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 February 19, 2015
A question that will likely arise more often now than in the past is this: Can a child custody Order be made before a child Is born? Or, stated another way: Can a pregnant woman kidnap a fetus?
Posted on February 13, 2015
Disorder in the Court! In a South Florida court, an 80-year-old woman facing charges of resisting arrest and violating an personal protection order, called the judge "sweetheart" (three times, in fact) and asked if he would take her out for...
Posted on February 09, 2015
From a family lawyer's point of view, the adherence to standards and protocol when a child is being interviewed during allegations of child sexual abuse can spell the difference between whether a conclusion drawn by the interviewer can be said to be valid or invalid...
Posted on January 26, 2015
Parties may agree to make an postnuptial agreement about spousal support, distribution of separate property and property acquired during the marriage. If the parties later divorce, that postnuptial agreement may or may not be enforced by the court. Learn more here.
Posted on January 23, 2015
public service announcements about the dangers of drinking and driving, I found many created in 2014 by high school students who participated in the National Every 15 Minutes Foundation. I recall some PSAs created in New Zealand several years ago. The realism was astonishing...
Posted on December 23, 2014
Successfully preparing, defending, or opposing a Personal Protection Order involves a thorough understanding of the laws, procedures, and the standards applied by referees and judges in hearings that may be requested to set aside a PPO.
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.