Blog Posts Tagged with family law

A bad romance: Can I get back that gift?

by: Kristin Arnett

March 3, 2016 at 11:03 AM EST

When a marriage ends in divorce, the courts help divide the parties’ personal property. However, the same cannot be said for dating relationships that fall apart. So what happens with any gifts that are exchanged during a romance that ultimately fails?

The general rule of gift-giving is that the giver relinquishes all rights as soon as the item is accepted by the recipient. Acceptance of a gift is usually obvious, through a hug or kiss, and then the recipient taking possession of the item. 

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Can one attorney represent both parties in a divorce?

by: Kristin Arnett

February 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM EST

In situations where both parties want to end their marriage and agree to the settlement terms, the parties often wonder whether they can hire one lawyer to handle the case. This request is usually made to help keep down the legal costs.

The rules of ethics for Michigan attorneys, however, do not permit lawyers to represent both parties in a divorce. 

Michigan Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7 says a lawyer “shall not” represent a client if the representation of that client will be...

Custody, Support & Parenting-Time Order Properly Entered Without Mother’s Signature

by: Matt Newburg

January 26, 2016 at 10:22 AM EST

A custody, child support and parenting time order based on the parties’ signed mediation agreement was properly entered by the trial judge, even though the mother disavowed the agreement and refused to sign the order, the Michigan Court of Appeals has decided.

In Kleinjan v. Carlton, the parties had a child together, but were not married. The father filed a complaint requesting legal and physical custody of the child, child support and supervised parenting time for the mother. The parties and their...

Mandated joint custody bill is getting an icy reception

by: Kristin Arnett

November 5, 2015 at 8:32 PM EST

Legislation that would require courts to award joint custody in divorce cases is being criticized by trial judges and family-law practitioners as being ill-conceived and not in the best interests of Michigan children.

House Bill 4141 would mandate that trial courts order joint custody unless there is clear and convincing evidence that a parent is unfit, unwilling or unable to care for the children.

Trial judges assert that HB 4141 eliminates their discretion in custody and parenting-time cases, while...

Simpler stepparent adoptions on the horizon

by: Kristin Arnett

October 4, 2015 at 9:18 PM EDT

On Oct. 1, the Michigan Senate approved a measure that will make it less complicated for stepparents to legally adopt their spouse’s children.

Senate Bill 458, sponsored by Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, would let a custodial parent’s new spouse petition the court to adopt the child. If the noncustodial parent has not paid support for the child or has not visited or had contact with the child for at least two years, the court may terminate the rights of the noncustodial parent.

The...