Family Law

There are two kinds of divorces in the state of Michigan. Divorces that involve children and divorces that do not involve children. These are labeled for the purposes of docket management in the Courts. Divorces without children are labeled DO. Divorces involving children are labeled DM. In either case, the court has the jurisdiction to rule on the following issues:

  • Property division;
  • Spousal support; (in appropriate cases)
  • Marital torts; (in appropriate cases)

Gender based custody decisions are no longer a foregone conclusion in Michigan Divorce/Custody Cases. Call us today and learn how you can protect your custody rights!

Planning Your Michigan Divorce/Custody Case

glasses and gavel

The secret to surviving a Michigan divorce, or other domestic relations action, is by developing a plan and implementing it. You want to prevail on the issues that mean the most to you, but you also want your case to settle. Trials are expensive and risky. However, if you aim at nothing, you will hit nothing. At the beginning of your case, we will identify attainable objectives by applying the law to the facts of your particular case. We will give you a road map and an anatomy of your case from start to finish. This will take into consideration not only the localisms of your county circuit court, but also the habits and preferences of the judge assigned to your case.

planning divorce

In cases involving children, the Court has the jurisdiction to decide not only the issues listed above but the following issues as well:

  • Custody
  • Visitation
  • Child Support

Family Law

There are issues that will need your attention right away. If divorce is truly on the horizon for you, you will need to decide what your life is going to look like while the divorce is pending. If you would like to find out how, please sign the guest book, request either a phone or internet consultation, or schedule an office appointment so we can advise you.

Michigan Custody Lawyer


Custody issues usually arise within the context an original action for divorce, support, or paternity. You want an experienced and aggressive Michigan custody lawyer fighting for you. Witness testimony and other evidence is critical in preparing the best case possible to protect your custody rights. If you are looking for a Michigan custody lawyer who knows what it takes to prevail in court, The Law Offices of Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates, PC can help you.

pregnant woman

Custody can always be modified on a post judgment basis upon a showing of a "change in circumstances" since the original order; and evidence that a change in the custodial environment will be in the best interests of the minor child/ren. Call us today and learn what you can do now to be ready either to file or defend a request for change in custody.

Michigan Custody Investigations

Custody Investigations

Disputed custody cases always involve fact intensive issues. In short, this means that evidence must be gathered, usually in the form of witness testimony, in order to give yourself the best chance possible of having the court adopt your particular version of the facts. Many times this will mean recruiting teachers, physicians, neighbors and family members as witnesses. In addition, the testimony of expert witnesses will also be crucial to providing the court with every reason to rule in your favor with regards to child custody. We know which experts will have the most impact on the individual judge making the decision>

Michigan Spousal Support


Spousal Support is alive and well in the state of Michigan. However, it is hardly ever a foregone conclusion that spousal support will be awarded in a particular case. In negotiating a settlement, spousal support always comes down to amount and duration of the support. That is, how much will you agree to and for how long a period. In addition, there are many different ways to structure a support award to provide you with maximum financial flexibility.

In the event that the judge assigned to your case must determine spousal support, you need an attorney advising you who knows what a particular judge is likely to do given the set of facts presented to him or her. We can provide you with the information you need to make an informed cost/benefit decision when presented with a settlement offer. You will literally be able to consider the amount of support being requested and compare it with all the variables present when rolling the dice with the court. How can you decide if a trial is in your best interests if you don't have hard numbers forecasting the potential expense against the proposed support amount?

Post Judgment Litigation in Your Michigan Divorce


Just because your case is over, doesn't mean you are finished with the Family Court! Post Judgment motions can involve motions for change of custody and domicile, as well as requests to modify spousal and child support. Some of these issues can be addressed informally out of court, while others need the judge to make a ruling on contested issues. In either case, you can save yourself allot of time, aggravation, and money by taking some preventive measures early on. Contact us and let us advise you on how to protect yourself after a Judgment has been entered.

The Michigan divorce and custody lawyers at The Law Offices of Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates, PC provide their client's with the information they will need to be prepared for litigation that might occur down the road after the initial case is over. In many cases, we can show you how to stay out of court altogether. For client's needing post judgment representation, the Michigan divorce and custody lawyers at The Law Offices of Serafini, Michalowski, Derkacz & Associates, PC will put you in the best position possible to negotiate the relief you need, or persuade the court to rule in your favor should the need arise. In many cases, we can rehabilitate errors in your case that were not addressed or ignored during the pre-judgment phase of your case.