Updates in Michigan Family Law is a blawg written by Traverse City, Michigan family lawyer Jeanne M. Hannah. Jeanne explores developing Michigan law, and also the following topics of interest: divorce, custody, child support, paternity, domestic abuse, and adoption issues.\r\n\r\n
Posted on May 08, 2013
Wow! What a cool item for Jeanne's Toolkit. "Son of Citation machine" provides lawyers and professional researchers with a very easy way to properly cite the resources that they use. You may choose your "style"--MLA, APA and Chicago Book of Style (15th Ed...
Posted on May 08, 2013
Most states have enacted statutes that permit a tenant who is at risk of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to be released from a rental obligation. The tenant seeking release must provide notice of "intent to seek a release and written documentation that the tenant has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to the tenant or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking...
Posted on April 26, 2013
Hors d?oervres, thaumaturgy . . . can I spell those without looking them up? No. But on my iPhone or iPad, I can choose from several handy apps to help me. [Some of these are also available for Androids.]
Posted on April 19, 2013
In an astonishing opinion, Michigan?s Court of Appeals held that the trial court improperly granted a step-parent adoption under the adoption statute, MCL 710.51(6), even though the parent had failed to maintain a regular and substantial parent-child relationship and also had failed to maintain a regular and substantial support relationship, where the parent objected to termination of his parental rights and had joint legal custody under a judgment of divorce.
Posted on April 12, 2013
The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has suspended without pay an admittedly intemperate family court judge for four years. This just happens to be the remaining years of Putnam County Circuit Court Family Law Judge William M. Watkins III's term...
Posted on April 01, 2013
Most of the family lawyers I know do not draft a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) for their clients. QDROs are a pretty technical beasts, and there are many fine Michigan firms that specialize in drafting them. An opinion released by the Michigan Court of Appeals last week is a good example of why drafting of QDROs should be left to an expert...
Posted on March 28, 2013
Judge Paul Garfinkel of the 9th Judicial Circuit Family Court, Charleston County, SC, allowed me to share the following comments he made prior to a recent custody trial. As a family law practitioner for over 20 years, I find these words extremely insightful and wise.
Posted on March 27, 2013
Helmut argued because the child was his biological child, even though his parental rights had been terminated earlier, he was still a ?natural parent? and he could not be charged under the kidnapping statute. The court of appeals disagreed and affirmed...
Posted on March 24, 2013
A recent discussion among Michigan lawyers raised the question whether a parent who was subject to the jurisdiction of an adjoining county in an earlier filed child support case could lawfully file a divorce case in an adjoining county. Oddly enough, the Michigan Court of Appeals decided a case just days later holding that, yes, the divorce could be filed in another county.
Posted on March 23, 2013
In July 2012, the Michigan Supreme Court decided People v Likine and ruled that impossibility of payment of child support is a defense to a charge of felony non-support. It?s important to note that inability to pay child support is not a defense to a felony charge...
Posted on March 22, 2013
The New York Times has what, for me, is a new feature in the Opinion section called "Room for Debate." The debate posted yesterday has to do with whether or not people should have a prenuptial agreement. The case that...
Posted on March 11, 2013
Oregon is one of the states which recently enacted child abuse reporting legislation. It added to the list of mandated reporters any employee or volunteer of organization providing child-related services or activities, any employee of a higher education institution, and any coach, assistant coach or trainer of child athlete and individual who provides guidance, instruction or training in youth development activities and youth camps.
Posted on February 20, 2013
A recent case involving the a lesbian couple's use of sperm donated by a man who responded to a Craigslist ad may result in lesbian partners being forced to use clinics approved for A.R.T. rather than using an informal gift from a friend or acquaintance...
Posted on February 15, 2013
Public Act 600 of 2012 amended MCL 722.27a to require that parenting time orders contain a prohibition on exercising parenting time in a nation that is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child...
Posted on February 12, 2013
Absent an express agreement of the parties, the dependency exemptions and the accompanying earned income credit and child care credit for minor children of divorced and separated families, belong to the custodial parent, not the non-custodial parent.
Posted on February 10, 2013
Is there a family lawyer out there who hasn't had a client sandbagged at trial by a printout from a Facebook page? Facebook postings can be the family lawyer's nightmare and the divorce or custody client's downfall.
Posted on January 10, 2013
Concluding that this case was nearly identical to Sweebe and compelled the same result, the court affirmed the trial court's order granting the plaintiff-PR (the decedent's daughter) summary disposition in this dispute over entitlement to the decedent's life insurance benefits...
Posted on December 19, 2012
Sarah M. Buel, Clinical Professor of Law & Director, Ruth V. McGregor Family Protection Clinic at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University has written a powerful Op-Ed published in the Arizona Republic on December 13, 2012....
Posted on December 17, 2012
In his recent article Respite care for foster parents should not mean inferior care for foster children, Professor Daniel Pollack discusses the benefits that respite care by another trained foster parent or other professional and provide to both foster parents and foster children...
Posted on December 14, 2012
MSN.com explains some of the factors that can make a person unable to qualify for a mortgage. The days of Zero Down, and instant on-line approval are a thing of the past. The Federal Reserve reports that nearly a quarter of the people who apply for home loans are denied.
Posted on December 13, 2012
A mother in a high conflict divorce, who attended a parent education class for high conflict families, shared her story about how she made Christmas more bearable for her children.
Posted on December 11, 2012
For those who may be new readers of this Blog, here are suggestions about how to make Christmas better for children. At the end is a link to Donna Ferber's Blog in which she suggests gifts that may help children through the divorce process.
Posted on December 11, 2012
The U.S. 6th Circuit Court affirmed a bankruptcy judge?s ruling that attorney fees that were ordered in a particular divorce case were non-dischargeable, as they were a ?domestic support obligation? I post here links to the 6th Circuit Opinion and also to the Bankruptcy Court opinion.
Posted on December 10, 2012
The new Michigan Child Support Formula 2013 takes effect on 1/1/2013. All orders entered after that period will use the MCSF 2013 and the new Uniform Support Order also becomes effective 1/1/2013. William J. Bartels, Senior Management Analyst for the MI Supreme Court - State Court Administrative Office has highlighted for practitioners the following important things that you should know when calculating child support and using the new forms.
Posted on December 08, 2012
Is a probation requirement of not procreating sounded unconstitutional? In Michigan, such a prohibition is unconstitutional. In Wisconsin (and who knows where else), it is not. The issues of course are fundamental rights of privacy, due process, and equal protection of law.
Posted on December 07, 2012
A Wisconsin man who owes $50,000 in child support and $40,000 in interest was sentenced on Monday to three years of probation with an added condition: he may not procreate. Corey Curtis, age 44, of Racine, Wisconsin, has fathered nine children with six women...
Posted on December 04, 2012
Michigan Parents: Right now, your legislator is considering a plan that creates a single, statewide school district that is accountable to a board, not elected by the people, but instead appointed by the Governor.
Not only would this district not be governed by any local elections, it would operate without any oversight from the Michigan Department of Education- - and your tax dollars would be sent to this new super-district without any approval from your elected representatives.
Posted on December 03, 2012
A Houston mother who gave birth to twins in July 2012 was challenged by a male friend who had convinced her to bear the children using his sperm and donor eggs. The twins were born prematurely. While they were hospitalized, the mother, Cindy Close, was sued by her friend...
Posted on December 01, 2012
An unpublished decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals ("COA") [Hollis v Miller, Docket No. 306090, decided November 8, 2012] demonstrates the difficulties a grandparent faces in a grandparent visitation action once a parent cuts off contact with the child...