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Family Law
WMU-Cooley Law School
Cunningham, Janice K.

3 Essay
Essay 1 – property issue 35 pts
Essay 2 – support issue 25 pts
Essay 3 – custody issue (don’t need to calculate child support) 25 pts
· Spot the issues and tell what the problems are
· Explain how you would go through and what you think the outcome is
· “Discuss and decide” how you would advise the client

5 short answer 5 pts each
· Use your magic words

Overall Class Coverage
· Divorce
· Child Custody and Parenting time
· Support
o Alimony
o Child Support
· Property
· Misc
o Attorney fees
o Tax Consequences

Week 1 – Marriage and Family
Divorce can have as many as 5 issues
· Children
o Custody
o Visitation (Parenting time)
· Support Issues
o Child Support
o Spousal Support
· Property
· Attorneys Fees
· Taxation

Also going to learn about
· Adoption
· Paternity
· Prenuptials
· Post-nuptials
· Non-married relationships

Prior to 1957
· Common Law Marriage
· Still a dozen states that provide for common law marriage

Post 1957
· Consent is not enough
· Have to have the intent to get married
· Must fill out an affidavit and take it to the court clerk
· Must get a license from the clerk
· Must have a ceremony

In Michigan:
551.1 – Marriage between same sex, invalidity
· Marriage is between a man and a woman
· This is to promote the stability and welfare of society
· This is also to protect children
· Marriage of the same sex is invalid in this state

551.2 – Marriage as a civil contract (there is no longer common law marriage)
· Marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman
· Consent alone is not enough – also need a license

Who Can You Marry?
551.3 Incapacity, persons man is prohibited from marrying
· Man can not marry his mother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother, grandfathers wife, sons wife, grandsons wife, wife’s mother, wife’s grandmother, wife’s daughter, wife’s granddaughter, father’s sister mother’s sister, or cousin of the first degree or another man

551.4 – Persons woman is prohibited from marrying
· Father, brother grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, grandmother’s husband, daughter’s husband, grandd

be determined by the commissioner of that county and it shall be paid to the treasurer and deposited into the general fund at the end of the month

551.271 – Marriage Solemnized in another state validated
· A marriage contracted between a man and a woman who are residents of this state and who were, at the time of the marriage, legally competent to contract marriage according to the laws of this state and the marriage is solemnized in another state within the united states by a person legally authorized to marry them – then the marriage is binding under the laws of this state to the same effect as if it was in this state
· This section does not apply to a marriage contracted between individuals of the same sex which marriage is invalid in this state

Terminating a Marriage
· Divorce
o Michigan – No Fault
o Don’t have to show grounds
Easy to do in Michigan