Here For You During Difficult Times

Ann Arbor Family Law Attorneys Who Care

Matters involving family can often be the most difficult. Family matters are often very personal, and they can be emotionally charged situations. Our legal team at Biggs & Gunst P.C. Attorneys At Law in Ann Arbor will work hard to put you and your family at ease and exceed your expectations. We will work to minimize your stress by being available to answer your questions and resolve these matters as quickly 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 getting you the results you deserve.

Using Mediation To Avoid The Time And Expense Of Litigation

Most family law matters are resolved by reaching an agreement between the parties. Mediation is a process that fosters dialogue between those involved. It puts the power to decide in the hands of the parties by encouraging them to construct a resolution that is satisfying to all. Mediation can either be voluntary or court-ordered, depending on the circumstances. It 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 on 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 the parties, greater control over the process rather than through litigation and the ability to come to an agreement that works best for their family moving forward after the marriage has ended.

Prenuptial And Postnuptial Agreements Can Help Avoid Future Disputes

Prenuptial agreements can often be a tough area to discuss prior to 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 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 breakdown in the marriage. When the parties are separated and intend to divorce, it is an agreement that 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.

Create A Child Support Plan That Reflects Your Family’s Circumstances

Parents are required to financially support their minor children regardless of whether the parents were married to each other. When calculating child support, Michigan courts apply a statutory formula that takes into account several factors, including the number of children; each parent’s income; the expenses of the child, such as health care; and the parenting time each parent has with the child. The purpose of these factors is to calculate 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 child support attorneys are experienced in applying these factors and calculating child support and can help guide you throughout this process.

Establish A Child Custody Arrangement That Works For You

Matters involving children are often one of the most difficult 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 12 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.

Navigating Alimony And Spousal Support

Spousal support, 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 to which that spouse was accustomed 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 several different factors when determining whether to grant spousal support and how long such support should be awarded. These factors include:

  • The past relationship and the specific behavior of each spouse, including fault
  • The age of each spouse and the amount of time the couple was married
  • Each person’s ability to work and their financial needs
  • The health of each party
  • The value of the property allocated to each party
  • Each person’s ability to pay spousal support, based on their income, assets and debts
  • The standard of living each party enjoyed before and during their marriage, and whether each party is responsible for supporting others
  • 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. An experienced divorce attorney can evaluate your unique circumstances and help you assess whether you are entitled to spousal support or might have to pay.

Post-Judgment Modifications

Life happens, and there are times when changes in life require modifications to prior orders that have addressed 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 and as long as the parties did not agree in the consent judgment of divorce to make these terms nonmodifiable. If circumstances have changed since your divorce, and you are in 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 our Ann Arbor office online today for your free consultation.

How Our Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyers Can Help

The end of a marriage is often a life-changing 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 day one, we will work hard on your behalf. We will listen to your goals and help you to establish realistic expectations. We truly care about how you are doing throughout the process and strive to minimize the emotional and financial stress felt as much as possible. Our attorneys will advise you on the best way to achieve your desired results and keep the process as simple as possible.

Schedule A Free Consultation With An Ann Arbor Divorce Lawyer

Unlike law firms who charge 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 your initial consultation, you will have a clearer understanding of the legal process and how you would like to proceed with your case.

Our divorce attorneys serve clients in Jackson County, Washtenaw County, Lenawee County, Monroe County and Livingston County. We offer free, initial consultations in person, over the phone or virtually via teleconference. Call us at  734-263-2320 or email us today to schedule your free appointment.