We regularly represent clients with the following issues:


Custody and Parenting Time

Change of Domicile


Child Support

Spousal Support

Abuse and Neglect matters


Guardianships/Conservatorships for Children

Power of Attorney for a Minor

Grandparent Visitation Rights

Personal Protection Orders

NOT in Nav

Family Law

Each family law matter is as individual as the parties involved.  Stull & Associates will provide an honest, complete assessment of your personal situation and provide you with sound legal advice and guidance.

Stull & Associates can assist you with all of your family law needs, and we look forward to vigorously pursuing your legal interests.

Frequently Asked Questions


Does it help to be the first to file?

The short answer is no.  There is no significant benefit to filing first, the main difference is who is called the Plaintiff and who is called the Defendant.  There are other, more important considerations, such as who will leave the marital home that can affect the outcome of the divorce and child custody. 

Can we use one attorney?

No.  It is unethical for an attorney to give legal advice to an opposing party.  However, even if each party retains his or her own counsel, a divorce can be amicable.

Can my spouse stop me from getting a divorce?

No.  Michigan is a no-fault state, which means that you can obtain a divorce even if one party wants to stay married. 

In what County can I file for divorce?

In the County that either you or your spouse has resided for at least 10 days as long as one of you has lived in the State of Michigan for at least 180 days before filing the Complaint for Divorce.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

The actual timeframe varies.  If you do not have children, the waiting period before the divorce can be finalized is 60 days after filing the Complaint for Divorce.  If you do have children, then the waiting period is six months after filing the Complaint for Divorce, except in very rare circumstances.

How does the court decide to divide our property?

The court divides the marital estate substantially equally unless there are compelling reasons otherwise.  This means that the court looks at the value of all of the property that you own as a married couple and divides it between the two of you.  In other words, one spouse may receive the living room furniture and the other may receive the bedroom furniture.  Debts are similarly divided.

What if I owned property before our marriage?

If the property was kept solely in your name and not treated as if it were owned by the two of you, it should be treated as separate property and not included in the items to be divided in the divorce.  Oftentimes the appreciation of property during the marriage is considered a joint asset.

What if I inherited property or money during our marriage?

This property is generally treated as your separate property unless you treated it like a joint asset during the marriage.

Child Custody

How does the Court determine who should have custody of our children?

Initially, the court determines what is in the best interest of the children using twelve factors set forth by the legislature.  Best Interest Factors

What policies does Friend of the Court follow?

Friend of the Court uses the Custody and Parenting Time Investigation Manual.  Additionally, Ingham County has created a manual with specific information for its residents.  Ingham County Friend of the Court Handbook.

How does the Court decide if it can change custody?

The court must first find a “significant change in circumstances.”  This is a legal term with a broad meaning and is based upon the specific facts of your case.  It is very difficult to change custody and you should seek help from a trained family law attorney.

Change in Domicile

What if I want to move more than 100-miles away or the other wants to move?

If a parent decides to move more than 100-miles away or to another state, in many cases the parent must first file a Motion Regarding Change of Domicile.  For the motion to be granted, the parent who desires to move must prove that 1) the move has the potential to improve the child’s and parent’s quality of life; 2) the move is not intended to defeat or frustrate the parenting time schedule and that the relocating parent will continue compliance with the parenting time order; and 3) the effect of the new parenting time schedule on the bond between the child and the parent who is not moving.  See also Changing the Child’s Domicile or Residence.

Child Support

How does the court determine child support?

There is a formula used by the courts called the Michigan Child Support Formula.   However, in limited circumstances, the Court may deviate from this formula. 

Will the Court change the amount of child support after orders support to be paid?

Yes, if the parents income changes or the child’s needs increase.

Spousal Support

Why does Michigan allow spousal support?

The goal of spousal support is provide financial support to a spouse to maintain his or her standard of living.  It is not to punish one party.

Will I have to pay spousal support?

The court uses several factors to determine whether or not spousal support is appropriate.  It must be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Abuse and Neglect

Where do the Courts get authority to protect children from abuse and neglect?

The State of Michigan has the Child Protection Law to protect children from abuse and neglect.

What are the procedures used in abuse and neglect proceedings?

Abuse and neglect proceedings are very different from other areas of law.  The procedures are generally set forth in the Child Protective Proceedings BenchbookBut like all of the areas of law involving your family, competent representation will help you navigate this complex area of law.  With over 30 years of experience, Stull & Associates can explain your rights and help you understand this complicated process.


What do I need to know before I adopt a child?

The adoption process is generally set forth in the Adoption Proceedings Benchbook.  The process is wonderful and exciting, but it can be overwhelming.  Allow Stull & Associates help navigate this unique area of law.  Also see Ingham County, Adoptions.

Guardianships and Conservatorships for children

What is a Guardianship for a child?

There are three types of Guardianships for children under Michigan Law, which include a full guardianship, limited guardianship, and temporary guardianship.  For more information, please see Michigan Child Welfare Law, Guardianship, also see Kalamazoo County Powers of Attorney and Guardianship of Minors.  Kalamazoo County also provides a video of what to expect if you are appointed Guardian of a Minor.

What is a Conservatorship for a child?

A conservatorship is where a person or financial institution is appointed by the probate court to manage the property and financial affairs for a child.  For more information regarding roles and responsibilities, see Conservatorship in Michigan.  Also see, Kalamazoo County Conservatorship of Minors.

Guardianships and Conservatorships for adults

Please See Probate and Estate Planning

Power of Attorney for a child

How can I ensure that my client will receive necessary medical care while I am on vacation?

In situations where a parent may be unable to provide care and custody for a child temporarily, the parent may sign a power of attorney.  This document delegates the parent’s ability to provide care and custody of a child to another party and is often called a Delegation of Parental Authority also see Michigan Child Welfare Law, Guardianship page 230-231.


What does paternity actually mean?

It means that a man is legally identified as the father to a child.  What Every Parent Should Know About Establishing Paternity.

What if I believe that I am the father of the child, but I am not sure?

Either parent can file a Complaint for Paternity and request that the court order a paternity test.  DNA-Paternity Testing

As a legal father, what rights do I have to my child?

You have the same rights that any parent has to their child and you may enforce those rights through custody orders, parenting time orders, and child support orders. 

Grandparent visitation

Is grandparent visitation allowed in Michigan?

Grandparent rights are limited in Michigan.  MCL 722.27b provides that grandparents may request parenting time if the child’s parents are not together and paternity has been established.  However, this is difficult process.

Personal Protection Orders

What is a personal protection order?

There are two main types of personal protection orders:  Personal Protection Order (Domestic Relationship) when the parties have dated, been married, have a child in common, or resided in the same home, and Personal Protection Order (Nondomestic) for all other relationships.

What can a personal protection order prevent?

A personal protection order is issued by a court and is meant to protect individuals by making certain behaviors and actions subject to criminal penalties.  A personal protection order, however, cannot actually prevent any acts.  Some of the types of orders include the forbiddance of entering onto property, assaulting or injuring the petitioner, and stalking.