

Life happens and there are times when changes in life require modifications to prior orders which address child custody and support, as well as spousal support.  Michigan law allows courts to modify existing terms of child custody and support, or spousal support agreements depending on the circumstances so long as the parties did not agree in the Consent Judgment of Divorce to make these terms non-modifiable.  If circumstances have changed since your divorce and you are need of modifying these agreements our attorneys are here to help and walk you through the process of having past child custody, child support, and spousal support agreements modified.   Contact us today for your free consultation.

Pre & Postnuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements can often be a tough area to discuss prior to a marriage, this is a happy time in the couple’s life and thinking about the possibility of a failed marriage can be difficult. A prenuptial agreement will establish what each spouse is entitled to if the marriage were to end in a divorce or death and can address alimony and the division of property. While it can be a difficult topic of conversation before a marriage, having a prenuptial agreement in place is a great way to protect assets and avoid expensive divorce litigation should the marriage end.  Contact us today if you are getting married soon and would like some information regarding prenuptial agreements. 

Postnuptial agreements are written once there has been a break down in the marriage.  The parties are separated and intend to divorce and is an agreement which governs the division of property and the rights and obligations of the parties during the divorce.  If you are currently separated or thinking about separating from your spouse contact our office today to discuss how best to proceed regarding your individual needs.

Child Support

Parents are required to financially support their children minor regardless of whether the parents were married to each other.  When calculating child support Michigan courts apply a statutory formula which takes into account several factors including the number of children, each parent’s income, the expenses of the child including health care as well as parenting time each parent has with the child.  The purpose of these factors is to calculate what is the appropriate amount of child support to be paid by one parent to the other and determine what is in the best interests of the child.  Our attorneys are experienced in applying these factors and calculating child support and can help guide your throughout this process.

Child Custody

Matters involving children are often one of the more difficult matters to discuss in family law especially when it comes to determining child custody arrangements.  Michigan applies the “best interest of the child standard” when determining child custody.  There are twelve factors that are applied with this standard including: The relationship between the child and the individual parent, the ability of the parent to provide for the child,  and the ability of the parent to provide a stable environment for the child. Our experienced attorneys are here to discuss the process with you.

Mediation

Most family law matters are resolved through agreement by the parties. Mediation is a process which fosters dialogue between the parties, and puts the power in the hands of the parties to construct a resolution that all can be satisfied with.   Mediation can either be voluntary or court ordered depending on the circumstances and can be a healthy and cost-effective alternative to litigation.  The process of mediation allows the parties to come and negotiate the terms of their own divorce and decide issues such as child support and custody, the division of assets and spousal support. 

There are many advantages of mediating a divorce including, less stress and animosity between the parties; the ability to sit down and discuss points of disagreement between parties; greater  control over the process rather than through litigation, and the ability to come to an agreement which works best for their family moving forward after the marriage has ended.

Not all marriages can be ended through mediation, it requires parties who are willing to resolve their differences and come to an agreement.  Contact us today for a free consultation and find out if mediation is appropriate in your unique circumstance.