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 December 12, 2014
In Song v Moore, an Oakland County case, the COA held that the trial court properly denied Respondent's Motion to Terminate or Modify a Personal Protection Order that limited him to supervised parenting time only with his adolescent son.
Posted on December 11, 2014
There are no uniform data at the national level that provide us with a global picture of the prevalence and incidence of abuse and maltreatment of people who are severely disabled. We know these numbers are high. We also know that perpetrators are often the people closest to the disabled person such as guardians, caregivers, neighbors or acquaintances, family members, healthcare providers or other residents.
Posted on December 10, 2014
Haffaker v Huffaker is a child custody dispute involving grandparents with a guardianship in Wayne County and parents who divorced in Utah . . . child born in Utah . . . presented the Court of Appeals (COA) with a unique opportunity to explain how to determine which state has subject matter jurisdiction to make the initial child custody determination.
Posted on November 26, 2014
Imagine a client who is a single parent. That parent could be a business person with significant travel duties, it could be a military service member who may be away for long periods, back again for a short leave, then...
Posted on November 21, 2014
In Butler v Simmons-Butler, the Michigan Court of Appeals considered the issue whether a trial court has the authority to order a party to sign amended joint federal tax returns for prior years. The defendant appealed that order arguing that the trial court lacked the authority to order her to file amended joint returns, and arguing that she should not have been compelled to sign joint returns under penalty of perjury, as in doing so she would be affirming that the facts plaintiff states on the returns were true.
Posted on November 20, 2014
Family lawyers are seeing a lot of custody cases these days in which allegations of abuse result in an investigation by Child Protection Services (CPS) workers. When a parent reports alleged abuse to CPS, that agency must investigate. If the...
Posted on November 19, 2014
When the parties divorced, their judgment awarded each party fifty percent of the marital portion of the other party?s pension. Husband retired and elected to receive his portion of his ex-wife's school pension. She then learned that her monthly benefit when she retired at age 65 would be reduced by $712...
Posted on November 12, 2014
Same-Sex Marriage decisions in federal district courts of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee were decided on Thursday November 6, 2014. In a 2 to 1 decision, the 6th Circuit reversed those decisions. Thus same-sex marriage is now lawful in those states...
Posted on November 07, 2014
In a 2-1 decision on Thursday, November 6, 2014, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed federal district court judges in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee who had struck bans on same-sex marriage and said the issue is...
Posted on November 02, 2014
As a family lawyer who has practiced family law for 29 years, the messiest and often the most difficult cases I handled have involved adults whose cohabitation relationship has terminated because of incompatibility. These may be male/female relationships, or they may be same-sex relationships...
Posted on October 23, 2014
The Michigan Legislature has enacted Public Act 308 of 2014. It is effective immediately. The new law allows adoptive parents of foster children with certain health conditions an additional way to receive adoption assistance. However, there is only a brief window in time for adoptive parents who have an adoption assistance agreement signed and in effect before January 1, 2015 to obtain this assistance.
Posted on October 14, 2014
Parentage may be established at the time of birth or later when the mother and father of the child execute an affidavit of parentage. The form for this was updated in October 2013--more than a year after the enactment of the Revocation of Parentage Act.
Posted on October 05, 2014
When lawyers pay to obtain information about recently filed divorce cases and send a letter soliciting contact with the defendant without regard to whether he or she knows about the filing and without regard as to whether a victim of domestic violence is safe, the party filing the divorce may be at risk for domestic violence...
Posted on September 25, 2014
The Michigan Supreme Court has finally handed down its decision in In Re AJR--a step-parent adoption case. According the the supreme court, the constitutional rights of a noncustodial parent ["NCP"] who has joint legal custody trump the right of a child or children to live in an intact family despite the failure that NCP to pay regular and substantial support and to maintain a regular and substantial parent-child relationship in the two years prior to filing of the step-parent adoption petition.
Posted on September 23, 2014
Internet coverage of a Family Court hearing in Durham, North Carolina has garnered only 17,000 views on YouTube. (How did this courtroom video get posted to YouTube?) Those views, in my opinion, are hardly sufficient. Hopefully, the North Carolina Judicial...
Posted on September 11, 2014
Two lawyers on the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Listserv alerted members to a serious problem with Gmail today. This news and their advice is something I want to pass along to my readers. Email security is always imperative, especially given how often documents with sensitive information are exchanged by a lawyer and client.
Posted on August 27, 2014
An Illinois appellate court affirmed a trial court ruling that a postnuptial agreement was unenforceable as against public policy where the agreement gave a third party ?counselor? sole power to determine custody and other issues including property and support...
Posted on August 25, 2014
The New York Times a typical last-minute scramble, Jannette Navarro, a 22-year-old Starbucks barista and single mother, scraped together a plan for surviving the month of July without setting off family or financial disaster.
Posted on August 24, 2014
Over 200 United States universities have a program for people with intellectual disabilities, but the admissions are highly competitive. Every year more than one hundred people apply for fewer than 10 openings.
Posted on August 07, 2014
A parent's effort to destroy the children's relationship with the other parent shows that the father went from supervised parenting time to sole legal and primary physical custody--with a relocation to Arkansas. The mother was allowed parenting time one weekend per month to be exercised in Arkansas.
Posted on July 27, 2014
John Mills, skilled family lawyer and mediator, beloved family member of our Family Law Section's member Evelyn Redmond, passed away yesterday, July 26, 2014. Richard Victor and Scott Bassett, two members of the jass band known as "The Bare Assets," have uploaded some video and audio files of performances.
Posted on July 19, 2014
On June 12, 2012, Public Act 159 of 2012 because effective as law in Michigan regarding the revocation of parentage by various persons given standing and under certain terms and conditions.
Posted on July 18, 2014
I never (and I mean never) blind copy a client on email correspondence to opposing counsel. The danger is to high that a client may accidentally hit "Reply All" when commenting on the content of the email. If that happens, then the client's confidential attorney-client communication will be sent to opposing counsel...
Posted on July 16, 2014
My favorite resource for developing a parenting time plan that is developmentally sensitive is "Planning for Parenting Time: Arizona's Guide for Parents Living Apart." Arizona encourages parents to develop their own parenting time plan and, in the process of doing that, to consider the developmental needs of their children.
Posted on July 07, 2014
This article by Mark E. Sullivan concludes a three-part series about child custody and deployment issues with a prescription for avoiding disaster by crafting the court?s custody order with an eye to the future and a plan for who gets custody when the military member is absent.
Posted on July 04, 2014
Despite good planning, many military custody cases hit a ?bump in the road? and overturn. Sometimes there?s good planning, and sometimes there?s NO planning. The results ? which usually involve the absence of the military custodian with no legal back-up custodian outside of the other parent ? lead to heartbreak, surprise, legal expenses, and sometimes child endangerment...