Paul A. Sarnacki, P.C.

Trusted Family Law Attorney

When your family issues require legal counsel, we provide the sensitivity you want and the tough advocacy you need. Paul A. Sarnacki, P.C. can help families resolve contentious issues through mediation and, when necessary, take it to court. When you contact us, you receive a prompt response to all your questions and concerns.


If your marriage is coming to an end, Sarnacki Law can help provide you with guidance and counsel in a cost-effective way. We’ll work with you from start to finish, maintaining open and clear communication so you’re always kept up to date on your divorce proceedings. We will also work to provide you with workable divorce solutions.


When a couple gets divorced, alimony or spousal support can be ordered for one spouse. Alimony can help supplement an income. There are a few factors to understand about alimony. Age, length of marriage, financial resources and the income-earning capacity of each spouse are all taken into consideration.

Short Term Marriage – a marriage lasting less than seven (7) years.

Moderate Term Marriage – a marriage lasting more than seven years but less than seventeen (17) years

Long Term Marriage – a marriage lasting more than seventeen (17) years

This type of alimony is usually awarded for a limited time. It is used to supplement the redevelopment of skills for a spouse. Usually, this type is paid semimonthly or monthly.

Divorce can be particularly hard to adjust to. When it’s time to transition, it can be harder for one party over the other. That’s why bridge-the-gap alimony was created. It is for helping the spouse by necessities such as living expenses and a car. You can pay this as a lump sum or over a short period of time.

Permanent alimony will be paid monthly or semimonthly. It only ends when the payee spouse remarries or dies.

Sometimes the court will determine that alimony only needs to be paid for a specific amount of time. This can be paid monthly or semimonthly. For more details on durational alimony, contact Paul Today.

In some cases, you will be paid alimony in one lump sum of either property or money.


Receive confidential mediation services which will help you and your divorcing spouse identify and address all issues so that you can develop a mutually acceptable agreement. A majority percentage of all divorces in Michigan are eventually resolved in mediation. When you are facing a divorce, you can use a mediator who can help you both settle all issues quickly and inexpensively.

Mediation Can Help Determine:
    Financial Issues
    Asset & Liability Division
    Mortgage Payments
    Debt Responsibility
    Retirement Benefits
    Parenting Plans

Judgement Modifications

In order to fine a modification of Alimony in the state of Michigan, you must meet certain requirements called a "Substantial Change in Circumstances". Sarnacki Law can help you determine if you qualify for a modification, and help you through the legal process.

Substantial Change In Circumstances Includes:
    Changes or Decline in Health
    Employment Status
    Financial Gifts
    Change in Pay
    Lottery or other Gambling Wins
    Medial Insurance Coverage Change
    Unforeseen Inability to Pay
    Voluntary Changes
    Marital Status
    Evidence of Fraud

Pre-Nuptial & Post-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements are an effective way for couples to understand their individual financial statuses and to plan for the future. These contracts can delineate how marital property and money is distributed and may also make provisions about spousal support. Some prenuptial and postnuptial agreements contain provisions regarding child support and custody, but courts will only enforce these provisions if doing so is in the best interests of a child.

Prenuptial agreements often save couples thousands of dollars in legal fees and greatly reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain a divorce. With full and fair disclosure there are no surprises, and each party is aware of his or her rights and obligations. Many people mistakenly believe that prenuptial agreements are reserved for wealthy individuals. However, Paul can assist clients of all income levels and those with both large and small estates.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements Should Include:

  • Catalogue or list of each person's personal property, i.e. jewelry, art, china, and other valuables.
  • List of all non-physical assets such as trademarks, intellectual property, businesses, and more.
  • Any financial assets brought into the marriage by both parties, including stocks, investments, retirement benefits, savings accounts, and more.
  • Any sentimental or special family heirlooms.

Post-Nuptial Agreements Should Include:

  • Any property or assets that have been accumulated by the couple after marriage. This should include any specific property that one party feels belongs to him or her, i.e. a new business.
  • Valuable gifts that the couple received after the marriage, i.e. art, furniture, valuable electronics.
  • Any items purchased with money not from a joint account.

Name Changes

While most people never think about changing their legal name, there are certain situations that arise where adults may wish to do so. While the most common reason adults wish to change their legal name is marriage or divorce, it is not the only reason. Some people want to legally change their name for safety reasons, career advancement, gender transition or their own religious beliefs.

There are several requirements you should be aware of when filing a petition for a name change in Michigan, which include the following:

Residency: You must live in Michigan and meet the legal definition of a resident
Age: You must be at least 18 years old to file a petition as an adult
Fees: The clerk will collect a fee that you will need to pay in order to file your petition
Notice: If an interested party exists, you must either gain the consent of that party or publish a formal notice that you intend to change your name.

After a judge approves your petition, you will need to independently take steps to change your name in other areas. This includes getting a new driver’s license, passport and social security card. All agencies will require proof of court approval to obtain identification cards with your new name.

Domestic Violence Injunctions

Whether you are the victim of domestic violence or have been served with an injunction based on allegations of domestic violence, let Paul Sarnacki advocate for you. Sarnacki Law has experience in prosecuting and defending domestic violence cases, and understands how emotionally charged the issues can become. In addition, Sarnacki Law is here to protect victims and to see that those who are charged get the representation they need..

Child Custody

A parenting plan, usually called a parenting time agreement, is an agreement between parents and signed by the judge that dictates when each parent will get time with the child. It is important to have a default parenting plan to fall back on if disagreements occur.

A parenting plan must address time-sharing issues, including weekly, holiday, and school vacation schedules. It must also take decision-making into account, which includes day-to-day care and emergency matters. Lastly, the parenting plan must describe the ground rules regarding communication between the parents.

Child Support

The Sarnacki Law office can help you determine the correct amount of child support you should be paying, or receiving.

Proof In Child Support Cases:
    The salary of both parents
    Any bonuses or additional sources of income
    All business income (from sources such as self-employment,     
    partnerships, corporations and independent contracts)
    Disability, unemployment and workers' compensation benefits
    Pension or retirement
    Social Security
    Spousal support, if any
    Investment dividends and interest
    Income from rental properties
    Income from trusts, royalties or estates

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