Divorce Trials Can Be Hell For Domestic Violence Survivors

Divorce Can Be Hell for Domestic Abuse SurviorsDomestic violence is a part of hundreds of thousands of Americans’ lives every day. A woman in the U.S. is beaten every 9 seconds. Legal clinics and shelters like the Family Law Assistance Project and Haven in Oakland County help survivors get away from abusive partners. But divorce can be a painful and sometimes dangerous part of the process. (more…)

Michigan Considers Law to Regulate Collaborative Process

Michigan Considers Regulating Collaborative DivorceThe phrase “Collaborative Divorce” has been something of a trend among family lawyers over the past decade. Informal organizations like the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan, exist to offer training in non-adversarial conflict resolution and help people find trained attorneys and professionals. But there has been no law regulating the practice. Now the Michigan legislature is considering a bill that would formalize and regulate the process. (more…)

Michigan Lets Biological Parents Skip Court for Adoptions

Parents can now give up their children privatelyChoosing to give up a child is one of the hardest decisions a parent can make, especially when the decision requires her to publicly declare her desire to terminate her rights. But a new law in Michigan will give parents and guardians the option to make that decision privately while still protecting their rights. (more…)

Can I Lose Custody of My Kids Because I Get Sick?

Can I lose custody of my kids because I'm disabled?It may be hard to believe, but over 10,000 Americans received Social Security disability insurance in 2013. Another 26.2% of Americans suffer from mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety. So what happens when disability intersects with the family court? Can you really lose custody of your children just because you get sick or injured? (more…)

Custody for LGBT Families is Complicated. Here’s Why.

Michigan Considers Marriage EqualityThe Michigan Marriage Equality trial started Tuesday in the United States District Court in Detroit. It is scheduled to continue for 8 days and is focusing so far on the ability and challenges for LGBT couples raising children. The Free Press summarized Wednesday’s testimony by University of Michigan law professor Vivek Sankaran, saying

“When a parent in a same-sex relationship dies, the surviving partner faces a quagmire of legal hurdles to gain custody of any kids.”

Here’s why.

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Confusion Abounds Around the Revocation of Paternity Act

Courts are confused about the Revocation of Paternity ActMichigan’s Revocation of Paternity Act (Revocation Act), which was passed in 2012, has reached the Court of Appeals, and the result has been a lot of judicial confusion and disagreement. The most recent appeals decision only added to the confusion with three separate opinions that gave no guidance to family law practitioners. (more…)

Michigan Supreme Court to Decide Grandparents’ Rights

Can Grandparents get visitation if the Parent's rights have been terminated?Michigan’s highest court is scheduled to hear the appeal of an opinion that shocked many family lawyers in the state. The question the state Supreme Court will decide is whether grandparents have visitation rights only through their children (the parents), or whether there is an independent right for grandmas and grandpas to spend time with their grandchildren. (more…)

Co-Parents Need to Be More Than Just Strangers

It's not enough to treat your child's parent like a stranger.There’s no question that divorce and custody disputes can raise emotions and create tension between a child’s mother and father. In particularly high-conflict cases counselors at the Friend of the Court will often tell parents “just treat him [or her] like you would a stranger.” But psychology suggests that that might not be enough. (more…)

What’s the Rule About Gifts?

What happens to gifts during the divorce?As you gather up the wrapping paper and stack all the new presents under the Christmas tree, you may wonder what would happen to those gifts if you were to get divorced. Can he take back the diamond necklace you just unwrapped? What about the car you just committed to pay for over the next 2 years? (more…)

12 Days of Christmas Parenting Time

ID-100213191The holiday season can be a stressful period for anyone, but when you add to it a contentious custody situation, the result can be a very blue Christmas for you and your children. By the 12th day of Christmas, your experience may be: (more…)