With more than 25 years of family law experience, including her knowledge of crisis counseling, Jessica Woll is expertly qualified to guide her clients through the tumultuous experience of divorce and custody disputes. Her finesse at combining knowledge of the many facets of the law, with equal parts compassion, creativity and tenacity, has made her a formidable champion for her clients. Jessica is also a fierce advocate for the well-being of children and her mantra for divorcing parents to “remain child-centric at all times” has helped her clients to remember to keep the best interests of their children in the forefront.
In addition to her law degree from Wayne State University, Jessica holds a degree from the University of Michigan in International Relations and Economic Development, and has lived abroad in England, Japan and Thailand. Her love of travel and experiencing the many cultures of the world has given her a unique perspective both professionally and as an active member of the diverse community that makes up Metro Detroit. These skills have propelled Jessica to the forefront of her field.
I am often asked the question of what age can a child actually chose which parent they want to live with. The answer in the Michigan Family Courts varies from courtroom to courtroom. When one parent seeks a change of custody and the court finds that the requesting parent has proper cause to request that the court conduct a hearing on the issue, the Court’s focus will be on the child’s best interest as outlined in the Michigan Child Custody Act (MCL 722.23). The Act considers twelve (12) factors in determining what custody and parenting arrangement are in a child’s […]
Okay, so you have been married for a while and have endured years of injustices at the hands of your evil husband or wife. The following types of scenarios often lead a divorcing party to seek retribution from the court: You are the major bread earner in the family and your spouse ran up massive credit card debt in your name. You received an inheritance from your aunt and took your spouse on a lavish 5 star trip to Tahiti with the money, only to return home and learn that your husband/wife has been having an affair with his/her yoga […]
At times, I receive calls from clients wherein they confide in me that they are afraid their spouse might lie and claim they are physically abusive in order to get them removed from the marital home during the pendency of a divorce. Typically, both parties have a right to continue to live in their residence during a divorce proceeding. The exception of this rule is when one spouse has physically assaulted their partner and the police remove the offending party from the residence. When I have a client that is living in constant fear of being falsely accused of domestic […]
Addictions, to such things as alcohol and drugs, are a contributing factor in a high number of divorce cases. (I reference alcohol in this Blog, however, all of the points also apply to a person with a drug addiction.) ALCOHOL: Proving someone is an alcoholic, when they say they are not, might be difficult. If you know your spouse has a drinking problem, but he or she is going to deny it, what can you do to prove it in order to protect your children? COURT ORDERS: Usually the burden is on the accusing parent to prove that the other […]
An affluent business man, we will call Larry, retained my services to represent him in his divorce action. Larry is the father of three young children. When the parties’ youngest child was only three (3) months old, Larry’s wife, who we will refer to as Lolita, left him for a man she met at yoga. Larry was devastated when Lolita filed for divorce and requested sole physical custody of their children. He felt cheated in many ways but was most saddened by the prospect of not beginning and ending the day with his children on a daily basis. After Larry […]
Back before the economy tanked, many of my divorce clients owned homes that had equity. Usually, the marital residence was an asset and not a liability. When homes were worth money, a divorcing couple had options. One party could buy out the other’s interest in the property, or the home could be sold and the wife and husband could divide the equity realized from the sale. Sadly, in this day and age the marital home is rarely a marital asset, but is now more often than not a marital debt. So what can you do?????? First, you need to decide […]
With the troubled Michigan economy, many parents are forced to consider employment opportunities outside of the state. If an out-of-state move is necessary, a divorced parent will need to request court permission to leave the state if they share legal custody of their minor child with the other parent. Before the economy went awry, a request to move out of state with a child was not easily granted in a case where both parents were active participants in a child’s life. However, nowadays with more and more people losing jobs, the necessity of an out-of-state move has become a reality […]
As we all know, the ability to access information is quick, cheap and everywhere. Naturally, this access can have a direct impact on your divorce. I cannot tell you how many people have learned about their spouse’s affair by stumbling upon an inappropriate e-mail on the home computer, reviewing a text message from the other man or woman after hearing the ding of their wife’s or husband’s Blackberry in the middle of the night, or by simply paying a little more attention to the cell phone charges on the monthly bill. I am sure that most of us have said […]
My name is Jessica Woll and I have been practicing divorce and family law for close to two decades. The job has taught me a great deal about human beings going through what is often one of the worst experiences in their lives. In my Blog I will share my client’s stories, while maintaining their right to privacy. I will offer advice, tips and insights based upon these stories. I hope that you find the information beneficial. In this months blog, I will briefly discuss the issue of whether you should file your divorce action first. Most people who call […]