Family Law Attorney in Grand Rapids
Gordon & Hess, P.L.C. is a Grand Rapids law firm committed to advocating on behalf of families who are going through divorce, custody disputes and child support issues. Our attorneys have the knowledge to act as mediators in domestic disputes, the experience to represent clients in court, and the dedication to research every element of a case. The firm’s honesty and integrity have resulted in an excellent reputation with the Michigan State Bar and the family courts in the greater Grand Rapids area.
Brian E Gordon is a Michigan native and a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law. Mr. Gordon has 18 years of family law experience with a focus of representing women in divorce.
Daniel B. Hess is a Grand Rapids native who is a graduate of California Western School of Law. A member of the Michigan State Bar since 2000, Mr. Hess’ primary focus is on family law and men’s rights.
Why Hire a Family Attorney?
When faced with a dilemma such as proving paternity, obtaining custody, or collecting child support, it is tempting to hire the most inexpensive lawyer or mediator that you can find. Although it may seem as though it is all just paperwork that anyone can handle, it will actually benefit you in the long run to use an attorney specializing in family law. People often misunderstand child custody agreements or change their minds after the child custody agreements have been filed with the court. An attorney specializing in family law can help you understand the benefits and pitfalls of every detail of your agreement.
Michigan offers the option to go through a mediator instead of going to court, but the law does not require a mediator to be an attorney. A mediator’s job is to be completely objective and to identify solutions to any conflicts a couple may have. They are also responsible for writing a “memorandum of understanding” upon which the divorce settlement will be based. If the mediator is not an attorney, they may miss certain crucial details when writing this memorandum and that may lead to problems in the future.
If two parties in a child support or child custody case live in separate states, the situation may be complicated by the fact that different states have different laws. You will need an attorney trained in family law, who can research the variances in state laws and work with those laws to make the best case or draft the best agreement for your situation.
If a parent has ever had child abuse charges made against them they may end up on The Central Registry for Abuse and Neglect, which is a list the state of Michigan maintains on child abusers. Although it was intended to protect children, some people ended up on the list for actions that would normally not be considered abuse or neglect. The law was recently changed to make it easier to get your name off of this registry. If your name is currently included on this list, it is a good idea to have the assistance of a lawyer in getting your name removed.
Establishing paternity is more legally complex than one might think. If a woman has chosen not to list a man’s name on her child’s birth certificate, the father may not have any legal right to see his child without a paternity test. If a woman is on welfare, she may lose her benefits if she refuses to reveal the name of her child’s father. It is important to have a trained family attorney who understands what questions to ask of both parties involved and how to argue the points of law that apply to each individual person’s case.
Michigan Family Laws
In order to choose a lawyer specializing in family law in Grand Rapids, you must understand the state laws. Michigan employs the Income Share model for child support. This model states that a child is entitled to the same amount of a parent’s money that they would get if both parents were living together and the two incomes was pooled. Although the mother is normally the custodial parent in cases where the parents live apart, the courts do take other factors into consideration such as stability of income, capacity to love and guide the child, and moral and mental stability.
How We Defend Your Rights.
At Gordon & Hess, P.L.C. we will represent you with our years of legal experience and knowledge of family law. Our team will do careful and meticulous research of the laws pertaining to your situation. We know exactly what questions to ask you and your ex to build your case.
Professional Representation vs Self Representation
People who are trying to establish child support and a custody arrangement will often think it is a good idea to represent themselves. If a relationship between two parents is amicable, the parties involved may think the services of a lawyer are unnecessary. However, having a legal professional on your side can make things go much more smoothly.
When people enter into a divorce agreement without an attorney, they often do not think of changes that might take place over the years. An attorney can draft a thorough agreement that details the custody arrangement if one of the parties should have a drastic change in income or remarry.
If you are attempting to obtain child support, a professional law firm can find the assets of a parent who owes money and work with the child support office to get you the money you deserve. If you attempt to find assets on your own it can lead to conflict. The process of garnishing a deadbeat parent’s wages or freezing their bank account is best left to professionals.
Going through a child custody or child support battle is stressful for everyone involved. We can make the process go smoothly, so you can move on with your life. Give us a call today.
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