Representing your interests in Kent County
If conflicts in your family have reached the point where legal action is necessary, we can help you in obtaining the best possible results by providing you with competent and efficient legal services. Diann J. Landers has represented parties and served families in Kent County for over 35 years and provide legal services in a wide spectrum of areas, including:
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Property settlement
- Mediation and arbitration
- Pre- and post-nuptial agreements
- Enforcement and modification
Through mediation, arbitration or litigation, our office can guide you through the divorce process and entry of a judgement, which includes an equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, establishment of custody and parenting time and the determination of support payments.
Child custody/parenting time
Where the children live, with whom, and how much time they spend in each parent’s home is based on the children’s best interests. Custody can be sole, primary, or joint. Joint custody can be either “legal” (shared decision making) or “physical” (the children residing alternatively for periods of time), or both. Joint custody does not necessarily mean the children live with each parent for “equal” periods of time. We will assist you in considering the long term implications of the best parenting time plan to meet the needs of your children
Your children are entitled to be supported by both parents, including a contribution toward child care, health insurance, and the children’s uninsured heath care expenses. The Michigan Child Support Guideline Formula establishes how support is to be determined. We will insure that all the provisions of the formula are utilized in the best way possible for this purpose.
This is the amount one spouse pays to the other for that persons’ support and is based on a number of factors including age, health, education, income, length of marriage. We will help in establish an equitable amount of spousal support.
Property accumulated during or by reason of the marriage is considered part of the marital estate and title does not control. If property is marital the Court considers general principles of fairness to determine how it is divided. Property settlements must be fair and equitable but do not have to be equal. This includes real-estate, investments, business interests, vehicles, retirement plans of all kinds and other personal property. The value of an asset is it’s equity; the difference between actual value and any debt associated with it. Since there are costs and potential tax consequence to consider, our knowledge and experience make us uniquely qualified to help you in making informed and reasoned decisions about property settlement issues.
Mediation is a non-binding alternative dispute resolution process that puts the decisions in your hands and removes it from the advocacy process. It often provide more expedient results than trial, it is voluntary, and you will have the right to continued legal counsel throughout the process. We can provide you with expert legal advice during the mediation process aimed at obtaining an equitable settlement of all the issues in dispute.
Arbitration is much like mediation but is a binding process which takes the place of a trial and takes place is a much more informal setting. It is an efficient and expeditious way to avoid long delays and often reduces court costs and attorney fees. It should be seriously considered as an excellent method of resolving issues in dispute. We have been integrally involved in the arbitration process of dispute resolution since it became widely used in this geographic area.
This is an action to establish the legal parentage of children born to parties who are not married, if the parties have not already executed an Affidavit of Parentage. The placement of a parties name on a child’s birth certificate is not, alone, sufficient to establish paternity. Once paternity is established issues of custody, parenting time and support must then be decided in the same fashion as stated above.
Pre and post-nuptial agreements
Pre and post-nuptial agreements can alleviate the need for legal intervention on numerous issues, should you divorce, as long as the agreements meet the legal requirements to be determined valid and enforceable.
There are various methods for the enforcement of different provisions within a divorce Judgment.It is important to have a lawyer who can help enforce your rights and provide you the security you need to insure that you receive what has been awarded to you.
Custody, parenting time and payment of child and spousal support are almost always subject to modification if there is an appropriate change in circumstances. Property settlements areconsidered final and binding and are generally not subject to change. Due to our expertise we can assist you in determining whether modification is possible and defend against it when it is not.
Contact an experienced, dedicated Grand Rapids/Kent County divorce and family law attorney
To schedule an appointment with Diann J. Landers, call 616-235-1588 or contact the firm online.