We are experienced and reasonably priced.
You will get a realistic assessment of your
case and the potential outcomes based on
over 23 years of legal experience.

Let us help you with:

Divorce (Simple and Contested)

Annulment (Used for a short term marriage and based on
some type of fraud)

Separate Maintenance Agreement (Often used to
maintain health care benefits for a spouse)

Paternity (DNA testing and/or court establishing father's
rights)

Child Custody (Legal and physical custody, primary
residence/domicile)

Child Support (Calculated by the Friend of the Court)

Parenting Time (Often negotiated)

Prenuptial Agreements (Used prior to marriage when
one party has significantly more assets than the other
party)

Spousal Support (Often negotiated)

Change in Domicile (When a person with physical
custody wants to move to another state or another country
with the child or children)

Change in Custody (When custody of a child or children
changes from one person to another)

Enforcing a Judgment (When a person is not complying
with the terms of a Judgment)

Motions and Appeals (Requires legal research and asking
the Court to do something to further your case)
Attorney Fees Explained:
Attorney fees should not be complicated or vague.
When hiring an attorney you should know exactly how
you are being billed. Our family law invoices are
itemized monthly and our billings are reasonable.

Retainer fee: A retainer fee is an advance payment
to retain the attorney and begin the legal matter. This
advance payment is then applied to the attorney's
billable hours, unless the fee agreement states
otherwise. Sometimes, the legal matter will require an
additional retainer at a later time. The retainer fee is
not the complete cost of the legal matter.

Our attorney retainer fee agreement:
Estimating the length of time and work done on a case
is difficult, even for the most experienced attorneys.
However, as a general rule our retainer fees are:
Divorce
with no minor children: $1,500 to $3,500.
Divorce
with minor children: $2,000 to $6,000.

Depending on the complexity of the legal case, the
initial retainer fee could be more. Most attorney fees
are incurred at the beginning and ending of your case.

Many attorneys' web pages and advertisements
do not reveal their fees and costs.
We do, and we
do not inflate our attorney fees. Our billings are
reasonable and fair. We are honest and we expect the
same from you:

Office time is billed at $150 an hour and broken
down in increments of 1/10 of an hour. Consequently,
the
minimum billing for office time work is $15.

Court time is billed at $200 an hour with a minimum
of one and a half hours, or $300 for each court
appearance. In a divorce you can expect at least two,

or more,
court appearances.

Costs:
The client is responsible for all costs, including filing
fees ($150.00 with
no minor children or $240.00 with
minor children), process serving ($50 to $150),
postage, etc., which is also deducted from the retainer
fee
.

For a copy of our retainer fee agreement please
submit your request to:
michlawyer1@comcast.net. Retainer amounts will
vary depending upon your case.
Call Attorney Derik Girdwood For A Free Phone Consultation
(586) 783-8095
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Some Quick Advice If Planning A Divorce

BE CAUTIOUS USING PHONE CALLS, TEXTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
It is never a good idea to vent your problems or anger at your spouse on telephone calls, text messages or social media, which includes
Facebook, twitter, etc. What you say, text or post can often be printed out and used against you in court, harming your case. Be cautious what
you post or text and never talk about your ongoing case with anyone but your attorney and perhaps a few trusted friends or family members.

DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR CASE WITH YOUR MINOR CHILD OR CHILDREN
You should not disparage or blame your spouse for the divorce when speaking to your children, especially minor children. Children should not
be forced to side with one parent over another parent. Both you and your spouse will continue to be parents and you both will attend your
child's or children's graduations, marriages, holidays and other family events.

DO NOT LET YOUR SPOUSE “PUSH YOUR ANGER BUTTONS”
Although rare, it does happen. Some divorces become very emotional and toxic. Never let your anger/frustration control your actions, which
can lead to destruction of personal property, assault and even a criminal conviction. Walk away from any hostile divorce conversations with
your spouse but continue the discussion when things have “cooled down.” If there is no agreement, then the Court will decide and you should
stop discussing it with your spouse. Never allow your spouse to “push your anger buttons” where you lash out in destructive/assaultive
behavior. No good has ever come of it.

BE FAIR AND HONEST WHEN DISCUSSING YOUR DIVORCE WITH YOUR SPOUSE
The court looks to fairness and honesty in any divorce. If you hide assets, bank account deposits or anything else from your spouse then you
may lose all of what you hid and the court will award it all to your spouse.