Family Law

Family Law is about the relationships of one adult to another, relationships of parent and children and sometimes the relationship of siblings. Client’s problems involve marriage, divorce, paternity, contractual agreements, child custody, child support, relocation of a child, adoption, probate, elder law and estate planning. Frequently, the problem includes issues of personal property, real estate, schools, extracurricular activities, DNA testing, drug and alcohol testing, family abuse, and personal protection orders. The area is broad and frequently complicated.

Amy Yu is licensed to handle legal matters in Michigan. She usually handles cases in the Family Court Division of the Michigan Circuit Court and the Probate Court. Thus, first and foremost, the attorney handles litigation and administrative hearings in family related matters. As part of her expertise, she also counsels clients about the substantive law affecting family situations. Most disputes or family situations needing lawyers do not go to trial, but an understanding of and a willingness to proceed to trial are necessary information for the attorneys to advise the client as to his or her options.

  • Adoption is a family law matter although the papers are processed in the Probate Court. In all situations, an adopted child is treated as a natural born child. When a step-parent wants to adopt his or her new spouse’s child, this adoption has consequences in the areas of child support, parenting time and inheritances. Michigan recognizes private adoptions – when the adopting parents and birth parents work through attorneys. However, most adoptions occur through private or public social service agencies. Adoptions are regulated by Michigan Statutes and Court Rules.
  • Alimony and spousal support have the same meaning except the federal statutes for tax purposes refer to alimony and Michigan Statutes and cases refer to spousal support. In a divorce, it is used to transfer income between the parties. A form of alimony can be used as a way to transfer property. It can be taxable or non-taxable, modifiable or non-modifiable in the future and it can affect whether debt can be discharged in bankruptcy.
  • Child custody and child support are covered by Michigan statutes, cases and the Child Support Formula. There are two types of custody: physical and legal. Legal custody involves the decision making in three areas of the child’s life: educational, medical and religious. Physical custody is all about where the child lives and the daily activities and decision-making for that child. Custody issues continue for the minor children up to the age of 18. Physical custody determines which parent makes the short-term and long-term decisions relating to the minor child, where the child is to live and how the parenting time is allocated to each party. Child support is determined by the Michigan Child Support Formula based on the custodial arrangements, the income of the parties and the mandatory deductions from each parent’s paycheck. Part of the Formula determines the allocation for payment of work-related child care and for payment of health insurance premiums and unreimbursed health care expenses.
  • Change of Domicile is a family court order permitting a relocating parent to move more than 100 miles from the legal residence of the child or to another state. This order is needed when one parent in a joint custody order wants to move away. It can be sought by consent of the parties or follows a motion hearing or evidentiary hearing before the Judge.
  • Divorce and annulment refer to the legal severing of the marriage contract. When spouses divorce, they must formally, through family court, divide up property and retirement accounts, provide for the care and support of the children and modify the right to life insurance proceeds.
  • Paternity is declaring parentage through court or equivalent procedures to be the unwed parents of a minor child. Child custody, child support, day care and medical/health insurance expenses are considered. The parents or the Court’s decisions may be incorporated in a Paternity Order.

Amy Yu knows clients have questions about their legal rights. Consultations are welcome. Call for a consultation appointment to work out a mutually agreeable appointment time.